Plans Tailored to the Student

After evaluating the student's assessment your academic advisor will put together a personalized Academic Packet for the student that includes course notes, pacing suggestions, and book ordering information for each course that is recommended for the student's skill level.  The course selections are made from among St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's course catalog, which are grouped into the various categories listed below.

 

Grammar School (GS)

Courses designed for students in Grades Pre-1st through 8th.

  • Examples: Famous Men of Greece, Math U See Zeta, Faith & Life 4Exploring Creation with Zoology, and penmanship instruction.

 

General Education (GE)

High school courses intended for non-academic, remedial, or concrete learners.  

  • The General Education course type is assigned to courses that qualify as basic high school skills. These are not necessarily college-preparatory courses, but they can draw some high school credits while the student is working on developing or remediating key skill areas.
  • All non-academic courses such as Physical Education are GE.
  • All Non-STAA Courses (NSC) are assigned GE course credits.  
  • GE courses generally include materials written for Grades 6 through 9.  Examples:  First Form Latin, Winston Grammar, Exploring Creation with General Science, Math U See or Teaching Textbook Algebra 1, Understanding the Scriptures (Didache Series), and literature drawn from the middle school Progeny Press Study Guide list.

 

College Preparatory (CP)

High school courses designed to equip the student for the college classroom.  

  • The College Preparatory course type is assigned to courses that are more textbook- or workbook-based.  While strong reading and high school writing skills are required for CP courses, the work often is more focused on comprehension rather than developing reasoning skills as in the coursework in Liberal Arts courses.
  • While Science, Math, and Languages are an important part to a comprehensive Catholic, liberal arts education, they are typically classified as CP courses because they do not contain enough classical works to qualify as LA courses.  
  • Examples: Exploring Creation with Biology, Saxon Algebra 1, Catholic Morality (Didache Series), and Govt & Natural Law.

 

Liberal Arts (LA)

High school courses that introduce the students to the classics and focus on analytical thinking, reading, and writing.  

  • These courses in the Liberal Arts introduce the students to the great writers, thinkers, saints, and Church Doctors that have contributed throughout the ages to making Catholic culture so rich. The students read source texts and, through oral discussion in the home and assigned writing, offer their own responses to the authors. LA courses require strong reading and writing skills.  These courses are a step above the College Preparatory classification of courses in educational quality, and emphasize the development of strong thinking and writing skills.  LA are decidedly not textbook- or workbook-based approaches to information.  
  • Sound intimidating?  Do not worry.  These courses do not require prior experience with the material on the part of the teaching-parent and are designed specifically for the homeschool environment.  The STAA Study Guides are clear and accomplishable even by families new to classical, liberal arts studies.  
  • Examples: All of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's A Track courses.   

 

B Track [B]

A sub-grouping of high school courses, typically of the LA or CP variety, assigned to courses that students take before they have completed St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's Essay Writing B and Logic courses.  B Track courses are generally for students in Grades 9 and 10 or advanced students in Grade 8.

A Track [A]

A sub-grouping of high school courses, typically of the LA or CP variety, assigned to courses that students take after having completed or while concurrently enrolled in St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's Essay Writing A and Critical Reading courses.  A Track courses are generally for students in Grades 11 and 12.

Non-STAA Courses (NSC) / Substitutions

Course plans are not available for Non-STAA Courses. However, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy can accept properly reported NSC courses as part of the student’s academic plan. As stated in the STAA Diploma Program Requirements, well over half of a student’s academic credits in each year of high school must be from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy courses.

Dramatic departure from the STAA core plan tends to compromise the cohesiveness of the program and may leave holes in the development of college-preparatory skills. Please discuss any planned exchanges of STAA courses for NSC courses with your academic planning advisor to verify that your plan will still keep your student on track for graduation.

 

High School Students and Non-STAA Courses

To participate in the STAA Diploma Program there are specific STAA courses in each subject area to complete, but the balance of credits required in each subject area may be filled with additional STAA courses, home-generated courses, co-op courses, or other outside courses as long as they are high school level studies.

See the STAA Diploma Program page and schedule an Enrollment Questions appointment to discuss the details.

 

After evaluating your student's assessment your academic advisor will create a personalized course plan for the year and discuss your options for swaps, substitutions, drops, or additions.

When considering course substitutions, drops, or swaps, remember that to earn a diploma from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, students must complete:

    • certain essential STAA courses
    • the minimum required number of credits in each subject area by completing STAA courses or approved Non-STAA Courses
    • two standardized tests that meet or exceed the national 50th percentiles in all subject areas

Add a simple note to your enrollment application if you wish to work with St. Thomas Aquinas Academy for academic placement and homeschooling support but will not be pursuing a diploma through the program. STAA will provide recommendations for self-transcripting your student's high school studies and you will be referred to Home School Legal Defense Association or a similar organization to clarify your student's high school graduation certificate options. 

 

 

 


 

What questions can we answer for you?

We would love to hear from you!  Please reach out with your questions by phone or email, schedule a courtesy telephone consultation with an advisor, or submit an enrollment application if you are ready to start planning for the upcoming school year.

 

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We have all enjoyed the way STAA ties the courses together for the whole family.

Alyse M.

California

Thanks for all you do on your end to help make our homeschooling academically, intellectually, spiritually, and morally enriching!!

Denise

Michigan

My advisor helps me to understand what needs to be done and how to make it really fun for the kids. What I really like are the tips she gives me for dealing with the little ones while trying to school the older ones.

Amber

Texas

This is our first year homeschooling. STAA and [our advisor] have made this a very easy transition. We have had a great year!

Gwen H.

Kansas

I really don't know what I would do without your kindness, and very helpful advice. You are a blessing to our family.

Pat

Idaho

The assessment testing was quick and easy to do, so I didn't expect much valuable feedback. Boy was I wrong!!! It was like my advisor had met my kids and spent hours/days with them.

Mary Ellen

Maryland

We have been so very happy with our first year with STAA! Thank you for walking me through it and for all the fantastic resources and materials we are using. There is not one we don't like!

Elizabeth

California

Our family so enjoyed our wonderful relationship with STAA as our [son] worked his way through high school. It was a wonderful and outstanding experience for him and we continue to suggest your program to all those who are looking for an excellent homeschool experience.

Debra S.

Colorado

Since I am writing, I will also sing more praises of the Greek Studies plan. [My daughter] moaned over the timed-essay and then did very well. So easy to implement with the choose one reflection topic from each subject and then get ready, get set, go! Apparently the school also gave suggestions for the process essay in "Format Writing." Thank you! For a mom of many this is real time saver.

Alisa from Indiana

mother of 9th grade daughter and several STAA graduates

The academy works as a team to accomplish for your family specific ideas or needs for education, but more importantly, what each individual in your family needs, even Mom.

Anne

Illinois

God bless you for the job you are doing -- the peace you have helped us find as a family is priceless!

Cerita

Texas

We can’t imagine going without these wonderful, enhanced lesson plans! Thank you!

On the STAA Study Guides

Anonymous

I especially appreciate the advice and wise counsel I receive from the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy staff during our phone appointments and their understanding of my children's needs.

Stephen T.

Illinois

It is a thrill to receive the delightfully arranged weekly guidelines from STAA that keep us on track but allow for flexibility.

Dee Dee C.

Florida

I can honestly say that our children have blossomed into well rounded individuals because of your program.

Diane B.

California