English/Language Arts

The English/Language Arts curriculum is in many ways the centerpiece of our academic program. The curriculum is designed to create students who can read, write, and speak articulately, thoughtfully, and confidently. Vibrant discussions of the content, vocabulary, and themes of classic and contemporary novels, poems, and short stories build literal, inferential, and analytical comprehension skills.

Learn More

Students are introduced to the plays of William Shakespeare in seventh and eighth grade. Novel studies in our Upper School division include:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Echo
House of the Scorpion
The Tempest
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Reading comprehension and expository writing provide the foundation for much of academic achievement in high school and college. At the end of the day, though, we want our graduates to love reading and writing. In addition to completing a fully annotated research paper in seventh grade, students also embark upon an original, illustrated science-fiction project in sixth grade and a historical-fiction project in eighth grade.

Our Upper School students have earned numerous awards for their writing and are key contributors to our nationally recognized literary magazine, Eagle’s Quill. Students are also guided to speak publicly through oral presentations during class, as well as assemblies, weekly Masses, and our annual Declamation Day poetry event. Our graduates have gone on to serve as leads in high school plays and editors of their school’s publications and have been honored in national writing competitions.

Math

St. Michael’s offers a variety of courses at each grade level, meeting each child at his/her level and ensuring that each has a strong foundation for the multi-leveled math classes that are offered in high school. We recognize that students at this age develop at different rates and appreciate that there is more than one path through the math curriculum; for that reason we conduct careful student placement in the spring of each year, as well as careful assessment throughout the year to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in his or her course of study.

Fifth Grade Mathematics

Fifth graders study concepts that include ratios and proportional relationships, the number system, expressions and equations, geometry, and statistics and probability. We use the Glencoe Math Course 1 textbook published by McGraw Hill. This two-volume textbook will be enriched with other resources including Google Chromebooks, manipulatives, games, group work, and logic problems. Another resource used is a monthly magazine called Dynamath, which ties math into other areas of the student’s life and strengthens their problem-solving skills. We also use an online program called Mountain Math in the second trimester; this program is used on a weekly basis to keep math computation skills sharp. Students will have homework assignments that will be an extension and practice of what was done in class that day. There will be several means of assessment including their math notebook, homework, quizzes, and tests.

Sixth Grade Mathematics

Students in grade six study pre-algebra topics in courses designed to develop an understanding of mathematics as a system of thought. A student’s ability to work independently and persevere with problems, along with his or her past mathematical performance in both class and on the Pre-Algebra Readiness assessment, determines class placement.

Pre-Algebra
This math course is designed to consolidate computational skills, enhance understanding of underlying mathematical concepts, and extend the skills of working with proportion, percent, linear equations, and geometric relationships. Students gain proportional reasoning skills and become proficient with integer operations.

Pre-Algebra Advanced
This course covers a sequence of topics similar to Pre-Algebra, but it covers more complex problems, and it requires a demonstration of some independence in mathematical thinking. It is designed for students who have already mastered computational skills, who have demonstrated the ability to think more abstractly about mathematics, and who are self-motivated to work independently to solve problems.

Seventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics

Seventh Grade Mathematics
Seventh grade students take Algebra I (Honors) or Algebra I (Part 1). This placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performance in both course work and on the Algebra Readiness test administered prior to 7th grade.

Eighth Grade Mathematics
Eighth grade students are placed either in Algebra II or Algebra I (Part 2). Again, this placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performances in both course work and on the Algebra Proficiency test administered prior to 8th grade.

Course Overviews for Seventh and Eighth Grade Math

Algebra I (Honors)
This is a complete Algebra 1 course. Topics in this class include proportional reasoning; direct and inverse variation; writing, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities; systems of equations; functions and their transformations; non-linear functions; and quadratic equations and solutions. A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required and used for investigations, data analysis, graphing functions, and verifying results. Application of skills, procedures, and concepts to solve real world problems is an integral part of this course. An important goal of this course is for students to begin to see algebra as a language to model situations, in addition to solidifying their ability to manipulate symbols.

Algebra I, Part 1
This is essentially the first half of a high school-level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include fractions; proportional reasoning; properties of numbers; relations and functions; writing and solving equations, absolute value; linear equations; rate of change and slope; graphing and writing linear functions, scatterplots and lines of fit; correlation and causation and linear regressions. Desmos, a free online graphing calculator, will be utilized for investigations, data analyses, graphing functions, and verifying results. Students will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction.

Algebra I, Part 2
This course is equivalent to the second half of a high school-level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and, collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include linear equations and functions; systems of linear equations; matrices; exponents and exponential functions, including growth and decay; quadratic functions and equations; operations with polynomials; and radical expressions, equations and functions, including inverse functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Algebra II
Algebra II (Honors) is a course designed for students who have completed a rigorous course of Honors Algebra I and have demonstrated strong interest, aptitude, independence, and achievement in mathematics. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include quadratic functions and equations; polynomials and polynomial functions; inverses and radical functions; exponential and logarithmic functions, including common and natural logarithms; rational functions; statistics and probability; and trigonometric functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Social Studies

As adolescents mature, they become less inwardly focused and more able to consider the problems and patterns of society as a whole. Through our social studies curriculum, St. Michael’s seeks to nurture civic-minded students eager to scrutinize and discuss important issues of humanity’s past, present, and future. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop historical knowledge using inquiry, critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. Cooperative hands-on activities, simulations, and Webquests encourage these higher-level thinking skills while making history stimulating and relevant, as well as preparing them for rigorous AP classes in their future.

Fifth Grade Social Studies

Fifth grade students explore the study of American History from the early 1400s through the Revolutionary War. We focus on the early explorers, the Columbian Exchange, the Thirteen Colonies, Colonial Life, and the Battles of the Revolutionary War. Among other activities, the students complete a Heritage Project by exploring their own family history and heritage. This curriculum is taught using the Harcourt textbook entitled The United States – Making a New Nation and includes a student homework and practice book.

