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Upper School Curriculum

View our complete curriculum guide here.

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Acting Workshop

This is a course for the serious acting student and includes advanced work on characterization, improvisation, scene study, directing and other areas of study that vary from year to year.

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Advanced Honors Chinese

This course is designed to deepen students’ immersion into the language and culture of the Chinese-speaking world and to prepare students to attain Advanced-Low to Advanced-Mid level on the ACTFL proficiency scale.

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Advanced Honors Computer Science

This college-level course establishes a strong understanding of the structure and interpretation of computer programs with an emphasis on project management skills using agile methodology. 

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Advanced Honors Physics

This is the department’s most advanced physics course and explores topics in mechanics and electricity and magnetism from a calculus-based perspective.

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American Studies

American Studies is an interdisciplinary, discussion-based, writing-intensive course that fulfills both the United States History and English III/IV course requirements.

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Applied Computer Science

This year-long course provides an overview of the role of a software engineer, different aspects of the profession, and extensive use of languages and tools for developing web applications.

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ASBC/Leadership

This graded course provides a conceptual and practical understanding of student government and leadership for elected members of the Associated Student Body Council (ASBC).

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Big History

Big History surveys the entirety of history from the beginning of the universe to the present day to even predictions about the future.

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Biology

This course provides a thorough introduction to the increasingly important field of biology, covering the core concepts of biochemistry, genetics, natural selection and ecology.

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Bishop's Chorus I/II

This introductory choral performance group is open to all upper school students who enjoy singing and would like to improve their singing technique.

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Calculus

This course explores limits, derivatives and integrals through, whenever possible, applications and problem solving.

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Ceramics III

This course is designed for students who are self-directed and committed to their personal expression in ceramics.

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Chemistry

This course familiarizes students with the underlying principles that govern the chemical reactions in our world.

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Chinese I

In this course students learn the fundamentals of listening, speaking, reading and writing the Chinese language.

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Chinese III

Students who complete this course build practical skills in all three modes of communication and attain the Intermediate-Mid level on the ACTFL proficiency scale.

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Chinese IV

Students who complete this advanced Chinese course build practical skills in all three modes of communication and attain the Intermediate-High level on the ACTFL proficiency scale.

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Economics

This course is designed to explore decision making at all levels as students explore how individuals and societies manage scarce resources in an attempt to satisfy unlimited wants.

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Engineering Physics

In this project-based course, students apply knowledge of fundamental principles of physics to a variety of hands-on engineering projects designed to illustrate these principles.

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English II: Genre Studies

This course teaches students how to read the most important literary genres − novels, drama, short fiction and poetry − and how to write clearly, directly, and creatively in and about those genres.

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Environmental Science

This interdisciplinary class introduces students to environmental topics and current issues facing our community and planet through inquiry-based learning, and laboratory and field investigation.

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French II

In French 2, students further develop interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills as defined by the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

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Global Issues

This semester-long study of major issues affecting the world today offers students a global overview of political, economic, social and cultural issues that are shaping their future.

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Health

The health curriculum is designed to encourage active student involvement in the development of a healthy lifestyle.

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Honors Biology

This advanced course is rigorous, fast-paced and equivalent to a first-year college biology course and is taught with a college textbook.

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Honors Calculus BC

This is a college-level course on differential and integral calculus including power series and topics, such as the calculus of polar graphs that go beyond the scope of the AB syllabus.

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Honors Chemistry

This course emphasizes laboratory investigation and making connections between seemingly disparate topics within chemistry.

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Honors Greek

In this course students study Classical Greek, beginning from the alphabet and ending with some reading of some authentic and unadapted texts from ancient Greece.

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Honors Physics

Honors Physics is a challenging, college-level, non-calculus-based physics course which is designed to investigate fundamental principles of physics.

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Honors Psychology

This course explores the behavior and mental processes of human beings through the lens of various subfields of psychology.

