St. Mary’s Catholic School provides programs and services aligned with the mission to enrich the academic program and support the development of student and family life.
SMS Table of Contents
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The Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA) is an extracurricular academic program for students. There are 19 contest categories covering a wide range of disciplines (math, speech, art, music, science, spelling, vocabulary, geography, etc.). It is an excellent opportunity for private school students to engage in academic competition with their district peers at a district and possibly state level. The higher the grade level the more opportunities for competition. (Feb/ March)
A competition begins at the local level where the students compete individually at grade level. The winners advance to the Diocese of Dallas school-wide event and the Grayson County Spelling Bee with an opportunity to move on to the state level of competition.
Students prepare approved science projects for the SMS Science Fair Night the end of January. Fourth graders receive recognition for their projects. Fifth through eighth grade students compete for 1st-3rd place ribbons in group and individual categories. (Only 7th & 8th grade 1st place winners are eligible for the district level competition.)
Jr. DECATS: Summer before Grades 4-6; Sr. DECATS: Summer before grades 7-9
Contact: Diocese of Dallas, St. Rita Catholic School
A summer enrichment program offered by invitation only and coordinated by St. Rita’s and John Paul II respectively. (Application process involved)
The program motivates students to read more, choose award-winning, challenging books, to improve reading scores, to build higher-order thinking skills by earning points and accomplishing goals through computerized testing.
School field trips are encouraged as educational and cultural experiences. Trips are correlated to classroom higher-order thinking skills.
Traditional field trips: Pines Camp-5th, Longhorn Cavern-8th, Washington DC/Boston/Philadelphia travel opportunities-Middle School (Every 2 Years)
Students learn the basics of chess by playing against each other with guided instruction. Students compete according to their rank and advance as their play progresses. This is an after-school event.
Students participate in computer science programing annually in December.
St. Mary’s School focuses on manners and etiquette. For example, students will not be permitted to respond, “Uh-huh” or “yeah.” Instead the school expects to hear, “Yes Ma’am” or “No Sir.” Within this proper response is a respect for the person receiving an answer - a respect worthy of all God’s children.
The goal of developing manners and etiquette as a habit will take time and effort. Certainly efforts from home strengthen this school-wide program. The school faculty selected the “Essential Ten” manners and etiquette from a list of over 150 that we felt our school needed to spend the most time addressing.
Every student at St. Mary’s participates in this annual performance. Middle School students in Theater take lead roles in the play. Our play is never a “holiday” event, but always about the birth of Jesus.
During Catholic Schools Week, each school from the diocese sends one team of four consisting of one student in grade 5-8 to compete as a team in a quiz-bowl style event with questions based on the diocesan religion curriculum.
Participants: Grades PreK-5; Student volunteers: Grades 6–8
Each summer Youth Ministry and St. Mary’s volunteers work to create a spirit-filled week of fun and education with a theme developed through music and activities. Teen students volunteer to assist with the different age groups.
Catholics in Grade 2
Children receive First Reconciliation in April and First Communion in May.
Catholics in Grade 8
Confirmation is a two-year program beginning in 7th grade.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Children is a program for children between the ages of 7 and 14 who have not been baptized or who are baptized but have not received their First Holy Communion. This sacramental preparation is provided for Non-Catholics desiring to become Catholic.
Students assist the priest with the liturgy.
Grades K-8 Orchestral Instrument String Family Instruction. The instructor Suellen Davis has an elementary music emphasis with her K-12 music degree and also provides a K-5 vocal music environment as we learn about the instrumental string family.
Students may choose guitar as one of their Specials Class, which meets once a week. St. Mary’s School offers Guitar I and Guitar II.
Students may choose band as one of their Specials Class, which meets once a week.
Students meet once a week for after-school choir practice (No audition necessary). Students sing once a month in St. Anne’s Catholic Church at the 10:30 Mass.
This event is the oldest tradition of St. Mary’s School. Turkey Dinner provides an opportunity for all St. Mary’s families to come together as a parish and give thanks for our blessings. Our volunteers, including students Grades 4-8, serve over 1,100 dinners. We also provide meals to the homeless.
This program is for qualified students to reinforce what they have learned or to try something new.
Students will have an opportunity during the month of June to participate in a musically rich atmosphere. These opportunities will become our New Summer Enrichment Program.
St. Mary’s School participates in this annual event hosted by Sherman ISD at Bearcat Stadium in Sherman, TX. More than six hundred 4th grade students compete in 21 total races while family and friends cheer from the stadium stands. The first race begins with an Olympic Torch Relay. Other events: wooden egg-in-spoon relay, beach ball relay, bigfoot relay, flapjack relay, bowling pin drop and fetch relay, chopsticks/rubber pig drop and fetch relay, rubber frog relay, four-square ball between legs relay, football relay, shoe stew relay, trophy race, 60-yard shuttle relay, 100-yard shuttle relay and tug-of-war. Students break for lunch and resume until 1:40pm.
St. Mary’s School belongs to the Dallas Parochial League (DPL). The DPL offers athletic leagues and events throughout the year for its 31 member schools. The DPL currently offers 11 sports for student participation. Some sports are structured as leagues with postseason playoffs, while others are in the form of meets or tournaments. Teams compete with other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas. The focus centers on development of each player’s skills, but competition becomes more stressed as the grade level increases.
Team Sports Available: Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis
Individual Sports Available: Track, Swimming, Golf & Tennis
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) belongs to our Outdoor Education Program at St. Mary’s School. Students learn proper safety and technique for shooting with a bow. Tournaments are held throughout the year including our own hosted SMS Red River Shootout. Students participate during PE class once a week and after school once or twice a week. Our Outdoor Education Program includes training and safety on hunting, fishing and boating. Students may acquire licenses upon successful completion of tests.
The Middle School has two dances during the school year. Middle School students also participate in two other dances sponsored by neighboring parochial schools - St. Mary’s Catholic School in Gainesville, Texas and Sacred Heart, Muenster, Texas.