Sixth Grade Social Studies

Sixth grade students explore the broad arc of world history, from early humans through the Middle Ages. Hand-crafting a tool with only raw materials found in the outdoors, staging the “Burial of a Pharaoh,” trading porcelain vases for spices or silk along the a simulated Silk Road, and shed light on the evolution of such institutions as government, religion, economics, and social systems. In addition to the exciting exploration of history through reenactments, the students also write rigorously to develop the skills to communicate their in-depth knowledge and analysis of ancient cultures.

Seventh Grade Social Studies

In seventh grade, the curriculum turns to American history from the Civil War through World War One. The course investigates relationships between and among historical events and concepts and evaluates these events that shape history by viewing them from geographic, social, political and economic perspectives. Interactive learning opportunities include historic simulations, hands-on-activities, and technology-based projects. Students utilize primary and secondary sources to analyze the landmark events that have shaped the young nation and the conflicts that threatened its very survival.

Eighth Grade Social Studies

Building on the previous year’s study of early American history, eighth graders investigate our nation’s history from the 1920s to the present. The History and Civics curriculum emphasizes the skills required for responsible citizenship. The curriculum strives to provide a relevant, engaging experience in which our students are challenged to think critically about past and current events, draw conclusions, and make connections to their own lives. Innovative online simulations, historic mock trials, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and other class projects spark students’ curiosity about our country’s social and political systems – and their impact on the students’ own lives. The class trip to Washington, D.C. offers a culminating learning experience.

Science

The St. Michael’s science curriculum provides a dynamic combination of academic study and hands-on experimentation. Our teachers employ a variety of instructional strategies, including the inquiry method, which encourages students to form and then answer their own questions about the world around them. This process stimulates curiosity, problem solving, and independent thinking, which lead students to approach problems creatively and critically and require them to express themselves in written and verbal analysis. Students acquire strong foundations and are well prepared in physical, life, and earth sciences. Through collaborative lab work, students develop the ability to cooperate and communicate with confidence in group work.

Students in sixth and eighth grades also create their own innovative research studies for the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). Numerous St. Michael’s students each year receive top awards in the SARSEF competition.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Science

In fifth and sixth grade, students investigate earth science over the course of two years. Fifth graders study geology and geologic change: rocks and minerals, weathering, erosion, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, paleontology, and geologic time. Sixth graders tackle meteorology, oceanography, natural resource stewardship, and astronomy. Labs and research projects allow students to explore concepts and develop deep understandings and answers to their own questions about the earth and sky. In addition, sixth grade students spend a significant amount of time from September through January immersed in learning through inquiry as they conduct their own science fair project in preparation for the St. Michael’s School Science Fair.

Seventh Grade Science

In seventh grade, students explore life itself. Units cover the study of cells and life processes; the classification and organization of living things; the interactions of living organisms with their environment; and human body systems. Frequent lab activities illustrate and enrich these studies, including the comprehensive observation of living and preserved specimens. Students also are able to take advantage of an outdoor wetlands and garden area adjacent to the main classrooms.

Eighth Grade Science

Eighth graders tackle physical science. Students examine the mysteries of forces, properties of matter, the interaction of matter and energy, chemical interactions, electricity, magnetism, and wave theory. Frequent lab experimentation connects abstract formulae with tangible evidence of physics in action. Students are often observed heading outdoors, meter sticks in hand, to put Isaac Newton’s theories to the test.

World Languages

The study of Spanish and French clarifies the structure of Western languages and is a useful preparatory tool for higher education and the thinking skills that are required for more advanced language instruction in high school and college. All students at St. Michael’s take Spanish in grades K-6, and students in grades 7-8 choose either to continue in Spanish or to take French.

Spanish

Spanish is not a “foreign” language in Southern Arizona, and proficiency in speaking and writing Spanish expands opportunities both for employment and recreation in our region and around the world. Throughout the Spanish curriculum, students focus on developing accurate pronunciation using vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Native speakers build upon their knowledge of written and conversational Spanish through an accelerated heritage program.

Learning about Spanish-speaking cultures is an essential element of the curriculum. Students learn about and celebrate various holidays, including El Día de los Muertos and Las Posadas. They also study Spanish-speaking countries to compare and contrast various customs and ways of life. Spanish Club is offered as an elective to foster cultural appreciation.

Successful completion of our Spanish program is comparable to first-year high school Spanish. Students who continue learning Spanish in high school typically place into advanced classes. We believe that Spanish classes at St. Michael’s help to build a solid foundation for lifelong foreign-language learning in a global world.

French

The French program is designed to give students a solid base that will allow them to continue their French studies at numerous Tucson high schools after leaving St. Michael’s. Every language is worth learning and has something to offer, and becoming multilingual is an exciting and meaningful life goal. Here are some reasons to learn French:

By studying French at St. Michael’s, students will move toward being able to communicate with the more than 300 million people who speak French as a native language or language of business and education on five different continents. Beginning in seventh grade, students will have a solid introductory-level command of the language in all modes: speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension.

In addition to language skills, students learn about French and francophone food, culture, fashion, art, literature, and music. Travelers have enhanced experiences if they are able to communicate in French, and Paris is the number-one tourist destination in the world, attracting about 50 million visitors a year. Additionally, French is an official language of organizations and institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Red Cross.

Learning French can further serve as a base for learning or refining other Latin-based languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. It will also improve one’s command of English, with some 50,000 English words originating from French.

Enrichment Classes

Furthering our mission to educate the whole child, St. Michael’s provides excellent instruction in the arts, physical education, and religion as key components of our Upper School curriculum.

Art

St. Michael’s Upper School students continue to experience art in an experiential way, using acrylic paints, modeling clay, and other media to create fabulous projects for eventual display at our annual Art Expo. Students further develop a practical and intellectual understanding of art vocabulary, elements, and principles. This academic foundation allows students to understand and appreciate the dynamic relationships between art and culture.

Music

The music program at St. Michael’s is designed to give students a strong foundation, appreciation, and love of music. All students participate in concerts at Christmastime and in spring. Shows like these and the annual St. Michael’s musical offer students exposure to the staging, sound engineering, and rehearsal routines associated with the highly polished productions of high school and beyond. Beginning in fifth grade, students choose to pursue either Band or Choir. These classes meet twice a week. Our graduates who enter high school music programs are well prepared to sing and play in top choirs and bands beginning in their Freshmen year.

