Blue Ribbon School

St. Mary's Academy has received three U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon awards, winning its first in 1984, followed by 1989 and 1998. St. Mary's is Oregon's only three-time award recipient and one of a few secondary schools in the nation to be recognized three times for this prestigious honor.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program award was first established by the Secretary of Education in 1982 with the purpose of giving public recognition to outstanding public and private schools across the Untied States. The program looks for excellence and equity for all students, as well as strong programs that further intellectual, social, moral and physical development. The Blue Ribbon Schools award recognizes instructional programs that meet the highest academic standards, have supportive school environments, and demonstrate student achievement that is significantly above the average for comparable schools.

Science at SMA

St. Mary's Academy has a long tradition of a strong liberal arts program that promotes academic excellence, critical thinking, teamwork and high standards. Keeping pace with a changing world, St. Mary's has integrated the use of technology into all areas of the curriculum, providing students with advanced computer science facilities including three computer labs and more than 220 computers offering students access to technology and software. All students, faculty, and staff are provided accounts for email and access to wired (and wireless) network resources including our website. St. Mary's has established itself as a center of excellence for the education of young women, affirming its belief in the value of a single-gender education.

In addition to its strong curricular emphasis, the school strives to maintain comprehensive and quality co-curricular programs in the arts, athletics, community service and a variety of clubs and activities that reflect the interests of young women in today's world. From student government to athletics, theatre, and stock investing, more than 80 percent of St. Mary's students choose to participate in one or more co-curricular programs.

The standards of excellence recognized by the Blue Ribbon Schools Program award are also validated by the high number of college-bound students who graduate each year from St. Mary's. On average, 99 percent of the senior class goes to college — many with substantial merit-based scholarships.

I Love SMA

Perhaps most important to the long-standing mission of the school is the commitment to a faith-centered education within a system of values. Grounded in Catholic traditions and values, a St. Mary's education focuses on the development of the whole person and teaches students to lead and serve the community. Service is not a requirement for graduation; however, students, faculty, and staff together embrace the true meaning of volunteerism by participating in the school community's annual service programs, thereby providing direct service to the poor and disadvantaged..

Also central to the mission of the school is a commitment to a student body that reflects the diversity of our world. St. Mary's is noted for the diversity of its student population, which is drawn from at least 30 different communities in the greater Portland and Southwest Washington area. Believing that a St. Mary's education should be available to all who desire it, the school provides tuition assistance to 40 percent of the student  body.

Located in downtown Portland, St. Mary's was founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. St. Mary's is Oregon's oldest continuously operating secondary school.

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