Admissions FAQ’s


The middle school experience can seem like a tumultuous one, but families come to consider McQuaid Jesuit as a big school with a small school feeling. Here, students and parents are encouraged to recognize that each boy adapts at his own pace—one that is appropriate and comfortable to him. As in any new environment, each student should be allowed to explore at his own pace.

As a parent, ask yourself: Does he seem satisfied with his own progress—academically and socially? Is he making friends or taking part at a rate with which he is comfortable? If the answers are yes, he is finding his way. If not, keep in mind that he has both the time and gifts to make his experience better.

McQuaid Jesuit seeks to create young men who through experience and discernment can decide, act, and adapt for themselves. An experienced faculty and staff recognize that our students master those skills with maturity. Therefore, middle school students are given more guidance before making decisions and given less responsibility for fewer decisions. As students mature, they are allowed more personal responsibility but are made accountable for themselves and their decisions.

Also, through the Freshman Orientation Program, all students are introduced to the physical space and the ways of proceeding in the high school. During that day, students are taught important information about the mission and history of the school, are introduced to their new classmates, and learn the infamous “Simba Cheer”.

In the end, McQuaid Jesuit is one school with seven grades. The majority of middle school classes will be held in the middle school hallway, especially for the 6th grade students. However, a number of Middle School faculty members teach classes throughout the building, which causes some overlap of Middle School and High School students as they travel to class. Also, Middle School students will have their own separate lunch period every day. Finally, students in the 7th and 8th Grade who have the desire and talent to take an accelerated course of study may enroll in math and/or science classes throughout the school.

A McQuaid Jesuit Knight is a young man who is at all times, in all places, and in all situations expected to act as a gentleman. McQuaid Jesuit is committed to ensuring respect for the dignity of all members of our community. We recognize that learning must occur within the context of a safe, caring, respectful community. We further recognize that bullying, harassment, and intimidation exists in this world of multiple social media vehicles and other communication schemes. McQuaid is not a haven from that societal problem.

However, given that McQuaid, as part of its mission, seeks to develop young men who are loving, our school community has a comprehensive plan in place to identify all forms of intimidation, to encourage timely reporting of any such incidents, to thoroughly investigate any claims, and to apply consequences consistent with the school’s disciplinary policies. In advance of any incidences, McQuaid coordinates efforts to educate students, parents, faculty, and staff through a variety of forums including orientation sessions, religion classes, assemblies, guidance lessons, and other age-appropriate means.


An all-male Catholic school founded over 60 years ago in the Jesuit tradition of education, McQuaid Jesuit is one of the finest schools in the Rochester area for forming men who are prepared for the rigors of college, who have examined deeply their own faith and convictions, who are open to loving relationships, and who are committed to seeing justice done in the world—in short, a “whole” man.

Because our school community is committed to diversity and the richness that a variety of students bring, McQuaid Jesuit’s Admissions Committee does not seek to find one type of student. Admitted students come from public and private schools, city and suburbs, and have experienced different measures of success. One common factor that all successful applicants share, however, is a well-developed sense that hard work itself yields tangible benefits. At McQuaid, when hard-working young men are challenged by a committed faculty, success occurs.

Class sizes may vary depending on the course and student needs, but the average class size is 18 students. However, McQuaid Jesuit deliberately forms smaller class sections in those disciplines in which collaboration is most essential. By contrast, in those classes where a variety of opinions expressed leads to greater appreciation and learning of the subject matter, larger classes are formed.

Section 3635 of the NYS Education Law requires all non-city districts to provide transportation for students that live within fifteen miles of the school they attend. The distances in each case are measured by the nearest available routes from home to school. In order to obtain transportation for their children, parents must file requests with the district in which they live.

Through daily religion classes, annual retreats, and regular opportunities to perform service in the community, McQuaid Jesuit students have the opportunity to nourish their spiritual side—one present in all young men. Centuries ago, the Jesuits realized that, in order to teach, they first needed to learn the language of those whom they meant to instruct. In the same way, conversations about faith and spirituality and the tenets underlying them—tenets like integrity, honesty, and faith—are the means by which experienced instructors translate theology for our young men. Throughout their years at McQuaid, students are continuously challenged to discuss, explore, reflect, and express their individual core beliefs. By graduation, students will have developed a bedrock understanding of their own creed upon which they can build the remainder of their lives and through which they can, in the words of St. Ignatius, “Go forth, and set the world on fire.”

Because McQuaid Jesuit seeks to form the whole man, students are led to recognize the contributions and talents of each member of the community. Students are encouraged to remain at school beyond 2:45 p.m. and to become involved in a number of co-curricular activities from athletics to drama, visual arts to speech and debate, Campus Ministry to robotics. Students can find a variety of options to satisfy their own interests through presentations from club moderators and leaders as well as an annual Activities Fair held early each school year. McQuaid Knights are young men who celebrate the talents of every member of the school community.

