Overstaffed and over-exaggerated. Great choice for socially competitive families and young ladies who don't mind stigmata. I attended MSM and hated every moment of its extreme feminism and not-so-Catholic ways. As an oddly liberal school, it's English courses were phenomenal. Math and science-- not so much. Expensive calculators and computers provide these failing departments with tools to pass tests, not to truly learn the material. Administration blindly handled issues between students and amongst staff. If you want a normal, non-threatening high school experience I do not recommend Mount Saint Mary Academy
I graduated from Mount in 2008. I didn't truly appreciate the education I received there until I was in college. I went to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and each and everyone of my English teachers (Composition 1, & 2 and World Literature 1 & 2) asked me where I went to High School because of how well I could write a paper and analyze literature (and poetry, etc.). I never struggled in any class where a large portion of my grade was dependent upon writing. Especially once I started 3000 level classes and above, I became very aware that the writing skills I learned at Mount were a cut above the rest. I actually ended up teaching a lot of my friends who didn't go to Mount, how to write papers, do a bibliography, etc. Science for me was the same way! I didn't have to spend a lot of time studying for my Biology, and Biological Anthropology classes/labs because I already knew most of what we had to know! I give a lot of credit to Mount for the fact that I was able to graduate college in 4 years (even with changing majors once) because a lot of people these days take over 4. Also, I am and have always been Protestant; I had no problems with going to a Catholic High School.
We have had a terrible experience at the Mount. My daughter has been cruelly bullied and the administration does not care. I have her in therapy trying to undo the damage. Come to find out that the therapist has treated MANY mount girls for the same reason. This school damages young women. Stay away from Mount.
The homework transition from freshman year to sophomore year was overwhelming. It killed my grade point the first nine weeks and lead to many nervous break downs. The social scene, I recall, was very cliquey. I will praise the principal for stopping the bullying when it was reported very quickly and the bullies were dealt with accordingly. Also, the appreciation of diversity and religious tolerance are not very well promoted. The only chance students get to learn about other cultures is one semester of Global Regions Freshman year and an elective class of World Religions their Senior year. To me, I would think that it would be beneficial to the students if they studied different World Religions and how they are alike and different to the Catholic faith all four years rather than hear the same things they learned in Sunday School or at their Catholic elementary school. The teachers also need to be more creative and excited about what they are teaching if they expect their students to listen. Most are either monotonous or expect the students to learn the subject matter themselves. Its an excelt school, but it needs much improvement.
Mt St Mary Academy is an excellent high school. We have had daughters there from 1997 through 2009. We sent our daughters there to prepare them academically for college and to have them grow as persons of character in a Christ-centered environment. We could not be more pleased with the outcome. MSM's academic strengths are the english and history depts. Math and Science are less strong, but have been improving in recent years. MSM's athletic program is also very good. If you want to see your daughter grow as a leader, sending her to an all-girls school like MSM is an excellent choice. Lots has been written about the benefits girls get from going to an all-girls high school. From personal experience, we found it to be true. Mount St Mary is an excellent place for girls to find out what kind of person they will become in life.
I do not believe the school is up to speed in math and science. The English Department seems to be a strong point of the school. I also think it was a mistake to abandon the AP program in favor of the IB program. Most full IB graduates will tell you that they would not recommend the program.
I am currently a senior at Mount St. Mary and I truly believe that becoming a 'Mountie' was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I have nothing but good things to say and I am proud to be a Mount student. It is because of Mount St. Mary that I have earned over $100,000 in scholarship offerings already and I don't even graduate for another six months. If you choose to send your daughter to Mount St. Mary Academy, you will never regret the decision and neither will she.
Both of my girs attended MSM and had an outstanding education that truly prepared them for the future. I am still active on the Board of Trustees because I appreciate as a parent the foundation they acquired under the Sisters of Mercy and outstanding faculty. I truly believe the Mount is the best Catholic and private school in Arkansas. -Charlene Kaminski