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Would you like this course added to your child's academic packet? Send your request through Mavenlink. Be sure to mention the student, course number, and the quarter you wish to start the course.


(See the rest of this article in your student's Course Notes for important information about the STAA diploma program, the High School Orientation booklet, course registration, setting your annual semester reporting orientation appoinment, STAA study guides, standardized testing, online quizzes, and semester reporting.)
    St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is a homeschool program for Catholic families that wish to embrace the classical approach – in method and content – to learn to learn and reason.  The program focuses on formation, not just information, and the expectations of the courses and diploma program are based on coming to know more about Our Lord and His Church, how to lead a thoughtful and virtuous life, understanding the information that universities want students to be proficient in before attending, how to think critically about all that we are exposed to while living in the world but keeping our eyes on heaven, and developing a variety of practical study and learning tools so excelling in academic, vocational,


THE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS ACADEMY DIPLOMA PROGRAM is a program intended to cumulate in issuing a high school student a certificate and transcript from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy attesting to the fact that the student completed the course of study prescribed by the Academy and has met or exceeded the academic expectations of the Academy.  Teaching-parents certify that the academic expectations have been met by submitting neat and complete semester reporting packets and copies of two standardized test results.  St. Thomas Aquinas Academy reviews the semester reporting packets, awards credits based on the values, enters the grades and credits data on a transcript that tracks subject/credit completion.  Additionally, STAA academic advisors evaluate the annual placement assessments and the two standardized test results to verify that the student can demonstrate reasonable scholastic achievement in standardized, out-of-context situations.  
The expectations of the courses and diploma program typically meet and exceed state requirements and university admissions policies.  However, we encourage you to read through the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy definitions, requirements, and expectations in the High School Orientation booklet and then check to see if your state and the university you wish to attend have additional requirements.  For instance, if your state requires that students complete a semester of state history in addition to a year of U.S. History, be sure to forward a copy of that requirement to your academic advisor so room can be made to add that extra study into one of your high school semesters.  Or, if you plan on studying engineering or medicine in college, forward a copy of the homeschool student admissions policy from your university of choice to your academic advisor so your overall high school plan can be crafted to incorporate the advanced math and extra science you will need to show as a strong applicant to that university.
Students enrolled in St. Thomas Aquinas Academy are not obligated to pursue a diploma from the program.   Students that are not pursuing a diploma from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy are especially encouraged to contact Home School Legal Defense Association at or a GED testing service to learn about alternatives to the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy diploma and/or transcript.

Credit Information for Students in Grades 9 - 12: Not a course; not eligible for credit.

Scheduling Suggestions: as needed



High School Orientation (2015-16)

  • Author: St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Publisher/Copyright: Reno: St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, 2014. Print.
  • ISBN: n/a        
  • Supplier:

One copy of this booklet is provided to each family. Look for the booklet in the mailing that includes your Academic Packet.


This booklet will be mailed to you along with the Academic Packet prepared for you by your academic advisor. The “High School Orientation” is an overview of policies, planning, study skills, and resources for high school students. You will have the summer and the first two weeks of your semester to explore the booklet. We encourage you to work through the booklet in the following manner:
[  ] Read p. 11.  Do Assignment #1 (see page 11).
[  ] Read pp. 9-13.  Do Assignment #2 (see page 13).
[  ] Read pp. 14-19.  Do Assignment #3 (see page 18).
[  ] Read pp. 20-21.  Do Assignment #4 (see page 21).
[  ] Read pp. 22-26.  Do Assignment #5 (see page 22).
[  ] Read pp. 27-38.
[  ] Read pp. 39-48. Do the Humanities Exercise (see page 48).
[  ] Read pp. 49-59.
[  ] Do Assignment #6 (see page 60)

[  ] Read pp. 61-68.

Cracking the ACT with 3 Practice Tests, 2014 Edition

  • Author: Princeton Review
  • ISBN: 0804124388        978-0804124386
  • Supplier: Retail or

Any prep book with sample tests and discussion of test taking strategies will serve. Check the admission policy of the college of your choice to determine whether to take the ACT or SAT.



Cracking the SAT with 5 Practice Tests, 2015 Edition

  • Author: Princeton Review
  • ISBN: 0804124655        978-0804124652
  • Supplier: Retail or

Any prep book with sample tests and discussion of test taking strategies will serve. Check the admission policy of the college of your choice to determine whether to take the ACT or SAT.





Course Registration
Flip to the last two or three pages of your Academic Packet to find the Course Registration form.  Submit this form as soon as you complete the Course of Study Planning appointment in order to register for courses.  Your high school advisor will review the form and generate personalized documents for you:
1) A new Academic Packet will be posted on Mavenlink as a PDF document.
2) A Plan of Study form confirming the courses you will be studying this school year.  This form will be posted on Mavenlink and mailed to you.  
3) A Semester 1 Report form.   This form will be posted on Mavenlink and mailed to you.  A Semester 2 Report form will be sent after you complete your first semester reporting.
4) Work Sample labels.  These will be mailed to you.


Annual Semester Reporting Orientation Appointment
During this appointment, the teaching-parent and high school advisor will discuss the semester reporting process, credit goals, exploring the High School Orientation booklet, and the like.  Schedule this appointment after you have received the packet in the mail with the work sample labels.  Go to and scroll down to the "STUDENT RECORDS" heading to find the link to schedule this appointment.  Or, call the office at 209-863-8400 and have the receptionist schedule the appointment for you.


STAA Study Guides
Your high school advisor will clarify which set of STAA Study Guides will be the most convenient for you to purchase and use this school year after reviewing the Course Registration form.  Most students end up using the standard sets (see the "List of Semester Study Guide Sets" in the appendix of your High School Orientation for a list of standard sets), but others have very unique plans and are encouraged to either purchase individual study guides or a custom study guide.  Previews and a slide show about the guides can be found at


Standardized Testing
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy requires that students take a standardized test in 11th grade and at least one more in grades 9, 10, or 12. Furthermore, the student must demonstrate reasonable scholastic achievement on his or her standardized tests. The testing requirement cannot be marked as complete when any of the student’s scores fall below the 50th national percentile. Students with an overall score or any of the subscores (Math, English, Science, Writing, and the like) that fall below the 50th national percentile may retest as many times as needed or utilize another standardized test until the scores on at least two high school tests meet or exceed the 50th national percentile.  
College-bound students are encouraged to take the PSAT in Grade 10, the ACT or SAT in Grade 11, and consider re-taking the ACT or SAT in Grade 12.  
The "Standardized Testing" page in the High School section of our website discusses testing options, preparing for tests, and more:  


Online Quizzes
As discussed in the High School Orientation, many of your courses have weekly, online quizzes.  Your quizzes will be available to you from August 1st until June 30th.  Your username and password for the Student Zone will be posted on your Mavenlink message board on August 1st.


Semester Reporting
Your Semester 1 reporting packet is due February 28th.  Your Semester 2 reporting packet is due June 30th.  Each of these packets are to include 1) a Semester Reporting form, 2) Gradebooks, and 3) one work sample from each quarter of each course.