Are you interested in earning high school credits next year (2024-2025) while in 8th grade?

St. Mary’s High School (SMHS) is excited to introduce our NEW Buccaneer Program to begin in the 2024-2025 school year, in coordination with our partner K-8 Catholic schools (Corpus Christi, Divine Redeemer, St. Gabriel, St. Paul, St. Peter). We invite students who will be in 8th grade in Fall 2024 to apply and take up to two (2) high school courses for high school credits while in 8th grade, during regular school time, and at no initial cost. Eligible students can earn high school credit(s) that will count towards high school graduation requirements. Credit(s) earned will be at no cost for those students continuing to attend St. Mary’s High School after 8th grade (see details below). Earned credits will appear on the student’s official transcript at the start of freshman year. Classes will be held at St. Mary’s High School during regular school hours.

What courses will be held?

Students who are accepted and enrolled in the SMHS Buccaneer Program will be eligible for an accredited high school math and/or world language course. Rising 8th grade students will work with our Counseling, Math, and World Language departments during the Spring 2024 semester for placement and scheduling (Date: TBD). A SMHS-proctored math test will be given to help identify and place eligible rising 8th graders in classes for math high school credit. No placement test is required for world language courses. All 8th graders who elect to take a world language will be enrolled in a first-year course (French I or Spanish I). All offered courses are 1-year (2 semester) courses and will meet daily (Monday through Friday) as scheduled in the SMHS calendar.

Is the Buccaneer Program right for my student?

Students who tend to do well in their math courses and genuinely seem to enjoy math are likely well-positioned to take a high school math course early. Placement into the appropriate high school math course will be determined by the student’s grade on a SMHS-proctored test along with the recommendation of the student's current math teacher. Student progress during the 2024-2025 school year will be carefully monitored by the St. Mary’s math department and our high school’s academic counselor. Regular attendance and completion of assignments on time is required. A mid-term exam is given in December, and a final exam is given in May.

Starting early in a world language course allows students to advance into higher levels of the world language and gives students a jumpstart on world language requirements for graduation, increasing their opportunities to take an AP course or an SAT subject test for that language. AP scores and SAT subject test scores may be approved by universities and colleges as college credit (see College Board website for details).

How does the Buccaneer Program help with scheduling future high school courses?

St. Mary’s Buccaneer Program is a great way to get an early start on high school and balance out the workload a bit. Students who earn high school credits while in 8th grade can build room in their high school schedules for higher levels of math, science, engineering, humanities, and other core or elective courses that may interest them. However, it is important to remember that all courses taken for high school credit become a permanent part of the official high school transcript, so you want to make sure your teen is academically ready for high school material.

How does my student earn a credit? What is the cost?

Students enrolled and taking high school level courses through the SMHS Buccaneer Program will earn credits free of charge, if they enroll and attend high school at St. Mary’s High School. If a student takes the course and then elects to attend another high school for 9th grade (in or out of Colorado), the cost of one full-year SMHS course and SMHS official transcript is $500. If a student takes two (2) courses, the cost for 2 full-year SMHS courses and SMHS official transcript is $1,000.

Time / Transportation

The Buccaneer Program will run during school hours on Monday through Friday as scheduled on the SMHS calendar. St. Mary’s High School will work with all of our partner K-8 Catholic schools for scheduling and times of classes as well as help with transportation needs. If you are a parent who is able to help with transportation, please indicate this on our registration form.


Students accepted and enrolled in the SMHS Buccaneer Program will be officially enrolling at St. Mary’s High School for the 2024-2025 school year while still being enrolled in 8th grade. Should the student wish to continue on into 9th grade (freshman year) at St. Mary’s, he/she has already been accepted and thus would only need to re-enroll. Students in the Buccaneer Program will be required to take the PSAT-8 placement test with other 8th graders in October 2024 ($25 testing fee).

How to Apply

  1. Use the link on the right side of this page to "Create a Parent Portal account".

  2. Log into your Parent Portal account and use your student's Checklist to upload requested documents and request teacher recommendations.

  3. Upon completion of the Checklist, the student's full application will be automatically forwarded to our Admissions Committee for review.

  4. Upon acceptance, the parents/guardians will be notified by email.

To apply for the SMHS Buccaneer program to begin Fall 2024,
please complete Steps 1 and 2 below.

Step 2:
Log into your Parent Portal account
to complete the items on your student's Checklist.