Physical Education

Physical education classes meet twice a week, either in our gymnasium facility or in the park adjacent to school. Our P.E. program provides instruction in game strategies and skills, as well as sportsmanship, health, and hygiene. Students in grades 6-8 can also participate in our superb after-school athletics program, and fifth graders can take part in our intramural program throughout the year.

Religion

While our physical education curriculum focuses on building healthy bodies, our religion curriculum targets students’ hearts and minds. During weekly religion classes, children explore the Bible and then discuss how scriptural passages may frame moral issues in today’s society as well as individuals’ own relationship with God. Although the perspective is primarily Christian, alternate views from other faith traditions are welcomed and encouraged. Our goal in Religious Studies at St. Michael’s is to foster respect for all faith traditions found in our pluralistic society.

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English/Language Arts

The English/Language Arts curriculum is in many ways the centerpiece of our academic program. The curriculum is designed to create students who can read, write, and speak articulately, thoughtfully, and confidently. Vibrant discussions of the content, vocabulary, and themes of classic and contemporary novels, poems, and short stories build literal, inferential, and analytical comprehension skills.

Learn More

Students are introduced to the plays of William Shakespeare in seventh and eighth grade. Novel studies in our Upper School division include:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Echo
House of the Scorpion
The Tempest
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Reading comprehension and expository writing provide the foundation for much of academic achievement in high school and college. At the end of the day, though, we want our graduates to love reading and writing. In addition to completing a fully annotated research paper in seventh grade, students also embark upon an original, illustrated science-fiction project in sixth grade and a historical-fiction project in eighth grade.

Our Upper School students have earned numerous awards for their writing and are key contributors to our nationally recognized literary magazine, Eagle’s Quill. Students are also guided to speak publicly through oral presentations during class, as well as assemblies, weekly Masses, and our annual Declamation Day poetry event. Our graduates have gone on to serve as leads in high school plays and editors of their school’s publications and have been honored in national writing competitions.

Math

St. Michael’s offers a variety of courses at each grade level, meeting each child at his/her level and ensuring that each has a strong foundation for the multi-leveled math classes that are offered in high school. We recognize that students at this age develop at different rates and appreciate that there is more than one path through the math curriculum; for that reason we conduct careful student placement in the spring of each year, as well as careful assessment throughout the year to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in his or her course of study.

Fifth Grade Mathematics

Fifth graders study concepts that include ratios and proportional relationships, the number system, expressions and equations, geometry, and statistics and probability. We use the Glencoe Math Course 1 textbook published by McGraw Hill. This two-volume textbook will be enriched with other resources including Google Chromebooks, manipulatives, games, group work, and logic problems. Another resource used is a monthly magazine called Dynamath, which ties math into other areas of the student’s life and strengthens their problem-solving skills. We also use an online program called Mountain Math in the second trimester; this program is used on a weekly basis to keep math computation skills sharp. Students will have homework assignments that will be an extension and practice of what was done in class that day. There will be several means of assessment including their math notebook, homework, quizzes, and tests.

Sixth Grade Mathematics

Students in grade six study pre-algebra topics in courses designed to develop an understanding of mathematics as a system of thought. A student’s ability to work independently and persevere with problems, along with his or her past mathematical performance in both class and on the Pre-Algebra Readiness assessment, determines class placement.

Pre-Algebra
This math course is designed to consolidate computational skills, enhance understanding of underlying mathematical concepts, and extend the skills of working with proportion, percent, linear equations, and geometric relationships. Students gain proportional reasoning skills and become proficient with integer operations.

Pre-Algebra Advanced
This course covers a sequence of topics similar to Pre-Algebra, but it covers more complex problems, and it requires a demonstration of some independence in mathematical thinking. It is designed for students who have already mastered computational skills, who have demonstrated the ability to think more abstractly about mathematics, and who are self-motivated to work independently to solve problems.

Seventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics

Seventh Grade Mathematics
Seventh grade students take Algebra I (Honors) or Algebra I (Part 1). This placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performance in both course work and on the Algebra Readiness test administered prior to 7th grade.

Eighth Grade Mathematics
Eighth grade students are placed either in Algebra II or Algebra I (Part 2). Again, this placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performances in both course work and on the Algebra Proficiency test administered prior to 8th grade.

Course Overviews for Seventh and Eighth Grade Math

Algebra I (Honors)
This is a complete Algebra 1 course. Topics in this class include proportional reasoning; direct and inverse variation; writing, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities; systems of equations; functions and their transformations; non-linear functions; and quadratic equations and solutions. A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required and used for investigations, data analysis, graphing functions, and verifying results. Application of skills, procedures, and concepts to solve real world problems is an integral part of this course. An important goal of this course is for students to begin to see algebra as a language to model situations, in addition to solidifying their ability to manipulate symbols.

Algebra I, Part 1
This is essentially the first half of a high school-level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include fractions; proportional reasoning; properties of numbers; relations and functions; writing and solving equations, absolute value; linear equations; rate of change and slope; graphing and writing linear functions, scatterplots and lines of fit; correlation and causation and linear regressions. Desmos, a free online graphing calculator, will be utilized for investigations, data analyses, graphing functions, and verifying results. Students will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction.

Algebra I, Part 2
This course is equivalent to the second half of a high school-level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and, collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include linear equations and functions; systems of linear equations; matrices; exponents and exponential functions, including growth and decay; quadratic functions and equations; operations with polynomials; and radical expressions, equations and functions, including inverse functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Algebra II
Algebra II (Honors) is a course designed for students who have completed a rigorous course of Honors Algebra I and have demonstrated strong interest, aptitude, independence, and achievement in mathematics. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include quadratic functions and equations; polynomials and polynomial functions; inverses and radical functions; exponential and logarithmic functions, including common and natural logarithms; rational functions; statistics and probability; and trigonometric functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Social Studies

As adolescents mature, they become less inwardly focused and more able to consider the problems and patterns of society as a whole. Through our social studies curriculum, St. Michael’s seeks to nurture civic-minded students eager to scrutinize and discuss important issues of humanity’s past, present, and future. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop historical knowledge using inquiry, critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. Cooperative hands-on activities, simulations, and Webquests encourage these higher-level thinking skills while making history stimulating and relevant, as well as preparing them for rigorous AP classes in their future.

