Academics » The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

The St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is a program of study named in honor of the saint Catholics believe to be the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher.  One of the thirty-three Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas is considered the model teacher as his influence on Western thought is considerable. The Aquinas Academy is designed to challenge the most gifted and motivated students in a demanding course of study.  The development of the students’ abilities in all areas of the academic curriculum is emphasized along with various outside reading, writing, and extra activities.  Students who complete this program will emerge as caring, capable, well-rounded young men and women ready to face worldly challenges and avail themselves of opportunities  – armed with the strength of their faith and an exemplary academic program.  They will live the philosophy of St. Thomas – “Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.”
During their time at McGill-Toolen, Aquinas Scholars (as they will be referred to) must maintain a 3.75 grade point average (weighted); complete a minimum of seven credits of AP and Pre-AP courses, twelve credits of honors courses and two years of Latin.  Students will be encouraged to take more foreign language courses.  For each semester, the student will complete a different assignment and/or activity based on learned coursework for that particular semester.   In addition, certain electives will be required for each year.  The Aquinas Scholars program will not deter a student from participating in the athletic, music, or extra-curricular programs. An additional goal for these students in the Academy is achieving National Merit Finalist and AP Scholar status.
Aquinas Scholars will be the first students invited and encouraged to participate in an annual college tour conducted by the school.  The trip is designed for high-achieving students to visit out-of-state colleges and universities. Students will learn more about the admissions process and eventually apply and be accepted to some of the most selective schools in the country.  Those seniors graduating and fully meeting the requirements of the program will be recognized separately at the graduation ceremony in addition to other special recognition throughout their participation in the Academy.
  Incoming freshmen whose placement test scores are in the national percentile range of 90 or above (on each sub-test) are eligible. Their grades from middle school are required to be all A’s and B’s (or the equivalent), and they must have completed Algebra I in 8th grade.

The required Aquinas Scholars curriculum is documented below. The Assistant Principal of Academic Affairs will oversee the program with attention to extra projects, essays, and papers.  Please contact Lisa Robertson at 445-2906 for more information.
Freshman Year
Honors Revelation / Trinity
Honors World History
Honors Geometry
Honors Principles of Physics
Honors Literature / Composition
Latin I
Technology 101, P.E., Band or Chorus
Also, an Aquinas project each semester

Sophomore Year
Honors Paschal Mystery
AP European History
Honors Algebra II
Honors Chemistry
Honors American Literature
Honors Latin  II
Elective (1 credit)*
Also, an Aquinas project each semester

Junior Year
Honors Morality / Social Morality
AP U.S. History
Honors or AP Pre-Calculus
Honors or AP Biology or AP Chemistry
AP English Language
Electives (2 credits)*
Also, an Aquinas project each semester

Senior Year
Honors Apologetics / Sacraments
AP Government
AP Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Computer Science)
AP English Literature
Honors or AP Calculus
Electives  (2 credits)*
Also, an Aquinas project each semester
* Possible electives - Latin III Honors, AP Latin IV, Band, Choral Music, Public Speaking, Creative Writing, Film Appreciation, Humanities, Athletic P.E., Science Courses, Other Foreign Language Courses, Social Studies Electives and Technology Courses