What does it mean that Mount Royal is a Catholic school?

We believe that, as Pope John Paul II wrote, Christ reveals man to himself, and that the Church’s rich and beautiful understanding of the human person is the most authentic ground for all truly Catholic education. As a Catholic school, we understand each person’s happiness to be found in his living for the God who has made him in His image and likeness and who has called him to respond freely and uniquely to his gift of creation and salvation by living a life sustained by virtue and animated by love.

This vision of the human person and the end for which he was made directs all of the intellectual, spiritual, and human formation we live out in our academic program and school culture as a whole. This means that the education we offer is rooted in a commitment to the formation of each student as a whole person, and that we are continually attentive to the development and unique needs of each child. We seek to foster the instinctive curiosity, genuine wonder, and love of truth which each child naturally possesses, and work to help our students grow in the intellectual virtues which enable them to think clearly and carefully with a disciplined and serious mind. 

The intellectual formation we offer takes place within an environment of continual human formation: as students progress intellectually, they are challenged to grow in virtue not only academically, but in every area of their life, coming to know not only abstractly but experientially how truly good it is to be good, the value of striving for excellence, and what it means to live out the call to love in their everyday lives. We recognize that as students learn and grow, they will be continually forming a conception of who they are and what they are made for, setting before themselves goals and principles which express their understanding of the world and how they wish to live. Our classes bring students into direct conversation with the great saints and minds of the Western tradition and encourage them to think seriously about what it means to be human within the context of a larger tradition. Our rich spiritual life presents students at every turn with the opportunity to encounter Christ in prayer, in the sacraments, in their classes, and in each other. 

As a Catholic school, animated by the tradition of the classical liberal arts, we certainly prepare our students for success in the world, as they acquire factual knowledge, practical skills, and the ability to think critically and creatively, but it is most important to us that we prepare them to live well for the rest of their lives, committed to carrying out whatever vocation to which they are called as mature, responsible, capable, discerning, virtuous, and loving individuals who live for Christ.

What if my family is not Catholic?

Mount Royal Academy is open to everyone. We welcome students from many different backgrounds, and you do not have to be Catholic to reap the wonderful fruits of formation, education, and community that our school has to offer. Baptized Catholics make up two-thirds of our student population, but the remaining third comes to us from a number of different faith traditions.

If you come for a visit, you will find that a culture of friendliness, cooperation, openness and respect pervades our campus, and that from classroom to chapel, our approach to the faith is one of accompaniment and exposure, not of imposition. Regardless of faith background all students are expected to attend required liturgical and spiritual activities (such as weekly mass and rosary), but active participation is not mandatory, and students who are not Catholic are simply asked to remain open and respectful as we live out our liturgical life. In seeking to foster a meaningful partnership with parents, whom it is our mission to support as the primary educators of their children, we ask that if you do not share our faith you simply remain open to learning about what we profess. 

We are also convinced that, regardless of their faith profession, all students can truly benefit from the education Mount Royal has to offer. We expect that many of our values and the standard of excellence we uphold and seek to articulate, embody, and teach through virtue and character formation will be shared by many parents who want to see their children flourish, regardless of whether they profess our faith. Moreover, we recognize that to be human is to ask and enter into big questions, and a classical liberal arts education helps students from all sorts of different backgrounds begin to understand and grapple with those questions in a personally meaningful way. Our hope is to bring students into an awareness of and appreciation for the richness of the Western intellectual tradition, which touches on the deepest and most important aspects of human existence and experience. We understand this tradition to be truly relevant to all people on the basis of our common humanity, yet we also recognize that only a student who is familiar with the doctrines and practices of Catholicism will be capable of fully understanding and entering into this larger historical dialogue in all its significance and depth. 

In this way Mount Royal uncompromisingly lives out its Catholic identity while maintaining genuine openness to families and students from many different backgrounds. We hope that you and your family will consider visiting our campus and experiencing the vibrant community and transformative education we have to offer. 

What is the school’s relationship with the Diocese of Manchester?

