Academics

Innovative and rigorous

The college-preparatory curriculum at St. Teresa’s Academy is innovative, rigorous and proudly traditional. Students choose from more than 100 course selections available, ranging from calculus, chemistry and world languages to graphic design, computer programming and dance. Every year, STA graduates receive merit-based scholarships to prestigious colleges and universities. At STA, working hard, challenging each other and striving to be the best is the norm, not the exception.

STA has been continuously accredited since 1923 through Cognia (formerly North Central Association/AdvancED). This ensures students have qualified teachers who are continually working to improve their practices and teaching methods to increase student performance and to provide a rich and diverse curriculum. Accreditation ensures credits transfer from school to school and allows for greater access to federal loans, scholarships, post-secondary education and military programs. Through the association’s reciprocal agreements, students can continue their educational goals in the U.S. or around the world.

STA completed its most recent accreditation process in March 2019. Out of 30 Standards used to rank Educational Excellence, STA received the highest marks in all 30 measures.

The Index of Education Quality® (IEQ®) is utilized during the accreditation process as a measure of overall performance based on a comprehensive set of standards and review criteria. The IEQ comprises the Standards Diagnostic ratings from three areas: 1) Leadership Capacity; 2) Learning Capacity; and 3) Resource Capacity. The IEQ results are reported on a scale of 100 to 400 and provide information about how the institution is performing compared to expected criteria.

STA’s IEQ:
387 out of 400
Average IEQ*:
278.34-283.33

*Based on all AdvancED Improvement Network (AIN) institutions evaluated for accreditation in the last five years.

Findings from the final Accreditation Report include:

“The commitment to high expectations at STA is embedded in all facets (stakeholder interviews, classroom observations, administration overview, and informal conversations) of the school.”

“The school has taken purposeful and intentional steps to create learning environments and innovative programs. Each of these programs were born out of forward-thinking faculty and staff to provide the very best for the students.”

“A strength of the school is the many and varied community partnerships the school has created.”

“Tradition and connections to their Catholic heritage through the charisms of the Sisters of St. Joseph are ingrained in the culture of the school. The culture is strong and built on years of high expectations, rigorous programs, and successful students.”

“My girls thought college was easy after attending STA.” – From Parent Accreditation Survey

The Modern & Classical Language Department is approved to award the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy to qualified students of French, Latin and Spanish. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English. It offers an opportunity to demonstrate the linguistic and cultural skills these students possess to universities and future employers.

Criteria to receive the seal of biliteracy:

A. School criteria for English

  • ACT score of 18 for the  Missouri Seal
  • ACT score of 21 for the Distinguished Seal
  • SAT score of 940 for the Missouri Seal
  • SAT score of 1060 for the Distinguished Seal

B. School criteria for languages other than English

Students need to fulfill one of the following:

  • AP Language and Culture for French and Spanish. 3 or higher ( Missouri Seal) .5 (Distinguished Seal)
  • STAMP4S for French and Spanish. Intermediate  Mid ( Missouri Seal). Advanced Low (Distinguished Seal)
  • ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview For French and Spanish. Intermediate Mid (Missouri  Seal). Advanced Low (Distinguished Seal)
  • ACTFL AAPPL for French and Spanish. Intermediate 3 (1-3) (Missouri Seal). Advanced (A ) ( Distinguished)
  • COMMON EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK (Certified by AATSP) for Spanish. B1 (Missouri Seal). B2 (Distinguished Seal)
  • ACTFL (ALIRA; ACTFL Latin interpretative Reading Exam) for Latin, Intermediate Mid.  (Missouri Seal). Advanced Low (Distinguished Seal)

C. Students need to demonstrate sociocultural competence

To demonstrate sociocultural competence, students need to fulfill the following requisites:

  • Belong to the STA  language club or language Honor Society in the year of application for the Seal
  • Attend cultural activities and events at school and in Kansas City
  • Help a language teacher or to tutor a student
  • Take part in community service related to the language

D. Students need to complete four years of the language (at STA and/or RU)

E. Students may apply for the Seal of Biliteracy award by completing this application.

STA is the second all-girls’ school in the nation and the second school in Missouri/Kansas to earn the AdvancED Certification for Excellence in STEM Education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This achievement is a mark of STEM distinction and excellence only offered to highly effective institutions that recognize STEM education as a path to success.

To earn STEM Certification, STA demonstrated adherence to the AdvancED STEM Standard as reflected by the school’s performance across 11 STEM Indicators. The schoolwide certification process provides a rigorous evaluation and continuous improvement process, supported by research-based tools and resources. Achieving high scores across the indicators certify that students have been equipped and trained to be innovative, creative, and systematic problem-solvers across disciplines.

STA students are connected with STEAM professionals through the eMentoring program, STEM/STEAM Certificate program, and the STEAM Advisory Board. The eMentoring program pairs juniors and seniors with adult female professionals, often STA alumnae, to provide advice, support and guidance. The STEM/STEAM Certificate program at STA is offered to students who go above and beyond standard requirements with extensive STEM/STEAM-focused coursework, service, and professional mentoring and internships. The STEAM Advisory Board links STA to the broader post-secondary, business and research communities to share best practices and connect students with community opportunities and needs.

AdvancED is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts extensive, on-site reviews of a variety of educational institutions and systems to ensure all learners realize their full potential. AdvancED STEM Certification is the first internationally recognized mark of quality for STEM schools and programs, signaling the growing emphasis placed on STEM education by educators, politicians and business leaders around the world.

Credits Required for Graduation: 26

  • English – 4
  • Mathematics – 4
  • Science – 3 (core science requirements, 1 biology required and 1 chemistry or physics required)
  • Social Studies – 3
  • Modern & Classical Languages – 3 (2 consecutive and 1 of choice)
  • Theology – 4
  • Personal Finance – .5
  • Communication/Visual/Performing Arts – 1
  • Health & Physical Education – 1
  • Electives – 2.5
  • Community Service – 90 hours

STA uses a percent (%) grading system. GPA is calculated for each semester and cumulatively.

  • The cumulative grade percent is weighted. Honors, College and AP courses receive an additional 5 points each semester if a student earns a 77.0% or higher.
  • 100% is the maximum a student can earn in a regular course. Weighted courses can account for a maximum of 105%.
  • 66.5% is required to earn credit in a course.
  • STA does not utilize class rank.
  • First Honors (93.0% and above) and Second Honors (87.0-92.99%) are awarded each semester.
  • Grades of transfer students are not calculated into the cumulative STA grade percent.
  • See additional grading policies in the Student/Parent Handbook.