In an Upper School inquiry-based classroom, the teacher does not stand at the front of the room talking at students—but rather shares the same round table as the students, or watches over the shoulders of a small group of collaborators.
Each member of the class—student and teacher alike—takes responsibility for the entire group’s learning. The teacher functions as expert when necessary, but also encourages student inquiry and skillfully facilitates purposeful conversations and structured problem solving.
Upper School students pursue a challenging college-preparatory program with requirements in English, history, mathematics, science, world language, computer science, the arts, and physical education. Core courses such as Algebra, American History, and Biology pave the way for advanced electives including Radical Texts, Digital Humanities, and Marine Biology.
The curriculum and academic cycle also have flexibility to allow for collaborative work during the school day, access to teachers—and by 11th and 12th grade—multiple electives, independent studies, and a dedicated Bridge semester to focus on a personalized academic, professional, and/or creative project before graduation.
As a strong academic foundation is carefully constructed, independent thought and imaginative problem solving are also cultivated. Students are encouraged to reach for ever-greater levels of excellence in their coursework as they explore interests, take intellectual risks, and push beyond traditional comfort zones. As independence grows, responsibility for one’s self and serving the community are emphasized. Students are encouraged to seek leadership opportunities in the classroom, on the field and stage, and in a wide range of extracurricular pursuits.