Fifth Grade Social Studies

Fifth grade students explore the study of American History from the early 1400s through the Revolutionary War. We focus on the early explorers, the Columbian Exchange, the Thirteen Colonies, Colonial Life, and the Battles of the Revolutionary War. Among other activities, the students complete a Heritage Project by exploring their own family history and heritage. This curriculum is taught using the Harcourt textbook entitled The United States – Making a New Nation and includes a student homework and practice book.

Sixth Grade Social Studies

Sixth grade students explore the broad arc of world history, from early humans through the Middle Ages. Hand-crafting a tool with only raw materials found in the outdoors, staging the “Burial of a Pharaoh,” trading porcelain vases for spices or silk along the a simulated Silk Road, and shed light on the evolution of such institutions as government, religion, economics, and social systems. In addition to the exciting exploration of history through reenactments, the students also write rigorously to develop the skills to communicate their in-depth knowledge and analysis of ancient cultures.

Seventh Grade Social Studies

In seventh grade, the curriculum turns to American history from the Civil War through World War One. The course investigates relationships between and among historical events and concepts and evaluates these events that shape history by viewing them from geographic, social, political and economic perspectives. Interactive learning opportunities include historic simulations, hands-on-activities, and technology-based projects. Students utilize primary and secondary sources to analyze the landmark events that have shaped the young nation and the conflicts that threatened its very survival.

Eighth Grade Social Studies

Building on the previous year’s study of early American history, eighth graders investigate our nation’s history from the 1920s to the present. The History and Civics curriculum emphasizes the skills required for responsible citizenship. The curriculum strives to provide a relevant, engaging experience in which our students are challenged to think critically about past and current events, draw conclusions, and make connections to their own lives. Innovative online simulations, historic mock trials, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and other class projects spark students’ curiosity about our country’s social and political systems – and their impact on the students’ own lives. The class trip to Washington, D.C. offers a culminating learning experience.

Science

The St. Michael’s science curriculum provides a dynamic combination of academic study and hands-on experimentation. Our teachers employ a variety of instructional strategies, including the inquiry method, which encourages students to form and then answer their own questions about the world around them. This process stimulates curiosity, problem solving, and independent thinking, which lead students to approach problems creatively and critically and require them to express themselves in written and verbal analysis. Students acquire strong foundations and are well prepared in physical, life, and earth sciences. Through collaborative lab work, students develop the ability to cooperate and communicate with confidence in group work.

Students in sixth and eighth grades also create their own innovative research studies for the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). Numerous St. Michael’s students each year receive top awards in the SARSEF competition.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Science

In fifth and sixth grade, students investigate earth science over the course of two years. Fifth graders study geology and geologic change: rocks and minerals, weathering, erosion, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, paleontology, and geologic time. Sixth graders tackle meteorology, oceanography, natural resource stewardship, and astronomy. Labs and research projects allow students to explore concepts and develop deep understandings and answers to their own questions about the earth and sky. In addition, sixth grade students spend a significant amount of time from September through January immersed in learning through inquiry as they conduct their own science fair project in preparation for the St. Michael’s School Science Fair.

Seventh Grade Science

In seventh grade, students explore life itself. Units cover the study of cells and life processes; the classification and organization of living things; the interactions of living organisms with their environment; and human body systems. Frequent lab activities illustrate and enrich these studies, including the comprehensive observation of living and preserved specimens. Students also are able to take advantage of an outdoor wetlands and garden area adjacent to the main classrooms.

Eighth Grade Science

Eighth graders tackle physical science. Students examine the mysteries of forces, properties of matter, the interaction of matter and energy, chemical interactions, electricity, magnetism, and wave theory. Frequent lab experimentation connects abstract formulae with tangible evidence of physics in action. Students are often observed heading outdoors, meter sticks in hand, to put Isaac Newton’s theories to the test.

World Languages

The study of Spanish and French clarifies the structure of Western languages and is a useful preparatory tool for higher education and the thinking skills that are required for more advanced language instruction in high school and college. All students at St. Michael’s take Spanish in grades K-6, and students in grades 7-8 choose either to continue in Spanish or to take French.

Spanish

Spanish is not a “foreign” language in Southern Arizona, and proficiency in speaking and writing Spanish expands opportunities both for employment and recreation in our region and around the world. Throughout the Spanish curriculum, students focus on developing accurate pronunciation using vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Native speakers build upon their knowledge of written and conversational Spanish through an accelerated heritage program.

Learning about Spanish-speaking cultures is an essential element of the curriculum. Students learn about and celebrate various holidays, including El Día de los Muertos and Las Posadas. They also study Spanish-speaking countries to compare and contrast various customs and ways of life. Spanish Club is offered as an elective to foster cultural appreciation.

Successful completion of our Spanish program is comparable to first-year high school Spanish. Students who continue learning Spanish in high school typically place into advanced classes. We believe that Spanish classes at St. Michael’s help to build a solid foundation for lifelong foreign-language learning in a global world.

French

The French program is designed to give students a solid base that will allow them to continue their French studies at numerous Tucson high schools after leaving St. Michael’s. Every language is worth learning and has something to offer, and becoming multilingual is an exciting and meaningful life goal. Here are some reasons to learn French:

By studying French at St. Michael’s, students will move toward being able to communicate with the more than 300 million people who speak French as a native language or language of business and education on five different continents. Beginning in seventh grade, students will have a solid introductory-level command of the language in all modes: speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension.

In addition to language skills, students learn about French and francophone food, culture, fashion, art, literature, and music. Travelers have enhanced experiences if they are able to communicate in French, and Paris is the number-one tourist destination in the world, attracting about 50 million visitors a year. Additionally, French is an official language of organizations and institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Red Cross.

Learning French can further serve as a base for learning or refining other Latin-based languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. It will also improve one’s command of English, with some 50,000 English words originating from French.

