The Grade: High School Program in Houston

Dear Students and Families,

The Grade seminars are part of the larger Grade program that offers weekly study nights as well throughout the year at Westcott Study Center. Freshman & Sophomore Grade Seminars and Study Nights meet on Tuesdays, and Junior & Senior Grade Seminars and Study Nights meet on Wednesdays. While signing up for the program does not require students to attend every seminar or study night, the cost of the registration includes the entire program, and the more often students are able to attend the various activities, the more they will benefit! Although The Grade seminars do not begin until September, our first study night is Tuesday, August 24th for Freshmen and Sophomores, and Wednesday, August 25th for Juniors and Seniors.

Throughout the school year on Saturday afternoons, there will be many other great high school activities at Westcott, including sports competitions, movie screenings and discussions, days of recollection, excursions to Galveston or Lake Livingston, and visiting the homeless. Every Saturday there will be an activity for ALL interested high school students from 4-8pm. Each student will need to pay for his own dinner on Saturdays, which will usually be some sort of fast food or a cookout.

Seminars on Study Nights


Every week there is a Grade Study Night from 4:30-8:30pm. Our first study night for this school year is Tuesday, August 24th for Freshmen and Sophomores, and Wednesday, August 25th for Juniors and Seniors. Once a month during that study night there will be a Grade Seminar for a particular grade level. For example, the Freshman Grade Seminar is on the first Tuesday of the month from 7:30-8:30pm. Obviously, the seminar aspect of the program is very important, but it is also quite beneficial to attend the study nights in general to get the most of what the staff of The Grade have to offer, including mentoring!
One-on-one Mentoring


The key aspect of The Grade Program remains the mentoring done by an experienced Grade staff member. Each student will receive one-on-one mentoring throughout all four of his high school years. This mentor guides him in applying the principles taught in the seminar. The mentor is like a coach who challenges and encourages each student to reach his best. Specifically, he helps the student set goals that are important and practical. Once a mentor is assigned to a student, the student can sign up for a time to be mentored each month during one of the study nights. Regular mentoring sessions are very important for ensuring the success of each student in The Grade.


Study Night Calendar (4:30-8:30pm)

Freshmen & Sophomores: Every Tuesday during the school year

Juniors & Seniors: Every Wednesday during the school year


Seminar Calendar (7:30-8:30pm)

1st Tuesday: Big Picture Seminar (Freshmen)

2nd Tuesday: Study Skills Seminar (Sophomores)

1st Wednesday: College, Career & Beyond Seminar (Juniors)

2nd Wednesday: Filling the Gaps Seminar (Seniors)

For students enrolled in The Grade, Westcott Study Center is open daily from 9AM-9PM.


4:30-6:30pm Study
6:30-7:00pm Time of Prayer (optional)
7:00-7:30pm Dinner (included in cost of The Grade)
7:30-8:30pm The Grade Seminar (once a month) OR Study (when there is no seminar)

Or come anytime between 9AM-9PM to study with friends!

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The Grade Program costs $300 for the year. This includes all the materials, seminars, mentoring time, and staff time dedicated to the program. Anyone who registers will also receive dinner whenever they attend a Grade Study Night on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Financial aid is available upon request.

All Grade activities occur at: Westcott Study Center, 410 Westcott St., Houston, TX 77007



The Freshman Seminar helps students see ‘the big picture’ of their life. Freshman year is not too early to start thinking about what kind of father, husband, professional, and friend one wants to be as an adult. Besides helping students to think about their future, the seminar addresses the challenges they will encounter along the way to maturity. Classes include a mixture of reading, discussion, lecture, debate, and breakout activities.

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The Sophomore Study Skills Seminar provides a holistic approach to work which will assist students in both academic and professional life. Students learn the virtues necessary for working at their best such as order, intensity, and constancy. Students also engage in practical activities such as learning to make a schedule, take notes, and work in sprints. Finally, students learn to see their study within the wider context of a fulfilled life in which work is ultimately a way to love and serve others.
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Junior year is a key time to begin to firm up one's college decision. But making this decision and being able to go to one’s college of choice is an arduous process. There are tests to take, essays to write, colleges to visit, etc. This seminar guides students through the most important aspects of the college application process. At the same time, this seminar introduces students to diverse career paths through a series of presentations by leading professionals. Speakers address the schooling and preparation needed for their field, the daily duties and activities they encounter, and the interesting challenges and opportunities that arise in their line of work.
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One of the critical issues for our society is moral relativism–the idea that there are no abiding values by which to orient our lives. By giving students a philosophical grounding in topics surrounding truth, knowledge and the goal of human life, this seminar helps them to recognize and critique relativistic claims which are commonly advanced in the media, public policy and academia. As a result, they will be better prepared to continue their intellectual and cultural development in the university.
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Saturdays are open for everyone to come and enjoy life at Westcott. No commitments are necessary, and each Saturday provides a different type of activity to enjoy. The monthly calendar can be found on the Westcott website, but here is an overview of the Saturday schedule at Westcott.
4:00pm: Meditation (time of guided prayer)
4:20pm: Confessions Available
4:30pm: Benediction with Blessed Sacrament
4:45pm: Activity (Sports, Movie, Games, Visit to Homeless or Elderly, etc.)
7:00pm: Dinner (buy your own)
8:00pm: End

There is no need to sign up for Saturdays at Westcott. We will send periodic reminders about what is happening and those who want to can just come on over!

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