Students are instructed and encouraged to be self-regulated, self-directed learners. In order to create an independent young man committed to life-long learning, McQuaid instructors teach essential study, note taking, and class management skills. As self-regulated learners, students are expected to seek help when needed rather than wait for teacher-required remediation. However, McQuaid faculty, living out the concept of cura personalis, invest themselves both to challenge and support their students. McQuaid has ‘Flex’, a 35 minute study hall, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays where students have the ability to see teachers for extra help, work independently on their homework, and/or collaborate with their classmates. In addition, upon request and at mutually beneficial times, students and teachers will meet before or after school to collaborate on papers and projects, to reinforce skills, and to help prepare for major assessments. Students requiring more intensive support may be assigned a tutor from the National Honor Society or Academic Center. Also, teachers make available a variety of support material linked to their assignments on Schoology, McQuaid’s online gradebook and campus community.

Our guidance department helps each student find a school that best fits his needs. Administrators and professors at many colleges and universities tell us that they know almost immediately when they have encountered a McQuaid Jesuit Knight, both by his respectful manner and by his academic prowess. Most especially, they recognize McQuaid graduates by their writing proficiency. Alumni describe their freshman experience at some of the best universities as “easier than they expected” and that they felt no intimidation by the rigor or expectations.

If you would like to see how our students fare on the SAT, for example, please visit our School Profile. If you would like to see where our most recent graduates are going to college, please visit our College Matriculation page.

After school and on weekends, students have opportunities to socialize by participating in interschool clubs and activities like dances and mixers, speech and debate tournaments, play productions, robotics tournaments, charitable events, service opportunities, and even as spectators at school functions and events.

As a key component of our mission statement, McQuaid embraces all forms of diversity and seeks constantly to widen its appeal so as to create a vibrant community of racial, religious, and economic diversity. Presently, students of color make up 29% of our school population and students of faiths other than Roman Catholic over 26%. Additionally, our student population is represented by 7 counties and 40 school districts.

All high school students through 11th grade complete courses in each of the six core curricular areas: math, English, history, science, foreign language, and theology.  In addition, students complete courses in physical education, fine arts, and various electives. Students will have a total of 8 courses on their schedule, but they will typically only meet with 7 of the 8 on a daily basis.


As outlined by the student handbook, students must wear (1) a dress shirt and tie, (2) dress pants with belt, (3) dress shoes with socks, and (4) sports coat. Although students are free to make individual brand and style choices, the Dean of Students acts as the arbiter of the dress code.

We are very proud of our athletic tradition here at McQuaid Jesuit. We have nearly 700 students competing on various teams for 21 sports at the interscholastic level.  Our middle school, as a point of reference, fields 16 teams in 14 different sports. However, athletics is only one segment of a rich and varied co-curricular life at McQuaid Jesuit. We also have an assortment of non-athletic co-curricular organizations through which you may learn many of the same leadership and teamwork skills that are taught on the athletic field.

For a full list of our athletic offerings, please visit our Athletics page.

Your participation in co-curricular activities is an effective way of assisting your transition to McQuaid Jesuit and developing openness to growth. At McQuaid, there are over 40 different clubs and at least one to satisfy the curiosity and interests of just about every student. That’s because McQuaid encourages you to express your leadership skills by directing and, if desired, creating new clubs and activities. In order to form a new club, all you need to do is develop a mission statement, find a core group of members, locate a faculty/staff moderator, and gain approval from Administration. Some of the school’s most vibrant activities, from speech & debate, to habitat for humanity and robotics, are the result of students getting involved in co-curricular activities.
Please visit our Co-Curricular Activities page for a full list of our clubs and activities.

Beginning in the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year, McQuaid Jesuit will be opening the doors to its 36,000 square foot Wegman Family Science and Technology Center featuring classrooms and laboratories for environmental science, biology, chemistry and physics. In addition, the center will house three computer labs, an engineering lab with workrooms for our two robotics clubs, and additional facilities for campus ministry and student life.

McQuaid offers the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering program in partnership with its New York State higher education affiliate, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). McQuaid currently offers three PLTW courses and students completing these courses may elect to earn college credit through RIT, which New York State’s national affiliate for PLTW.

As one might expect, the amount of nightly homework will depend on a variety of factors including class level, sequence in the semester, and free time. Students at McQuaid Jesuit quickly master time management and use opportunities wisely to study and prepare. For middle school students, a rule of thumb is ten minutes per class year. For example, students in the 6th grade might expect, on average, 60 minutes of homework per night. For high school students, homework for each core subject may average 20–30 minutes, for a total of 2–3 hours per night.

The McQuaid Jesuit community celebrates campus-wide Masses for each of the Catholic Holy Days of Obligation. Members of all faiths are encouraged to participate. For those who desire more frequent opportunities to worship, Mass is celebrated each morning at 7:30 a.m. in the Chapel where all are welcomed.

McQuaid Jesuit does not try to take the place of your family house of worship. Instead, our goal is to lead you on a spiritual journey, to help you discover for yourself your core beliefs so that you might use those gifts to create a better world. Young men of all denominations and degrees of devotion learn from each other in religion classes, service trips, and class retreats where group discussion and personal reflection lead each person to a better understanding of self. The presence of young men of many faiths enriches the McQuaid community and helps make all present more faithful believers.