Mount Royal Academy is the first lay-founded school to be approved by the Catholic Diocese of Manchester. In 2006 it was formally recognized by the bishop, who gave our school community the greatest gift we could ever receive: the Eurcharistic presence of Jesus Christ on our campus. Mount Royal operates independently of the diocese, and has its own governing board of trustees that oversees all major financial, development, and personnel decisions. 

What is the role of homework in a Mount Royal student’s education? 

Mount Royal calls students to be active participants in their own education. Homework reinforces what is learned each day in the classroom and encourages students to cultivate a sense of personal responsibility for what they are learning, work independently, and form good time management skills.  In addition to helping teachers gauge how well each student is learning the material being taught, the assignment of homework gives parents the opportunity to see what their children are learning and actively support them in their studies.

Homework is assigned in reasonable amounts according to the grade level of the student. Students begin completing formal homework assignments in the first grade, and by fifth grade can expect to receive approximately thirty to forty-five minutes of homework a night. Junior high students are typically assigned a minimum of sixty minutes of homework per night, and high school students a minimum of ninety minutes. Teachers continually communicate about the amount of homework assigned in order to help students balance various duties and obligations. 

What is the average class size at Mount Royal?

The size of individual classes at Mount Royal varies from year to year. Depending on our resources and the developmental needs of particular cohorts in a given year, we may limit the number of students in any grade on a case-by-case basis.

Does Mount Royal Academy conduct standardized testing?

Mount Royal’s educational mission is at once universal and particular: we believe that the purpose of a classical liberal arts education is to help students come to know, love, and be formed by the fullness of the truth, and that each student will be called to live out his or her response to that fullness in a unique and unrepeatable way.  

While standardized tests can accurately assess certain aspects of a students’ learning, what is sought in the kind of education we offer far surpasses what such assessments seek to measure. In aiming to give each student an education that opens them up to the whole of reality and frees them to live in accord with the truth, we do not “teach to test.”

Nonetheless, in seeking to ensure that all doors remain open to junior high and high school students as they explore their options for after graduation, we recognize that standardized testing is a very real part of the college application process. Through our academic advising program students receive one-on-one support in discerning their vocation and taking the practical steps required to be as ready and successful as possible in attaining the end they choose to pursue. For many, this will involve preparing for and taking standardized tests. To help prepare students as effectively as possible for post-secondary education, Mount Royal offers junior high and high school students opportunities both to take College Board assessments (the PSAT and SAT) and the Classical Learning Test (CLT). 

How does Mount Royal Academy prepare students for life after high school?

The formation and education offered at Mount Royal is, in itself, preparation for life: the character formation and education into virtue, the call and challenge to live according to a standard of excellence in pursuit of the good for both oneself and one’s community, and the intellectual formation that teaches students to think seriously and carefully–all this prepares our students to enter into the world with the capacity for discernment, discipline, intentionality and love. We seek to cultivate in our students a love of the truth and a desire to live in accord with it: this we understand to be the ultimate end of all classical liberal education. 

At Mount Royal, we aim to educate each student as a whole person, uniquely willed and loved by God, called to respond to their distinctive vocation to carry out a particular work in the world–a work which may very well encompass a career, but is never reducible simply to a profession. In helping foster students’ encounters with the truth–ultimately to be found in Christ–it is our aim to help students to respond with gratitude and generosity to the calling that unfolds for each of them in the reality of their lives, discernable as it is revealed through their strengths, loves, and gifts. 

We support our students as they prepare for the next stage of their lives through our academic advising program, which gives students practical, personalized preparation for discerning and responding wholeheartedly to whatever they are called to next. Each spring, high school students of every grade engage in academic advising sessions with their parents and either Mr. Tremblay or Mrs. Sweet. In these meetings, relevant information, such as academic progress, high school transcripts, PSAT/CLT test scores, and co-curriculars is reviewed and discussed, and students have the opportunity to learn about and explore future opportunities and professions. To read more about academic advising, click here. 

Why do Mount Royal students learn Latin?

The study of the Latin language is a core component of Mount Royal’s liberal arts education. Studying Latin cultivates students’ capacity to think logically and systematically, and aids in any future language studies they undertake, as students familiarize themselves not only with the richness of the Latin language, but the structural workings of languages in general. 

