Arlington Catholic Academic Departments



At Arlington Catholic High School, we believe in higher learning. We believe we’re not just preparing students to reach their academic potential, but also to become responsible, caring adults. So along with science, history and math, we teach compassion, honesty and charity. And that takes education to the highest level.


Classics -Latin

Students at Arlington Catholic are required to take a minimum of two consecutive years of either a classical language (Latin) or world language (French, Italian or Spanish). However, as many colleges favor three to four years of a classical or world language, we encourage the study of a language beyond the minimum requirement.

Why study Latin, a “dead” language? For a start, Latin can help you improve your English vocabulary (50% of English words derive from Latin) and develop your understanding of grammar. Moreover, Latin is the language of law, science and Christian theology. By studying Latin, you also learn about the history and civilization of ancient  Rome.

Arlington Catholic  offers College Prep and Honors courses in Latin 1 and 2 as well as Honors Latin 3, Honors Latin Literature, and AP Latin.  

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Fine Arts

The spiral symbolizes Arlington Catholic's Art department. This universally positive symbol appears in the visual works of numerous cultures including Celtic art, Native American petroglyphs, Arabic architecture, Japanese rock gardens and African masks. It is also known to symbolize the evolutionary process of growing and learning. In terms of Spirituality, the spiral can represent the path from outer consciousness to the inner soul. As the arts are intrinsically valuable to all engaged learners, our classes integrate these various meanings as we begin the spiral journey with the basic principles of design and color theory. As our travel continues, students explore advanced artistic techniques and experiment with adding a deeper meaning to their work while applying their learned skills in creative problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources across academic subject areas. Just as the spiral may continue forever, our goal as an Art Department is to heighten curiosity and instill a life-long interest in all things creative.

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The infinity symbol represents the major goal of the math curriculum at AC – to create confident, life-long learners.  On one level, the curriculum is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT, to gain acceptance to college, and to succeed in their college classes.  On a deeper level, the math curriculum develops broad analytical skills that can be applied to problem solving beyond the math curriculum itself.  The strict logic involved in a geometric proof can help a student develop a coherent argument in any field such as law, business, science, or higher mathematics.  In fact, the training of the mind to master deep mathematical concepts develops the skills to “learn how to learn.”  These same skills will help students succeed in professions that require assimilating new and complex ideas, such as a programming language, challenging concepts in science, business, or in any field.  The big goal is to help students become life-long learners, to have the flexibility to choose and change careers, and not to be limited in that growth by lack of skills in fundamental math and problem solving.  How close we can come to reaching these goals depends on a student’s intellectual ability, work ethic, and motivation.

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The unbalanced scale demonstrates that we teach students science through actually doing science.  Students develop their data collection and analytical skills throughout their courses in the science department.  When data do not appear to "balance" with their preconceived notions, students are encouraged to think critically about their observations in order to come to a plausible conclusion.  Students are asked to take their findings and apply them to the greater picture- where and how does the information gathered in the sciences fit into the larger issues faced by societies around the world- environmental and resource issues as well as medical and ethical issues?

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Social Studies

The ultimate goal of Social Studies coursework at Arlington Catholic is for students to make positive contributions, based on knowledge and faith, to the world in which they live. Students gain a foundational understanding of various cultures in the ninth and tenth grade which allows them to have a greater understanding of the modern world. In the eleventh grade, students understand our own country and how they can be better citizens by studying themes of US History that extend across time periods. In the senior year students are able to choose from a variety of electives that allow them to develop a greater understanding of economic, legal, and psychological concepts that can inform their lives and help them think critically through the various lenses. We see the student’s positive contributions to the world as beginning in high school and encourage students to immediately apply their learning to their lives by getting involved in politics and service projects that make the United States and the world a better place for all to live.

The Social Studies Department seeks, in accordance with the philosophy of Arlington Catholic High School, to prepare our students for active participation in lifelong learning; to use that knowledge to stimulate social awareness from a Christian perspective; and to provide a solid foundation for future learning.

The Department fosters the development of critical thinking, discussion and writing skills on all levels. The use of technology is integral to our teaching and we are excited about the digital initiative and ways to use the iPad in the classroom.