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Honors Studio Art

This is a college-level course that welcomes students who demonstrate an advanced ability to create visual artwork both with technical skills and a mature approach to art-making.

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Honors United States History

This college-level course explores United States history from precolonial times to the modern era with an emphasis on the political, economic, social and cultural forces that have given shape to the nation.

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Introduction to the Philosophy of Human Rights

This class is an applied philosophy course that uses the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 as a way of connecting pressing contemporary issues with a broad range of philosophical ideas and controversies, drawn from multiple traditions and many centuries.

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Jazz Band I/II

In this class students perform and improvise over standard repertoire with a focus on scales and rhythmic devices, chord/scale relationships, standard harmonic progressions, and fluency in reading rhythm.

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Journalism

In this rigorous, writing-intensive class, students take responsibility for producing and distributing a publication regularly.

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Latin I

This course combines the material covered during the two years of middle school introductory Latin.

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Latin II

This course continues with the introduction to Latin grammar and vocabulary begun in Latin I or Latin IA/IB.

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Latin III

This course provides a thorough review of grammar previously studied before proceeding to the reading of a series of fully authentic and unadapted Latin texts.

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Latin IV

In this course, the Aeneid of Vergil is read in its entirety in English with significant portions read in Latin.

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L.E.A.D.

Regardless of age, year in school or skill set, every student can become more advanced in their personal understanding, decision making and ability to lead others.

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Marine Biology

This course provides a basic introduction to the patterns and processes found in marine systems and the relationships between living things and their marine environment.

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Mathematics 3 Enriched

Math 3E is problem-centered, but is more demanding than Math 3, considering a greater number of problem types, moving at a faster pace, and providing less instruction and support before homework on any given topic is assigned.

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Mathematics 4 Enriched

The unifying subjects for this course of advanced algebra and geometry are straight lines and the figures they produce − polygons and polyhedra.

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Optimal Performance

Optimal Performance is an in-depth functional training program designed to improve strength, speed, flexibility/mobility, agility, and overall health and well-being for any student regardless of their sport, activity or ability.

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Peer Support

The Peer Support Team’s mission is “to better educate ourselves and our community on issues and matters relevant to student life.

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Photography I

The aim of Photography I is to introduce students to the technical, historical, and scientific elements of the world of photography and design.

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Photography II

This course is an amplification of Photography I, with an introduction to alternative media besides digital photography.

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Photography III

Further development of technique with students working entirely in digital, black and white or a combination of both is stressed in this course.

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Precalculus Core

This course prepares students for the Calculus course by continuing the concepts from Core Mathematics 5 through the study of functions and logarithms.

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Race & Religion in America

In this course, we will explore the religious and theological foundations of racial categories and racist ideology across various American congregational communities.

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Robotics

This course offers students the opportunity to learn and apply mathematical, scientific and computer programming skills through robot design and construction.

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Spanish I

This course presents an introduction to Spanish and develops the four essential skills of language learning.

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Spanish IV

In this course, students expand on the knowledge acquired in previous courses and incorporate new strategies that improve speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities.

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Spanish IV Honors

At the core of this course are six groups of learning objectives identifying what students should know and be able to do across the three modes of communication.

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Studio Art III

This course is designed for the student who is committed to the development of his or her personal artwork through the construction of an art portfolio.

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Studio Art I/II

These courses introduce students to the use of both dry (graphite, pastel, charcoal, etc.) and wet (watercolor, ink and acrylic) media in drawing and painting

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Studio Art IV: Portfolio

This course helps students find their voice in art and encourages students who plan to take AP Studio to work on their portfolio development.

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Symphonic Orchestra

Similar to a large symphony orchestra, but smaller in size, the symphonic orchestra is meant for the more serious and dedicated instrumental musician.

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Theater Design & Production II

This course continues the hands-on element of Theater Design and Production I, with students continuing to further their knowledge and expertise in all areas of theatrical production.

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