Mightier Together: We Are Saint Mary’s

Get ready to ROAR into Richmond’s only Catholic IB Middle Years Programme!

Our incredible Faculty & Staff represent a balanced mix of time-honored traditions and fresh global perspectives. We are fortunate to have strong retention among our family of employees–some of whom are Monarch Alums–who help carry the mantle of Monarch pride from generation to generation. Some of our newer employees bring personal and professional experiences from overseas including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America!

Our unique blend of Monarch Pride can best be experienced at signature community events throughout the year where IB students have the opportunity to plan, participate and volunteer their time in order to earn community service hours. Annual favorites include Constitution Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Saints Day, Middle School Dances and Night of Nations to name but a few!

Need a Pep Talk? No problem.

ABOVE: Current middle school students share some tips for success.

There is no special application to gain admission into Saint Mary’s IB Programme. Every Middle School Student is automatically a part of our IB MYP!

The Middle Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organization is for all enrolled students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at Saint Mary’s Catholic School.

This means that your student will benefit from the following unique characteristics of the IB Curriculum paired with the unparalleled rigor and religious foundations of a Catholic education as outlined below.

Upon graduation, our students have up to four high school credits depending on their course selections.

And did we mention that they still have recess every day?

What to expect from our IB MYP

  • A strong academic program emphasizing holistic instruction, interdisciplinary curriculum, developmentally appropriate classroom practices, positive school climate, communication skills, and international mindedness preparing students to enter a global economy.
  • Opportunities to explore and develop proficiencies in technology, music, visual arts, physical education and health.
  • Two-periods of daily English Language & Literature instruction that emphasizes both literature (vocabulary) and writing (grammar) preparing students for the rigors of high school. That’s twice what their peers receive and it shows!
  • Language Acquisition (foreign language) instruction preparing students to earn a Level 1 foreign language credit for high school. Students may choose between French or Spanish.
  • In addition, all students are eligible to earn a high school credit by passing the Diocesan examination in the subject for Algebra, World History and Geo Science.

Saint Mary’s graduates are prepared for the next steps in their Academic Journey.

Check out what our Monarch Alumni have to say about how Saint Mary’s prepared them for high school, college and their professional lives by reading these recent testimonials.

As a good International Baccalaureate Programme learner, Lauren was open-minded, curious and risk-taking. After working for almost seven years in a pharmacy during and prior to college and observing interactions between insurance companies and health care providers, she decided that she wanted to reconsider her career path.

However, the idea of the financial cost of switching gears and starting flight school created a lot of stress, Lauren said. She had come so far in her education thinking dentistry was her goal that changing course was an extremely difficult decision.

As the end of senior year approached, Lauren decided to apply for a job to be a flight attendant. Then she had an epiphany: Why don’t I just fly the plane? 


Curious about where our Class of 2022 grads landed for high school? For this cohort of our Monarch Pride, 80% applied to and chose to attend a private or parochial school. The remaining 20% chose to attend their locally zoned public school. Read more about their choices here.

What about college admissions, you ask? Our Mighty Monarchs from 2018 were accepted into some of the nation’s most competitive programs. From US Military academies and Study Abroad programs to prestigious private and public institutions, Saint Mary’s graduates ROAR long after they leave our Gayton Road campus!

How do we consistently produce such engaged and successful students? This glimpse inside Mr. Daley’s History class might help illustrate our teachers’ fun, interactive approach to IB learning: Trench Warfare with Socks.

A Community of Trust, Grounded in Catholic Teaching

One thing you won’t see in our hallways is locks on student lockers. Why? Because we realized it simply is not necessary.

Our students sign an Honor Code during a Prayer Service and Ceremony at the beginning of every school year that reminds everyone of our shared obligation to uphold our community of trust.

Middle School Monarchs are also required to complete 20 hours of community service per year. Students are encouraged to seek volunteer options outside of school in addition to being offered volunteer roles during the school day including Library Pages, Art Helpers, Mass Buddies and more.

Our Commitment to a Modern, Safe Learning Environment

In addition to hiring the best faculty and staff, our parish has demonstrated their commitment to investing in state of the art facilities and upgrades as reflected in several rounds of recent renovation and improvements:

  • 2018 – GO FORTH! Capital Campaign: Renovation of Main Entrance, Administrative Offices, Elementary Classrooms, Library & Technology Rooms
  • 2020 – COVID RESPONSE: Installation of Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization System in all HVAC units
  • 2022BUILT ON FAITH Capital Campaign: Renovation of Parish Hall/Gym/Cafeteria, Kitchen and Indoor/Outdoor Multipurpose Room with Courtyard
  • 2023 – CAMPUS SAFETY PHASE 1: Installation of security cameras, alarm systems and door/entry/locking systems.

At Saint Mary’s Catholic School, we have a dedicated Safety Committee that regularly works with members of our Parish and School community to conduct on-going safety audits and ensure the physical safety of our students while they learn with us.

All Staff Members are committed to maintaining the health and welfare of all students and work in partnership with parents, our clinic nursing team, Elementary and Middle School resource teachers and our in-school counselor to help every student thrive. Below is a list of just some of the training we provide on a regular basis:

  • Virtus Training
  • SMCS Crisis Management Review + Classroom Folder
  • Adult/Child CPR/AED + First Aid
  • Diabetes Awareness Training
  • Epipen & Auvi-Q Training

Note: Saint Mary’s is a nut-free campus. Parents with students who have any type of allergy or medical condition are required to make an appointment with our Clinic Staff prior to the start of each school year to complete additional forms that outline medication, action and care plans.


Your Next Step: Come Explore Our Faith Filled Community

If your rising 6th grader is already enrolled at Saint Mary’s Catholic School, you will have the opportunity to renew your enrollment in January. If you have questions about continuing with us, please contact Mrs. Bisese, our Admissions Director.

If your student is not currently enrolled at Saint Mary’s Catholic School, but you would like to learn more about our Rolling Admissions process, please contact us as soon as possible as we anticipate spaces for the next school year to be very limited based on current enrollment and prospective student inquiries.

Private tours of our IB Middle Years Programme are always available during or after the school day, upon request.