The mission of St. Mary’s Academy Charter School is to establish a challenging curriculum taught in a safe, nurturing, educational environment where children are free to reach their fullest potential.
Students at St. Mary’s Academy Charter School will achieve academic excellence, act as responsible citizens and have a strong moral foundation. The long-range vision of St. Mary’s Academy Charter School is to prepare students for the challenges that they will meet living in the 21st Century. In order to accomplish this, the school will have rigorous academic standards, a code of student conduct, and parental support.
In 1896, St. Mary’s Catholic School was created by the order of Sisters of Divine Providence of San Antonio and the parish of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The school was the first in Beeville eventually becoming St. Joseph’s Catholic School. For years the school was the largest private school in Beeville serving local and military families. In the 1990’s Chase Field was closed and several years of drought and a drop in the Oil Industry practically crippled the Beeville economy. St. Joseph’s persevered through the decade by merging with Our Lady of Victory. The name was changed back to St. Mary’s Academy. Economic uncertainty and the arrival of area prisons increased the demand for alternative schools but did not provide the means to serve those needs.
The decision was made to apply for public charter school status. In 2000, a charter application was written and presented to the Texas Education Agency. This charter was approved by the state education agency and the St. Mary’s Academy Charter School opened its doors as a public school for the 2001 - 2002 school year. The goal of serving the need of the large economically disadvantage population without regard to their ability to pay tuition was realized.
St. Mary’s became a public school receiving public money and is no longer a Catholic school but leases property from the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. A symbiotic relationship that has proven beneficial to both organizations. St. Mary’s must follow most federal and state laws and regulations governing other public schools, including STAAR testing, attendance reporting, Special Education services, free and reduced lunch programs, etc. Although St. Mary’s as a charter school receives public monies, charter schools only receive approximately 60% of the amount given to traditional public schools.
Proudly, St. Mary’s Academy Charter has consistently improved school state test scores, and has received recognition as a model charter school. St. Mary’s is an Exemplary school in Texas. St. Mary’s is proud to be the very first charter school to be a Blue Ribbon School in Texas.