Academic Programs to Help Your Child Thrive

Students at Mount Merici Academy experience small class sizes and individual attention from our faculty members. Our students are encouraged to work together and ask questions freely.  Students are educated in the Ursuline tradition, with emphasis on nurturing the whole child – mind, body and spirit.

The following is a brief overview of each program, Nursery School through Grade 8:

3, 4 or 5-day program, 3 hours, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for children ages 3-4 years-old.

The Mount Merici Nursery School program offers a stimulating and creative environment in which children will enter their first educational experience in a comfortable and wholesome manner. The nursery school program provides a balanced curriculum of skills through age-appropriate activities in a structured setting, while at the same time making learning fun for the children. All children will have the opportunity to experience success when interested in, and capable of, achieving skills above standard age expectations. The curriculum will cover all aspects of a child’s development: physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional. Daily activities are introduced to reinforce the developmental skills that lay a foundation for future academics.

Nursery School Curriculum

The curriculum will cover the following areas:

  • Reading Readiness
  • Math Readiness
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Visual Discrimination
  • Visual Motor Discrimination
  • Language Development

Reading Readiness:

To establish a basis for understanding the beginning concepts of reading by…

  • Recognizing uppercase letters
  • Recognizing lowercase letters
  • Recalling specific details in a story

Math Readiness:

To establish a basis for understanding the beginning concepts of math by…

  • Recognizing shapes
  • Recognizing colors
  • Recognizing numbers
  • Sorting objects by color, size, & shape
  • Counting to 10
  • Matching objects
  • Counting objects to 5
  • Color patterns
  • Classifying objects

Fine Motor Skills:

To improve small muscle abilities by…

  • Tracing
  • Coloring
  • Painting
  • Cutting
  • Stringing beads
  • Making 8 piece puzzles
  • Buttoning 1 large button
  • Snapping

Gross Motor Skills:

To improve large muscle abilities by…

  • Marching
  • Catching a rolled ball
  • Walking backwards
  • Jumping
  • Hopping on 2 feet
  • Running for 1 minute
  • Throwing a ball 5 feet
  • Alternating feet down steps

Visual Discrimination:

To perceive and express relationships of…

  • Bigger/smaller
  • Taller/shorter
  • Longer/shorter
  • Same/different
  • Copying a color, size, & shape sequence
  • Fast/slow

Visual Motor Coordination:

To develop eye/hand coordination by…

  • Connecting dots on a straight line
  • Copying a circle
  • Copying a cross
  • Connecting dots on a curved line
  • Connecting dots on an angular line
  • Tracing their name
  • Recognizing their first name
  • Copying the letters in their name

Language Development:

To increase vocabulary by naming words associated with…

  • Classroom objects
  • Fire safety
  • Body parts
  • Winter/summer items
  • Feelings
  • Farm animals
  • Zoo animals
  • Traffic safety
  • Items of transportation


Children will experience the presence of God through prayer, bible stories, and hands-on art activities. The students will learn how to develop good habits such as courtesy, respect, kindness, helpfulness, cooperation, responsibility, and also how to get along with others and to respect one another through cooperative play.

Science/Social Studies:

Students are introduced to science through the following topics: weather, seasons, animals, night/day, the body, the five senses, plants, sink/float, butterflies, magnets, personal hygiene, and living/non-living things.

Students are introduced to social studies through the following topics: holidays, fire safety, families, community helpers, feelings, and traffic safety.

Nursery School Students also go to the library once a month, meet with their Book Buddies (3rd grade students) once a month, and also participate in special school-wide programs, including the annual Christmas Concert/Nativity Program, the All Saints Day Carnival, the Curriculum Fair, and all school-wide service projects.

Morning and After School Care services are available. Contact us for more information!

Half-day program for children ages 4 and 5
Mount Merici’s Pre-K program provides a warm, caring environment that fosters love, independence, creativity and respect for each other and the world around us. In addition to the many classroom activities, students also participate in a variety of special school-wide programs, including the annual Spring Musical, All Saints Day, Curriculum Fairs and others. Students especially enjoy the Pen Pal Program, where each student is linked with a fourth grade “pen pal” for various activities throughout the year.

Pre-K also attends the school’s weekly Friday Assembly, where students Pre-K through Grade 8, faculty, staff and parents gather together in the gym for announcements, Pledge of Allegiance and prayer. Celebrating every student, a child from each class is recognized at our weekly assembly and shares with the school how he/she serves with a heart like Jesus.


As a prerequisite to coming to know God, it is important for students to know and appreciate themselves and how special they all are.

