Upper School Program Guide





King is dedicated to preparing its students to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

We provide an excellent, progressive education, grounded in the traditional disciplines of the arts and sciences, committed to the nurturing of individual potential, and designed to promote critical thinking and reasoned reflection. Using rich and innovative methods, our teachers facilitate each student’s fullest academic and personal achievement. We champion the development of character, self-confidence, and talent through challenging intellectual, creative, athletic, leadership, and service opportunities.

King believes that individual accomplishment must go hand in hand with respect for others. Our culture of respect fosters collaboration as well as independence. We embrace human and cultural diversity. We value responsible citizenship.

King graduates are well equipped to succeed in college and to pursue lives of ongoing inquiry, learning, accomplishment, personal fulfillment and social responsibility.

Approved by the King Board of Trustees, June 7, 2011


At King, we believe that our students bring a unique blend of interests and talents to the educational experience. The Faculty designs a variety of programs that inspire individuality through the process of intellectual, physical, creative, emotional, and social inquiry and expression.

The King curriculum is comprised of opportunities that promote the development of intellectual ability; communication and problem solving skills; an awareness of the complexities of our ever changing world; and an appreciation of and responsibility for others.


To achieve the ideals of our Mission and realize the aspirations of our Philosophy, the King community:




All students must complete Grades 9-12 in order to qualify for a diploma.

Students must take at least five credits of courses each year with a minimum of 20 to graduate. Courses are assigned the following credit values:

Full year “Major” course, meeting 6 times/rotation        1.0 credit

Full year “Minor” course, meeting 2-3 times/rotation        .50 credit

Full year “Minor” course, meeting 1 time/rotation        .25 credit

Semester “ Major” course, meeting 6 times/rotation        .50 credit

Semester “Minor” course, meeting 2-3 times/rotation        .25 credit

While four years of study in Math, Language, and Science are encouraged, credits required in each academic department for graduation are as follows:


4 Credits


3 Credits, including US History


3 Credits, including Alg. 1, Alg 2/Trig, and Geometry


3 Credits, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

World Languages

Through Level 3

Visual Art

.25 Credit, Including Fundamentals of Art for Beginners

Performing Arts

.50 Credit

Life Skills

.25 Credit in Grade 9 or 10
.25 Credit in Grade 11 or 12

Additional requirements include:

The Athletic Program

Participation in one athletic season or a minimum of 100 hours each year of an approved off-campus sport not offered by King

The Performing Arts Program

Involvement in at least one production over four years. More details are available here.


Movement between and among our programs is quite fluid and is dependent upon the relative areas of strength for each student. To assist in the identification of the program designation of a particular course throughout this Curriculum Guide, course numbering information for each program is provided below. Course numbers also follow all course listings in each department in this guide.

The College Preparatory Program

The College Preparatory Program is the fundamental program in every given discipline.

The Honors Program  

The Honors Program takes College Preparatory courses to a more sophisticated, advanced level, generally preparing students for Advanced Placement courses in their junior and senior years. Students may also choose to design an Independent Study, which allows them to pursue advanced study in an area of interest at the Honors level. Course numbers in this program begin with 1 - 4 and end in “0”.

The Advanced Placement Program

The Advanced Placement program prepares students for a College Board examination in their chosen courses in early May. Superior skills in the fundamentals of the various subject areas are generally a prerequisite for entering AP courses, along with a high level of intellectual curiosity and motivation, solid analytical and reasoning ability, and a strong independent work ethic. Course numbers in this program begin with “5” and end in “0”. King currently offers Advanced Placement courses in the following areas:


Calculus – AB

Calculus – BC


Chinese Language

Comparative Government and Politics

Computer Science A

Computer Science Principles

English Language and Composition

English Literature and Composition

French Language and Culture

European History



Music Theory

Physics 1

Physics C: Mechanics


Spanish Language and Culture

Spanish Literature and Culture


United States History

The Advanced Seminar Program

The Upper School offers students courses that go beyond the scope of the Advanced Placement program. Courses in advanced Research and Development in Mathematics, the Sciences, and Engineering, as well as Archeology, Multivariable Calculus, Introduction to Computational Chemistry, Genetics and Philosophy, for example,  would fall under this programmatic category.

Independent Studies

Independent Studies investigate subjects that are either outside King’s curriculum or are unavailable as a course in a given term. Supervised by a mentor or mentors from the appropriate academic department(s), students are responsible for the work and research required to explore a topic independently. Independent Studies are taken on a semester basis in addition to a full schedule of at least five major courses. Typical products to demonstrate students’ learning may be a series of essays and/or presentations. Examples of past Independent Studies include the following:

Italian Language

Portrait Painting

Global Warming and Clean Energy

The Social Impact of Videogames

Special Projects

Special Projects build on content acquired within King’s curriculum to investigate topics or undertake projects that advance deeper and/or further than King’s formal course offerings. Guided by a mentor or mentors from the appropriate academic department(s)—and sometimes by outside experts—students are responsible for the work and research required to master a topic and/or design and implement a project. Projects may be completely driven by an individual student’s interest or may be offered and directed by instructors working with small groups of students. Regardless, all projects require a commitment from students to be curious and to explore and apply independently. Special Projects typically earn advanced (Honors or Advanced Seminar), major credit and typically are taken on a semester basis in addition to a full schedule of at least five major courses. Products are as varied as the projects and have included essays, presentations, stage lighting design, software applications, and a fixed-wing drone.


