Student Life



Middle School Art

Middle school art classes offer progressive levels: Beginner (6th – 7th graders) and Basic (7th – 8th graders). These courses foster creativity, respect for artistic endeavors, and enhance drawing skills. Students experiment with diverse materials like oil pastels, charcoal, watercolors, acrylics, and clay, exploring pop art, portraits, landscapes, sculpture, and abstract styles. Projects showcase skill development, resulting in personalized artworks based on preferred materials.

Basic Art expands upon Beginner Art, allowing more individual choices and faster skill development. Projects maintain a focus on specific skills, styles, or materials while permitting room for improvement and personal choices.

Advanced Art, akin to Basic Art but with a quicker skill review, emphasizes discussions on materials, in-depth conversations about art concepts, themes, and goals. Students enjoy greater freedom in creating personal artworks, encouraged to develop their styles and ideas, considering pieces for potential high school portfolios.

Upper School Art (3rd – 5th Grade)

The program introduces comprehensive art education to foster exploration and skill development. Objectives include nurturing foundational skills, fostering creativity, appreciating diverse art forms, linking art to academics, and instilling a lifelong interest in the arts. In 3rd and 4th grade, students explore artists, styles, and materials to develop skills by emulating techniques. In 5th grade, the focus shifts to mastering complex elements of art creation, emphasizing craftsmanship and meaningful, personally valuable artworks.

Lower School Art (K-2)

Focuses on mastering fundamental elements, integrating art principles, and encouraging individual expression through diverse activities. Students explore specific artists or genres to inspire their creations, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Before transitioning to Upper School, students experiment with various artists, techniques, and mediums, nurturing an appreciation for art in their surroundings.

Early Childhood Art (3Y-PK)

Focuses on art basics to develop fine motor skills, engaging students in activities promoting dexterity and muscle development. Activities inspired by artists and techniques encourage creativity, combining imagination with critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun learning environment.


5th Grade Band

Students in 5th grade explore different instruments to find their best fit for the Middle School Band program. They learn instrument basics, music reading, pitch identification, fingering techniques, and rhythm understanding. The year culminates in a Spring Concert.

Middle School Band

This program builds upon previous skills, refining percussion, brass, and woodwind instrument mastery. Students aim to become adaptable musicians prepared for high school band. They tackle challenging music for a Christmas Concert in the first semester and a Spring Concert at year-end.


In grades six and seven, students can opt for Theater Exploratory, a technical theater course covering play study, design, and production. It involves scenery, stage painting, lighting, sound design, costume creation, and sewing. They also help build and paint sets for the Theater Performance class, gaining backstage experience in school productions.

In seventh and eighth grades, students engage in Theater Performance, focused on fall plays and spring musicals. The class includes character exploration, improvisation, and auditions for roles. All students contribute onstage or backstage, assisting in character development, set creation, costumes, props, and as stage managers or sound operators.


Our Lady of Mercy’s choral program focuses on fostering strong vocal technique, enhancing aural and ensemble skills, and nurturing overall musicianship. Students engage in a repertoire-based approach, honing technical and expressive abilities while fostering a passion for singing. The Middle School Choir, open to grades six through eight, encourages students to refine their singing and performance skills. Fifth graders are invited to join the Beginning Choir. Students benefit not only from musical growth but also teamwork and collaboration, as they work towards shared objectives. Weekly liturgy leadership and mandatory after-school performances are core aspects of the program. Additionally, membership in associations like LMEA District IV and LAACDA allows students to participate in auditions and festivals, an opportunity highly recommended. The curriculum emphasizes standards-based learning as well as nurturing individual abilities in creating, connecting, and performing music. Students develop discrimination skills to appreciate musical nuances, performing diverse ensemble pieces with authenticity and skilled musicianship. The course covers various choral performing skills, including teamwork, posture, breath control, music theory, tone development, intonation, expression, phrasing, and musicianship.


Early Childhood

Focused on socialization and movement, the Early Childhood music curriculum emphasizes listening, singing, and moving to songs. Children play simple rhythm instruments and develop motor skills while enjoying musical games. They explore using hoops and scarves and learn seasonal and religious songs, emphasizing values like faith and friendship. Students engage in rhythm challenges using various instruments, progressing to more complex notes aided by puppets.