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Studying Theology at Arlington Catholic High School can be a transformative experience. The Mobius strip represents the continuous interplay between the inner and outer aspects of our lives.  The creation of the self and society is an ongoing process that engages the mind, body and soul. Just as the Cross is at the center of the symbol, Catholic-Christian teaching informs all aspects of the curriculum.  We, in the Theology Department, are dedicated to challenging the mind, nurturing the heart and inspiring the spirit of our students.

Students are called:

  • To be critical thinkers who ask searching questions about meaning and values.
  • To recognize how studying theological and spiritual ideas is essential to understanding past and present societal issues.
  • To value the insights gained from introspection and examination of conscience.
  • To affirm the fundamental dignity of all human beings.
  • To advocate for the weak, the poor and the oppressed.
  • To act on the core values of respect, compassion, justice and integrity both in and out of the classroom.

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AP Capstone

The College Board’s AP Capstone™ is an innovative college-level program based on two new courses, AP® Seminar and AP Research, that complement and enhance discipline-specific AP courses.

The program immerses high school students in the challenging practice of the critical skills students need today. The ability to think independently, write effectively, research, collaborate, and learn across disciplines is essential for success in college and beyond.

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. This option allows students taking multiple AP courses to distinguish themselves to colleges and universities. 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™. 

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The readings, assignments, and methods of instruction used on each level of our English curriculum are designed to bring students on a journey of intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual discovery that encourages them to be active participants in their own education.   Students practice close reading, analysis, discussion and writing to reveal the power of language in all its forms -- written, visual, verbal, online -- to shape and challenge ideas.  These skills deepen students’ understanding of diverse points of view and help them become good communicators; they provide opportunities for reflection and developing voice.  Like travelers who for centuries have used the compass to point them in the right direction, students navigate the English curriculum to explore and map their own course.  It is our hope that graduates depart Arlington Catholic with the tools necessary to make choices, and to become critical, compassionate thinkers who are curious about themselves and their world.

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VHS Learning

Arlington Catholic has partnered with VHS Learning, a nonprofit that provides world-class online programs to students and schools everywhere.

How does it work?

Each class is led by a teacher and consists of students from around the world giving students the opportunity to work with a diverse group of peers.

Classes average 21 students to maximize student-to-student and teacher-to-student interaction.

Classes are paced and have weekly due dates for assignments, group work and discussion posts.

Students can access their course work anywhere they have internet access and are not required to log in at a certain time each day.

Classes include group projects, interactive lessons, and group discussions and give every student a chance to participate and be heard in class.

Arlington Catholic will grant credit to students who successfully complete VHS Learning classes.

To learn more about a week in the life of a VHS Learning student, click here:

If you would like to register for a VHS Learning class, please contcat your Guidance Counselor during the course selection process in the spring. This opportunity is available to allow students to take courses that are not offered at AC or that may not fit into their schedule.

World Language

The symbol of the world with its variety of flags represents our department’s goal to make “global citizens” of our students by developing their communicative competence in Italian, French or Spanish as well as their understanding of and appreciation for the people, products, practices and perspectives of the countries where these languages are spoken.

Students at Arlington Catholic are required to take a minimum of two consecutive years of Italian, French or Spanish. However, as many colleges favor three to four years of a world language, we encourage the study of a language beyond the minimum requirement.

College Prep and Honors Courses are offered in Italian. AP Italian is also available to qualified studients. Students in upper level courses have the opportunity to take the National Italian Exam and be inducted into the Italian Honor Society.

College Prep, Honors and Advanced Placement courses in French and Spanish are also offered. In levels 3 and 4, students have the opportunity to take the National French Exam or the National Spanish Exam. In addition, students who are particularly strong in their study of a world language may be inducted into our chapters of la Société Honoraire Française (French Honor Society) or la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (Spanish Honor Society).

The extracurricular World Language Club provides our students the opportunity to explore other cultures through field trips and holiday celebrations.

For information on Latin courses, which fulfill the Language requirement, please see the Classics section.