Enrichment Classes

Furthering our mission to educate the whole child, St. Michael’s provides excellent instruction in the arts, physical education, and religion as key components of our Upper School curriculum.

Art

St. Michael’s Upper School students continue to experience art in an experiential way, using acrylic paints, modeling clay, and other media to create fabulous projects for eventual display at our annual Art Expo. Students further develop a practical and intellectual understanding of art vocabulary, elements, and principles. This academic foundation allows students to understand and appreciate the dynamic relationships between art and culture.

Music

The music program at St. Michael’s is designed to give students a strong foundation, appreciation, and love of music. All students participate in concerts at Christmastime and in spring. Shows like these and the annual St. Michael’s musical offer students exposure to the staging, sound engineering, and rehearsal routines associated with the highly polished productions of high school and beyond. Beginning in fifth grade, students choose to pursue either Band or Choir. These classes meet twice a week. Our graduates who enter high school music programs are well prepared to sing and play in top choirs and bands beginning in their Freshmen year.

Physical Education

Physical education classes meet twice a week, either in our gymnasium facility or in the park adjacent to school. Our P.E. program provides instruction in game strategies and skills, as well as sportsmanship, health, and hygiene. Students in grades 6-8 can also participate in our superb after-school athletics program, and fifth graders can take part in our intramural program throughout the year.

Religion

While our physical education curriculum focuses on building healthy bodies, our religion curriculum targets students’ hearts and minds. During weekly religion classes, children explore the Bible and then discuss how scriptural passages may frame moral issues in today’s society as well as individuals’ own relationship with God. Although the perspective is primarily Christian, alternate views from other faith traditions are welcomed and encouraged. Our goal in Religious Studies at St. Michael’s is to foster respect for all faith traditions found in our pluralistic society.

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English/Language Arts

The English/Language Arts curriculum is in many ways the centerpiece of our academic program. The curriculum is designed to create students who can read, write, and speak articulately, thoughtfully, and confidently. Vibrant discussions of the content, vocabulary, and themes of classic and contemporary novels, poems, and short stories build literal, inferential, and analytical comprehension skills. Students are introduced to the plays of William Shakespeare in seventh and eighth grade. Novel studies in our Upper School division include:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Echo
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Tempest
Their Eyes Were Watching God

Reading comprehension and expository writing provide the foundation for much of academic achievement in high school and college. At the end of the day, though, we want our graduates to love reading and writing. In addition to completing a fully annotated research paper in seventh grade, students also embark upon an original, illustrated science-fiction project in sixth grade and a historical-fiction project in eighth grade.

Our Upper School students have earned numerous awards for their writing and are key contributors to our nationally recognized literary magazine, Eagle’s Quill. Students are also guided to speak publicly through oral presentations during class, as well as assemblies, weekly Masses, and our annual Declamation Day poetry event. Our graduates have gone on to serve as leads in high school plays and editors of their school’s publications and have been honored in national writing competitions.

Math
St. Michael’s offers a variety of courses at each grade level, meeting each child at his/her level and ensuring that each has a strong foundation for the multi-leveled math classes that are offered in high school. We recognize that students at this age develop at different rates and appreciate that there is more than one path through the math curriculum; for that reason we conduct careful student placement in the spring of each year, as well as careful assessment throughout the year to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in his or her course of study.

Fifth Grade Mathematics

Fifth graders study concepts that include ratios and proportional relationships, the number system, expressions and equations, geometry, and statistics and probability. We use the Glencoe Math Course 1 textbook published by McGraw Hill. This two-volume textbook will be enriched with other resources including many things like our Google Chromebooks, manipulatives, games, group work, and logic problems. Another resource used is a monthly Math magazine called Dynamath, which ties math into other areas of the student’s life and strengthens their problem-solving skills. We also use an online program called Mountain Math in the second trimester; this program is used on a weekly basis to keep math computation skills sharp. Students will have homework assignments that will be an extension and practice of what was done in class that day. There will be several means of assessment including their math notebook, homework, quizzes, and tests.

Sixth Grade Mathematics

Students in grade six study pre-algebra topics in courses designed to develop an understanding of mathematics as a system of thought. A student’s ability to work independently and persevere with problems, along with his or her past mathematical performance in both class and on the Pre-Algebra Readiness assessment, determines class placement.

Pre-Algebra
This math course is designed to consolidate computational skills, enhance understanding of underlying mathematical concepts, and extend the skills of working with proportion, percent, linear equations, and geometric relationships. Students gain proportional reasoning skills and become proficient with integer operations.

Pre-Algebra Advanced
This course covers a sequence of topics similar to Pre-Algebra, but it covers more complex problems, and it requires a demonstration of some independence in mathematical thinking. It is designed for students who have already mastered computational skills, who have demonstrated the ability to think more abstractly about mathematics, and who are self-motivated to work independently to solve problems.

Seventh Grade Mathematics

Seventh grade students take Algebra I (Honors) or Algebra I (Part 1). This placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performance in both course work and on the Algebra Readiness test administered prior to 7th grade.

Eighth Grade Mathematics

Eighth grade students are placed either in Algebra II, Algebra I (Part 2), or Algebra I (Part 1). Again, this placement is determined by the faculty in conjunction with the parent and is based on past performances in both course work and on the Algebra Proficiency test administered prior to 8th grade.

Course Overviews for Seventh and Eighth Grade Math

Algebra I (Honors)
This is a complete Algebra 1 course. Topics in this class include proportional reasoning; direct and inverse variation; writing, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities; systems of equations; functions and their transformations; non-linear functions; and quadratic equations and solutions. A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required and used for investigations, data analysis, graphing functions, and verifying results. Application of skills, procedures, and concepts to solve real world problems is an integral part of this course. An important goal of this course is for students to begin to see algebra as a language to model situations, in addition to solidifying their ability to manipulate symbols.

Algebra I, Part 1
This is essentially the first half of a high school level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include fractions; proportional reasoning; properties of numbers; relations and functions; writing and solving equations, absolute value, literal equations; rate of change and slope, graphing and writing linear functions, scatterplots and lines of fit, correlation and causation and linear regressions. Desmos, a free online graphing calculator will be utilized for investigations, data analyses, graphing functions, and verifying results. Students will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction.