Lower School

The Lower School curriculum takes a technical approach, introducing musical notation through letters and numbers while utilizing puppets to teach note values and rhythm on percussion instruments. Emphasizing religious and seasonal songs, it instills values of faith and friendship. As students advance, they delve deeper into rhythm, notation, and note reading, transitioning from animal sounds to syllables like Ta and Ti using the KODALY method. Progressively, they learn to read notes on the music staff and practice writing and reading music through the KODALY system, consolidating skills in note reading, writing, pitch identification, and note values.

Upper School

Upper School music cultivates independent musicianship by building upon lower-grade listening and singing skills while exploring beat, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo. The curriculum extensively delves into orchestral instruments, teaching their mechanics, playing techniques, and their role in the orchestra’s tonal palette. Folk tales and music are studied, elucidating how instrument timbres illustrate storytelling elements.

By fourth grade, students delve into music notation to prepare for playing the recorder. They review note values, practice counting with varying time signatures, and familiarize themselves with treble and bass clef note names. Post-Christmas, students receive a recorder and engage in the Recorder Karate program, mastering a melody instrument. This hands-on experience allows them to witness the culmination of their learning in rhythm and melody, seeing how these elements harmonize in their own instrumental performance.


In the Computer Lab, students explore the digital world and emerging technologies in a guided and collaborative environment. Emphasizing critical thinking, the curriculum focuses on computer science, responsible internet usage, and app practices. Students also develop discernment in navigating news and social media platforms. Using advanced curricula, grades 2-5 learn computer science and programming basics.

In the Media Arts program, students learn core principles and practical applications of digital media and web design. Engaging in imaginative projects involving video, photography, animation, and audio/video production, they explore various facets of media arts. Throughout the year, students utilize diverse web-based tools and software to enhance their learning.

Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab offers a comprehensive STEM education from first to eighth grade. Our goal is to create a strong STEM program that enhances students’ grasp of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We aim to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity while preparing them for future STEM careers or sparking a lasting interest in these fields.

Starting in first grade and continuing through eighth grade, our program in the Innovation Lab emphasizes hands-on experiences, collaborative projects, and practical applications. Our objective is to motivate and involve students, arming them with crucial skills and knowledge to excel in a tech-centric world.

In middle school, students can choose the Innovation Lab as one of their electives, enabling them to expand upon earlier learning. The curriculum delves deeper into STEM, encouraging hands-on exploration and empowering students to showcase their understanding through project-based learning.

Physical Education

Lower School (3Y-2)

This curriculum focuses on developing students’ grasp of gross and locomotor skills, movement patterns, and essential strategies for various physical activities to promote physical literacy. It combines structured lessons with student-chosen activities to encourage teamwork, support among peers, respect for differences, and inclusive behavior. The primary goal is to foster enjoyment of physical activity as a form of personal expression. 

Upper School (Grades 3-8)

This program aims to improve students’ motor skills in both individual and team sports, emphasizing movement patterns and vital strategies for various physical activities. It also emphasizes understanding fitness concepts and participating in activities that support health-related fitness while ensuring emotional and physical safety. Students will further explore self-chosen physical activities to encourage teamwork, support among peers, respect for differences, and inclusive behavior, aiming to discover happiness and self-expression through physical pursuits. 


Our Lady of Mercy School prioritizes building a strong foundation in the Spanish language from grades 2 to 5. Starting in 2nd grade, students will master all 30 Spanish letters and digraphs, progressing to learn colors, numbers, and basic conversation skills. This progression continues through upper school, culminating in the development of conjugation abilities in middle school. Our aim is not only to cultivate proficient language learners but also to instill an appreciation for diverse cultures and languages. Following 5th grade, Spanish becomes an elective course available in grades 6 to 8, offering beginner, basic, and advanced levels.


The library’s primary goal is to support students’ success in a changing world by enriching the school’s curriculum, instruction, research, and service. Working closely with faculty and students, it actively contributes to teaching, learning, and research at the school. Offering various resources such as books, ebooks, and tech tools, the library aims to meet both student and faculty academic needs. By encouraging exploration of diverse genres, participation in Accelerated Reader (AR) tests, conducting research, and hosting engaging book discussions, the library creates an inviting atmosphere that fosters a genuine love for reading. Additionally, it manages and maintains its collection of materials.