The St. Cecilia Academy Junior High will require Latin for all 7th and 8th graders, a feature shared with other top Nashville private schools. Taking Latin in junior high trains students in logic and orderly habits of mind. It affords them a solid understanding of grammar and the structure of language and word roots. It makes them stronger readers and writers and provides a great foundation for the study of modern languages. Study of Latin has also been proven to increase SAT scores and other standardized test scores for all students. Finally, Latin is part of the cultural and liturgical heritage of the Catholic Church. Learning prayers and Mass parts in Latin gives students a window into the Church’s beauty and a participation in the Church as universal.
Incoming eighth graders in 2022-2023 who have taken Spanish as seventh graders and who test into the Spanish program will have the option to take either Spanish or Latin. This will be a special exception for the first eighth grade class.
The seventh-grade English class will provide an essential foundation in literature, grammar, composition, and vocabulary so that students develop oral and written communication skills. The exploration of a variety of genres will expose students to different literary forms that can convey Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. The foundations of grammar and writing will be stressed so that students learn to respond effectively to questions and discussions.
The eighth-grade English class continues the foundation begun in seventh grade. Students will continue to develop grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills and will complete writing assignments of greater length and variety. Students will continue to study literature of various genres; they will learn how to identify textual evidence for literary devices such as symbolism, tone and point of view and to analyze works for character development and theme
St. Cecilia is the patron of the arts, our school, and our students. Our junior high students will be exposed to the fundamentals of artistic expression which are grounded in a proper understanding of true beauty. Exposure to different disciplines will provide girls with an appreciation of the arts and allow them to cultivate their talents. These courses will not meet daily, but be in a rotation. Our plan is to use some of the high school facilities for these classes:
Music – Junior High Choir, String Ensemble, Band
Latin 7 and 8 comprise the year-long Latin I course so that students may enter Latin II as ninth graders.
Seventh grade students will be introduced to the fundamentals of the Latin language, especially grammar, vocabulary, and translation. Students will also study Roman history and culture, English derivatives and root words, and prayers of the Church in Latin. Students will encounter Latin’s enduring appeal in the beauty of accessible primary sources.
Eighth grade students continue to master Latin roots, syntax, and vocabulary while translating increasingly complex sentences and stories about Roman history and mythology. Students continue their studies of Roman culture with a focus on Roman values, mythology, daily life, and basic Roman history. Students will also continue to deepen and broaden their knowledge of Roman history and culture, English derivatives, and prayers of the Church in Latin. Students will encounter Latin’s enduring appeal in the beauty of accessible primary sources.
This seventh-grade math class allows students to master the fundamental math skills needed for Algebra. Students will work with topics such as integers, solving equations and inequalities, decimals and equations, operations with rational numbers, the coordinate grid, ratios, proportions, and percents.
This eighth-grade math class follows Pre-Algebra A, and students continue to master essential mathematical concepts. Students will work with equation solving, operations with rational numbers, proportions, graphing, measurement and conversions, and right triangles.
This accelerated math class is for seventh grade students who have demonstrated a solid understanding of basic arithmetic with fractions, decimals, and integers and have demonstrated strong problem solving skills. Students in this class will complete both the Pre-Algebra A and B curricula in this accelerated course. This class will include rational numbers, evaluating expressions, solving equations and inequalities, writing equations and inequalities to solve problems, measurement and conversions, linear graphs, surface area and volume, and data analysis and probability.
This class is for eighth grade students who have completed the accelerated Pre-Algebra AB course. This course mirrors the Geometry offered at St. Cecilia but is taught in the junior high classroom. This course leads students to the mastery of inductive, deductive, and statistical reasoning through problem solving, hands-on activities, and assiduous study of Book 1 of Euclid's Elements. Students master the essential topics of Euclidean geometry—plane and solid geometry, triangle trigonometry and transformations—as well as elements of descriptive statistics, including graphical displays of one- and two-variable data sets of both categorical and quantitative variables. Most importantly, students learn to reason logically and critically as a foundation for higher mathematical thinking.
With permission, a student who has demonstrated exceptional mathematical progress may be able to take this course as a seventh grader.
Algebra 1 stresses both the structure of algebra and the development of problem-solving skills. Students gain competence in working with real numbers to solve problems. The concept of a function is introduced, and students learn about a variety of parent functions. Topics include algebraic language, operations with signed numbers, inequalities, exponents and radicals, polynomials, factoring, functions and graphs, domain and range, quadratic equations, and exponential functions. This is offered in the 9-12 program at St. Cecilia Academy; with permission, a student may be able to take this course as an eighth grader.
