The Academy Program at Juan Diego Catholic High School

 

 

Purpose:

The purpose of the Juan Diego Academy (JDA) at Juan Diego Catholic High School is to provide a challenging academic curriculum that inspires the best from top students by:

  • providing a rigorous program of advanced courses (Honors and AP courses)
  • offering a variety of learning experiences that include seminars, internships, and study trips outside the school
  • allowing a flexible curriculum for students whose interest might be concentrated in a specific discipline

 

Composition:

Students who enter the JDA can choose between four courses of study (also referred to as Academies), each led by a faculty coordinator. They include the following:

  • Academy of Sciences (Dr. Christine Celestino)
  • Academy of Fine Arts (Mr. James McGee)
  • Academy of the Liberal Arts (Mr. Drew Trost)
  • AP Capstone (Mrs. Vanessa Jacobs)

 

Student participation:

Not counting underclassmen who are in the process of the various academy programs, last year’s senior class of 184 students (class of 2018) boasted 80 Academy students (42% of the class).

 

Average ACT Scores:

 

 

Basic academic experiences common across all four of the Academies

Although each of the Academies offer distinct experiences, they all have several key objectives in common. These include:

Coursework: Students will complete one of three Fine Arts AP Courses (AP Music Theory, AP Art History, AP Studio Art) and two or more years of advanced fine arts classes or ensembles to be selected from the following:

Advanced Art

Advanced Ceramics Sculpture Advanced Dance Dance Company Advanced Theatre
Wind Symphony Advanced Percussion Advanced Percussion Orchestra Concert Choir  


Students will also complete courses of study for each specific area of focus.

Extracurricular Participation: Students will complete the equivalent of three years of active participation in Fine Arts extracurricular activities. These activities may include:

Theatre Productions Art Shows Dance Concerts Musical Performances

 

Participation in an Accredited Fine Arts Festival: Students will qualify for and participate in one or more of the following as directed by the department mentor:

Region/State solo and ensemble

All-state Band/Orchestra/Choir Region/State Theatre
Utah Shakespeare Competition University Dance Workshop All-state Art Show


Service: As a part of their required JDCHS service hours, the student will perform service related to the arts including but not limited to:

Tutoring

Solo Performance Volunteer Work Within the Community


All service work must be approved by the department mentor.

Academy of Fine Arts Final Project: Students will prepare and create a cumulative final project in coordination with their department mentor. As outlined by their mentor, the project could include one of the following:

Solo Music Recital Dance Recital/Choreography Character Thesis Role
Theatre Technical Design Student-Directed One-Act Art Show

Each final project will be supported by in-depth research to be presented to a committee. Students wishing to receive Academy of Fine Arts designation on their transcripts must obtain faculty signatures for all of the above requirements by the end of the Fall semester of their Senior year.

AP Capstone™ at Juan Diego Catholic High School

The AP Capstone™ is an innovative new College Board Diploma program, designed in collaboration with leading colleges and universities, that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills they will need to succeed in higher education.

AP Capstone™ is built on the foundations of two AP® courses – AP® Seminar and AP® Research – and is designed to complement and enhance in-depth, discipline-specific work in four (4) other AP® courses. In AP® Seminar, students investigate both scholarly and contemporary issues from multiple perspectives, gathering and analyzing information from various sources in order to develop credible and valid evidence-based arguments.

In AP® Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research in order to produce and defend a scholarly academic thesis.

The AP Capstone™program aims to empower students by:

  • Engaging them with rigorous college-level curricula focused on the skills necessary for successful college completion
  • Extending their abilities to synthesize information from multiple perspectives and apply skills in new situations and cross-curricular contexts
  • Enabling students to collect and analyze information with accuracy and precision
  • Cultivating their abilities to craft, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments
  • Providing opportunities for students to practice disciplined and scholarly research skills while exploring relevant topics that appeal to their interest and curiosity

How it works:

This illustration provides an overview of the program structure, including thorough course performance assessments and written exams.

• Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP® Seminar and AP® Research and on four (4) additional AP® Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™.

• Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP® Seminar and AP® Research but not on four additional AP® Exams will receive the AP® Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Juan Diego students (including Freshmen) qualify to enroll in AP® courses based on their College Board Accuplacer Diagnostic® scores in Reading Comprehension and Sentence Skills and an advanced Lexile (reading level) score. Juan Diego administers the Accuplacer Diagnostic® exams & Lexile exam to all incoming students as their Educational Assessment Exam. Students take these exams each succeeding year.

