St. Mary School offers academics and additional programs to develop well-rounded students.

St. Mary School offers an extracurricular band program for students in 4th – 8th grades for Beginning Band and Advanced Band in flute, clarinet, alto and tenor sax, trumpet and trombone. Classes begin in September twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) through May and are held after school in the church. A commitment for the entire school year is required. An extra fee is required for this program, and instruments, either rented or purchased, are the responsibility of the family. Instructor Tom Brozene is a parish member and Band Director at Gilroy Unified School since 1990. He also has taught in various school districts including Palo Alto and Mountain View.

The Buddy Program at St. Mary School is a fun and rewarding learning experience for the students. It has been a St. Mary School tradition for at least a generation and continues to benefit the students.

The program consists of upper grade students reading and/or completing activities or projects with the younger grades. Older students are paired with younger children from their buddy class. Kinder 5-year-olds have 4th grade buddies; 1st grade teams up with 8th grade; and 2nd grade pairs up with 7th grade.

Examples of activities with buddy classes include a trip to the Pumpkin Patch in the fall; Christmas crafts before the holidays; and end-of-the-year BBQs before parting for summer vacations.

St. Mary School provides a chess instructor once a week during lunch for students in 1st – 8th grades to learn the game and play against each other.

The Library is an important resource center for students to work on projects, do research, and read for enjoyment. Teachers schedule regular visits to the library to introduce students to the joy and benefits of a library and so the students can learn to navigate and appreciate what a library has to offer.

Only two books may be checked out at a time. Every book has a barcode unique to that particular copy and every student is issued a unique user code. Therefore, every parent and student is held accountable for that book until it is returned on or before its due date. Parents and students are responsible for loss or damage to a book and must pay the cost to replace the book plus a $5 processing fee or the student will lose library privileges until fees are paid.

Students in Kinder 5-year-olds (K2) through 8th grade have the option of a catered lunch Monday through Thursday from ChoiceLunch, the school’s online catering service. Parents purchase the lunches online in advance, and they are delivered to the school each day. The menu includes a range of lunch choices each day, and students receive an entrée, vegetable, fruit, snack and a drink.

On each Friday throughout the year, Student Council has a pizza lunch fundraiser for Kinder 4-year-olds (K1) through 8th grade. Students receive a slice(s) of pizza and a drink. Parents pre-order the pizza lunches at the beginning of the year for the entire year.

The mission of the Asset Building Champions (ABC) Project Cornerstone Program is to help create positive relationships, opportunities, values, and skills (collectively known as assets) so that our students can thrive in and out of school.

Begun four years ago, Project Cornerstone is designed to help raise healthy, caring and responsible children. A literature-based program, Project Cornerstone trains and mobilizes volunteer parents to go into our classrooms to read selected books, initiate discussions and lead projects that focus on important issues like respect, tolerance, peaceful conflict resolution, honesty, caring, and friendship.

Project Cornerstone trains and mobilizes school staff, students and parents to build development assets in order to support student success, academically and in all areas of their lives, according to the Project Cornerstone Web site.

Over the years, Project Cornerstone has partnered with more than 150 schools and other education partners in 23 school districts as well as private schools, universities, and early childhood education programs. St. Mary School is listed as one of the more than 50 elementary, middle and high schools who have student, parent and/or staff leadership teams implementing asset-building action plans to promote safe, caring school climates and reduce bullying/peer abuse.

The Speech & Debate page is under development. Please check back soon for more information

The purpose of Student Council is to stimulate student leadership and to participate in planning school activities. Students in 7th and 8th grades may participate in Student Council. Student participation in the decision-making process is meaningful and important. Representatives are elected via a democratic election process. The Student Council meets weekly. A staff member acts as Student Council Moderator.

Religious Instruction
As part of formal religious instruction, in addition to an emphasis on knowledge of Christian doctrine, students are offered many opportunities for prayer, both formal and spontaneous; participation in school Masses and prayer services; Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist; and as altar servers for students in 5th grade and above.

Sacramental Preparation
The St. Mary School community participates in the sacramental preparation program of St. Mary Parish for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Parents participate in sacramental preparation through evening classes of instruction under the auspices of the parish Catechetical Ministries Program, Office of Religious Education. Registration for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist takes place during the summer and is conducted through the Parish Office of Religious Education (408) 847-2652.