SMACC History | St. Mary's Academy of Caloocan CityMARY’S ACADEMY OF CALOOCAN CITY (SMACC) is a Catholic, Filipino school owned and administered by the sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM). It was formerly named Our Lady of Grace Academy (OLGA) and was renamed to SMACC to unify the RVM’s school system. The school is located at 12th Avenue, which was renamed on May 2, 1999 to Madre Ignacia Avenue by a City Council Ordinance in honor of Mother Foundress,Ignacia del Espiritu Santo.
The first community of sisters who managed the school was still affiliated with St. Mary’s Academy of Trozo, Manila, during the first three years of its operation with S. Ma. Concepcion Katigbak, RVM as the first Principal. The first teachers were S. Ma. Primitiva Utleg, RVM, S. Ma. Priscilla Lucero, RVM, S. Ma. Mercedes Macatulad, RVM, S. Ma. Amparo Tubilan, RVM and Mrs. Eugenia Reyes. St. Mary’s Academy of Caloocan began its operation on June 6, 1950 upon the request of the late Archbishop of Manila, Gabriel Ma. Reyes to serve as an educational institution for the youth of Caloocan. The contract was signed by S. Ma. Leonor Katigbak, RVM the representative of the RVM Congregation and Rev. Fr. Emilio Buldoc, OMI the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Grace Parish. With fifty seven pupils from Kinder to Grade II, the school held its classes on the ground floor of a building owned by the Philippine Realty Company at 8th Avenue.
On February 10, 1951, the school was granted the permit to operate by the Bureau of Education. Due to the growing population, the school moved to 11th Avenue, adjacent to the OLG Parish church, where the first Grade School commencement exercises was held in April 1955.
During the school year 1955-1956, the first community of Sisters moved from SMA, Trozo to 11th Avenue. Two new buildings and a chapel were constructed. These buildings were blessed on September 5, 1957 to house the students from Kindergarten to Fourth Year.
The first High School graduation was held in March 1959. On June 6, 1959, the school was granted Government Recognition thereby gaining full official status and the right to operate complete Elementary and Secondary education.
At the onset, boys were admitted from Kindergarten to Grade IV; however when Notre Dame of Manila, a Catholic school for boys was opened nearby, the school decided to stop the admission of boys.
In 1969, the High School department transferred to the new building at Madre Ignacia Avenue leaving the Grade School Department. Another wing was added to the newly constructed building giving provision for an Audio-Visual Room, Science Laboratory, Auditorium and additional classrooms. In 1972, upon its completion, the offices of the Registrar and Cashier were also moved in.
In 1975, the school celebrated the Silve r Jubilee of its foundation. To house the Community of Sisters at 12th Avenue, a two storey convent was constructed and was completed in 1976. With the enrolment still increasing, another five storey building was constructed for the Grade School Department. Upon its completion, the Grade School transferred to 12th Avenue in 1981 leaving the building at 11th Avenue to the OMI priests.
In response to the challenge to offer quality education, the school decided to undergo PAASCU accreditation. During the school year 1981-1982, the school underwent an institutional self-survey of both departments in preparation for a Preliminary Visit by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) in 1983 and the Formal Visit in 1985 where an initial three-year accreditation was granted. A full five-year accreditation was granted in 1988 giving the school a stamp of quality education which it provides in the light of its vision and mission.
During the SY 1987-1988, the Kindergarten building, the chapel and a four storey administration building were constructed. It was in the same year that the move of the Congregation for lay empowerment among department heads opened venues for an active participation of lay leaders in the institution.Another five-year PAASCU accreditation was granted to both departments of the school in 1994. The Office of the External Affairs was created to spearhead the Social Ministry of the school. A school bus was purchased and a new canteen was added to meet the growing needs of the students.
From the school year 1996-1997 to 2002-2003, S. Ma. Felicitacion A. Oben, RVM was the Superior-Directress of the school. Under her administration, the auditorium-gym and tennis court were added to the school’s facilities. The offices, the laboratories and the IMC were updated and equipped with the latest facilities and technologies.