Algebra I, Part 2
This course is equivalent to the second half of a high school level Algebra I class. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include linear equations and functions; systems of linear equations; matrices; exponents and exponential functions, including growth and decay; quadratic functions and equations; operations with polynomials; and radical expressions, equations and functions, including inverse functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Algebra II
Algebra II, Honors is a course designed for students who have completed a rigorous course of Honors Algebra I and have demonstrated strong interest, aptitude, independence, and achievement in mathematics. Research-based standards of mathematical practice will be emphasized with a focus on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them; reasoning abstractly and quantitatively; constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others; and modeling with mathematics. As students grow in mathematical maturity and expertise, it is the hope that they will become confident, creative and collaborative math thinkers willing to tackle any problem that comes their way, both inside and outside the classroom, both familiar and unfamiliar. Topics in this class include quadratic functions and equations, polynomials and polynomial functions; inverses and radical functions; exponential and logarithmic functions, including common and natural logarithms; rational functions; statistics and probability; and trigonometric functions. Students will utilize Desmos, a free online calculator, for investigations, data analyses, and graphing functions. The class will learn through a variety of instructional strategies that include investigations, classroom math games, math journals, and problem-solving activities alongside traditional teacher-directed instruction. While mastering new computational skills, students will also expand their critical-thinking skills as they spend time investigating, conjecturing, predicting, analyzing, and verifying solutions.

Social Studies*
As adolescents mature, they become less inwardly focused and more able to consider the problems and patterns of society as a whole. Through our social studies curriculum, St. Michael’s seeks to nurture civic-minded students eager to scrutinize and discuss important issues of humanity’s past, present, and future. The curriculum is designed to enable students to develop historical knowledge using inquiry, critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills. Cooperative hands-on activities, simulations, and Webquests encourage these higher-level thinking skills while making history stimulating and relevant, as well as preparing them for rigorous AP classes in their future.

Fifth Grade Social Studies

Fifth grade students explore the study of American History from the early 1400s through the Revolutionary War. We focus on the early explorers, the Columbian Exchange, the Thirteen Colonies, Colonial Life, and the Battles of the Revolutionary War. Among other activities, the students complete a Heritage Project by exploring their own family history and heritage. This curriculum is taught using the Harcourt textbook entitled The United States – Making a New Nation and includes a student homework and practice book.

Sixth Grade Social Studies

Sixth grade students explore the broad arc of world history, from early humans through the Middle Ages. Hand-crafting a tool with only raw materials found in the outdoors, staging the “Burial of a Pharaoh,” trading porcelain vases for spices or silk along the Silk Road, and acting as tour guides on our annual trip to southwestern Colorado shed light on the evolutions of such institutions as government, religion, economics, and social systems. In addition to the exciting exploration of history through reenactments, the students also write rigorously to develop the skills to communicate their in-depth knowledge and analysis of the ancient cultures.

Seventh Grade Social Studies

In seventh grade, the curriculum turns to American history from the Civil War through World War One. The course investigates relationships between and among historical events and concepts and evaluates these events that shape history by viewing them from the geographic, social, political and economic perspectives. Interactive learning opportunities include historic simulations, hands-on-activities, and technology-based projects. Students utilize primary and secondary sources to analyze the landmark events that have shaped the young nation and the conflicts that threatened its very survival.

Eighth Grade Social Studies

Building on the previous year’s study of early American history, eighth graders investigate our nation’s history from the 1920s to the present. The History and Civics curriculum emphasizes the skills required for responsible citizenship. The curriculum strives to provide a relevant, engaging experience in which our students are challenged to think critically about past and current events, draw conclusions, and make connections to their own lives. Innovative online simulations, historic mock trials, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and other class projects spark students’ curiosity about our country’s social and political systems – and their impact on the students’ own lives. The

    class trip to Washington, D.C. has been a culminating learning experience.
Science

The St. Michael’s science curriculum provides a dynamic combination of academic study and hands-on experimentation. Our teachers employ a variety of instructional strategies, including the inquiry method, which encourages students to form and then answer their own questions about the world around them. This process stimulates curiosity, problem solving, and independent thinking, which lead students to approach problems creatively and critically and require them to express themselves in written and verbal analysis. Students acquire strong foundations and are well prepared in physical, life, and earth sciences. Through collaborative lab work, students develop the ability to cooperate and communicate with confidence in group work.

Students in sixth and eighth grades also create their own innovative research studies for the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). Numerous St. Michael’s students each year receive top awards in the SARSEF competition.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Science

In fifth and sixth grade, students investigate earth science over the course of two years. Fifth graders study geology and geologic change: rocks and minerals, weathering, erosion, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, paleontology, and geologic time. Sixth graders tackle meteorology, oceanography, natural resource stewardship, and astronomy. Labs and research projects allow students to explore concepts and develop deep understandings and answers to their own questions about the earth and sky. In addition, sixth grade students spend a significant amount of time from September through January immersed in learning through inquiry as they conduct their own science fair project in preparation for the St. Michael’s School Science Fair.

Seventh Grade Science

In seventh grade, students explore life itself. Units cover the study of cells and life processes; the classification and organization of living things; the interactions of living organisms with their environment; and human body systems. Frequent lab activities illustrate and enrich these studies, including the comprehensive observation of living and preserved specimens. Students also are able to take advantage of an outdoor wetlands and garden area adjacent to the main classrooms.

Eighth Grade Science

Eighth graders tackle physical science. Students examine the mysteries of forces, properties of matter, the interaction of matter and energy, chemical interactions, electricity, magnetism, and wave theory. Frequent lab experimentation connects abstract formulae with tangible evidence of physics in action. Students are often observed heading outdoors, meter sticks in hand, to put Isaac Newton’s theories to the test.

Foreign Languages
The study of Spanish and French clarifies the structure of Western languages and is a useful preparatory tool for higher education and the thinking skills that are required for more advanced language instruction in high school and college. All students at St. Michael’s take Spanish in grades K-6, and students in grades 7-8 choose either to continue in Spanish or to take French.