Seventh grade religion focuses on the Gospels, the New Testament, and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Students will focus on the person of Jesus Christ as the Savior, Who reveals us to ourselves and study the sacraments as the ways that God draws us into His Trinitarian life through the Church. Students will be introduced to the idea of the dignity of the human person and Christian anthropology. Students will seek to explore the questions: Who am I and who is Jesus Christ? Students will be introduced to the role of the virtues. They will study St. Cecilia and explore her virtues and witness. Students will study parts of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles while recognizing what it means to live as missionary disciples of Jesus. Themes studied throughout the year will be integrated and deepened through age-appropriate study of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
Eighth grade religion consists of four integrated parts, culminating in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Through the study of Faith in the Triune God, Church History, and Catholic Social Teaching students will be invited to connect the study of the Trinitarian communion to their relationship with God, the saints, and those with whom they share this life with its contemporary challenges. They will study the meaning and effects of Confirmation and the call to respond to God’s grace through this sacrament that strengthens the Christian in the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Seventh grade students study living organisms and how they function. Topics will include characteristics of living organisms, relationship between organisms, cells, bacteria, viruses, fungi, plants, animals, the basics of genetics, muscular and skeletal systems, diseases, and growth and development. Students will explore the fundamental principles and concepts of the created world and study the handiwork of the divine Creator. This course provides a strong foundation for topics students will engage with more deeply in high school, especially in biology and human anatomy and physiology.
Introduction to Physical Science
In Physical Science, eighth grade students learn the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics including the properties and classification of matter, atomic structure, elements and compounds, chemical bonding and reactions, the periodic table, Newton’s laws of motion, force, and energy, and electric charges. Particular attention is also given to reinforcing units and uses of the metric system in anticipation of physics in the ninth grade.
Students will acquire, organize, and analyze geographic information utilizing maps, statistics, graphs, and illustrations. They will explore geographic features which characterize regions.
Foundations of US History
Students study the founding documents of the United States, including the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, in depth. Students will explore key principles in these documents and how they were written.
Following after Foundations of US History, students will learn how authority and responsibility are shared and limited by government, the place of law in the American constitutional system, and which rights the American government guarantees its citizens. Students will gain a basic understanding of civics, politics, and government.
An American Century (8th)
In eighth grade history, students develop a deeper understanding of some key time periods of American History. Students study the century 1850-1950 of American History. They will focus on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrialism, the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.
The Art of Living
Pope Benedict XVI's words inspire this course's title in an address to catechists. This class aims to provide holistic human, emotional, and intellectual formation so junior high girls can flourish in the fullness of their potential and find the path toward true happiness. Students will be taught social skills, an understanding of emotions and how to work with them, life skills and strategies for balancing the demands of life, organizational and study skills, how to grow in virtue and friendship with others, healthy habits, and true happiness – all tailored for a girl in junior high.
Physical education will be scheduled for both seventh and grade students to help develop coordination as well as provide opportunities for strengthening and conditioning and maintain a healthy body.
As we plan for the addition of the 7th and 8th grade for the 2022-2023 school year, it is important to us to involve the pioneer members of these classes in the planning process. In the early months of 2022, the incoming inaugural classes of the 7th and 8th grade at St. Cecilia Academy Junior High will be invited to a Spring Leadership Summit to discuss and choose several of the new traditions. This summit will finalize special rite-of-passage moments for the 8th graders, as well as other Junior High specific programming.
Since 1860, the girls of St. Cecilia Academy have created traditions that remain dear to alumnae long after they graduate. As the inaugural classes at St. Cecilia Academy Junior High, these students will have the opportunity to create, innovate and lead the next exciting chapter in the dynamic 162-year legacy of St. Cecilia Academy.
THE ART OF LIVING
A new Art of Living two-year course spanning both 7th and 8th grades will be a signature feature of the St. Cecilia Academy Junior High curriculum. The title for this course is inspired by the words of Pope Benedict XVI in an address to catechists. The Art of Living class is aimed at providing a holistic human, emotional, and intellectual formation so that junior high girls can flourish in the fullness of their potential and find the path toward true happiness. Students will be taught social skills, an understanding of the emotions and how to work with them, life skills and strategies for balancing the demands of life, organizational and study skills, how to grow in virtue and in friendship with others, healthy habits, and true happiness – all tailored for a girl in junior high.
These themes will be woven into the heart of the Junior High academic and student life curriculum to create an integrated student experience that prepares girls to go forward in life with faith, resilience, and confidence.
Travel and cultural experiences play an important role in a young woman’s life, building friendships, aiding learning development and helping young women understand the role of beauty in our society. Travel with peers is also an important rite of passage moment. As such, a special 8th grade travel experience will be planned within the context of this course.