Readiness Experiences

Students will have opportunity to:

  • Participate in large group activities
  • Practice responsibility
  • Be able to take care of his or her own needs
  • Exercise self-control
  • Respect the needs and right of others
  • Learn and accept class routine
  • Follow simple directions

Language Experiences

Students will have opportunity to:

  • Recognize his/her first and last name when heard
  • Recognize his/her first name when printed
  • Enjoy and understand stories read to him/her
  • Follow oral directions (one-two-and three step)
  • Use complete sentences when making a statement or asking a question
  • Participate in group discussion
  • Recall details of oral communication
  • Participate in group recitation of finger play and nursery rhymes
  • Participate in plays, skit, puppetry and other types of drama
  • Develop individual stories through picture
  • Say full name, address and telephone number

Mathematical Experiences

Students are introduced to math through the use of concrete materials. Students learn mostly by hands-on and visual manipulatives. Students will have opportunity to:

  • Sort and classify objects in numerous ways
  • Develop a sense of pattern
  • Understand the counting order
  • Make comparisons in size, measurement, etc.
  • Recognize basic numbers by sight 1-20


The children will develop understanding of themselves and their environment through concrete experience. Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Explore their five senses
  • Observe changes in weather
  • Compare forms of plant and animal life
  • Gain respect for their environment
  • Develop an understanding of their own growth
  • Become aware of the living things around us

Social Studies

Students will have the opportunity to experience the following as they learn to become better citizens:

  • Learn to recognize their place in the family
  • Develop a positive self concept
  • Child Lures Child Safety program will be introduced to the children to help guide them in learning about their personal safety.

Physical Education

Students will gain commitment to personal health and well being through activities that require them to share with others and participate in large group activities. Emphasis is placed on gross motor skills, cooperation, sharing and respect for others.


Pre-Kindergarten students will have many different opportunities to express themselves through a variety of materials. (Finger-paints, watercolors, colored chalk, glue, crayons, clay, etc.) This is an enjoyment period for the students and gives them more ways of expressing themselves.


The children enjoy singing and hands-on experiences with musical instruments. Students learn to appreciate music as an art and a way of expressing themselves.

Mount Merici Academy offers a full-day Kindergarten program, providing a caring, and God-centered learning environment where children feel safe to ask questions, take chances, and have fun learning! We believe that each child reaches developmental milestones at different stages. Our philosophy focuses on offering a developmentally appropriate environment, one that is right for the students’ stages of development.

Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to explore their environment, make choices about their activities and meet the needs and interests of each individual student.


Religion is a special subject that is taught in a comfortable atmosphere where the children share their love of God and the world around them. We use the Faith First textbook for our Religion Curriculum.

Reading & Writing

  • Letter Recognition – upper & lower case
  • Beginning and ending letter sounds
  • Developing listening comprehension & memory
  • Language stimulation – oral & written
  • Plurals
  • Punctuation Marks
  • Sight Words (A, go, I, to, etc.)
  • Snapshot writing
  • Letter formation
  • Decoding print words
  • Left to right
  • Literature appreciation and comprehension
  • Inventive spelling
  • Phonemic & phonological awareness


  • Shapes
  • Sizes
  • Counting
  • Sorting & Classifying
  • Patterning
  • Comparing
  • Graphing
  • Measuring
  • More or Less
  • Writing numbers
  • Recognizing number words
  • Addition and subtraction readiness

Science & Social Studies

Science and Social Studies are integrated into the Reading, Writing, and Math Curriculum. Students are introduced to Science with topics such as our senses, the seasons, environmental awareness, weather and colors. We also do a specific unit on the life cycles of butterflies and sun flowers! In Social Studies, students learn about being community helpers, holidays, and are introduced to “our world”.

Kindergarten students also participate in weekly French and Computer instruction, as well as school-wide service projects.

First grade is a big year for students! Continuing in our philosophy to make children feel valued and unique, Mrs. Lowell teaches to students’ individual needs and learning styles. Children work in a Christ-centered learning environment where they will grow spiritually, socially, emotionally and intellectually. First grade focuses on student strengths in all aspects of learning. We believe that by modeling positive decision- making, we can guide children in making their own positive choices.


Students learn about the amazing gifts that God has given us, and how we take care of these gifts. Children will learn how Jesus showed us how to treat others with kindness. Students will learn that Jesus gave us information and taught us how to live.


Children develop understanding and insight of the patterns of mathematics through the use of manipulatives. Problem solving skills are taught with all math topics, which include: patterns, sorting, classifying and graphing, counting, learning place value, counting money, addition and subtraction, fractions and geometry.