Spanish

Spanish is not a “foreign” language in Southern Arizona, and proficiency in speaking and writing Spanish expands opportunities both for employment and recreation in our region and around the world. Throughout the Spanish curriculum, students focus on developing accurate pronunciation using vocabulary and grammatical concepts. Native speakers build upon their knowledge of written and conversational Spanish through an accelerated heritage program.

Learning about Spanish-speaking cultures is an essential element of the curriculum. Students learn about and celebrate various holidays, including El Día de los Muertos and Las Posadas. They also study Spanish-speaking countries to compare and contrast various customs and ways of life. Spanish Club is offered as an elective to foster cultural appreciation.

Successful completion of our Spanish program is comparable to first-year high school Spanish. Students who continue learning Spanish in high school typically place into advanced classes. We believe that Spanish classes at St. Michael’s help to build a solid foundation for lifelong foreign-language learning in a global world.

French

The French program is designed to give students a solid base that will allow them to continue their French studies at numerous Tucson high schools after leaving St. Michael’s. Every language is worth learning and has something to offer, and becoming multilingual is an exciting and meaningful life goal. Here are some reasons to learn French:

By studying French at St. Michael’s, students will move toward being able to communicate with the more than 300 million people who speak French as a native language or language of business and education on five different continents. Beginning in seventh grade, students will have a solid introductory-level command of the language in all modes: speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension.

In addition to language skills, students learn about French and francophone food, culture, fashion, art, literature, and music. Travelers have enhanced experiences if they are able to communicate in French, and Paris is the number-one tourist destination in the world, attracting about 50 million visitors a year. Additionally, French is an official language of organizations and institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Red Cross.

Learning French can further serve as a base for learning or refining other Latin-based languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. It will also improve one’s command of English, with some 50,000 English words originating from French.

Enrichment Classes*
Furthering our mission to educate the whole child, St. Michael’s provides excellent instruction in the arts, physical education, and religion as key components of our Upper School curriculum.

Art

St. Michael’s Upper School students continue to experience art in an experiential way, using acrylic paints, modeling clay, and other media to create fabulous projects for eventual display at our annual Art Expo. Students further develop a practical and intellectual understanding of art vocabulary, elements, and principles. This academic foundation allows students to understand and appreciate the dynamic relationships between art and culture.

Music

The music program at St. Michael’s is designed to give students a strong foundation, appreciation, and love of music. All students participate in concerts at Christmastime and in spring. Shows like these and the annual St. Michael’s musical offer students exposure to the staging, sound engineering, and rehearsal routines associated with the highly polished productions of high school and beyond.
Beginning in fifth grade, students choose to pursue either Band or Choir. These classes meet twice a week. Our graduates who enter high school music programs are well prepared to sing and play in top choirs and bands beginning in their Freshmen year.

Physical Education

Physical education classes meet twice a week, either in our gymnasium facility or in the park adjacent to school. Our P.E. program provides instruction in game strategies and skills, as well as sportsmanship, health, and hygiene. Students in grades 6-8 can also participate in our superb after-school athletics program, and fifth graders can take part in our intramural program throughout the year.

Religion

While our physical education curriculum focuses on building healthy bodies, our religion curriculum targets students’ hearts and minds. During weekly religion classes, children explore the Bible and then discuss how scriptural passages may frame moral issues in today’s society as well as individuals’ own relationship with God. Although the perspective is primarily Christian, alternate views from other faith traditions are welcomed and encouraged. Our goal in Religious Studies at St. Michael’s is to foster respect for all faith traditions found in our pluralistic society.

Steps to Apply

We will accept admission applications for the 2022-2023 school year until each grade is full.
Step 1: Request Infomation
  • Once the following online form has been received, we will be in touch to learn more about your student, answer any questions and schedule a tour of the campus.
  • You will also receive an email to create an online account to learn more about the application process and track admissions progress.

REQUEST INFORMATION

Step 2: Tour the Campus

The St. Michael’s experience truly comes to life upon entering campus. We look forward to introducing you and your family to ours through a personalized tour and introductions to key faculty and staff.

Step 3: Apply
  • Applications for admissions are accepted on a rolling basis. 
  • A $100 application fee is due at the time of submission.
  • An online checklist for the remaining steps will be visible after you complete and submit your online application form.

APPLY

Step 4: Apply for Financial Aid (if applicable)
  • The Financial Aid Application is separate from the application for admission, but families should seek to complete both applications simultaneously.
  • Learn more about Financial Aid and other tuition assistance opportunities.

APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID

Step 5: Admissions Decisions

Once the application and required records have been submitted, families will be notified of admissions decisions within two weeks. 

Step 6: Confirm plans to join the St. Michael’s Community!

Our Admissions team will send you an enrollment packet and walk you through the steps it takes to become a member of the St. Michael’s School community.

Admissions Criteria

Students are selected for admission to the school on the basis of academic potential, developmental maturity, school achievement and readiness for the school’s program.

Learn More

St. Michael’s goal is to provide a rich academic, spiritual, and cultural experience for its students and faculty. The school seeks students of average to above average ability who can contribute to and benefit from its program. Students are selected for admission to the school on the basis of academic potential, developmental maturity, school achievement and readiness for the school’s program.

Typically, those decisions are based upon multiple criteria:

  • Academic readiness or qualification
  • Developmental maturity
  • Affiliation with the school and church
  • Diversity and gender balance
  • Appropriateness of the match between the family and the school.

When the school cannot offer a place to a child, we are eager to offer counsel on other schools that may be able to accommodate the student. When there are more qualified candidates than openings available, the school establishes a waiting list. If any openings occur, the admissions committee decides which candidate(s) to offer a position, based on the overall profile of the class and the match between the needs and qualifications of the student with the needs of the school.

