Our Model of Education

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Formation Model of Education

The Four Pillars

Comprised of a multi-faceted approach, Stella Maris Academy educates the whole person described through the four foundational pillars of the Formation Model of Education.

Human Formation enables the student to embrace who they are as a person, made in God’s image. Solid moral character develops as they learn to understand the innate dignity of the human person.

Spiritual Formation enables the student to grow in faith and discover who they are as part of the Church, the Body of Christ. As they listen and learn as a disciple of Christ, they grow in union with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Intellectual Formation enables the student to gain wisdom through understanding: credo ut intelligam (I believe in order to know). Cultivation of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking fosters disciplined study habits that will serve them well into adulthood.

Stewardship Formation enables the student to serve the Body of Christ. It is Christian stewardship that comes forth from the integration of the other three pillars - human, intellectual and spiritual. The desire to love and serve one’s neighbor grows as students actively give of themselves through service projects, volunteer work and prayer.


Teaching Beyond Tests

Stella Maris Academy has comprehensive curricular outcomes that outline standards and criteria for students to successfully complete the educational program. Each school's curricular and instructional practices reflect the mission and philosophy of our school system.

  • Creative and innovative learning activities, both within school buildings and outside classroom walls.
  • Specialists and extracurricular opportunities enrich our educational program.
  • A variety of instructional practices allow teachers to accommodate multiple learning styles and needs.
  • Christian atmosphere of learning that respects the dignity of every person. It is in this safe environment that student learning is nurtured and student potential is realized.

Outstanding Academics

Stella Maris Academy and the entire Diocese has implemented a system of computerized adaptive testing through the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). This is called the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). MAP test scores provide a very useful look at student achievement, growth over time, instructional level and readiness to learn. Stella Maris Academy Students in first through eighth grade complete the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment three times a year (fall, winter, spring).  Students are assessed in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, and Language Usage (Grammar). The tests, which measure each student’s growth in learning, are aligned with the Minnesota state standards and Stella Maris Academy’s curriculum.

  • MAP results assist faculty to measure effectiveness in the classroom and to assist in continuous improvement of curricula.

  • Results also help teachers in meeting the educational needs of individual students and groups of students within our school communities.

  • Test results are recorded as percentiles that measure the performance of our students in relation to national student groups. Historically, our students perform in the top quartile of the national norms and 1.5 to 2.0 grade equivalents above their current grade placement.

    2017-2018 Academic Summary

  • Results from the 2017-2018 school year show our highest levels of performance in Reading and Language Usage.  Statistics are calculated for 2nd- 8th grade where all but one grade’s class averages were above the 90th percentile.  In mathematics, all but one of our grades performed above the 76th percentile, including two grades at the 81st percentile and three above the 90th percentile.

  • We also monitor the projected proficiency as it relates to the Minnesota State Standards and the state proficiency exams (MCA tests).  NWEA scores project the percentage of students in a particular grade that would pass the state proficiency standards. The scores also describe a student’s level of achievement in a particular subject which enables teachers to recognize where to focus attention for each child’s learning.  72.6% of our students meet or exceed the benchmark standards for reading (compared to 60.4% statewide average) and 70.2% of our students meet or exceed the benchmark standards for mathematics (compared to 57.7% statewide average).   


At Stella Maris Academy, teachers, students, and families are encouraged to use current technology as tools to advance learning and promote the sharing of information. Ongoing investments in computer hardware and software, lab facilities, classroom Internet access, wireless technology, audio/video equipment, and interactive whiteboards help our schools keep pace with the ever-changing world of technology.

We are committed to preparing our students for the high-tech world in which they live, providing them with a solid foundation and working knowledge of technology, plus an integrated curriculum, all in a faith-filled environment that positions them for measurable success in high school, college, and beyond.

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Arts, Athletics, and Clubs

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The Arts

At Stella Maris Academy, we believe that a comprehensive arts education will enhance the intellectual, spiritual, human, and social development of our students. We offer a variety of options including choir, band, orchestra, drama, and art.

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Our Stella Maris Academy athletics program continues to grow. We offer a variety of opportunities for boys and girls who want to be a part of a team and develop new skills. Soccer, cross country, basketball, martial arts, gymnastics, volleyball and tennis currently make up the Sentinel athletics program. We are excited for our athletics program to grow. Go Sentinels!


Clubs & Activities

Stella Maris Academy offers a variety of clubs and activities that promote interest, curiosity and development beyond the classroom. Students learn through experience and we are delighted to give our students a breadth of opportunities. We currently have a robotics club, student council, cooking club, discovery club, art club, literary luncheon club and Little Flowers. Look for more to come!

Learn More About Our Programs


three program options


Kindergarten - 4th Grade

Middle School

5th - 8th Grade

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