Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958
Academic Life

Mas Family Program

Our College Recognized, Signature Honors Program

The Mas Family Program serves as one of the most academically challenging and culturally enriching experiences in South Florida. Comparable to the International Baccalaureate Diploma, this unique program is designed for the academically gifted and highly motivated student. A balance of rigorous interdisciplinary coursework, enrichment activities, guest lectures, internships, and independent research projects prepare these students for post-secondary success.

Program Expansion
Due to the Mas Family Program’s success and popularity, we are happy to announce that Columbus High School has expanded the program for the next school year. For the 2017-2018 academic year, 20% of the students in the freshmen class have been invited to join the Mas Family Program as part of the class of 2021.

The program now has a two-tier structure. Under the Mas Family Program umbrella are the “Mas Scholars” and the “Mas Honors” students. The purpose of our program’s expansion is to offer a rigid curriculum to a larger group of competitive students. Beyond the classroom we offer a plethora of academic and cultural enrichment experiences to all students in the Mas Family Program.

Selection Process
Based on performance in the ninth grade, some students in the Mas Family Program will be invited to become a “Mas Scholar” and begin the College Board’s AP Capstone curriculum sophomore year. Others may choose to remain in the Mas Family Program as a “Mas Honors” student while continuing to partake in the most stringent courses available to them and follow a more flexible set of requirements. See drop down menus for curriculum requirements, respectively.
 
This new expansion of the program enables a greater fluidity for students to join the Mas Family Program throughout their career at Columbus. This expansion will allow every student striving for academic rigor the opportunity to always have the option to join this signature honors program.

CONTACT:

List of 4 members.

What's the Difference | Scholars vs. Honors

In an effort to elucidate the difference between the Mas Scholar pathway and the Mas Honors pathway, it is important to understand that, despite the pathways chosen for each student, the intended goal is to assure that each student is meeting his individualized academic goals and that the curriculum designated for that student will provide the most holistic and complete high school experience. While our aim is always to provide the toughest courses to both groups, the Mas Scholars will graduate with the superior distinction of the AP Capstone Diploma. Although both pathways will demand a service project initiation and externship hours, both groups have different GPA requirements. The Mas Scholars need to maintain a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.5 while the Mas Honors Students are required to maintain an unweighted GPA of 3.33. All students must sustain A and B level grades in their courses, as "C"s will result in probation and possibly cause the student to have to be demoted from his pathway, or be exited from the program all together. Constant counseling and grade monitoring is provided to all students in the program and the assurance of constant teacher, counselor and parent communication to try and maximize individual student success.Although the curriculum requirements do differ, both pathways demand that participants take courses at the Honors and AP Levels, the entire time they are under the Mas umbrella. 

Mas Scholars are expected to complete at least 80 externship hours prior to graduation, and all Mas Honors students will have completed at least 40 hours.  All students under the Mas umbrella are promised the highest level of rigor and most culturally enriching experiences at our disposal. The pathways were desgined with the hopes that the two student options would help to tailor to each student’s individual goals and academic needs.

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  • Mas Family Program | Scholars

    Director: 
    Mrs. Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta - sgalvez-cuesta@columbushs.com

    GPA Requirement: 
    3.5 unweighted GPA

    Course Requirements:  
    9th Grade:

    -1 AP course (AP World History) 
    -4 Honors courses (English, Math, Biology & Theology)

    10th Grade:
    -2 AP courses (AP European History & AP Seminar)
    -4 Honors courses (English, Math, Chemistry & Theology)

    11th Grade:
    -3 AP courses (AP English Language, AP Research, and an additional AP core* class)  
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and theology 

    12th Grade:
    -3 AP courses in core* subject areas
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and Theology

    *Core subject areas: English, Math, Science and Social Studies.

    Click here to learn more about AP Capstone.

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  • Mas Family Program | Honors

    Coordinator:
    Mrs. Adriana Amador - aamador@columbushs.com

    GPA Requirement:
    3.33 unweighted GPA

    Course Requirements:  
    9th Grade:
    -1 Optional AP course (AP World History) 
    -4 Honors courses (English, Math, Biology & Theology)

    10th Grade:
    -1 Optional AP course (AP European History)
    -3 Honors courses in core* subject areas 

    OR  (if not taking AP European History)
    -4 Honors courses in core* subject areas

    11th Grade:
    -2 AP courses in core* subject areas  
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and Theology 

    12th Grade:
    -3 AP courses in core* subject areas
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and Theology

    *Core subject areas: English, Math, Science and Social Studies.
In addition to the impressive coursework, the standardized test prep and the enrichment opportunities so unique to the Mas Family Program, all students under the Mas umbrella, and their families, will have an extremely individualized counseling experience for as long as they are in the program. From the initial programmatic acceptance letter until graduation, students are promised constant grade monitoring, parent and teacher communication, one on one meetings, individualized curriculum and an extremely personalized college application experience.
 
The Mas Family Program experience exemplifies Christopher Columbus High School’s tradition of brotherhood where students and counselors are able to solidify a truly personal relationship, making the Mas umbrella, and its team, a true family. Programmatically, ninth and tenth graders are exposed to a business etiquette program, an educationally enriching summer experience and an Honors and AP course load in addition, lower classmen are given the opportunity to participate in boot camps and tutoring sessions to prepare for the PSAT.
 
Similarly, upperclassmen are given the opportunity to participate in various college-planning workshops throughout the year. Seniors also partake in a summer College Application Boot Camp, which help them to get a head start in the college application process. A concentrated focus on testing has been a tool in procuring unrivaled test prep for the NMSQT-PSAT, Junior year, which in turn has engendered more National Merit Scholars and National Hispanic Scholars, than ever in school history. 

Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta (Mas Family Program Director) is recognized by Stanford University for her contribution to the education of high school students throughout Miami-Dade County. She is also a former International Baccalaureate Coordinator for nearly a decade and is well versed in advanced high school academics as both a member and active participant of NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling). Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta is also very familiar with current trends in college admissions and often travels the country visiting universities. She is also well known in the Miami area for her success with the Silver Knight Awards Foundation.

Adriana Garcia-Amador (Mas Honors Coordinator) has 19 years of experience in education. Having taught at the gifted and AP level in several states, Mrs. Amador brings in specializations in essay writing, English and Reading. She also worked for a private company that helped place students in higher level institutions of education all over the world. Like Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Amador is also an active participant of 
NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling).  

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Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

Columbus is fully accredited by AdvancEd and a member of the National Catholic Educational Association.