Students who elect to graduate with a Certificate of Distinction in STEM will pursue a variety of challenging coursework, club activities, project development and/or research opportunities.  Along the path to Distinction, students will learn first-hand some of the skills that are regularly used by today’s researchers and innovators, such as literature review, experimentation or project design, modeling, data analysis, and presentation of information.  Moreover, students will appreciate the extent to which STEM fields overlap when applied to real world problems.


1)  Required Courses:

Both of the following:

One of the following:

One of the following:

2)  Three semesters of any combination of the following elective courses:  

Science Department

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Scientific Research


Computer Science/Digital Application Department

  • Advanced Java with Robotics
  • Digital Mobile App Development
  • C++ Honors
  • Computer Science - Research and Development
  • Engineering

Math Department

  • Multivariable Calculus

3)  A Three-Year Commitment to at least Two of the Following Clubs: 


4)  Trips and Events (including competitions):

The STEM Committee will decide what the criteria are for student involvement in these activities.

5)   Final Capstone Project:  

Students involved in a research project will be expected to present and/or publish their work.  As an alternative, students without a research project will be assisted in the process of securing an internship.


To complete the Leadership Distinction at King, a student must demonstrate an understanding of leadership theory and meaningfully apply a strong skill set to coursework, leadership roles, and a Capstone Project.

A) Required Courses:

B) One of the following Electives:

  • Grade 10: Leadership Foundations (P/F minor, full- year)
  • Grade 11:
  • Leadership Seminar (P/F minor, full-year)
  • Theory of Leadership  (graded minor, Fall semester)
  • Grade 12: Leadership Practicum (P/F minor, fall semester)              
  • Public Speaking (P/F minor, semester)
  • Independent Study in leadership  (graded minor, semester)
  • AP Comparative Government
  • Psychology
  • Literature of Social Reflection
  • Ancient Philosophy                  
  • Modern Philosophy                  
  • Cultural Anthropology

C) Participation Requirement

Meaningful engagement in at least two such roles (only some examples listed below) in Grade 10; three such roles in Grade 11; and four such roles in Grade 12:        

  • Sports Captain-or active team leader                                  
  • Club President or club project/activity leader                    
  • Helping with Lower School/MS classes (encore or academic)      
  • Running Crew for MS/LS Performing Arts                    
  • Math Help Center/tutoring                                                 
  • Community Service 450 hours-in or out of King over 4 years      
  • Mentoring
  • Model UN
  • Peer Review
  • Yearbook Editor
  • Student Council
  • Prefect
  • Debate                 


D) Appearance before the Leadership Distinction Council (LDC)


E) Capstone Project


The Global Studies Program at King takes a multidisciplinary and multicultural approach to examining and understanding global issues. Interested students engage in intensive study of global problems and responses to them: environmental, socio-economic, diplomatic, and intellectual. Emphasis is placed on the study of the historical and anthropological origins and effects of global expansion; post-World War II and post-colonial world affairs; globalism and globalization; environmental changes and how they impact the globe; the growth of interdependent economies and their ramifications; global institutions such as the IMF and World Bank; global problems facing the United Nations; how new mentalities impact the globe and are impacted by it, as well as the global effects of mass media. Students examine those problems from diverse perspectives, in an effort to overcome ethnocentrism and foster multicultural understanding.

The Global Studies Distinction is an opportunity for a student to distinguish him/herself as one who is interested in and has seriously pursued a variety of topics and experiences related to global study. The Distinction appears on the student’s transcript. The requirements for earning this distinction are as follows:

1) Required Courses:

2) Two of the following elective courses:

Social Science Department

Science Department

History Department

Department of World Languages

Visual Arts

Independent Study

3) A Two-Year Commitment to Two of the Following Clubs:


Students wishing to qualify for the World Languages Distinction should complete the following.

  1.  Required Courses

At least four years of one language.

Example: Path 1: FRE/SPA/CHI 101, 201, 301, and 401

                Path 2: FRE/SPA/CHI 200, 300, 400/500

It is understood that some students may jump from Honors to non-Honors and vice versa. Students may also opt not to take the AP exam, but still complete the requisite four years. For example, a student in Spanish might complete levels 200 and 300, then move to Historia y Arte (420), and end with Intro to AP Literature (410).

In addition to the above:  

2)  Cultural-Linguistic Immersion Trip

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one trip experience during their US years. The trip should be of at least a week in length and involve some type of home stay/cultural exchange in the host country. If a student is not able to attend the school-sponsored trips to France or Spain, or to other overseas countries that speak the target languages, students are encouraged to participate in a language immersion experience in the United States, either through a summer immersion program such as the Dartmouth Rassias Program, Concordia Language Villages, or a like program. The program can also be local.

3) Clubs/Activities

Students who are unable to attend a trip or have an immersion experience outside of the School must play a leadership role in at least one club or activity that involves the world language(s) they are taking. Such activities would include French Club, Spanish Conversation Table, Chinese Club, and/or tutoring students in Middle School and helping out with the LS language programs.