Students pursuing the Capstone course track typically take AP® Art History their freshman year. Sophomore year they take AP® World History and AP® Seminar, two separate courses joined by a theme of in-depth writing, research, and oral presentations. Sophomores frequently take additional AP® Courses, such as Biology, Environmental Science, or Psychology. In their Junior year, students continue to hone their analytical reading, writing, and presentation skills in Capstone Theology, while pursuing additional AP® courses. Students round out their Capstone experience with an independent research project culminating in a research paper and an oral defense.

AP® courses offered at Juan Diego Catholic High School include:

AP Art History

AP Biology AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC AP Chemistry AP Comparative Government/Politics
AP Computer Science A AP English Language and Composition AP English Literature AP Environmental Science AP European History  AP French
AP Government/Politics: US AP Music Theory AP Physics 1 AP Physics 2 AP Physics C AP Psychology
AP Research AP Seminar AP Spanish AP Statistics AP Studio Art: 2-D Design AP US History
AP World History

 

    What Juan Diego Students Are Saying:

“We made many good friendships, and it proved to us that we were able to accomplish more than we could imagine.”

— William, Class of 2019

“I learned how to write less passively, find excellent sources, and create passion for a research project. I would recommend Capstone to an incoming sophomore because it is extremely interesting and challenging.”

— Abby, Class of 2019
    What Juan Diego Parents Are Saying:

“We want to commend Juan Diego not just for offering AP courses, which all high schools do, and are, in themselves, wonderful academic opportunities, but for staffing almost all the AP courses with quality educators. Our expectations have been exceeded by the quality educational opportunities that Juan Diego offers. . . . That being said, the AP Capstone program is icing on Juan Diego’s academic cake!”

— Tina and Rich Whittington

Juan Diego Academy of Fine Arts

Another important advantage available to Juan Diego students is that they may obtain a special Academy of Fine Arts designation on their student transcripts. The Academy of Fine Arts provides four areas of focus: Music, Visual Art, Dance, and Theatre. Each student will be assigned a mentor based on their area of focus to guide them through the process of completion. Students may enter the Academy of Fine Arts in either their Freshman or Sophomore year and must complete the following requirements to receive the Academy of Fine Arts designation:

Coursework: Students will complete one of three Fine Arts AP Courses (AP Music Theory, AP Art History, AP Studio Art) and two or more years of advanced fine arts classes or ensembles to be selected from the following:

Advanced Art Advanced Ceramics Sculpture
Advanced Dance Dance Company Advanced Theatre
Wind Symphony Advanced Percussion Orchestra

Students will also complete courses of study for each specific area of focus.

Extracurricular Participation: Students will complete the equivalent of three years of active participation in Fine Arts extracurricular activities. These activities may include theatre productions, art shows, dance concerts, and musical performances.

Participation in an Accredited Fine Arts Festival: Students will qualify for and participate in one or more of the following as directed by the department mentor:

Region/State solo and ensemble

All-state Band/Orchestra/Choir Region/State Theatre
Utah Shakespeare Competition University Dance Workshop All-state Art Show

Service: As a part of their required JDCHS service hours, the student will perform service related to the arts including but not limited to tutoring, solo performance, and volunteer work within the community. All service work must be approved by the department mentor.

Academy of Fine Arts Final Project: Students will prepare and create a cumulative final project in coordination with their department mentor. As outlined by their mentor, the project could include one of the following:

Solo Music Recital Dance Recital/Choreography Character Thesis Role
Theatre Technical Design Student-Directed One-Act Art Show

Each final project will be supported by in-depth research to be presented to a committee. Students wishing to receive Academy of Fine Arts designation on their transcripts must obtain faculty signatures for all of the above requirements by the end of the Fall semester of their Senior year.

Juan Diego Academy of Science

The Juan Diego Catholic High School Academy of Sciences is a specialized program of coursework within the JDCHS curriculum focused on developing students’ skills in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Students who complete the Academy of Sciences requirements receive recognition at the Academic Awards Ceremony at the end of the year and receive an Academy of Sciences designation on their JDCHS transcript. The designation indicates to colleges that the student has done exemplary and extensive work in STEM fields during their time at JDCHS. Please be aware that requirements have changed from previous years. The updated requirements are below.

1.  AP Coursework. 

  • Requirements: 3 AP STEM courses can be any combination of science, math, and technology. 

2.  Extracurricular Activities and Service.

  • Requirements: Regular attendance at monthly Academy of Sciences activities put on by the science department starting in November 2018

3.  Independent Research Project: 

  • Requirements: Students must complete a rigorous independent research project approved by the science department.

4.  Science Competition:

  • Requirements: Students must participate in a recognized science competition such as Intel Science and Engineering fairs or the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia.