Maryvale’s Upper School Art curriculum is designed to assist students in establishing an awareness of art as part of our daily existence through a disciplined-based program. Students become aesthetically aware of a wide range of visual forms, use criticism skills to judge artworks successfully, become aware of important paradigms throughout history, understand how to integrate the visual arts with other disciplines and discover how to create their own works of art through hands-on projects. All students are required to take Art Through the Ages I, and juniors and seniors may take the remaining course offerings as electives. Students enrolled in studio classes maintain a portfolio to be used for the college admission process along with scholarship entries. Students submit works for local exhibits and contests, including The Congressional Art Exhibit sponsored by Congressmen Kratovil and Sarbanes, the MAEA student exhibit in Annapolis, and exhibits on Artsonia.com.
The English Department believes that study of literature enriches life in a profound way. In accordance with this belief, all courses in English focus on developing the students’ imagination and intellect in such a way as to promote a lifelong appreciation for the written word. Rigorous instruction in such skills as induction, deduction, inference, analogy, paraphrase, and symbolism helps students understand how writers suggest meanings and readers help create meanings. By graduation, students will have read close to 50 classic titles in world literature. While the skills taught in English are directly applicable to standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT, students at Maryvale are expected to master substantive reading and writing skills that will serve them well in college and in life as an adult.
In a growing global society, knowing a foreign language is a necessity not only for communication but also for cultural understanding. At Maryvale, we aim to inspire in our students a lifelong interest and appreciation for languages and cultures as well as develop proficiency in their target language. Students may choose either French or Spanish and must complete a minimum of three years of study. The following four skills for effective communication are emphasized: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These skills are developed through instruction in a classroom setting as well as in our language lab. In the Upper School, total classroom immersion in the language begins at level III. The curriculum includes oral presentations, reading novels, and cultural and language-based projects. Schoolwide celebrations such as the Foreign Language Talent Show, La Quinceanera, Mardi Gras, and the Day of the Dead foster cultural interest and understanding in students of all levels. Foreign Language classes from level I to level IV are scheduled in the language lab one day a cycle. Advanced Placement classes are scheduled in the lab twice a cycle.
The Mathematics Department provides an interactive, college preparatory program in which each student is challenged according to her ability to progress in the study of Mathematics.The Department offers college prep,accelerated ,honors courses and SAT prep as well as Advanced Placement courses in Calculus, Statistics, and Computer Programming. Maryvale’s curriculum is developed in conjunction with “The Principles and Standards for grades 9-12” set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All courses incorporate technology and emphasize the acquisition of basic and complex skills, clarity and precisions of language, and effective techniques in problem solving and critical thinking. Students also enjoy Maryvale’s infamous “Pi-Day” on March 14 to promote the appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics. Upon graduation, students are prepared for future courses in mathematics and related disciplines.
Fine Arts in the Upper School includes a variety of core classes and electives. All freshman and sophomores fulfill their State Fine Arts requirement by completing one course in Music History and Appreciation and one in Art Through the Ages. Students may then choose to pursue the arts in their elective courses. The following performing arts courses are offered: Class Voice I, Class Voice II, Piano I, Piano II, Advanced Music, and Drama.
Physical Education & Health
Maryvale’s Upper School Physical Education program is designed to promote the importance of a lifetime of fitness. Through individual and team activities, the student develops responsibility and respect for herself as well as her classmates. Our physical education program fosters a fun, non-threatening atmosphere, where the students can experiment with new challenges and skill work while also building self-confidence levels and developing a positive self-concept. Through participation in sports such as golf, pickleball, volleyball, badminton, flag football, aerobics, circuit training, ultimate frisbee, basketball, floor hockey, and bowling, the students develop an appreciation for the various activities that are available in order to stay healthy and fit for a lifetime.
Maryvale’s Upper School Health Education program is a semester long course taught to the Sophomore class addressing a wide range of health-related issues. This course is designed to introduce students to the many dimensions of health and wellness with topics such as Nutrition, Fitness & Weight Management, Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse, Sexual Education, Violence & Injury Prevention, Stress and Mental Health. Current events involving health issues are also key topics of discussion. Our goal is to promote a healthy way of living and to educate these young women on how to best care for themselves both physically and emotionally.
Maryvale’s Science program strives to develop and expand students’ processes, knowledge and skills related to the field of science. Students are challenged to acquire and apply critical thinking and logical reasoning skills in problem solving situations, both in the theoretical and experimental realm. The refinement of students’ abilities to handle, construct and manipulate materials in a productive and safe manner is accomplished through the design and completion of experiments. The aptitude of the student to measure, organize and communicate scientific information is also a focus of the program. Students are required to take college preparatory or honors biology in the 9th grade and college preparatory, accelerated or honors chemistry in the 10th grade. Students are further challenged and empowered to seek answers and expand knowledge through inquiry in Advanced Placement courses, such as biology and chemistry. Maryvale offers a forensic science class, where students process and solve a “Murder in the Castle.” Physics students construct and race their own robots in the Annual Robot Challenge sponsored by IEEE.
The Social Studies Department seeks to engage students in preparation for active citizenship, building on the skills developed in the Middle School. Research skills, historical scholarship, and critical thinking skills are all emphasized through research projects, term papers, and various activities in preparation for undergraduate study in the social sciences. Students will explore American Government, Global Issues, World History and American History with options to further develop their backgrounds in the social sciences through electives in Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Modern European History, and the Holocaust. Co-curricular activities sponsored by the department include Model U.N. and Mock Trial.
As technology continues to improve and expand, Maryvale students continue to meet the demands of an ever-changing technology curriculum. Freshmen participate in a required computer applications course to learn Microsoft Office and other programs. Students are continually challenged to expand their technology skills as new and innovative products become available, including many Web 2.0 tools. Students in grades 11 and 12 are offered the following technology electives: Web Design, Digital Photography, Web 2.0, and Graphic Design. These courses enable students to create and produce portfolios, websites and other publications. The skills acquired in the students’ technology classes are transferred easily to required assignments and projects for their other classes. Internet safety issues are researched and discussed, and students work collaboratively to understand the matters relevant to today’s youth.
The Theology program seeks to provide a firm foundation in Catholic Christianity, with a focus on Jesus Christ. This foundation is built upon the four pillars of the catechism of the Catholic church and shaped by the charism of St. Julie Billiart and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Students will study the basic beliefs of the faith, as revealed in scripture and the tradition of the church, and examine the sacramental and liturgical nature of the church. Salvation history is explored in an introductory study of sacred scripture and the history of the church. These reflections lead us to examine the moral life of followers of Jesus and then how Christian morality is applied on a larger scale from the family to the world. Our studies conclude with an exploration of different types of spirituality, which will nurture and support a disciple of Jesus’ journey.