4) Culminating Project

Students should complete a project at the end of their program on a topic of their choice in the target language. Such projects could include essays, short stories, plays, films, etc. Projects could be analytical and/or creative. The most important factor would be the use of the target language in the accomplishment of the project. The project would result in a presentation to invited and interested faculty and students. The presentation would be conducted in the target language.



The English faculty encourages students to explore and understand how language is used to express the thoughts and feelings of English speakers interacting with their world and reflecting upon the challenges of being human. At each grade level students are empowered to develop and refine their skills of reading, writing, thinking, speaking, and listening, as they encounter increasingly challenging texts from a number of literary periods and genres. In particular, the English faculty is committed to developing authenticity of personal voice in each student and to fostering a love of the written word and pleasure in the act of reading.

Requirement: 4 credits, including American Literature



English 105 is dedicated to the development of analytical, creative, and grammatical skills that are essential to the writing process. Some of these skills include: reading critically, listening attentively, and participating thoughtfully. Over the course of the year, students have the opportunity to work collaboratively in small groups, engage in meaningful discussions, and work independently during class. When writing, they will outline, draft, and conference, before revising; students will also learn the fundamentals of building an argument. Thematically, the course explores the concept of the journey, the nature of circumstance, and the value of home. Homer’s epic poem begs us to think about the path of the hero as well as the welcome and unwanted challenges associated with any journey. By pairing it with Otsuka’s story of Japanese internment, Lord of the Flies, and Romeo and Juliet, students learn to reconsider their understanding of the hero and think about what it means to finally go home. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” by Kamkwamba; “The Odyssey,” by Homer; “When the Emperor Was Divine,” by Otsuka; “Lord of the Flies,” by Golding; “Romeo and Juliet,” by Shakespeare; a selection of short stories, myths, and poems; “Grammar for Writing, Grade 9,” by Sadlier.



The primary goal of this course is to provide students with opportunities to refine their skills in the study of literature and language. The course focuses on teaching the skills surrounding close textual inquiry, with attention to the terminology of literary analysis. Particular attention is paid to developing each student’s personal, analytical, and creative writing skills. The goals include clarity of thinking and fluent self-expression.  This class investigates stories that have endured for millennia. We begin by examining Greek myths, stories from the King James Bible, and fairy tales, and then move on to modern retellings and re-imagining of these archetypal stories. We will think about how texts establish patterns of form and theme and how they also complicate those patterns. We will ask why these stories continue to be cultural touchstones subconsciously and consciously. As we see how one text revises another, we will think about the connections between history, culture, and storytelling. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: Excerpts from Greek mythology; excerpts from the Bible; “The Book Thief,” by Zusak; “Our Town,” by Wilder; “Macbeth,” by Shakespeare, “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” by Marquez; “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Atwood; “Grammar for Writing, Grade 10” by Sadlier.


The materials and skills addressed in this course are similar to those in ENG 201. Students enrolled in this honors-level course are expected to demonstrate a high level of independence and initiative in their approach to their work. Reading assignments are longer; discussion is more nuanced; and writing assignments are more sophisticated. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: “East of Eden,” by Steinbeck; “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Stevenson; additional excerpts from Greek mythology and the Bible.



This course is designed to expose students to a variety of voices that shape the American experience. We track the evolution of American identity by considering the many literary voices that shape our culture. Such a textured history begs several essential questions that we visit throughout the year. What does the term “American” mean? How do race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and socio-economic status impact our understanding of the term “American”? Students are expected to engage with the texts in a meaningful way and constructively share their ideas during sustained discussion in order to deepen their understandings. In addition to close textual inquiry, students are asked to consider the relevance of a given text, as they strive to understand its placement and importance in shaping American culture. Students will hone their reading, writing, and speaking skills, with an emphasis on the clear, concise, efficient, and forceful. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: “The Round House,” by Erdrich; a selection of short stories by Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, and Hemingway; a selection of Nobel Prize speeches; “Self-Reliance” and “Nature,” by Emerson; “Civil Disobedience,” by Thoreau; “A Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by King, “How to be a Colored Me,” by Hurston; “God Save the Child,” by Morrison; “The Great Gatsby,” by Fitzgerald; “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” by Egan; poetry by Frost, Whitman, and Dickinson.


This pre-AP class investigates the stories Americans tell about themselves. We will encounter texts that celebrate, criticize, and reimagine America. We will look at a variety of genres including: poetry, short stories, essays, plays and novels, spanning from the colonial period to modern day. We will explore how gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and socio-economic status impact our culture as well as our individual identities. As we read, we will identify patterns—ideas and conflicts that American writers return to again and classical primary sources: Gilgamesh, The Koran, The Bible, The Upanishads, The Bhagavad- Gita, Buddhist and Sufi texts, among others. Furthermore, the course takes on the distinction between secular and religious culture, and attempts a unifying approach. (Semester, .50 credits)


The Grade 12 College Preparatory Program in English consists of semester-long seminars with unique themes but consistent expectations for reading, critical analysis, and writing. The themes vary each year and are announced in late spring. The descriptions below are representative of the program but may not comprise the available thematic offerings this year.



