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Departmental Philosophies

SI classes are about more than facts and figures, grades and essays.


The English Department attempts to accomplish two major changes in the students before graduation: enable the students to express themselves in clear and precise prose and give them the critical thinking skills necessary to understand and interpret works of literature in narrative, poetic, and dramatic form. Our belief is that with these two skills the graduates can proceed with their college education able to learn from the people and texts that they will encounter. Toward this end, we present reading assignments which are of lasting human value and which are predicated on the ultimate judgment that the human is of inexpressible worth.

Fine Arts (Fine Arts, Performing Arts)

The Fine Arts Department continues to fulfill a long standing tradition in Jesuit Education from the earliest days of the Society of Jesus in the Ratio Studiorum: the expression of an individual human being's deepest experiences of God and creation. Through the arts a student is challenged to expand beyond the self — spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually — when they become totally involved in the creative process of communicating on a deeper affective level through theater, painting, sculpture, photography, dance, music, and the collaboration of all the arts in theatrical production. The components of art education encompass: artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, and aesthetic valuing.

Language (French, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish)

The Language Department strives to develop "people with and for others" through a creative and dynamic language program. The French, Latin, Mandarin and Spanish courses offer rigorous engagement in both linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to guide students to become global citizens.

Our program emphasizes the communicative skills of language: listening, reading, writing, speaking, and translating. In line with standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, we promote proficiency in the interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes. Consequently, students will be able to interpret, express, and negotiate meaning with an ever-increasing range of linguistic proficiency.


The Mathematics Department strives to prepare 90% or more of the student body, over the course of four years, for success in a college calculus and/or statistics course. We instill a fundamental appreciation of the techniques of algebra in solution of problems and of logic through the study of geometry. Though only three years of math are required for graduation, we encourage students to continue math through their senior year in order to have the greatest flexibility in choosing courses of study in college.

Physical Education/Wellness

The philosophy that guides the Department of Physical Education includes not only the pursuit of knowledge of our subject matter, but also encompasses the humanistic and religious elements that are part of a traditional Jesuit philosophy. The curriculum cultivates both mind and body; the development of both the intellect and the body also fosters the development of emotional and social characteristics to aid in the formation of a well-rounded person. This mind-body combination will enlighten each student to facilitate his or her given talents and provide a sense of mental and physical well-being, in addition to building self-esteem and confidence.

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies curriculum is developed to integrate a critical and experiential understanding of Catholicism. SI believes that studies in theology are essential for the development of students' understanding of Christian values and for their formation as educated Christian leaders. In order to further implement the growth and development of each student, a continual emphasis will be placed upon the balance between the academic and experiential components of Christianity. To insure this balance, frequent religious services and activities are provided for students on campus as well as the opportunity to become involved in community-service endeavors which connect the learned experience with the practical and transforming lived experiences of the Christian faith. Work with socially disadvantaged people is encouraged as well as opportunities offered for students to become active in social justice issues.


Our mission is to teach students the scientific method so they can understand modern scientific descriptions of the universe and come to objective conclusions about the natural world. Our curriculum is designed to produce graduates knowledgeable about a broad range of scientific topics, confident and proficient in the use of the scientific method, and able to use core science knowledge to assimilate new ideas and discoveries. We also aim to form individuals who are conscious of the environmental and ethical consequences of scientific progress and dedicated to acting as a "person for others" in accordance with Catholic faith, Jesuit tradition, and our school's mission.

Social Science

The Social Science Department endeavors to produce a learning environment where young men and women, in the tradition of Saint Ignatius, become aware of their responsibilities to God, themselves, and their fellow human beings and creation. The learning environment is designed to teach students to develop a lifelong love of the social sciences and to learn both as individuals and in learning communities. Recognition of individuals’ obligations to contribute to the common good — the essence of Catholic teachings on social justice — is enhanced by a firm foundation in the social sciences.

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