Academics

De Smet Jesuit’s curriculum is designed to challenge a broad range of student abilities while maintaining a rigorous, college-prep learning environment for each student. We are committed to meeting each student where he is academically. This commitment to serving all of our students is evident in their academic performance.

An honors program is offered to gifted students, including courses in math, English, foreign language, social studies, fine arts and science. Honors courses are then weighted when calculating grade-point average, and many are accepted as college credit. Taking honors courses pays off, too - as our honors students average a score of 31 on the ACT.

Our course offerings also include traditional college preparatory courses and courses for students who need more focus on the fundamentals. We have a full-service learning center for students who have mild to moderate learning differences but are also college bound.

You will be in a top-tier academic program. Compare our performance numbers to other high schools, and you’ll see where we deliver academically.

  • 31 – Average honors student ACT score
  • 25 – Average ACT score school-wide
  • 130 – Number of college credit hours offered
  • 10:1 – Student-teacher ratio
  • 77% of the Class of 2015 earned a college scholarship

Your son will graduate prepared for college. He’ll know how to study, how to do homework, how to manage his time, how to collaborate with classmates, and when to turn to teachers or other resources for help. Moreover, he’ll have the grades, skills and resume that will help him get into the college of his choice and allow him to pursue the academic major of his choice.

Your son will have a balanced high school experience. Homework is part of the learning process, but too much homework is a disservice to your son and your family. Too much of a good thing applies to co-curriculars and athletics alike. De Smet Jesuit’s balanced approach to academics, religious formation, community service, athletics and clubs helps us form well-rounded graduates.

Your son will be educated in a positive, focused atmosphere, free of the distractions found in many of today’s high schools. Your son’s classmates will share his values in academics, faith, recreation and family, and they understand that college is the next step. Every student values his education and takes it seriously.”

Your son will receive individualized attention and encouragement. One guiding characteristic sums up our approach at De Smet Jesuit, which enables the school to provide an outstanding education and four-year experience for young men: cura personalis. It’s a Latin term that means “care for the whole person.” Not every student comes from the same background or shares the same interests. Not every student learns at the same pace or through the same teaching method. If, for example, he enters our school with lackluster math grades, he will have the opportunity and guidance to work his way to Honors math courses. Your son will not be a statistic in a school district’s files.

Your son will receive a Jesuit education. A Jesuit-educated student develops a perspective well-suited for today’s evolving challenges and opportunities. “I didn’t fully understand the benefits of a Jesuit education for my son until after he settled in at De Smet,” said a former parent. “They [the Jesuits] get it,” she added. “Jesuits believe that prayer is complemented by actions of love. They are pragmatists and problem solvers. They’ve been called “God’s Marines.”

Your son will become a “Man for Others” by learning the value of giving back to his fellow man. Students are taught to understand that talents are gifts to be developed, not for self-satisfaction or self-gain, but rather, with the help of God and for the good of the human community. De Smet Jesuit offers a four-year, comprehensive service program which encourages students to become centered on others.


Hybrid Class Schedule

Weekly classes are organized using a hybrid schedule, a system proven very successful at De Smet Jesuit; it combines the best qualities of the block system with the advantages of traditional class schedules.

Under the block system used by other schools, students take fewer courses per semester with longer class periods. While this allows the student to focus on only four or five subjects per semester, we’ve found that the longer daily class periods – up to 90 minutes – rarely result in a full 90 minutes of productive learning. Furthermore, the block system limits the number of subjects a student can take continually from semester-to-semester, which can lead to a loss of skills. Foreign language skills, for example, suffer measurably when a student is away from the subject for a semester or two. On the other hand, traditional class periods – about 45 minutes – offer an efficient learning period and more subjects covered in a day, but sometimes don’t allow for deeper immersion or occasional learning events, such as science experiments.

De Smet Jesuit’s hybrid schedule gives the student the best of both systems – the optimum number of subjects per semester, while providing one longer period per week per subject. Ultimately, this approach maximizes classroom time, and provides the instructor with more options for teaching.


The Technology We Use

De Smet Jesuit is committed to providing a complete educational experience for our students, which includes using technology to help them reach their maximum learning potential. The De Smet Jesuit graduate enters society with more than just an excellent education; he is prepared to engage in a dynamic world where technology is at the forefront.

Upon enrolling at De Smet Jesuit, students lease a tablet PC, a laptop with modifications designed especially with students in mind. The tablets feature a pen and multi-touch display for efficient navigation of applications, as well as speech/audio recognition. Plus, its size makes for easy portability and more desk space.

Beyond De Smet JesuitAs one of the most technologically advanced schools in the area, De Smet Jesuit’s entire campus features a state-of-the-art wireless network, providing 24/7 access inside and outside the classroom. Technology abounds, with SMART Boards and wireless projectors in every classroom and a computerized music lab. De Smet Jesuit uses Moodle, an online course management system that allows students and teachers to enhance the 1:1 computer program and provides a forum for direct teacher-to-student/parent dialogue. Through Moodle, teachers can distribute and collect course material, and set up a variety of learning activities such as forums, quizzes, questionnaires, wikis and more in a safe secure manner.


Preparing our students for success in college is paramount to our mission. More than 99% of our graduates go on to college – many of them to top universities, from the Ivy League to the West Coast. While many choose Jesuit universities and out-of-state colleges, you’ll find our alumni on every University of Missouri campus and at other colleges across the state.

Honors students average ACT score: 31

School average ACT score: Over 26

College credit hours offered: More than 130

Student body (2015): 780

Number of zip codes our students come from: 71

Number of doctorates on faculty: 7

Student-teacher ratio: 11:3:1

Percentage of the Class of 2015 who earned a college scholarship: 79

Total number of scholarships awarded to the Class of 2015: 742

Total value of scholarships awarded to the Class of 2015: More than $21 million

Percentage of graduates who go on the higher education: 99%

Percentage of graduates who go on to a 4-year college: 99%

It seems we did a lot more writing at De Smet than my college classmates did at their high schools. When we’re given writing assignments, such as essays, the writing comes a lot easier to me..
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Steve Aubuchon, Santa Clara University

With each student having their own tablet computer at De Smet, it’s so nice that we can communicate with our teachers with email during and after school hours, and turn stuff in online.
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Nate Bira, Junior