“The Very Hungry Caterpillar”; “Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”; “Harry the Dirty Dog.” From our earliest experiences as readers, we begin to imagine the lives of animals. But picture books are hardly the end of this obsession; there is a rich tradition of literature about animals and our relationships with them. In this course, we will explore why animal stories are so enduring and why animals are such powerful and complicated symbols--capable of representing both nobility and ruthlessness, freedom and imprisonment, the familiar and the alien. As we think about animals, of course, we will also be defining what it means to be human. Possible texts include: “A Dog’s Purpose,” by Cameron; “The Life of Pi,” by Martel; “Charlotte's Web,” by White; and “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” by Fowler.

(Semester 1, .50 credit)


How has the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” entered into popular speech? Why have there been at least one hundred published books (and at least two miniseries) about O. J. Simpson’s trial? What is it about certain crimes that turn them into cultural fixations? We will spend one quarter studying the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman and the trial of O. J. Simpson and one quarter studying Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre. As we delve into the details of these murders through reading, viewing, and research, we will also think about their entry into our collective imaginations: why was the media so focused on them at the time? Why do we continue to think about them? How are these atrocious acts both the products of specific historical moments and enduring lenses through which we might understand evil, justice, redemption, and celebrity? Not a class for the squeamish… (Semester 1, .5 credit)


Imagine a world in which the government promotes pleasure and discourages love. Or a world in which people must survive without smartphones...or any technology at all. How about a world in which the government watches everything its citizens do? Do these scenarios describe contemporary society? Are they utopias—perfect worlds? Or are they dystopias—terrifying, hellish visions of the future? This course will explore how writers create new worlds in order to critique our world. Possible texts include: Station Eleven, Brave New World, Never Let Me Go, Maus, and the film, The Matrix. (Semester 1, .5 credit)


Why do we persevere? What enables us to bounce back and move on? It is quite something to think that the human spirit can endure, even when political, economic, and environmental forces oppress daily existence. In this course, we will look at stories in which that chronicle suffering and champion survival in an effort to better understand the strength of the human spirit. Possible texts include: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt, I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. (Semester 1, .5 credit)


Do you wish you had more time to read the books everyone else is reading? Do you find yourself wondering what happened to the time you used to have to read for pleasure? In this course, we will read fiction from the last year or two that has garnered both critical praise and popular attention. We will consider why certain books capture the public imagination: what do they suggest about our current obsessions as a nation? What is the place of reading in contemporary culture? Though some of the books may change depending on what emerges in the next few months, representative titles include: “The Girl on the Train,” by Hawkins; “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Doerr; “The Book of Unknown Americans,” by Henriquez. (Semester 2, .50 credit)


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Our perceptions of adolescence are contradictory: on the one hand, we emphasize teenage angst and rebellion, and, on the other, we are a culture obsessed with youth and nostalgic about our teenage years. Through literature and film, this class will investigate the power adolescence has had over our collective imagination over the last half century. We will also consider how one’s identity is forged through the arduous journey of adolescence. How do the successes and failures of our own adolescence help shape the adult we become? Probable texts include “A Separate Peace,” by Knowles; “Everything I Never Told You,” by Ng; “The Breakfast Club,” and  “Dead Poet’s Society.” (Semester 2, .50 credit)


This course will examine “the whole enchilada,” or every element of writing. Love Harry Potter? Learn how to create vivid settings and unforgettable characters in the fiction unit. Watch Saturday Night Live? Learn how to write a hilarious sketch in the satire unit. Enjoy a good debate? Learn how to construct a winning argument in the persuasive writing unit. Throughout the semester, students will read selected texts that will serve as models for their own writing. They will explore the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, memoir, the essay, and the graphic novel. Possible texts include: short stories, poems, Oedipus Rex, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and Persepolis. (Semester 2, .50 credit)


Today's society is saturated by displays of power: some individual, some institutional; some legitimate, some hollow. In engaging such displays of power, we must decide how much we submit to it and how much we resist and assert our own identity, beliefs, and direction. This course will explore how individuals find their own agency and identity when confronted with powerful forces, either real or perceived. How do people stay true to their core (or find their core) when faced with pressures from individuals or from society? Possible texts include: The Sisters Brothers and Fight Club. (Semester 2, .50 credit)



The purpose of this course is to engage students in an intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods in preparation for the AP exam. The course is divided into thematic units. Each unit consists of a central text or texts and supplementary materials, such as poetry and/or short stories that address the theme(s) of the central text(s). Enrollment in AP English requires that students have demonstrated in earlier English courses the appropriate reading, writing, thinking, speaking, and listening skills necessary to keep up with a fast-paced and demanding set of expectations. This is a rigorous course that assumes a certain level of academic maturity. Emphasis is placed upon deciphering the language of difficult texts in order to extract meaning from the author’s words, the willingness to participate in the exchange of ideas regarding those texts, and the ability to produce clear and concise analytical writing that engages in the discussion surrounding those texts. Specific preparation for the AP examination in May includes multiple-choice packages on poetry and prose passages, in addition to writing focused-topic essays under time restrictions. ENG 300 is prerequisite. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: “Oedipus Rex,” and “Antigone,” by Sophocles; “Hamlet,” by Shakespeare; “Much Ado About Nothing,” by Shakespeare; “Pride and Prejudice” by Austen; “The Awakening” by Chopin; “Death of a Salesman,” by Miller; “The Poisonwood Bible,” by Kingsolver; “The Secret History,” by Tartt; “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Coleridge; “The Stranger,” by Camus; “Sound and Sense,” by Arp and Johnson.


