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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where does the name "Mount Royal Academy" come from?
The school's namesake comes from the hill upon which St. Andre courageously undertook the daunting task of building a bascilia in honor of St. Joseph. St. Joseph's bascilica sits on that very hill today, and it is one of the major pilgrimage sites of North America. Our school shares the very same patron - St. Joseph. St. Andre used to bury St. Joseph statues in the hillside as a gesture of trust in his intercession. It is uncertain how many faithful members of the Mount Royal school community have placed St. Joseph statues in our campus hillside, but we are confident that His intercession has obtained many favors and blessings for our school community.
2. What is your relationship with the diocese of Manchester?
Mount Royal is the first lay-founded school to be approved by the Catholic diocese of Manchester. MRA was formally recognized by the bishop in 2000, giving our school community the greatest gift we could ever receive, the Eucharistic presence of Jesus Christ on campus. The school operates independently of the diocese, with its own governing board of trustees overseeing all the major financial, development, and personnel decisions.
3. What makes the mission of Mount Royal different?
The mission of Mount Royal is to teach the whole person, one student at a time. The personal nature of instruction is exemplified in the positive relationships shared between teachers, students, and parents.
4. What is the average class size?
The average class size for the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms is 10 students. In grades 1 - 8, the average class size is 19.5 students. Classes in the high school average 12 students per class.
5. Does Mount Royal Academy conduct standardized tests?
Starting in grade 1, students annually take the IOWA tests to measure overall academic achievement. The IOWA test is administered to grade levels 1 - 8, and MRA students traditionally score much higher than the national average in all academic subjects and competencies. High school students are required to take the PSAT in 10th grade, and college advisors assist students in registering for the SAT, ACT at other sites.
6. Are students required to wear uniforms?
Students are expected to wear formal uniforms. Once a week students are allowed to wear school sanctioned gym uniforms, usually on days when they are receiving physical education instruction. Tag Days are frequently allowed during the school year, giving students the opportunity to wear casual clothes in exchange for a charitable donation to a nearby social organization.
7. Do you teach foreign languages?
Yes, as a matter of fact, foreign languages are offered across all grade levels in an age-appropriate manner. Students in PreK and K learn French. Beginning in grade 5, students are exposed to three languages in a trimester sequence: French, Spanish, and Latin. There is a Latin I pre-requisite in high school, both as an extension of our classical curriculum, but also to help students prepare for the SAT's. French and Spanish are also offered at the high school level.
8. When does the school day begin and end?
The school day begins at 8:00am and concludes by 2:15pm.
9. How much homework is assigned?
The amount of homework assigned depends on the grade level. Students begin completing formal homework assignments in the first grade. By the fifth grade, students can expect approximately 30 - 45 minutes of homework a night. In the junior high students typically are assigned a minimum of 60 minutes of homework. High school students can expect at least 90 minutes of homework a night. Teachers continually communicate about the amount of homework assigned in order to help students balance various duties and obligations.
10. Is physical education offered as a formal class?
Yes, students receive physical education class weekly across all grade levels.
11. Are there sports teams?
Yes, currently boys/girls soccer, boys/girls basketball, cross country, swimming, alpine skiing, and outdoor track are offered at the high school level. Students in 7th/8th grade are allowed to try out for sports teams. Mount Royal Academy is a member school of the NHIAA.
12. What is the role of Catholicism at Mount Royal Academy?
The Catholic identity of Mount Royal Academy is the most defining characteristic of our school community. Our Catholic identity influences how we teach, how we coach, how we play, and how we pray. Students begin each day with catechesis or theology class. Mass is offered on campus each Monday. School is cancelled on holy days of obligation except for All Saints because of school tradition. We gather together every friday to pray the rosary, and during lent we make the stations of the cross on Fridays instead. All high school students need 4 credits of theology in order to graduate. There is a unique focus on both formation and information. Students are challenged to improve themselves intellectually, morally, and spiritually.
13. Are afterschool enrichment opportunities offered to all students?
Younger students can be placed into the afterschool program if working parents find it difficult to make it to school by 2:15pm. There are a variety of campus clubs and sports teams that meet or practice after school (Campus Ministry, Chess Club, International Club, Newspaper, Robotics Club, Math Team)
14. Can our family become a part of Mount Royal even if we are not Catholic?
Of course. As a matter of fact, over 40% of students enrolled in Mount Royal are non-Catholic. We wouldn't be a Catholic school if we didn't open our doors to people of all faiths or even no faith.
15. What type of opportunites are available for parents to become involved?
There is a family service for fundraising progam that all parents are encouraged to participate in order to improve the financial solvency of the school. HASA (Home and School Association) is the formal parent group that supports teachers and administrators. All parents are welcome to offer their time and energy to the school in whatever way they feel comfortable.
16. Are students expected to perform community service?
Students are asked to give to others across all grade levels in a way that is appropriate to their abilities. Each time we meet as a school community, older students are paired with younger students to help them be engaged and attentive. Elder classrooms are even assigned little buddies occasionally at lunch time or for school projects. High school students are expected to complete a comprehensive service portfolio in order to graduate.
17. Are there any deadlines for admissions?
MRA has a rolling admissions policy. Families are encouraged to visit the school and fill out an application at any time. Our administration and admissions team recognizes that each family deals with unique circumstances. We strive to be as present and accomodating as Christ.