Academics

Students studying

We provide a well-rounded and rigorous Catholic education that builds on the lessons of a traditional and classical education while pushing forward into today's interconnected, global society.

Our students are challenged to explore their curiosity and individuality, engage their intellect and empathy, and strengthen their voices and values.

We are proud to offer the first-ever all-girls middle school in the Conejo Valley. This smaller learning environment, with an average class size of 22, is designed to engage the middle school student, give her foundational academic knowledge, develop sound learning skills, and prepare her for success in high school. Equally important, our proven learning model is designed to challenge a student's intellect, fuel her curiosity, and instill in her a love of learning.

Our eight core high school departments—English, World Languages, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Science, Social Studies, Technological Arts, and Visual and Performing Arts—are supported by teachers who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the classroom. Students are encouraged to think freely, to question deeply, to explore ideas and interests, and to rise to the highest of expectations and possibilities. Whatever her passions are, a La Reina student will find the support and guidance she needs to develop them —whether academic, athletic, artistic, or humanitarian.

It is our mission to promote a love of life-long learning in each and every one of our alumnae, an enterprise that will enrich our community and endure as our most important legacy.

High School and Middle School Departments

Academic Support

English

English Department

The study of literature is central to the education of our students. It helps them examine great ideas, pose ethical questions, and gain insight into the human condition—all of which lead them to a greater understanding of themselves and to the development of their own personal voice.

Students learn a school wide writing process. Each year builds upon that instruction, so that by the time students graduate, they are clear and competent writers who have written frequently in many genres. To help them develop their writing skills, students learn and master a variety of resources of language: vocabulary, grammar, and stylistic techniques. All grade levels keep a written portfolio in the classroom that is maintained and analyzed through their senior year.

Students develop their public speaking and dramatic interpretation skills in their English classes through lively discussion, dramatic performance, and individual speeches. Every class reads a Shakespearean play annually—and performs scenes from those plays at the spring Renaissance Festival.

The goal of the English Department is to graduate articulate and confident critical thinkers whose verbal and writing skills give them the tools they need to be highly successful in college and to become lifelong learners who have developed a love of and appreciation for various forms of literature. All graduates of this program develop their personal voice as a tool to transform themselves, their community and the world.

The English Department has two levels - college preparatory (C) and honors (H/AP). Initial placement in the honors program for students entering grade 9 is determined by test scores (90th percentile or above in vocabulary, reading comprehension and Language), a writing sample, and approval of the department chairperson. Placement can be challenged at any point during a student’s high school career. For the past five years, more than 60 percent of the senior class has taken and passed the Advanced Placement Language Test as a student in CP or AP English.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Rebecca Adams

Mrs. Rebecca Adams

Department Chairperson, Instructor of English, Herald Moderator

Mr. Scott Bergen

Faculty, Website & Soc Media Administrator
Mrs. Nikki Blake

Mrs. Nikki Blake

Mrs. Kris Chisholm

Mrs. Kris Chisholm

Mr. Jake Cousineau

Mr. Jake Cousineau

Coach - Golf, Faculty
Mrs. Stephanie Grey

Mrs. Stephanie Grey

Ms. Kathryn Quist

Ms. Kathryn Quist

Faculty, Faculty

Enrichment

Enrichment Courses

We offer enrichment electives in order to provide our students with courses that are not for credit and non-graded as well as offer a period at the end of the day for teams or groups to meet and practice. These elective offerings complement our academics by providing classes in fine arts, practical arts, literary arts, speech & debate, athletics, and academic enrichment & advisement. These electives allow students to become well-rounded and develop their individual talents and abilities.

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Mathematics

Mathematics Department

The Mathematics Department provides instruction which develops the students’ computational, analytical and problem-solving skills. Students further this understanding as they apply these skills to real-life situations, especially in statistical analysis, the physical and life sciences, and economics. Mathematics instruction will prepare students for a variety of educational opportunities and career paths by developing the students' ability to analyze through critical thinking. Further, students develop interpersonal skills and their achievement is enhanced as they use collaborative methods of problem solving.

The use of technology enhances classroom instruction and student learning. Students become risk-takers by using “what if” situations. They are also able to visualize, interpret and analyze graphical interpretations of equations and data.

The Mathematics Department has two levels - college preparatory (CP) and honors. Initial placement is based on performance in previous math classes, entrance tests and placement tests. Honors students are expected to maintain at least 85%. Placement in the honors program is reviewed each year.

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Department Directory

Mr. Stan Hirsch

Mr. Stan Hirsch

Mrs. Jessica Nasr

Mrs. Jessica Nasr

Department Chairperson

Ms. Leslie Schwartz

Faculty
Mrs. Diana Szabo

Mrs. Diana Szabo

Physical Education

Physical Education Department

Our junior high students participate in the SPARK Middle School Physical Education Program. This program is designed to be more inclusive, dynamic, and interactive than traditional PE classes. We integrate team sports and a variety of activities aimed at increasing hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. Our students participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program that emphasizes healthy living habits that include proper nutrition and daily exercise.

To fulfill their physical education requirement, high school students must participate in a team sport or enroll in a Dance or Core/Cardio class. For students participating in off-campus athletic activity, please visit the Alternative Athletic Program page.

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Department Directory

Ms. Abigail Mytych

Faculty
Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson
Ms. Lauren Rasmussen

Ms. Lauren Rasmussen

Athletic Assistant, Coach - XCountry

Religious Studies

Religious Studies Department

The goal of the Religious Studies Department is to foster the spiritual growth of our students by helping them understand their relationship with God and their fellow human beings in light of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mindful of the importance of our students’ relationship with God, we encourage them to respond to God’s call to promote justice and peace and to integrate their religious values into their daily lives.