This course aims to strengthen students’ understanding of the varied rhetorical contexts in which prose can be written; the course also seeks to produce skilled writers who can themselves compose for a variety of purposes. In this course, then, students’ reading and writing focus on the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects – as well as the way generic conventions of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. The reading materials in this course are drawn from a variety of “course readers” and include a text dedicated to the study of rhetoric. (Full year, 1 credit)

Texts: “50 Essays” Cohen; “How to Write a Sentence (and How to Read One, Too),” by Fish; “In Cold Blood,” by Capote; and a selection of contemporary and historical essays.

Representative essay authors include: E.B.White, Annie Dillard, Dr. Martin Luther King, David Foster Wallace.


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval.  H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Fund of Comp and Lit

Writing about Lit

American Literature


Fund of Comp and Lit

Writing about

Lit (H)

American Literature (H)


Fund of Comp and Lit

Writing about

Lit (H)

American Literature (H)

AP English Literature and/or AP Lang/Comp

Fund of Comp and Lit

Writing about Lit (H)

Am Lit (H)

and AP Lang/


AP Lit


The History faculty guides students in the close examination of the written record of human civilization, human action, and interaction, via primary documents and secondary sources. Research and debate form an integral part of our studies, and special attention is placed on showing the controversy and complexity of historical study as students learn to synthesize and interpret opposing points of view while formulating their own theses.

Requirement:  3 credits, including U.S. History



This course examines the political, social, and cultural history of the world, from the beginning of civilization in Egypt and Mesopotamia to the Middle Ages in Europe. Appropriate geographical study is also included. The history of ancient Egypt, the Middle East, Greece, Rome, and the shaping of Europe during the Middle Ages are closely examined through the construct of civilization. This course is centered on the historical events and forces that molded the Western world, but also carefully considers the study of Islam, India, China, and other Eastern cultures that have exerted considerable historical influences upon the global arena. A major research paper is required. Analytical writing and oral skills are fostered. (Full year, 1 credit)


This honors-level course examines topics in the ancient history of Egypt, the Near and Middle East, Greece, China, and Rome. Emphasis is placed on particular historical themes, or “problems,” which are examined through in-depth critical analysis, research, class discussion, event simulation, and debate. The course examines the issue of hubris as its overarching theme, in an attempt to demonstrate that hubris is not only a driving force in history, but also one of humanity’s gravest concerns. Students are expected to exercise critical writing and thinking, and develop their own perspectives by offering contrasting historical interpretations. Readings in the ancient classics and of primary and secondary sources are included in the course of study. A major research paper is required. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)



This course examines the cultural interactions between Europe and the world, and how those interactions created conflict and shaped the present global scene. While focusing on the growth of the Modern European nation-state, the course brings out how European interaction with the world helped to transform it and was transformed by it. Examples of this interaction are colonialism, world wars, and the spread of Western European political and economic systems. The course pays particular attention to the diverse cultures of China and Japan, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, and attempts to create the global synthesis of today’s socioeconomic and political arena. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is a yearlong survey of modern world history. Its focus is on the political, economic, social, religious, artistic, and intellectual affairs that influenced the development of diverse cultures in Europe, the Middle East, India, China, and Latin America. Emphasis is placed on historical themes, which among others include secularization, humanism, absolutism, mercantilism, socialism, and imperialism. The themes of Globalism and Globalization are integral to the course design. The course requires student commitment to deal with a content-driven environment, where a higher level of proficiency in reading, writing, and critical analysis is necessary in order to succeed. Students must demonstrate independence and initiative and be motivated to take what is taught in class to the next level of interpretation and analysis with limited assistance. There is extensive reading and analysis of primary sources, and student participation in class discussions and debates is essential. A major research paper is required. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)



This course is a yearlong survey of American history from colonial times to the present. It reflects the assumption that we are the products of our history and that we need to understand the historical influences upon our current assumptions and behavior as citizens of our nation and the world. Special emphasis is placed on seeing the events of the past through the eyes of all the diverse labor, ethnic, and gender groups that comprise and have always comprised American society. Topics include the origins of the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, reforms from Progressivism through the New Deal, the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, the Great Society era, and the Cold War. A major research paper is required.  Analytical writing and oral debating skills are emphasized. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with America and its relationship to the world today. In surveying American history from the Colonial Era to the present, students focus on in-depth examinations of events and trends in the nation’s history that are core to the understanding of the development of the politics, economy, culture, and society of contemporary America. The course, which is discussion based, studies a range of materials, including primary documents, films and documentaries, music, photography, and historical monuments. Students enrolled in the course are expected to demonstrate a high level of independence and initiative in their approach to their work. A major research paper is required. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This is a college level course that offers able students preparation for the AP examination. Topics stressed include in-depth critical analysis of political, socio-economic, and cultural themes: domestic, foreign, and economic affairs, labor, ethnic, racial, and gender issues, and the growth of an American identity. Heavy emphasis is placed on the development of critical writing: the critique, formulation, and defense of interpretive theses, the analysis and interpretation of primary source documents.  The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)