Students learn to read using various strategies: decoding words phonetically; using picture clues; and using context clues. Children strengthen comprehension skills with group discussion and individual reading response activities. They work daily with first grade phonics skills and use various leveled books to meet their individual needs. We make reading fun!


Students will learn to read and spell high-frequency words and learn phonetically the patterns which allow them to decode and spell many words. Spelling lists will be composed of ten words (four high frequency words and six phonetically patterned words). Children will receive a weekly spelling list on Mondays to practice at home and in school. A spelling test is given weekly. The goal is for students to begin using more conventional spelling as the year progresses.


Writing in first grade is fun, as students draw from personal experiences! Children use “invented” spelling and progress toward conventional spelling. Writing to communicate is integrated throughout the curriculum. Students have the opportunity to share their writing with teachers and classmates. We use the “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum where children will progress to learn correct letter formation habits.


Students learn to make observations and predictions as they are involved in experience-based lessons. We bring abstract concepts to a concrete level with experiments and activities. First and second graders cycle through a two-year science curriculum. Included in the two- year cycle are: Life cycles, Five Senses, Electricity, Simple Machines, Plants, Animals, Magnets, Solar System and Weather.

Social Studies

Students learn about the following topics and connect what they learn to their own personal experiences: Careers/Community, Holidays, Map/Globe Skills, State of Maine, and Cultures around the World.

Child “Lures” Safety Program

First graders are encouraged to trust their instincts and role-play ways to stay safe in various situations by participating in the Child Lures Safety Program. By the end of the program, children will have practiced and role-played ways to remain safe in situations that related to the assistance, bribery, pet, name recognition and emergency lures.

Grade 1 students also participate in weekly French and Computer instruction, as well as Physical Education, Art, Music and school-wide service projects.

Grade 2 is filled with new and exciting opportunities for academic and social growth! It is also a special year as our Catholic students prepare for and receive the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. We continue in our philosophy of providing students with a safe, stimulating and accepting environment which fosters an awareness and opportunity to practice Christian values.


Students learn about all the many things God has given us and what we can do to take care of these gifts. While all religious education is provided at Mount Merici Academy, we work in collaboration with area parish programs in preparation for receiving the Sacraments.


Reading is fun in second grade! Students are grouped by level and degree of competence and work to progress from their beginning level in reading. We learn about vowel sounds, contractions and compound words to improve reading skills. Second graders begin sequencing story events, increasing their vocabulary and greatly improve their reading for meaning.


Students work to gain competence in written communication. Second graders write in journals, write and share their stories, using fellow students as editing tutors! We begin with child-invented spelling of the words and work toward conventional spelling.


In second grade, students explore letter/sound combinations and finding successful ways to study and learn words. We use a list of words commonly used in children’s writing. Each child will have a list of words to take home and practice for a weekly test.


Second grade math is taught using the Scott Foresman – Addison Wesley Program. Students explore basic number concepts with a focus on geometry, fractions, graphing, patterns, estimating and problem solving. The class will learn addition and subtraction to 18, working with numbers to 100, telling time and counting and using money. Our goal is to also experience addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Social Studies

Social studies is a literature-based trip around the world. We use literature to explore culture and life in our world and in other parts of the world and incorporate map reading activities and geographic terms with each new unit.


Second graders participate in weekly gym class. They do not change clothing, but do require sneakers. Girls are required to wear shorts under their uniform.

Child Lures Program

The Child Lures School Program is designed to teach students personal safety skills that will enable them to take an active and necessary role in protecting themselves from crimes against children. This program strives for a balance that will preserve as much of the innocence and optimism of childhood while making students aware of potentially dangerous people and situations.

Second grade students also participate in weekly French and computer instruction, Art and Music and school-wide service projects.

When students reach third grade, they enter into new and exciting learning possibilities! Mount Merici helps guide students to become more complete individuals. Their spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth is dependent upon an educational system that acknowledges that individualism and teaches students at appropriate rates and patterns of growth. Our goal is to help each child advance their ability in every aspect of their education, while fostering a strong sense of self-worth and accomplishments. The year is filled with amazing opportunities for learning in a fun, respectful and safe environment.


Students participate in religious education in the classroom as well as school-wide Catholic celebrations and observances. Third graders will attend Mass at school, and with the community at local Catholic churches. They will participate in several service projects and have daily experiences in living Christian values.


Students are engaged in daily activities and lessons in understanding numbers; place value to hundred thousands; addition to regrouping with 4-digits; subtraction with regrouping; multiplication and division facts; fractions; decimals; introduction to geometry and basic shapes; telling time and counting and figuring money.

