Sometimes value is found in that little something extra.

Sure, we have some of the best academic, athletic, artistic and character building programs in the area. But we don't stop there. At St. Paul's we value the extra effort our students put forth to achieve the best they can possibly achieve.

Enhancement Programs

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

AP® is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment, passion and hard work of students and educators from both secondary schools and higher education. With more than 30 courses in a wide variety of subject areas, AP provides willing and academically prepared high school students with the opportunity to study and learn at the college level.

Through AP courses, talented and dedicated AP teachers help students develop and apply the skills, abilities and content knowledge they will need later in college. Each AP course is modeled upon a comparable college course, and college and university faculty play a vital role in ensuring that AP courses align with college-level standards. For example, through the AP Course Audit, AP teachers submit their syllabi for review and approval by college faculty. Only courses using syllabi that meet or exceed the college-level curricular and resource requirements for each AP course are authorized to carry the "AP" label.

AP courses culminate in a suite of college-level assessments developed and scored by college and university faculty members as well as experienced AP teachers. AP Exams are an essential part of the AP experience, enabling students to demonstrate their mastery of college-level course work. Strong performance on AP Exams is rewarded by colleges and universities worldwide. More than 90 percent of four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant students credit, placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. But performing well on an AP Exam means more than just the successful completion of a course; it is the gateway to success in college. Research consistently shows that students who score a 3 or higher typically experience greater academic success in college and improved graduation rates than their non-AP student peers.

Click here to visit the College Board Advanced Placement website.

Currently, St. Paul's offers the following AP courses:

AP European History
AP U.S. History
AP Government
AP Economics
AP English 11
AP English 12
AP Calculus AB
AP Biology

AP Physics
AP Chemistry
AP Environmental Science
AP Art 2D Design
AP Art 3D Design
AP Art 2D Photography
AP French
AP Spanish

Students may take the Advanced Placement tests in other subject areas with the approval of the appropriate teacher. Grades earned in AP courses are weighted by the numerical factor of 1.06 when grade-point averages are calculated. This represents a 4-to-6 point increase depending on the course grade. This increase is represented in the cumulative GPA only. The AP exam is required of all students in the Advanced Placement Program.

A waiver is a statement of understanding that taking a particular course is against the recommendation of a specific department. A waiver strongly recommends serious consideration be given as the predictors indicating success have not been met. Waivers are obtained from the current instructor. Counselors and administration will only place students in a non-recommended course when a waiver has been signed and conversations have taken place with the appropriate teachers.

Everyday Math

Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive Pre-K through 6th grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and published by McGraw-Hill Education. It is currently being used by about 4.3 million students in over 220,000 classrooms.

Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce life-long mathematical power.

The Everyday Mathematics curriculum emphasizes:

  • Use of concrete, real-life examples that are meaningful and memorable as an introduction to key mathematical concepts.

  • Repeated exposures to mathematical concepts and skills to develop children’s ability to recall knowledge from long-term memory.

  • Frequent practice of basic computation skills to build mastery of procedures and quick recall of facts, often through games and verbal exercises.

  • Use of multiple methods and problem-solving strategies to foster true proficiency and accommodate different learning styles.

Each grade of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum is carefully designed to build and expand a student’s mathematical proficiency and understanding. Our goal: to build powerful mathematical thinkers.

For more information about Everyday Mathematics visit their website:

Foundations and Frameworks

Foundations and Frameworks is a uniquely designed research-based and researched-supported instructional reading program used in Pre-K through fifth grade. This unique reading program uses the latest findings in neuroscience to tailor instruction to the way learning occurs. F&F incorporates brain-friendly methods of instruction to maximize learning.

The five quintessential elements of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension are explicitly taught and modeled.  High-quality literature is used as a natural conduit for skill instruction which provides adequate material for in-depth comprehension. Small groups are a part of everyday instruction which gives teachers the flexibility to group students for re-teaching, reviewing, or for providing additional, individualized guided practice.

You won’t find any boring workbooks with this program, but rather a grade-appropriate compilation of visual tools, which are graphic tools completed by students to organize and connect information from a text. The teachers in PreK-5th have been trained extensively during summer months to effectively teach this innovative and engaging way of reading instruction.

St. Paul's is the only private school in Mobile that has been trained to implement this showcase instructional reading program, and we are extremely proud of the success we are seeing in reading!

Writer's Stylus Writing Program

In the fall of 2011, St. Paul’s introduced a new writing program to students in the lower, middle, and upper school. This program, Writer’s Stylus, is designed by Dr. Kevin Washburn, author of the book The Architecture of Learning.  He also designed the instructional model Foundations and Frameworks, which St. Paul’s has used to teach reading, language arts, and comprehension in grades K-6.  Writer’s Stylus is based on the same instructional model as Foundation and Frameworks. St. Paul’s teachers Kelli Etheredge and Heather Robinson were formally trained in Writer’s Stylus in 2011. They assisted Dr. Washburn in training 48 members of the St. Paul’s faculty in a weeklong session on our campus, and the school is actively implementing the program in every grade level. St. Paul’s is the first school in the nation to implement Writer’s Stylus this comprehensively, and Dr. Washburn has come to rely on our implementation model.  He has made several trips to our campus to see the program in action.

Research indicates that the process of writing engages more areas of the brain and involves them more intensely than any activity thus far investigated.  Writer's Stylus offers a unified, comprehensive, and cohesive approach that spirals upward on itself from Kindergarten to Upper School.  It is centered around groundbreaking research on how children’s brains acquire, process, and store information, and we are thrilled to add it to our curriculum. We believe this program will equip our students with tools to improve their writing and teach them to use writing to deepen their learning.  It will propel them to new heights, allow them to set and achieve higher goals, and continue them along the path of academic excellence that is St. Paul’s mission.

Saxon Phonics

In 2008 Grades Pk-2 implemented the comprehensive and research-based, Saxon Phonics and Spelling, which provides engaging, explicit instruction in the important foundational skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, alphabetizing, handwriting, and fluency with high-frequency words.

The Writing Center

The St. Paul’s Writing Center provides support and assistance to Middle and Upper School students in preparing research papers, essays, speeches, projects, and creative work. Colleges such as Harvard, Purdue, Yale, MIT, and Rollins have long used writing centers to help students develop into strong writers.  SPS’s peer tutors, like their college counterparts, are ready to help students in a variety of areas:

  • Brainstorming
  • Topic Selection and definition
  • Organizing research
  • Refining thesis statements
  • Developing supporting evidence
  • Creating analysis to accompany evidence
  • Employing appropriate tone and style
  • Checking mechanics
  • Citing sources with MLA format
  • Fulfilling specialized writing assignments for math, science, history, and English

Typing Pal for Grades 3-7

St. Paul’s offers Typing Pal School, the best tool for learning how to type. Students can practice directly from home via the Internet. Technological evolution and the ever-growing presence of the Internet in our daily lives have made it so that keyboard proficiency has become a must for your child who will later find him/herself at a professional training center, college, university, or in the workforce.


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