As the most controversial and divisive period to face America since the Civil War, the Sixties tore at the moral fiber of the United States and profoundly changed America. This honors-level course is an in depth examination of a variety of questions regarding that tumultuous decade. What was the Vietnam War about and how did the U.S. get involved? Why was the War so controversial? How does this period serve as a model for exploring American foreign policy, interactions, relations, and the Cold War? How did the civil rights movement and the students’ rights movement shape those years? What led to the development of a unique counterculture by the mid-Sixties? What were the experiences of those who fought in the War and those who participated in the various movements at home?  How has the legacy of all these developments impacted the America we experience today? The course seeks to examine these issues through the eyes of those who lived during the Sixties, and thus makes use of “eyewitnesses” from the period, who visit class or welcome off-campus visits. The course also accesses memoirs, short stories, film, and music from or about the era. HIS 300 or HIS 301 are prerequisites to this course. (Semester 1, .50 credit)


To understand the history of genocide in the 20th century, we examine the Armenian genocide of the Christians serving in the Ottoman army, the genocide of the Jews at the hands of the Germans in the Holocaust of World War II, and the genocide of the Tutsi at the hands of the Hutus in Rwanda. The German Nazis and European Jews serve as the central focus of this inquiry. From this focal point, the discussions branch out into related areas showing how prejudice can escalate into genocide. (Semester, .50 credit)


- HONORS (HIS 480)

Since England colonized Ireland in the late 17th century, various Irish nationalist movements have emerged to challenge, and at times violently overthrow, the influence and power of the English crown. The course investigates the socio-economic and political circumstances that produced nationalist movements at various points in Irish history. The course also assesses the impact of migration, trade and globalization on the emergence of trans-Atlantic Irish communities that produced and supported radicals who adhered to violent strains of Irish nationalism. In this reading and writing intensive course, students will analyze a wide variety of primary documents, as well as art, photography and film. Additionally, negotiation simulations, an essential discussion based component of the class, encourage students to embody the perspective of historical characters and employ strategies to fulfill their goals in a given scenario. Students in the Honors offering, which is taught concurrently, are expected to complete additional reading assignments and write essays that evaluate a wide range of arguments presented by scholars in academic journals or books.


This is a college-level course that offers able students preparation for the AP examination. The course involves students in an in-depth critical discussion of European political and socioeconomic institutions, while also examining the individual development of European nation-states and their national cultures, as well as European intellectual history and the history of art. Topics covered include the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, Royal Absolutism and Enlightened Despotism, the Era of Revolutions from the French to the Russian Revolution, 19th century ideologies, and the 20th century to the present. Students analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources and engage in intensive reading and writing. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval. H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12


History 1


History II

U.S. History

Electives in History or Social Science

World History 1

World History II (H)

U.S. History (H)

AP European History or/AP Comparative Gov./ or America in the 1960s (H)

Hubris in

Anc History (H)

AP European History (H)

AP U.S. History

AP Comparative Gov./ or America in the 1960s (H)

Hubris in

Anc History (H)

World History II


U.S. History (H)

AP European History or/AP Comparative Gov./ or America in the 1960s (H)


The Mathematics faculty works to enhance and expand student understanding of pattern, order, relation, and structure, and the development of abilities of logical analysis, deduction, conjecture and proof, and calculation within the context of these patterns and structures. Students learn that the process used in obtaining a solution is at least as important as a correct answer. The faculty also works to ensure that each student is thoroughly familiar with analytical, computational, and problem-solving methods, as well as logical patterns of reasoning.

Requirement:  3 credits, including  Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, and Geometry


This course develops facility in working with numbers, tables, graphs, equations, and inequalities. Students focus on solving word problems and reading carefully, doing hands-on labs that require them to collect and analyze data, make conjectures, and draw conclusions. Topics of study include:  variables, expressions, equations, graphs that are linear and quadratic, systems of equations, inequalities, laws of exponents, functions, and other traditional Algebra 1 topics. This course uses a spiraling approach, with topics revisited many times throughout the course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is tied to algebraic processes. By doing hands-on labs, students investigate symmetry and transformations, angles and lines, quadrilaterals and polygons, congruency and similarity, triangles and quadrilaterals, trigonometry including the laws of sine and cosine, proofs and constructions, and circles and conics. Coordinate geometry is woven throughout the entire course. Geometer’s Sketchpad software is used in many topics, and is an integral part of the course. The course uses a spiraling approach: ideas are revisited several times and connected to other topics. (Full year, 1 credit)


In addition to all topics covered in the non-honors Geometry course, students use Exeter materials – Math 2 – on a daily basis. Linear motion is explored, leading to the use of parametric equations and vectors in two and three dimensions. Optimization problems regarding paths of travel are continuously discussed throughout the course. Students in this course are exposed to more rigorous proofs and geometric constructions. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is an in-depth extension of algebraic concepts studied in Algebra 1.  Emphasis is on a functional approach directed towards applications.  Topics covered include absolute value, functions, variation, systems of equations in two and three variables, sequences and series, exponential and logarithmic functions, rational exponents, radicals, complex numbers, quadratic equations, inequalities, and trigonometry. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is a rigorous study of the real number system, linear equations and functions, polynomials, rational expressions, quadratic equations and functions, complex numbers, matrices, systems of equations in three variables, logarithmic and exponential functions, sequences and series, and trigonometry. The emphasis is on a functional approach directed toward continuing work in mathematics. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course starts with the review of the major Algebra 1 topics and continues with an in-depth extension into Algebra 2 topics. A special emphasis is placed on the understanding of key functions such as linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic, as well as on equations related to these functions. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is for students who need to improve their algebra skills and work more with functions and trigonometry before taking Pre-Calculus. The course involves an in-depth study of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions and equations, as well as an introduction to statistics. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed to deepen understanding of functions in their various forms. Focal topics include linear and polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. Particular emphasis is placed on application, and key concepts from upper-level mathematics are highlighted when possible. Additional topics include linear systems, matrices, sequences, series, and probability. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course focuses on the study of functions, namely polynomial, power, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions including polar representation of functions and their graphs; sequences and series. Additional topics such as parametric representation of functions, vectors, and matrices, are introduced as time allows. The goals of the course include communication of mathematics analytically, verbally and graphically; perseverance in solving challenging problems, and resourcefulness and collaboration. This course will prepare students for AP AB Calculus the following year. Students must take AMC10/12 test in February.

