Frequently Asked Questions


What is STREAM™?
St. Mary’s Dominican High School’s STREAM™ initiative is a holistic approach that fosters creativity and innovation while intertwining the study of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math.

STREAM™ bridges the gap between Catholic faith and modern science.

STREAM™ forms our students into believing thinkers and thinking believers who engage in the Preaching Mission of St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

How was STREAM™ developed?
St. Mary’s Dominican High School seeks continuous school improvement and mission effectiveness through strategic planning processes. Dominican has developed its unique institutional vision that addresses formation, curriculum and facilities necessary for believing thinkers and thinking believers.

How does Dominican High School prepare students to address the need for scientific and technological innovation?


A National and State Issue

America has long been a global leader in scientific and technological innovation. But today, just 23.3% of undergraduate degrees are earned in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In Louisiana, only 9.4% of degrees conferred are in these fields, creating a shortage of qualified workers.1

From STEM…

In response, a coalition of educators, state and federal governments, and various non-profit

entities have called for improved education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Under the acronym STEM, a multitude of initiatives are underway with varying degrees of success.


As a Dominican Catholic school, we believe these academic disciplines, especially science, serve their highest purpose when informed by teachings of the Catholic Church. That is why Dominican is proud to introduce STREAM™, a more holistic approach that fosters creativity and innovation while intertwining the study of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math.

How do formation, curriculum, and facilities relate to STREAM™?
They are the components of the system used to accomplish the STREAM™ initiative. Our students’ formation is based on the Preaching Mission of St. Dominic. Our curriculum and facilities support that formation.

How does STREAM™ relate to STEM?
Dominican believes the future must be shaped by scientists formed in the great intellectual tradition of the Catholic Church. We envision graduates prepared with a STREAM™ curriculum who study scientific and ethical questions in the context of Dominican Catholic values.

What are the benefits for your students, faculty, and the community?
The STREAM™ formation, curriculum and state-of-the art science and technology facility hold great promise for collaborative endeavors shared between Dominican constituents and universities, bio medical, engineering and other science and technology employers.

It will:

  • enable Dominican to increase and enhance its science offerings
  • allow faculty to increase the complexity of science experiments
  • expand our robotics program/lab
  • begin to address a gender imbalance. In 2009, women comprised 50% of college graduates in Louisiana but earned only 32.4% of the degrees/certificates conferred in science, technology, and math and engineering fields.2 As an all-girls school, Dominican accepts the challenge to strive to close the gender gap.
  • provide greater opportunities to partner with universities by involving visiting professors and other experts in the Dominican classroom
  • provide talent for the BioDistrict growth in New Orleans
  • attract students interested in the “synthesis between faith, culture and life.”3

How does STREAM™ set St. Mary’s Dominican High School apart from other private and Catholic schools?

There are many outstanding schools in New Orleans, so what makes St. Mary’s Dominican High School unique? We are part of the Order of Preachers committed to Veritas and commissioned to participate in the “holy preaching” fostered by St. Dominic. Through the ministry of Dominican Catholic education, St. Mary’s Dominican High School prepares students for college and recognizes students’ apostolic capacity and their leadership ability to infuse Gospel values in the lifestyles and professions they later pursue. However, not only do Dominican students and graduates have apostolic capacity and leadership ability, but also St. Mary’s Dominican High School itself, through its institutional commitment to religion, science, and humanities, serves as a model for engaging the values of the Gospel while addressing the challenging questions that are posed through these academic areas. We truly believe that faith informs reason and immersion in the humanities enriches life.

Dominican enjoys a reputation for academic excellence. Our test scores are well above state and national averages, but Dominican’s success is not the result of admitting only academically superior students. Rather, with sound pedagogy, we have been able to achieve across-the-board improvements.

An example is the Class of 2014 and the improvement from sophomore to senior year.

  • 84% increased their ACT score by 3 points or more.
  • Another 16% improved by up to 3 points.
  • All students increased their score.

An increase of 3 points is very significant. It allows some grads to pursue their school of choice; others to secure scholarships. We are proud of our across-the-board academic achievement. It makes Dominican uniquely positioned to serve young women.

When did you break ground for the new building?

We broke ground  in early 2015. To fully implement our vision, St. Mary’s Dominican High School constructed a new science wing which would more than double the school’s current lab space. The building project includes renovation and also new construction.

What is the total project cost?
The total project cost is estimated at $10 million.

When was the new facility completed?
Early 2016

1Source: The National Center for Education Statistics: Digest of Education Statistics; Calculated from Table 286. See: Just 5.2% of the 1,650,014 undergraduates degrees awarded in 2010 were in the area of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; 2.4% were earned in Computer and Information Sciences, 4.4% in Engineering and 0.97% in Math.

2Source: http://

3Source: Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, “Educating Together in Catholic Schools: A Shared Mission between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful.” No. 24 (9/08/07).