Compete in both independent and diocesan league
Early fall: Golf, Cross Country, Tennis, Volleyball
Late fall: Soccer
Spring: Track, Lacrosse, Softball
Sacramental Preparation for reception of Confirmation
7th and 8th grade retreat program
Special Events celebrated with both Mom and Dad individually to help foster and develop family relationships
Eighth grade formation outing at the end of the year
Recognition of students at the end of eighth grade before they enter into the high school program
Because the developmental needs of junior high and high school students are different, the St. Cecilia Academy Junior High will have its own home in a newly renovated space separate from the 9th – 12th grade students. Junior High classrooms and facilities will be located adjacent to the current school library, with an exclusive outdoor courtyard and gathering space as well as a private entrance that is separate from the High School. We are currently working with an architect and contractor on the details of this renovation plan.
While the majority of junior high classes will take place in this renovated section of St. Cecilia Academy, 7th and 8th students will have access to the High School’s academic and athletic facilities at specified times, including the new art, choir, and dance studios, science labs, and dining hall.
The enhanced program at St. Cecilia Academy Junior High will cost all families $19,330 for the 2023-2024 school year. Financial aid opportunities will be available to any family who qualifies. A new scholarship, the Mother Frances Walsh Scholarship, has recently been established to provide assistance to a young woman and her family for all six years that she attends SCA.
Seventh and eighth grade students will benefit from the resources available at the high school level. They will receive the same superior instruction and individualized attention for which St. Cecilia Academy has long distinguished itself. Students will have expanded opportunities to challenge themselves in advanced academic courses and will also benefit from access to high school lab space and state-of-the-art fine arts studios. Our program will allow our academically talented students to take advanced courses. They will discover many options for engagement in a full range of athletics and other clubs and co-curricular activities. Just as with the 9-12 High School program, students in grades 7 and 8 will receive the support of a full-time learning specialist and personal and academic counselors, as well as a full-time activities director and athletic director.
All students attending St. Cecilia Academy grades 7-12 will wear the current green, yellow and red SCA plaid skirts. At the Spring Leadership Summit, inaugural members of the 7th and 8th grades will decide on a distinctive piece of the uniform that will be special just for St. Cecilia Academy Junior High students.
All students who successfully complete their 8th grade year at St. Cecilia Academy Junior High will be celebrated at the Commencement Ceremony each Spring. This ceremony will be a momentous event to recognize the milestone achievement of each girl and their Junior High completion.
Some details will be finalized in the coming months with the input of our inaugural junior high classes at the Leadership Summit, such as attire. Commencement will include an honors event and an opportunity to celebrate each girl by name, as well as a formal bridging ceremony where the eighth graders are officially welcomed into the High School of St. Cecilia Academy.
This is an informal event for prospective parents to learn more about St. Cecilia Academy. Enjoy lunch in the library with our Principal, Sister Anna Laura, the school's leadership team members, and students. Learning about SCA's academic and extracurricular programs, the all-girl experience, and much more. Register below! The event begins at 12:00 PM, and lunch is provided.
Experiencing the life of a St. Cecilia girl firsthand is essential to the Admissions Process. We encourage you to schedule a Shadow Day for your daughter, so she can spend time with our girls, attend classes, meet our faculty, and gain a better sense of the unique all-girls environment St. Cecilia Academy offers its students.
How do I schedule a Shadow Day for my daughter? Click here(firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 615.298.4525 x 377 to schedule a Shadow Day!
Snack & lunch provided
Wear your current school uniform or an outfit you are comfortable in, but that is appropriate for school.
Every Wednesday starting September 7th, the SCA Admissions team will be available for personal tours, Q & A sessions, and available to you from 12:00 - 1:00. Stop by the front office and tell them you are here for a Walk-In Wednesday visit. See you soon!
This decision was made by the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Congregation after their prayerful study of the available data, the recommendation of our executive committee and consultation with Catholic School Management. Our decision was informed by 25 years of enrollment and current demographic data and an extensive junior high study that surveyed hundreds of parents, faculty and staff, alums, parents of alums from both schools, as well as members of the diocese and parochial and independent schools around the city.
The goal has always been to strengthen both schools, building upon our reputation of excellence in academics and faith that highlights the Dominican Difference.
Beginning in the fall of 2022, OS will transition to a preschool-6th elementary school, while SCA will add 7th and 8th grade girls, becoming a 7th-12th school. OCS and SCA will work together to ensure a smooth and thoughtful transition, with faculty and staff from both schools involved in the conversations and planning.
It could not be a more providential time. This decision was not made in haste. Rather, it reflects a question that has been considered at various times and in various ways over the last 25 years. Coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever, both schools are poised to begin a new chapter.