Prerequisites: Excellent work in Algebra 2/Trig or successful completion of Honors Algebra 2/Trig. All accelerated/honors courses require departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)



The main focus of this course is a detailed exploration of the elementary functions covered in MAT 400, as well as in-depth study of logarithmic and trigonometric inequalities, parametric curves, series and sequences, polar coordinate system and its applications in the theory of complex numbers. This course uses mathematical methods and materials from different countries and problems from Mathematics competitions. The course prepares students for the AP BC Calculus the following year. Students must take AMC10/12 test in February. Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra II/Trig Honors. All accelerated/honors courses require departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)




This course is designed for strong mathematics students who may not be planning a major in mathematics or directly related fields such as engineering. It serves students who desire a strong fourth-year, college-level mathematics course that prepares them for studies in such areas as economics, psychology, and health-related fields. The depth, breadth, pace, and rigor of the course will be somewhat below what students in AP Calculus experience. Topics include all or most of those traditionally found in the first two semesters of college calculus. A primary focus of the course is real-life applications. There are also opportunities to review concepts from Pre-Calculus. In Calculus - Honors, students will cover more topics on applications, such as optimization problems, related rates problems, and volumes of revolution. The Department recommends candidates for these courses. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed to provide the students who are not planning to major in

engineering or natural sciences with a knowledge of mathematics of network, social

choice, optimization algorithms, linear programming and mathematics of finance not

necessarily covered in a standard math curriculum. Problems will involve graphing

calculators, encouraging the use of technology. Support materials, such as videos and

hands-on materials, will attract visual and kinesthetic learners. (Semester, .5 credit)


This course is designed for students interested in gaining an introductory understanding

of the main principles that govern the study of statistics. Throughout,sStudents will focus on organizing and interpreting big data sets, learning about data collection methods, descriptive and inferential statistics, probability, and technological tools to analyze real world situations. Students will use multiple representations to present data, including written description, numerical statistics, formulas, and graphs. (Semester, .5 credit)


This course is an in-depth study of basic differential and integral calculus. Topics include the derivative and its applications, maximum-minimum and related-rates problems, the definite integral and its applications to area and volume problems, and techniques of integration.  Preparation for the AP examination is an implicit part of the course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed to represent college-level mathematics, and is considerably more extensive than AP Calculus – AB.  The course covers the calculus of functions, including such topics as techniques of integration, infinite series, the calculus of polar coordinate functions, parametric equations, vector functions, improper integrals, and simple differential equations. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns, using probability and simulations, and statistical inferencing. Preparation for the AP exam is an implicit part of this course.  Pre-Calculus (MAT 401, MAT 400 or 410) is a prerequisite/co-requisite for this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This course builds on the foundation of the single-variable course. Students study the calculus of vector functions, with emphasis on functions defining curves in the plane, as well as curves and surfaces in space. The course treats explicit, parametric, and implicit representations of curves and surfaces, along with their tangent lines and planes. The use of partial derivatives, directional derivatives, and gradients is explored. The study of integrals includes iterated integrals and multiple integrals. Applications include extreme problems (with Lagrange multipliers), volume and surface area, and physical interpretation of vector field theory. Advanced Placement Calculus – BC (MAT 520) is a prerequisite for this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


Linear Algebra makes up the Fall semester of MAT 590. Linear Algebra covers matrix theory and linear algebra, emphasizing topics useful in other disciplines. Linear algebra is a branch of mathematics that studies systems of linear equations and the properties of matrices. The following topics will be covered: systems of linear equations, row reduction and echelon forms, matrix operations, including inverses, block matrices, linear dependence and independence, subspaces and bases and dimensions, orthogonal bases and orthogonal projections, linear models and least-squares problems, determinants and their properties, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, diagonalization of a matrix, symmetric matrices, positive definite matrices, similar matrices, linear transformations, and singular value decomposition. Advanced Placement Calculus – BC (MAT 520) is a prerequisite for this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


Differential equations makes up the Spring semester of MAT 590. The laws of nature are expressed as differential equations, which are the focus of the spring semester. Scientists and engineers must know how to model the world in terms of differential equations, and how to solve those equations and interpret the solutions. This course focuses on linear differential equations and their applications in science and engineering. Four major units will be introduced in this course: first order differential equations, second order constant coefficient linear equations, Fourier Series and Laplace Transform, and first order systems. Advanced Placement Calculus – BC (MAT 520) is a prerequisite for this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval.  H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Algebra 1


