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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, B Track.


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.  Enrolling in the "Course Support Only" option is another way to participate in St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's high school courses but not participate in the transcript development and diploma program.


Which STAA courses are essential to earning a high school diploma from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy?

To complete the entire STAA diploma program, students will need to complete at least twelve semester courses each school year.  Each of the following semester courses from STAA are required to earn a high school diploma.

  1. Essay Writing B
  2. Logic B (or A)
  3. Essay Writing A
  4. Critical Reading A
  5. Moral Apologetics A (or B)
  6. Church History IB (or IA)
  7. Old Testament IB (or IA)
  8. Catholic Apologetics
  9. U.S. Hist & Geogr IB (or IA)
  10. U.S. Hist & Geogr IIB (or IIA)
  11. Greek History IB (or IA)
  12. Roman History IA (or IB)
  13. European History IA (or IB)
  14. European History IIA (or IIB)
  15. Govt & Natural Law A (or B)
  16. Economics A (or B)
  17. American Literature
  18. Greek Literature IB (or IA)
  19. Greek Literature IIB (or IIA)
  20. Roman Literature IA (or IB)
  21. Shakespeare
  22. Art & Music
  23. Choose one: Physical Science (Earth Science), Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics
  24. Choose one: Physical Science (Introductory Physics), Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics
  25. Biology IA (or IB)
  26. Biology IIA (or IIB)

[Note: Students that transfer into the program with high school credits will not be expected to repeat similar courses in Religion, History, Literature, and Science (for instance, if the student already completed a year of high school level U.S. History with another school or program then he will not need to complete St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's U.S. Hist & Geogr I and II courses).  Special arrangements will be made for students with documented learning disabilities.]

In addition to the above list, students are asked to complete the following.  The courses may be St. Thomas Aquinas Academy courses or approved Non-STAA Courses from home-generated sources, co-ops, or other institutions or programs.    

  1. Semester of Composition/Reasoning
  2. Semester of Composition/Reasoning
  3. Semester of Algebra
  4. Semester of Algebra
  5. Semester of Geometry
  6. Semester of Geometry
  7. Semester of Pre-Algebra, Algebra II, or Pre-Calculus
  8. Semester of Pre-Algebra, Algebra II, or Pre-Calculus
  9. Semester of Foreign Language (Latin, Italian, German, French, or Spanish)
  10. Semester of Foreign Language (continued)
  11. Semester of Foreign Language (continued)
  12. Semester of Foreign Language (continued)
  13. Semester of Religion
  14. Semester of Religion
  15. Semester of Physical Education/Health/Nutrition/Safety
  16. Semester of Physical Education/Health/Nutrition/Safety
  17. Semester of Physical Education/Health/Nutrition/Safety
  18. Semester of Physical Education/Health/Nutrition/Safety
  19. Semester of Fine Literature
  20. Semester of Fine Arts
  21. Semester of Fine Arts
  22. Semester of Fine Arts
  • Standardized test with all scores at or above the national 50th percentile
  • Standardized test with all scores at or above the national 50th percentile

College-bound students are encouraged to complete

  1. Semester of Advanced Math (Pre-Calculus, Calculus, etc.)
  2. Semester of Advanced Math (Pre-Calculus, Calculus, etc.)
  3. Semester of Science (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, etc.)
  4. Semester of Science (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, etc.)
  5. Semester of Science (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, etc.)
  6. Semester of Science (Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, etc.)
  7. Any number of the following STAA courses: Church History II, Church History III, Old Testament II, New Testament, Greek History II, Greek Playwrights, Roman History II, Roman Literature II, Dante, Art & Architecture I, Art & Architecture II, Research Papers, Rhetoric, Classical Latin I, Classical Latin II, Classical Latin III.
  • ACT or SAT 



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