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School Profile

School Overview

St. Mark’s is a four-year, college preparatory, boarding and day school located 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1865 as an Episcopal boys’ school, St. Mark’s merged with the Southborough School for Girls in 1977. Our classes are traditionally referred to as forms: 9th grade is III Form; 10th grade is IV Form; 11th grade is V Form; 12th grade is VI Form.

The academic program at St. Mark’s is a blend of a classical liberal curriculum infused with innovative elements of contemporary pedagogy. Across the curriculum, students are exposed to interdisciplinary work and the opportunity to develop strong scientific inquiry, historical research, collaborative problem-solving, critical thinking, and written communication skills. We have, over the past four years, completely reimagined our curriculum as well as our use of class time in service of better teaching and learning. We are proud of our distinctive academic program and offer greater detail on a few highlights below.

Signature Programs

Advanced Curriculum: Beginning in the 2014–2015 school year, St. Mark’s began offering teacher-generated, school-specific “Advanced” classes in all core academic disciplines save English, where departmental philosophy drives continued heterogeneous grouping. Courses such as our STEM and History Research Fellowships, along with Advanced Topics classes in Math and Computer Science as well as our Independent Study Program (ISP) form the core of our most vigorous options.

History Fellowship: The History Fellowship trains talented, aspiring historians in the skills of academic research and historiography. Each Fellow, having selected a topic of personal interest during the spring of their V Form year, then pursues rigorous, in-depth research in venues ranging from libraries to archives, to the halls of Congress, and distant museums. The course culminates in the production of a substantial research paper, which students then defend before a panel of faculty members.

STEM Fellowship: The STEM Fellowship offers students the chance for deep exploration of their own particular area of interest, while fostering real-world skills needed for high-level scientific research. Fellows work with faculty and mentors from area labs and hospitals to design and conduct their own experiments and apply their research to real-world challenges. Fellows present posters at local and national science fairs.

Global Citizenship: St. Mark's School recognizes that a global education is a critical component of a 21st-century education. Therefore, the goal of the Global Citizenship Initiative, through both curricular and extracurricular offerings, is to help our students to see and appreciate the distinctive features in the variety of cultures of the world, to appreciate the human universals that make all people more similar than different, and to inspire our students to become global citizens.

Lion Term (began May 2017): A three-week, form-based, experiential program, Lion Term encourage students to think beyond themselves and provides structure for them to apply their learning to the wider world through internships and independent research. Additionally, one course includes a travel and immersion component. Classes have visited and explored Bhutan, Iceland, and Spain (May 2019).

St. Mark’s Saturdays: St. Mark's Saturdays offer students and faculty an innovative opportunity to engage in relevant and developmentally appropriate academic, service, and character and wellness coursework. At the core of each St. Mark's Saturdays offering is a belief in the power of experience to transform student understanding. The unique structure of the classes allows for collaborative interdisciplinary teaching teams.

Gray Colloquium: The C. Boyden Gray Colloquium is designed to engage St. Mark’s students in an exploration of one complex issue annually. This year’s theme is “Building the Future through Citizenship.” A vital aspect of the Gray Colloquium program is that presenters also engage with the school community in classes and small group discussions.

Click here for additional information about the academic program.

Life at St. Mark’s

Academic and extracurricular opportunities abound at St Mark’s; life for our students is busy. We share the following to highlight some of the most popular and time-consuming options, but also to illustrate the juggling act our students perform daily.

Arts: Performance-based art courses (theater, choir, jazz ensemble, orchestra) all meet during the school day and occupy one class period in a student’s schedule for a full year. These courses, like our studio art courses, are considered academic in nature. St. Mark’s theater performs a play every fall and winter; participation satisfies the athletic commitment. Student directed one-act plays and the student-run musical (both in the spring) are extracurricular activities.

Athletics: St. Mark’s belongs to the highly competitive Interscholastic School League (ISL) along with 15 other Boston-area independent schools. In addition to our interscholastic team sports, we also offer fitness and yoga programs. Students are required to participate in some form of athletics in every term.

Chapel: The Chapel Program at St. Mark’s School is rich in content and diverse in expression. Responsible and responsive to the community’s diverse faith traditions, the program is designed to address the widely varying spiritual needs of the school community. All-school Chapel services are required twice a week. VI Formers are invited to offer Chapel Talks.

Community Service: St. Mark’s has community service partnerships with four organizations. Students who participate in community service commit to 20 hours per athletic season. Students cannot participate in community service if they are playing on a varsity-level team.

Robotics: The FIRST Robotics team satisfies an athletic commitment during the winter season. FIRST Robotics competes in New England regional tournaments as well as national and international competitions.