Enriched by the diverse religious backgrounds of our students, our school community creates an environment in which personal faith is accepted, nurtured, and shared.

* The high school curriculum is in alignment with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops framework for Catholic Schools.

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Christian Service Requirement

The philosophy of La Reina High School states that the school provides an atmosphere in which each student “may discover, develop and share the unique gifts God has given her.” As a complement to the instruction of the religion classes, the Religious Studies Department requires a designated number of Christian service hours from each student as a means of implementing the school’s philosophy. This service is to be completed in the larger community, giving the student an opportunity to share her gifts beyond the school. This is a yearly requirement. The minimum number of hours is as follows:

Year Number of Hours
6th Grade none
7th Grade 5
8th Grade 5
Freshmen 20
Sophomores 20
Juniors 20
Seniors 20


Through this service, the student also develops leadership skills that “foster goodness and justice in society.” Specific information about meeting this requirement is given by the Christian Service Coordinator through the religion teachers. The Christian Service requirement MUST be met in order for a senior to receive her LRHS diploma.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Ruth Krank

Mrs. Ruth Krank

Ms. Kathryn Quist

Ms. Kathryn Quist

Faculty, Faculty
Mrs. Allison Sain

Mrs. Allison Sain

Class of '85
Faculty

Science

Science Department

The science curriculum follows the California Next Generation Science Standards or the California Science Frameworks. Science classes develop inquiry skills using the eight science and engineering practices described by NGSS.

Due to the need for continuity and consistency in the department, course level changes at the semester require the approval of the science teacher, department chair, and administration and are rare. Students in honors courses should maintain quarter grades of not lower than B minus.

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Department Directory

Ms. Jennifer Ardy

Ms. Jennifer Ardy

Department Chairperson, Instructor of Science
Mrs. Kelly Duffy

Mrs. Kelly Duffy

Faculty
Mrs. Caroline McKay

Mrs. Caroline McKay

Department Chairperson
Ms. Hannah Robinson

Ms. Hannah Robinson

Science AP Resources, Faculty
Mr. Daniel Thomas

Mr. Daniel Thomas

Social Science

Social Sciences Department

The Social Science Department prepares students for their roles as responsible citizens in local, national, and global communities. Important components of the curriculum include acquiring the knowledge to understand the complexity of global cultures and celebrating the multi-cultural diversity of our students, which is integrated into our instructional programs. In order to access this knowledge in various forms - primary source documents, maps, charts, and textbooks, among others - students learn critical reading, interpreting, and writing skills. Overall, students are taught to evaluate current and past events from a Catholic/Christian perspective with the goal of fostering in them the values of goodness and justice.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Michele Austin

Mrs. Michele Austin

Mr. Nathaniel Jones

Mr. Nathaniel Jones

Faculty
Mrs. Joan Petrone

Mrs. Joan Petrone

Department Chairperson

Technology

Visual & Performing Arts

Visual & Performing Arts Department

The La Reina VPA Department recognizes each individual as an artist.

The La Reina artist:

  • realizes that she has a story to tell and experiments within a medium to communicate that story and teach others her insights about the world
  • reaches out in collaboration with others
  • supports and encourages her colleagues' artistic pursuits
  • is equipped with a set of transferable formal conceptual tools for communicating within and across media
  • is learning to face artistic and life challenges while in a supportive and caring atmosphere

The Visual and Performing Arts Academy focuses on the development of creative talents in the individual. The VPA academy takes imaginative critical thinkers and expands their abilities to evaluate, organize and produce innovative solutions in our complex world. The academy seal is placed on the diploma of students who have excelled at their coursework in the arts.

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Department Directory

Ms. Haykanush Hovsepyan

Faculty

Ms. Abigail Mytych

Faculty
Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson
Mrs. Heidi Vass

Mrs. Heidi Vass

Vocal Arts Teacher and Director

World Languages

World Languages Department

This department is committed to providing a foreign language learning experience beginning in middle school that will provide students with the foundation and skills needed for a continued successful foreign language experience in high school. Through the study of a world language and the exposure to various diverse cultures, students will increase their global awareness and appreciation of the contributions of other cultures.

In all language classes, the target language is used. Native speakers will be evaluated on an individual basis and placed in a course level according to their proficiency measured by the second semester exam of the course previous to the course they desire.

Eighth graders who want to take French I or Spanish I must earn a “B+” or higher in their English 7 Honors class and must score above the 70th national percentile on the vocabulary, reading comprehension, and usage and expression sections of the IOWA standardized test. Students taking Spanish I CP or French I CP as an 8th grader must take two years of the same language in high school to fulfill high school graduation requirements. Most colleges recommend three years of high school language study.

It is understood that this class is a challenging one for 8th graders. In order to advance to the second level, students must achieve a minimum of 80% in foreign language level I. All freshmen who want to take French I or Spanish I must score above the 60th national percentile on the vocabulary, reading, and language sections of the High School Placement Test. In addition, freshmen must have obtained a “C” or better in their 8th grade English class.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Dana Coppa

Mrs. Dana Coppa

Class of '94
Mrs. Caroline McKay

Mrs. Caroline McKay

Department Chairperson
Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson

Ms. Anke Saldarriaga

Ms. Barrie Silberberg

Ms. Barrie Silberberg

Who Are We?


20 Things to Do Before You Graduate!

  1. Play a sport
  2. Join a club
  3. Pep Rally
  4. Friendship Week
  5. Microwaving Chef Cam's cookies and eating them with a spoon
  6. 8th Grade DC Trip
  7. Take a class with Mr. Jones

See more!