St. Michael's Campus

Enrollment

  • 275 students
  • Grades: K-8
  • 2 Classes per grade in K-5
  • 3 Sections per grade in 6-8

Class Size

  • Average of 14 students per class
  • Allows for individual attention and differentiation.
  • Classes capped at 19

31 Dedicated Faculty

  • 50% with advanced degrees
  • Average tenure of 7 years

Meet Our Faculty

Our Mission

To foster excellence in the intellectual, physical, artistic, ethical, and spiritual development of each student in our care. We aspire to do this guided by the ethos of Episcopal education—building a strong and supportive child-centered community, balancing tradition and innovation, and welcoming students and faculty from all social, economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

Our Vision

St. Michael’s strives to instill a foundational love for learning that will persist throughout our students’ lives, preparing them to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world as caring, competent, and confident young adults.

Our History

St. Michael’s Parish Day School was founded in 1958, five years after the formation of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, by the church’s first rector, the Reverend John Clinton Fowler. Father Fowler realized the need to create such a school after discovering that many of his Sunday school students, from various local neighborhoods, could not read. On opening day in September of 1958, thirty-four students enrolled in Kindergarten and first grade.

The school thrived from the start. Within five years, St. Michael’s was serving grades K-8, and the first eighth grade class graduated in 1965. To accommodate growth and add a third class for grades 6-8, the school completed construction of a middle school addition in 1997. An endowment campaign that surpassed the $1 million mark in 2005 has allowed the school to expand its programs while maintaining our high standard of educational excellence.

From the beginning, the school’s curriculum has been strongly academic. As Father Fowler proclaimed, “We teach children to read, to write, to cipher, to sing, and to pray.” While our educational program is grounded in tradition, we believe that students should be exposed to a broad liberal arts curriculum that includes athletics, the arts and religious study. Our program continues to incorporate skills for 21st Century learners, including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The integration of technology as a teaching and learning tool supports the curriculum from kindergarten through eighth grade. Graduates from St. Michael’s leave well prepared for their high school experience, matriculating at top area schools where they are leaders, learners and friends.

Tuition Assistance for All

St. Michael’s offers three types of tuition assistance programs to meet the needs of enrolled students from Day 1 through graduation. More than two-thirds of St. Michael’s families take advantage of these programs – and thereby reduce or even eliminate tuition costs.

St. Michael’s Scholarship Fund

Scholarship program for students with demonstrated financial need, funded by individual and corporate tax credits.

Learn More

St. Michael’s offers a need-based scholarship program that supports qualifying families with incomes from under $10,000 to over $100,000. Scholarships are funded exclusively individual and corporate tax credit donations.

How to Apply
Financial need is processed and evaluated by the Independent School Management program FAST (Financial Aid for School Tuition). Complete the online application, pay the required application fee and upload all necessary financial documentation for full consideration by the scholarship committee.

APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID

The Scholarship Committee makes recommendations on demonstrated need; no merit scholarships are awarded. All information related to the parents’ financial circumstances will be treated confidentially and will only be used to make a determination of the financial assistance award. In accepting a student on financial aid, St. Michael’s makes a commitment to support the student through graduation, pending satisfactory performance and continued demonstrated need. The school maintains a need-blind admissions policy.

AZ Tax Credit Program

Unlimited tuition assistance through tax credit donations – regardless of family income or assets.  

Learn More

The State of Arizona offers a unique tax credit program that helps parents offset the cost of a private education. Scholarships are awarded by qualified School Tuition Organizations (STOs) and are funded by taxpayers who choose to redirect their tax liability to support private education. While qualification requirements vary, the “Original” and “Switcher” scholarships are NOT based on financial need.

Parents who interested in lowering their tuition costs are encouraged to apply to qualified STOs AND seek tax credit contributions from friends, family and associates in your child’s name. While the contribution is an upfront cost, every dollar donated (within prescribed limits) is essentially refunded on the tax return in the form of a tax credit.

The following STOs accept donations in a child’s name and are commonly used by St. Michael’s families.

Institute for Better Education
Arizona Tuition Connection

Parents are not limited to this list and are welcome to apply with any School Tuition Organization.

ESA Scholarships

Arizona Department of Education (ADE) scholarship ranging from $2,900 to $6,200 for qualified students.

Learn More

Administered by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and funded by state tax dollars, the ESA scholarships help fund the education of qualified students in this state. The scholarship amount varies slightly each year. Currently, Kindergarten funding ranges between $2,900 and $3,200 and 1st-12th grade funding ranges between $5,200 and $6,200.

Does your students meet one of the following criteria?

  • Preschool Student with Disability
  • K-12 Student with Disability
  • Student with a Parent who is Active Duty Military
  • Student with a Parent who was Killed in the Line of Duty
  • Student with a Parent who is Legally Blind, Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • The Student Attends a D or F Rated School
  • The Student Resides within a Native American Reservation
  • The Student is a Sibling of a Current or Previous Recipient
  • The Student was a Ward of Court
  • The Student was a Previous ESA Recipient

If so, visit the website to learn more about the program. https://www.azed.gov/esa/

Please note that if a student is a recipient of an ESA Scholarship, that student is barred from accepting Arizona Tax Credits.

Our History

St. Michael’s Parish Day School was founded in 1958, five years after the formation of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, by the church’s first rector, the Reverend John Clinton Fowler. Father Fowler realized the need to create such a school after discovering that many of his Sunday school students, from various local neighborhoods, could not read. On opening day in September of 1958, thirty-four students enrolled in Kindergarten and first grade.

The school thrived from the start. Within five years, St. Michael’s was serving grades K-8, and the first eighth grade class graduated in 1965. To accommodate growth and add a third class for grades 6-8, the school completed construction of a middle school addition in 1997. An endowment campaign that surpassed the $1 million mark in 2005 has allowed the school to expand its programs while maintaining our high standard of educational excellence.

From the beginning, the school’s curriculum has been strongly academic. As Father Fowler proclaimed, “We teach children to read, to write, to cipher, to sing, and to pray.” While our educational program is grounded in tradition, we believe that students should be exposed to a broad liberal arts curriculum that includes athletics, the arts and religious study. Our program continues to incorporate skills for 21st Century learners, including creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The integration of technology as a teaching and learning tool supports the curriculum from kindergarten through eighth grade. Graduates from St. Michael’s leave well prepared for their high school experience, matriculating at top area schools where they are leaders, learners and friends.