Student Leadership: St. Mark’s students enjoy an array of leadership opportunities. Three positions, Monitor, Prefect, and Peer Discussion Leader, involve significant time commitment and responsibility. Students are appointed to these roles after a competitive selection process. Additionally, the eight student Monitors meet weekly with the Dean of Students and the Head of School and must use one block of their schedules for a leadership curriculum.

Student Voice: Student-led, on-line outlets LEO, The Parkman Post, and The Tavern supplement more traditional offerings like our student newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine.

Advanced (Adv.) Courses by Department:

Arts

Adv. Studio Art, Adv. Art History, Adv. Ceramics, Adv. Music Theory, Adv. Topics in Music, Adv. Theater Workshop

Computer Science

Adv. Topics in Computer Science

History

Adv. U.S. History, Adv. U.S. Government and Politics, History Research Fellowship, Adv. Studies in Global Citizenship

Mathematics

Adv. Statistics, Adv. AB Calculus, Adv. BC Calculus, Adv. Topics in Mathematics, Mathematical Research

Languages

Adv. Chinese, Adv. French: Contemporary Themes, Adv. Topics in Spanish Literature, Adv. Topics in Latin Literature

Religion

Adv. Religion: Modern Philosophy and the Challenges of Unbelief

Science

Adv. Biology, Adv. Chemistry, Adv. Environmental Science, Adv. Physics, STEM Research Fellowship

Class of 2019 Standardized Testing
Scores through June of V Form Year (June 2018)

SAT EBRW
Average = 677
Median = 680
Middle 50% = 630-740

SAT Math
Average = 693
Median = 700
Middle 50% = 600-780

SAT 1600
Average = 1370
Median = 1380
Middle 50% = 1270-1510

ACT
Average = 29
Median = 30
Middle 50% = 25.5-33.5

Grading
St. Mark’s does not calculate a class rank or a GPA. In such a small school, the distinction between GPAs is insignificant and the impact of ranking students is unproductive.

The St. Mark’s grading system uses + and - grades. Students who receive an average of 59 or below would receive an “E” grade for the course.

Policy on Reporting of Discipline
Consistent with the NACAC Statement of Good Principles of Practice and our strong belief in the integrity of the application process, St. Mark’s students are required to report all disciplinary infractions that result in suspension.

Turning the Tide
St. Mark’s School was one of two initial high school endorsers of the 2016 Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions report. We have since signed the Making Caring Common “High School Commitments” document.

College Matriculation: 2016–2018

Over the past three years, St. Mark’s students have chosen to attend the schools below. On average, students choose sixty different schools a year. Virtually all St. Mark’s graduates enroll in a four-year institution immediately upon graduation. Schools listed in bold have enrolled three or more St. Markers between 2016-2018.

American University

University of Amsterdam

Babson College

Barnard College

Bates College

Boston College

Boston University

Bowdoin College

Brandeis University

Brown University

Bryant University

Bryn Mawr College

Bucknell University

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, San Diego

University of California, Santa Barbara

Carleton College

Carnegie Mellon University

College of Charleston

University of Chicago

University of Cincinnati

Colby College

Colgate University

University of Colorado, Boulder

Connecticut College

University of Connecticut

Cornell University

Creighton University

Dartmouth College

Duke University

Elmira College

Emerson College

Emory University

ESADE Escuela Superior de Empresas (Spain)

Fairfield University

Florida State University

Fordham University

Franklin & Marshall College

George Washington University
Georgetown University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Gettysburg College

Hamilton College

Harvard University

Harvey Mudd College

Hobart & William Smith Colleges

College of the Holy Cross

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Ithaca College

Johns Hopkins University

The Juilliard School

Kennesaw State University

Kenyon College

Lafayette College

Lawrence University

Lewis & Clark College

Macalester College

University of Maine

Manhattan School of Music

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Miami University, Oxford

University of Michigan

Middlebury College

Mississippi State University

University of New Hampshire, Durham

New York University

Northeastern University

Northwestern University

Oberlin College

Oxford College of Emory University

University of Pennsylvania

Pitzer College

Pomona College

Princeton University

Providence College

Quinnipiac University

Rhode Island School of Design

University of Richmond

University of Rochester

Rollins College

Sacred Heart University

Saint Anselm College

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Michael’s College

Skidmore College

University of Southern California

Southern Methodist University

University of St. Andrews

St. Lawrence University

Stanford University

Stonehill College

Swarthmore College

Syracuse University

Trinity College

Tufts University

Tulane University

Union College

University of Vermont

University of Virginia

Wake Forest University

Washington College

Washington University in St. Louis

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wesleyan University

Whitman College

College of William and Mary

Williams College

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Yale-NUS College