SMACC has kept its progress under the same administration. Another five-year PAASCU reaccreditation was granted for both departments of the school last November 1999.On December 8, 2000, as the school celebrated its Golden Jubilee, another historical milestone was marked: Our Lady of Grace Academy was renamed to St. Mary’s Academy, Caloocan City.
When the BEC 2002 was launched by DepEd, SMACC initially ventured its implementation simultaneously with the public schools. It was chosen as one of NCR’s two private pilot schools implementing the education curriculum 2002 during the school year 2002 – 2003. To facilitate the curriculum re-engineering, the Grade School and High School departments were renamed Basic Education Department (BED) under the leadership of one lay Principal. The Lower BED made up of Grades 1 to 6 and the upper BED consisting of Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 to reflect the sequential development of BEC 2002.
SMACC keeps rising to the challenge of excellence. The road traverses in its endeavor to provide quality Catholic Ignacian Marian education for the youth. It continuously embarked on another grace-filled journey for international recognition of its quality standards. On June 25, 2004, the institution was awarded an ISO 9001:2000 certification.
True to its avowed pursuit for excellence, the school successfully underwent its PAASCU re-accreditation on August 22-23, 2005 for the Lower BED and on August 25-26, 2005 for the Upper BED. With this, another five-year Certificate of Accreditation was awarded to both departments on December 9, 2005.
In School Year 2006-2007, another milestone was introduced through its Home Study Program in the High School. SMACC is the only school in Caloocan City that caters to out of school youths with special needs.
In 2007, S. Ma. Andrea L. Yee, RVM was appointed the School Directress of St. Mary’s Academy. The following year, SMACC had S. Ma. Teresita S. Catacutan, RVM as the school Principal.School year 2009 – 2010 marked the 60th founding anniversary of the school. S. Ma. Andrea L. Yee, RVM, served as the Directress/ Principal, and under her leadership, the school gained a recertification of ISO 9001:2008.
In School year 2010-2011, SMACC continues to soar higher for excellence. It underwent another PAASCU re-accreditation. With the concerted efforts and hard work of the institution, another five-year Certificate of Accreditation-Level II was awarded to the school.
From school year 2011-2012 to 2013-2014, S. Ma. Paula G. Adaoag, RVM was appointed the School Directress of SMACC. In her second year as school directress, the school has once again embarked on the implementation of another educational reform set by the Department of Education, the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 or the K to 12 program. One with the nation in aligning our educational system with global standards, SMACC rolled out its K to 12 offering in the Grade 1 and Grade 7 levels respectively.
For school year 2014-2015, once again led by S. Ma. Andrea L. Yee, RVM as Directress, the school went on its third year of implementation of the K to 12 program, for Grades 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9 levels. The following school year 2015-2016, S. Ma. Marisa C. Rebosura, RVM was appointed as the new Directress and S. Ma. Miraflor A. Bahan, RVM as the Basic Education Principal. For school year 2016 - 2017, under the continued leadership of S. Ma. Marisa C. Rebosura, RVM, the initial roll out of Grade 11 was implemented. In her second year as Directress/Principal, the school gained certification of ISO 9001:2015 and was granted Level II PAASCU Re-accreditation in the Basic Education Program for 5 years valid until May 2022.
Under the new leadership of S. Ma. Evelyn C. Aguilar, RVM as new Directress/Principal, SMACC will begin its new journey with the pilot implementation of the Grade 12 program for school year 2017 - 2018. St. Mary's Academy will continuously provide Quality Ignacian Marian Education to the Filipino youth, and nourish students in their intellectual and Spiritual growth with the values of Faith, Excellence and Service.
M. Ignacia del Espiritu Santo
“AM” stands for “Ave Maria” in praise of our Blessed Mother, the Patroness of the RVM Congregation. The rays signify the light and wisdom which emanate from the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sampaguita beneath the book, being the national flower, is symbolic of the RVM being a Filipino Congregation. The stars represent our Lady’s many virtues. At the center of the seal is an open book bearing the Latin inscription “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini” which in English means, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Appropriately, it has become the school’s motto for it signifies filial fear, love, awe and profound reverence for the Divine Source of wisdom, grace and life.