Both schools have exciting strategic growth plans in place that have already been set in motion. Placing this decision in the context of the larger question of Catholic schools nationally, the acceleration of challenges in our secular culture, the vibrancy of a growing Nashville and the changing landscape of schools in this city, we see that now is a most opportune time to position OCS and SCA for a vibrant future.
Yes. Any girl from OCS who wishes to attend SCA will have the opportunity for a seamless transition with even more expanded opportunities to participate in the various academic programs and co-curricular activities offered at SCA in the arts, athletics, clubs and more.
We recognize the distinct nature of 7th and 8th graders and the value of allowing them their own space and a program tailored just for them. At the same time, we want them to have the opportunity to be integrated into the larger SCA community when appropriate and to benefit from the school's resources, not to mention the positive example of its student leaders and faculty members.
The integration of 7th and 8th graders into the SCA community will reflect this balance with particular sensitivity to the developmental needs of younger students. The SCA faculty and staff will work diligently to ensure that each and every student is equipped with the resources they need to excel academically, spiritually and socially.
As a college preparatory school owned and operated by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, SCA has a 160-year legacy of excellence in the academic and moral formation of strong young women. 7th and 8th-grade students will benefit on every level from the early integration into SCA, as they will gain access to various resources typically only available at the high school level.
Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the successful junior high program already well in place at OCS by providing students with opportunities for increased acceleration and access to high school courses, fine arts, and co-curricular activities.
Our decision was informed by many factors: 25 years of enrollment and current demographic data and an extensive junior high study that surveyed hundreds of parents, faculty and staff, alums, parents of alums as well as members of the diocese and both parochial and independent schools around the city. The data collected was straightforward, leading us to decide this will be the best possible path for students and families in our community, both now and for the future.
Prior to making this decision, we surveyed hundreds of faculty and staff, parents, alums, parents of alums, as well as friends and colleagues from the diocese and parochial and independent schools around the city. In the interest of preserving the confidentiality and candor with which our participants shared their ideas, we can provide a summary of the main findings.
The 7th and 8th grades will be at SCA in a transitional space for the first year or two. At the same time, we will be working on a permanent home for SCA’s 7th and 8th grades as part of the school’s master planning process.
Beginning fall 2022, OCS will transition to a preschool-6th program, while SCA will add 7th-8th grade girls. OCS and SCA will work together to ensure a smooth and thoughtful transition, with faculty and staff from both schools integral to the conversation and planning. We have several tentative benchmarks throughout the year at which we anticipate being able to share the information below.
Late September – General outline of the academic program, fine arts, athletic, co-curricular offerings, and tuition set.
Fall Open House – Course descriptions, including electives and learning support, general student life overview – leadership/service/social-emotional formation. A temporary physical location will also be shared.
First week of January – Uniforms, meal plan, and further academic details – daily schedule, grading scale, etc.
Late March –7th-8th orientation, school policies, and procedures
August 2022 – SCA launches the 7th-12th program
The admissions process for each school will follow the timelines published on the respective school websites.
There will be two distinct entry points at SCA: 7th grade and 9th grade. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, we will be accepting 7th, 8th and 9th graders from any families who wish their daughters to apply. As this program grows, our long-term goal is to have 45-50 students in each of the 7th and 8th grades. This will allow us to accept 25-30 additional students at the 9th grade for a high school class size of around 75.
SCA has a deep and rich 160-year history that has responded to the needs of every age. The charism of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, as well as the traditions and joyful all-girls experience of SCA will continue to grow and thrive as a result of these changes.
By transitioning to 7th-12th grade program, SCA will have even more years and opportunities to cultivate an environment where young women can form strong bonds while engaging in rigorous academics, competitive athletics and a myriad of vibrant co-curricular programs.
This six-year structure will provide the opportunity for deeper intellectual, spiritual, moral and social emotional formation, helping girls to be grounded in their identity in Christ. Coming out of SCA as confident young women steeped in the Dominican tradition, our graduates will be even more prepared for college and life.
SCA students will be able to participate in a number of different academic opportunities, including advanced courses. They can also take advantage of SCA's athletics and signature fine arts program housed in the new fine arts center.
This is an exciting time to share with more people the great things that are already happening at SCA. St. Cecilia is dedicated to making this transition to a 7th-12th school as seamless as possible. The integration of junior high programming will not pose a disruption to SCA's current academic, athletic and social activities. We invite current students to share their ideas and best wisdom with faculty and staff as we work out details about student life and programming.
Yes. Life in Christ and growing in the grace of the sacraments are at the heart of what we do at OCS and SCA. Faith formation and sacramental preparation will continue to be a priority for us as we tailor the details of the religion curriculum to every grade level. We anticipate that the process for Confirmation will mirror the excellent formation the students receive at OCS, with SCA now organizing the preparation and reception of the sacrament of Confirmation.