Academic Program

Bishop Connolly is a learning community focused on helping students build the knowledge, skills and confidence that will lead to college success. As a college preparatory Catholic high school, Connolly offers an education of the highest caliber that inspires students to reach higher.


average student:teacher ratio


Advanced placement Courses


Honors courses


college acceptance rate

Bishop Connolly’s expansive program of academic studies includes 48 Honors and Advanced Placement courses, allowing each student to craft an academic journey that aligns with his or her individual needs, strengths and interests. Students are placed in course levels based on their academic performance and aptitude. Course level placement allows students the flexibility to study each subject at the individual level—college preparatory, honors or advanced placement—that will lead to their highest academic success. The curriculum of Bishop Connolly High School is derived from the regulations of the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the directives of the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Education Center, and the philosophy and objectives of the school itself.

Advanced Placement Courses

Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses are ambitious and motivated with goals to apply to many of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. Bishop Connolly High School offers Advanced Placement courses in English Literature & Composition, English Language & Composition, U.S. History, European History, U.S. Government & Politics, World History, Biology, Chemistry, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Physics, Physics 2, Computer Science A, Psychology, Spanish Literature & Composition, Spanish Language & Culture, Studio Art: 2-D Design, Studio Art: 3-D Design, and Studio Art: Drawing.

Advanced Placement programs are special forms of honors classes where the curriculum is more challenging and lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. Acceptance into an AP course is contingent on aptitude, standardized test results, previous performance, prior sequential courses, teacher recommendation and department chair approval. Over 90 percent of colleges nationwide award college credit to high school students who achieve an acceptable examination grade (a score of 3 or above).

Honors Level Courses

These courses are developed to challenge students by offering a more demanding classroom experience that focuses on higher skills of analysis, application and evaluation, and requires a greater commitment of time and effort on the student’s part. In general, students move at a quicker pace and study subjects in considerable depth. Freshmen are placed in honors courses based on their performance on the school’s placement exam. Any student wishing to transfer from a regular level college preparatory course to an honors course must first attain the department chair’s approval.

College Preparatory Level Courses

College preparatory courses are designed for students who proficiently demonstrate the ability and aptitude to pursue post-high school studies at the university level. The courses are developed to provide students with the broad range of skills needed for collegiate study. Students pursuing a college preparatory curriculum develop quantitative and qualitative skills, written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think critically. Students enrolled in Bishop Connolly’s college preparatory courses are encouraged to continually challenge themselves academically as their abilities develop throughout their high school years.

Graduation Requirements

Bishop Connolly High School requires 25.0 credits for graduation, including a minimum of 60 community service hours.

Distribution of Credits
Theology 4.0
English 4.0
Mathematics 4.0
Science 3.0
Social Studies 3.0
World Language 2.0
Visual/Performing Arts 1.0
Physical Education 1.0
Electives 3.0

Individual Tracking

At Bishop Connolly High School, we work with our students individually and holistically to ensure that each student’s academic potential is reached. Individual growth and learning is tracked through performance on standardized tests such as the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT. Prospective Bishop Connolly students take Scholastic’s High School Placement Test (HSPT), and all students are required to participate in annual PSAT/NMSQT tests. Results of these exams allow us to obtain a baseline of students’ academic skills, strengthen their skill performance, and prepare them for the transition to higher education.

Academic Support Program

Bishop Connolly believes that students with learning differences and their families deserve access to a Catholic middle and secondary education with full support for their unique learning needs. Our Academic Support Program integrates and provides the necessary support for young people to flourish and thrive as they prepare to excel in their academic, emotional, physical and spiritual development.