The Upper School Program

The Upper School Program -- Grades 9 through 12

Outstanding Academics

Academy students receive a top-quality education that balances classical subjects and innovative approaches.  The school provides a full range of academic classes, art and music, physical fitness and health along with opportunities to access specialized electives through our Virtual High School (VHS).

Academic LevelsGirl studying

Academy students are presented with ongoing opportunities to move between academic levels so that each one will be challenged appropriately and supported academically.

College Preparatory (CP) -  All classes are all College Preparatory (CP) courses. To qualify for a diploma each student must earn a minimum 25 CP credits or the equivalent in AP and Honors courses. 

Honors - Entering Grade 9 students must take special placement exams to qualify for honors. Honors placement within departments at all other grade levels requires a minimum of an 80 in the prior year’s honors course or a 93 in the prior year CP course. 

Advanced Placement (AP) - Upper level Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered throughout the mathematics, science, history, world language and English curricula. Students seeking to enroll in an AP level class must have at least an 87 in prior related honors courses. 

Technologically SavvyStudents with computers

The Academy's commitment to technological innovation is reflected in our technology curriculum and supported by state-of-the-art science and computer labs, use of interactive whiteboard technology and software applications for classroom instruction, a policy that encourages students to bring their own device to school and wireless connectivity in every classroom. In this way we are able to prepare our students to thrive in a digital world.

AthleticsBoys Soccer Photo

Students can tap into the Academy’s strong and accessible athletic program, one in which a large percentage of Academy students participate. Varsity athletes perform strongly in their league, with many teams competing in playoff and state-level competitions. The school is also small enough so that students can try a sport for the first time.

Learn more about Academy Athletics and Sports Highlights.

Spirituality & CharacterLiturgy

“Teach them what they need to know for life” is a founding principle for the Academy, one first pronounced by St. Julie Billiart. This principle guides our community of faculty and staff as they commit themselves to help students grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically and morally.

Our goal is to nurture each student as a unique individual. We seek to know our students and the gifts each one brings to our community while helping students achieve their goals within a caring and supportive environment. The Academy supports spiritual exploration and strong character formation, and promotes leadership and service to those in need. As Catholic school, we are committed to the principles of Catholic moral teachings and social justice, while providing a faithful environment where prayer and liturgical celebrations bind the community.

Learn more about the Academy’s Mission and Spiritual Opportunities.

ActivitiesNDA Drama Guild cast photo

Colleges show more interest in students who are well-rounded and know how to balance academics with extra curricular activities so the Academy offers a wide-range of clubs and other opportunities. Clubs reflect students' interests, from Model UN to Yearbook to the student newspaper -- there is something for everybody.  Clubs are abundant at the Academy and new ones are always being created by students with a passion for a particular cause or interest.  

Learn more about clubs and Student Life at the Academy.

LeadershipStudent giving tour

The Academy nurtures student leaders at every turn – whether students want to lead in front or from the sidelines. Students take charge at the Academy, with teachers supporting from the sidelines. Students are encouraged and supported to add their talents and leave their unique mark on the Academy!

Learn more about Leadership Opportunities at the Academy.


Project-based Learning

Our hands-on approach to lab science study makes learning fun, innovative and relevant. Students don’t just learn about subjects at the Academy; they take part actively in the learning process through discussion-oriented and hands-on courses. Providing our students with hands-on lab experience has helped to inspire more than 50% of graduates since 2015 to declare a major in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts or math) field.

Learn more about the Academy’s Academic Curriculum.

Academic Support

Small size classes with an overall teacher to student ratio of 1:8, ensures that students get the support they need for personal success. Our unique Directed Learning Time (DLT), gives students in-school time to work on homework and get extra help from teachers. Teachers will also help students before school, after school and during lunch. The National Honor Society (NHS) also offers free tutoring during the school day. At the Academy, students get all the support they need to achieve their personal best.




“The Academy teaches you how to work hard and manage your time, which are foundational skills for college. Being surrounded by other students who are working hard to reach their full potential inspired me to do the same. The experience was empowering not competitive and fully prepared me for the workload of college.” - Mary Kate McCarthy '14