Language Arts

Language Arts will engage students in using language to narrate, persuade, inform, imagine, create and research. Third graders learn about the writing process, study skills, and grammar and usage. They have daily activities in penmanship instruction and writing workshop activities through monthly book reports.


In addition to chapter book assignments, students participate in silent reading and student/teacher-guided reading instruction, individual conferencing, class read-aloud and related activities and phonics units. They also have lessons on blends, decoding, prefixes/suffixes, syllables, phonemic awareness and letter and sound recognition.


Third grade spelling curriculum includes a weekly word list of 10 to 12 core words from relevant word families and content areas. Daily activities to practice and reinforce spelling include sentence writing, word pyramids, word searches, riddle-building and phonetic connections. Children are responsible for learning and using a building list of high-use daily writing words in class and homework assignments. There are weekly spelling tests and additional assignments for students ready for challenge and enrichment.

Science/Social Studies

Third grade science and social studies are taught in multi-week units. In science, students will learn about life, physical and earth science, as well as a study of the human body, solar system, weather and other topics. In social studies, we learn about communities, government, history, mapping skills, geography and land forms, to name a few.

Child Lures Program

Child Lures Program is presented annually to reinforce personal safety, awareness of protecting their bodies and feelings and promoting self-esteem. Students are involved in the Quest Program, learning cooperation, conflict management, social skills and other age-appropriate social and emotional development activities.

Third graders also participate in weekly music sessions, French, physical education, computer instruction and school-wide service projects.

In fourth grade, student learning is guided through a variety of teaching activities that not only present curriculum, but also teach academic discipline, creativity, and life skills. Children are discovering themselves and their place in the world. The development of self-confidence and esteem are critical. The encouragement to develop new strengths and enhance talents increases the self-worth of children. When children are happy they believe in themselves and are able to reflect that image onto others. In fourth grade, students have a better understanding of their capacity for kindness, compassion, patience, and understanding of others.


Religion is taught by Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Fourth graders learn about their faith in God, sharing in Christ’s life and wok, living a moral life, praying in the name of Jesus and liturgical studies. Students participate in daily prayer and school-wide Liturgies, service projects and daily experiences in living Christian values.


The reading program is based on structured skill development with the emphasis on comprehension. Small group novels and whole class novels are used. Class discussions, activity sheets, and projects guide the practice and learning of the skills. Reading is a skill that is learned only through active practice; therefore, reading at home is expected.


In fourth grade, parts of speech, sentence formation & punctuation are studied. In writing we use the snapshot approach to practice revision and editing techniques to enhance students writing abilities to clearly and expressively communicate students’ thoughts. Writing pieces include isolated paragraphs for varied purposes and multi-paragraphing.


The school subscribes to the Saxon Math program and its incremental development approach. This program will be enhanced with math games and skill and drill activities in addition and subtraction, multi-digit multiplication, division with remainder, place value to hundred millions, fractions, decimal, geometry and learning to use percent. Students also learn about elapsed time, money and problem solving skills.


The spelling program in fourth grade consists of three parts; spelling patterns, word parts and meanings, and content related words. A variety of in-class and homework activities will prepare students for their test. As much as possible, weekly words are given to students on Friday so that weekends are available to students for study and review over the weekend.

Social Studies

Students will study the five themes of geography and mapping skills. We will then delve into the regions of the United Sates. This will include learning where states are located and their capitals. We will study the interdependence of the regions, major landforms, and economy. Highlights from history and important people are studied.


Science is presented in an inquiry-based format. Learning activities include textbook reading, home projects, and research. Topics studied: plants, nutrition, oceans, and solar system.

Child Lures Program is presented yearly in a two-week format to reinforce personal safety, children’s awareness of protecting their bodies and their feelings, and promoting their self-esteem.

Fourth graders also participate in weekly music sessions, French, physical education, computer instruction and school-wide service projects.

Fifth grade is a special year where students grow academically, spiritually and emotionally in a safe and supportive environment. In addition to the year’s diverse educational curriculum, students look forward to participating in special activities, such as weekly service work with the Ursuline Sisters, becoming reading buddies with first graders, and performing in the annual Fifth Grade Play. Children learn crucial skills in studying, responsibility, respect for themselves and others, preparing them for Mount Merici’s sixth grade and beyond!

Social Studies

In Fifth Grade, students gain an important knowledge of United States History. Students will learn about Native Americans, Colonial America, the Revolutionary War, Lewis and Clark and the Civil War, and other time periods throughout the year. We make learning fun with various hands-on and home projects!


The year is filled with exploration of rocks and minerals, volcanoes, invertebrates and vertebrates! Students learn about the human body, its skeletal, muscular, circulatory and respiratory systems. Science gets really exciting with various experiences and projects learning about electricity.


