Our Mission

St. Mary Academy - Bay View is an independent, Catholic school serving a diverse population of girls from preschool through grade twelve. In the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, we foster academic excellence in an innovative and creative learning environment. We are committed to empowering each student to be a confident, independent, compassionate and socially conscious young woman who fully lives her faith.


Welcome From Our President

Welcome to St. Mary Academy – Bay View, where we have been investing in the power of educating girls and young women for 145 years and counting. Rooted in the rich tradition of Mercy that has been modeled by Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, our Academy positions its students to achieve academic excellence in an environment that is steeped in the core values of compassion and service. By promoting leadership, inquiry, and innovation, we are dedicated to the forward-thinking development of a holistic education that encourages and values social responsibility and global awareness.

The opportunity to lead our Bay View community is one for which I am deeply honored and grateful. Each day, I witness an esteemed faculty engage our students in 21st-century skill-building and dynamic learning experiences that equip them for success without limits, and I observe the many ways that these same students participate in numerous enriching activities offered beyond the classroom. Through it all, we recognize the privilege of our own participation in the lives of each student as she authors the inspiring, personal story of who she is becoming at Bay View…and whom she will be for the world beyond.

The inestimable value of a Bay View education is one that I hope you explore through our website and by scheduling a visit to campus. We are delighted you are interested in our school, and we look forward to welcoming you to Bay View so that you can experience, firsthand, the Mercy difference.

In Mercy,

Sister Marybeth Beretta


About Bay View

Who We Are

St. Mary Academy - Bay View was founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1874. Bay View’s campus is located in Riverside, Rhode Island, five miles east of the state Capitol building. For 2018-2019 academic school year we have a strong student enrollment of 540 plus girls and young women in preschool through grade twelve. Middle and Upper School students are selected on the basis of a rigorous entrance examination as well as superior academic achievement.

Students are drawn from cities and towns throughout Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. The Academy also enrolls international students through a variety of international agencies, providing both dormitory and host family housing.

Bay View welcomes and appreciates the community enrichment that ethnic, cultural and religious diversity provide.

Where We Come From

Opened as St. Mary Seminary in East Providence, RI by the Sisters of Mercy in 1874, St. Mary Academy - Bay View began and continues as a private school for young women. To this day, the Sisters of Mercy continue to sponsor Bay View as a Catholic, all-girls Academy. The focus on single-sex education is rooted in the belief of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, that:

"There is nothing more conducive to the good of society than the education of young women."


Our Values

We support and actively implement the following Mercy values:

  • Compassion and service
  • Educational excellence
  • Concern for women and women's issues
  • Global vision and responsibility
  • Spiritual growth and development
  • Collaboration

What Sets Us Apart

St. Mary Academy - Bay View is one Academy housing three schools - Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. All three schools share one common mission: 

In the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, we foster academic excellence in an innovative and creative learning environment in order to empower each student, from preschool through grade twelve, to be a confident, independent, compassionate and socially conscious young woman who fully lives her faith. 

This mission is carried out in developmentally appropriate ways across the three levels, and all are targeted to girls...the way they learn, play, grow, relate and thrive. Lower School (preschool through grade 5), Middle School (grades 6-8), and Upper School (grades 9-12).

The curriculum, like the mission, is based on an all-Academy approach. Each subject area, from science and mathematics to world languages, performing arts and physical education, is incorporated beginning at age three and progresses until our students graduate from the Upper School.

Why All-Girls

The answer is simple; all-girls schools instill confidence, foster academic excellence, enhance aspirations, and encourage engagement in the classroom and extracurricular activities. *Girls attending all-girls schools are more likely to have an experience that supports their learning than are girls attending coed schools (independent and public). In particular, students at all-girls schools report:

  • Higher Aspirations and Greater Motivations
  • Challenged to Achieve More
  • Actively Engaged in Learning
  • Prepared for the Outside World
  • Comfortable Being and Expression Themselves
  • Greater Gains in Academic and Life Skills

*highlights taken from “Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools,” a comprehensive report prepared for NCGS