Studying Latin also brings students to an understanding of language syntax and grammar that greatly enriches their understanding of the English language. A large part of the English language is made up of words with Latin roots; for instance, latin tempus (time) is the root of words such as con-temp-oraneous and temp-orary. Even a basic familiarity with Latin vocabulary unlocks a wealth of insight into the English language, helps students grasp the meanings of more difficult English words, and aids them in learning how to spell such words correctly. Being brought more fully into the richness and structure of English through the study of Latin enhances every aspect of students’ intellectual lives, and aids them in their preparation for tests such as the PSAT, SAT, and CLT. 

Mount Royal students begin studying Greek and Latin roots in fourth grade, turn to the study of Latin vocabulary and grammar in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades, and complete their Latin studies in grades eight through ten using the well-known Henle Latin curriculum, which solidifies students’ mastery of Latin grammar and introduces them to the translation of primary texts, such as Caesar’s Commentaries. 

Why does Mount Royal emphasize partnership with parents? 

The the Encyclical Familiaris Consortio, the Church teaches that “[t]he right and duty of parents to give education is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children.” Seeking to live out the wisdom of the Church, Mount Royal recognizes that parents have been uniquely entrusted with the formation and education of their children, and as a Catholic school, our aim is first and foremost to support parents in their role as primary educators. 

We continually seek to foster more effective and open communication between parents, teachers, administrators, and students, and are committed to building up a community of families animated by a shared commitment to the well-being of our students and a shared vision of the irreplaceable value of a Catholic classical liberal arts education. 

To read more about Mount Royal’s commitment to supporting parents in their vocation of forming and educating their children, click here.

If you are a homeschooling parent considering sending your child to Mount Royal Academy, read the Headmaster’s Letter to Homeschoolers.

How can parents participate in our mission?

Mount Royal is grateful for the support of all parents who volunteer their time and energy to help support the school’s mission. If you are interested in giving to our school’s community in any way, please contact us. All parents are also invited to participate in the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), a self-governing body led by parents which works to support the school community in a number of different facets throughout the school year.

All families are also asked to support Mount Royal in fundraising a certain amount each year to help sustain the school’s operations and community. For more information about this policy and to learn about fundraising opportunities, click here.

What programs do you offer outside the classroom?

In the spirit of our mission, seeking to form the whole person, Mount Royal Academy encourages all students to participate in co-curricular activities. Each of these activities is an opportunity for students to have fun and cultivate their gifts, living out a commitment to excellence through the joyful and intentional development of their unique physical, intellectual and artistic capabilities for their own sake and for the good of the larger community. 

We are proud to have a robust theater program, attracting students from all grade levels, whose past performances have included The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Man Who Came for Dinner, and many others. 

We also offer a number of different sports through our athletic program, including soccer,  basketball, track & field, and baseball. More information about our athletic programs can be found here. As part of our physical education program, students in grades 1-12 also have the opportunity to ski and snowboard at local mountains at various times throughout the spring semester of the school year. 

Why do students wear uniforms?

The practice of wearing school uniforms at Mount Royal benefits the entire school community by cultivating an atmosphere of unity and belonging. The wearing of uniforms encourages good comportment, which is an expression of virtue and maturity, and calls older students especially to a level of academic excellence and professionalism. We recognize that as human persons we are both body and soul, and what we wear affects us and expresses something about who we are and what we’re doing. School uniforms simplify students’ daily routine and contribute to the form of their school day as an external expression of their readiness to enter into learning. Uniforms also help students focus on their academics by reducing the distraction and competition which results from the tendency of children to compare their attire with that of their peers. Parents benefit too, as Mount Royal’s uniform policy makes shopping for school clothes each year far simpler and often less expensive. 

For details about Mount Royal’s uniform requirements and dress code, please review the Parent-Student Handbook

Fast Facts

Year Founded: 1994
Current Enrollment: 208
Number of Families: 116
Full-time faculty and staff: 26
Teacher-student ratio: 12:1
Average classroom size:
Garden (PreK & K): 15
Elementary (1-5): 14
Junior High (6 - 8): 13
High School (9 - 12): 13