The religion curriculum in Fifth Grade includes the use of the Faith First series by Resources for Christian Living. Students will be required to keep a reflective journal. The Papacy, lives of various Saints and people of the church will be explored.


Students read a variety of interesting novels, including The Lion the Witch and the Wordrobe, Ella Enchanted, Frindle, Holes, and Espiranza Rising as a whole class or in smaller reading groups. We will also be doing an author study on Roald Dahl and a unit on Shakespeare. Students create book report projects that focus on different genres including realistic fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, biographies, mystery and adventure.


Fifth grade offers students opportunity to improve and build upon their writing skills. Grammar units will be based on individual and class needs as evidenced in various writing projects.


The Saxon Math program will be used and enriched with various “Math Labs” that explore consumer mathematics, geometry, logic and mathematical problem solving.


Spelling is taught through individualized weekly spelling lists, accountability in everyday writing and vocabulary building. Fifth grade also explores Greek and Latin roots of words.

Fifth graders also participate in weekly music sessions, French, physical education, computer instruction and school-wide service projects.

Sixth grade is an exciting year for students, filled with amazing opportunities for their development intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. We believe each student is gifted, and should learn to celebrate those gifts with others. We encourage self-discipline, allowing students to begin relying more on their own good judgment. The academic curriculum is challenging, preparing students for higher learning, but taught in a comfortable environment conducive to learning new skills, and sharing ideas and dreams. Sixth graders live “Serviam” through weekly visits with their Kindergarten buddies and by participating in service work every Wednesday at the soup kitchen, senior center, food bank and in the classrooms. Teachers relate to students on important matters that go beyond factual information found in books, including discussions about truth and justice and feelings of respect, love, and compassion. The sixth grade experience is like no other!

Faith Sharing

The Sixth Grade religion curriculum includes real-life faith sharing, helping students become more comfortable with and knowledgeable of the Catholic Religion. We learn about informal prayer, meditation, the rosary, the Saints, Stations of the Cross, The Blessed Mother. Students will learn about Mass, the Ten Commandments and will discuss issues of today that concern young people. Students visit The Blessed Sacrament Church for Holy Hours quarterly and participate in school-wide liturgical services.


The Saxon curriculum offers an excellent guide for sixth grade math. Students will improve and build upon skills in working with whole number fractions, decimal operations, the number line, equations, algebra, problem solving and geometry.


Students read a variety of interesting books and complete several book reports throughout the year. We use trade books for the greater part of our reading program, but also do special units on poetry, short stories and Shakespeare. Language Arts combines a study of grammar, diagramming, writing, great literature, and poetry.


Areas of Study…

  • Living Things
  • Planet Growth and Responses
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Climate and Life
  • Stars in the Universe
  • History of Astronomy
  • Life on Earth
  • Code of Life
  • Variations in Life
  • Digging up the Past
  • Stories of Fossils
  • Building on the Past
  • Rainforest to Arctic
  • Light in the Ocean
  • Technology and You
  • Turning on the Power
  • Science and Industry
  • A sample Ecosystem, and more!

Social Studies

Areas of Study…

  • The World’s Geography
  • Early People
  • The Tigris and Euphrates Valley
  • The Nile valley
  • Asia and the Americas
  • Southwest Asian Civilizations
  • Asia’s Classical Age
  • The Ancient Greeks
  • The Ancient Romans
  • Europe after the Romans
  • Africa and Asia
  • The Americas
  • New Empires
  • The Growth of Trade
  • Europe and the Western Hemisphere
  • The Eastern Hemisphere
  • Times of Rapid Change
  • Times of War and Times of Peace
  • Global Challenges

Skills for Adolescence

Areas of Study…

  • Entering the Teen Years: The Journey of Adolescence
  • Building Self-Confidence and Communication Skills
  • Managing Emotions in Positive Ways
  • Improving Peer Relationships
  • Strengthening Family Relationships
  • Making Healthy Choices
  • Setting Goals for Healthy Living
  • Developing Your Potential

Weekly Service Work

  • Muskie Center
  • Soup Kitchen
  • Food Bank
  • In-School Service
  • Kindergarten Buddies

Sixth graders also participate in weekly music sessions, French, physical education, computer instruction and school-wide service projects.

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Academic programming consists of core grade level curriculums that are designed to build on subject area skills as each child progresses from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. Within each classroom there are levels of remediation and enrichment, as well as grade level instruction. Through our Saxon Math Program, Mount Merici Academy offers students an opportunity for advancement in Grades 3 through 8, including transitioning to the next grade level for advanced math placement.