Algebra 2 and Trig


Algebra 1


Algebra 2

Pre-Calculus Essentials


Algebra 2/Trig




Algebra 2/Trig

Pre-Calculus Essentials


Geometry (H)

Algebra 2 and

Trig (H)

H Pre-Calculus AB

AP Calc AB

Geometry (H)

Algebra 2 and

Trig (H)

Pre-Calculus BC (H)

AP Calc BC

Algebra 2 and

Trig (H)

Pre-Calculus AB (H)

AP Calc AB

AP Calc BC

Algebra 2 and

Trig (H)

Pre-Calculus BC (H)

AP Calc BC

Multivariable Calculus or Linear Algebra and Differential Equations


The Science faculty provides a collaborative educational experience in which to study the physical world by reviewing current knowledge, manipulating variables or components, and interpreting phenomena. Students are challenged to expand their knowledge bases and develop the ability to use inquiry, problem recognition and resolution, critical thinking, and research while interacting with technical information. Students are exposed to all three basic sciences to enable them to perceive the world through multiple perspectives, make connections, and see patterns within and between disciplines.

Requirement: 3 science courses - Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. All Science courses include a comprehensive laboratory component that enhances class work, develops critical thinking, and builds strong lab skills.

GRADES 9, 10, OR 11


This course is based on a biochemical approach to the study of life. It includes a review of levels of organization, characteristics of living systems, and the diversity of life. Other topics include molecular biology, cellular biology, ecology, genetics, evolution, and animal behavior. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed for students with strong writing and verbal skills, as well as a keen interest in biology. Students explore thoroughly the fundamental principles underlying molecular biology and genetics and investigate the plant and animal kingdoms, with a particular emphasis on human biology. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course introduces students to the fundamental laws governing interactions of matter. Students study theoretical, physical, and inorganic chemistry and analyze a variety of word problems. The course covers measurement, matter and energy, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical formulas and equations, and stoichiometry. The gas laws, kinetic molecular theory, reactions in aqueous solutions, and acids and bases are introduced. Development of mathematical skills and creative problem solving are important components of this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed for accelerated students who are particularly interested in the study of chemistry and have strong math skills. It is a survey course of basic topics in physical, theoretical, and inorganic chemistry. The following topics are covered: measurement, matter and energy, atomic structure, electron configuration and the periodic table, bonding, writing and interpreting chemical formulas and equations, stoichiometry, mole theory, gas laws, reactions in aqueous solutions, basic thermodynamics and equilibrium, and acids and bases. Class discussions include the impact of chemistry on society. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This introductory course employs a mathematical, problem-solving approach. Students explore basic physical laws that govern everyday phenomena and use trigonometry, algebra, and graphical analysis to solve related problems. Topics include motion, forces, energy and heat, wave motion and sound, light and optics, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear physics. Laboratory work is based on the collection and analysis of real-time data using graphing calculators and various computer programs. (Full year, 1 credit)


This survey course is designed for students with very strong mathematical skills. Students are required to solve challenging problems graphically as well as with trigonometry and advanced algebra. Topics covered in depth include Newtonian mechanics, thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, waves and sound, light and optics, and nuclear physics. Students use computer programs to collect and analyze data in the laboratory. Prerequisite is Algebra 2 & Trigonometry (MAT 301) or Algebra 2 & Trigonometry – Honors (MAT 300). The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)




This honors-level course focuses on the evolution of Homo sapiens. After a brief review of genetics and anatomy, students begin a study of primatology. Primate anatomy and behavior are highlighted. Students then study each hominid that has been discovered, starting with Sahelanthropus tchadensis seven million years ago. The skeletal morphology, environment, and relation of each species to those earlier and later species are explored. Comparative osteology-anatomy and osteometry (measuring skeletal features) constitute lab topics. Casts of actual skulls are used extensively. Research questions revolve around the evolution of bipedal locomotion, the questions of whether earlier hominids were scavengers or hunters, when tools were first used, and the relationship of modern man to earlier species such as Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis. The course ends with a discussion of the first evidence of culture in earlier man from the fabrication of Oldowan and later Acheulian tool assemblages to the birth of “cave art” at Lascaux. The Honors and College Prep curricula are offered concurrently in the same classroom and differentiated appropriately. (First semester, .50 credit)


Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation. (Full year, 1 credit)


(Semester, 0.5 credit)


(Semester, 0.5 credit)


(Semester, 0.5 credit)


This rigorous course uses college-level texts and laboratory materials, and is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college Biology course usually taken by Biology majors during their first year.  As such, the course examines in detail the biochemical and biophysical principles that underlie plant and animal morphology, physiology, and genetics. Students are asked to interpret complicated laboratory phenomena and to formulate their own conclusions from the data. Biology (SCI 101 or SCI 100) and Chemistry (SCI 201 or SCI 200) are prerequisites. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This is a college-level general chemistry course covering the following topics: structure of matter, kinetic theory of gases, states of matter, chemical reactions and equilibria, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics. Theoretical and physical chemistry are the foundations of this course, and an overview of inorganic and organic chemistry is included. The course incorporates a wide variety of labs that promote students’ ability to use basic and sophisticated undergraduate lab equipment, as well as to observe, record, analyze, and interpret data. Prerequisites are Chemistry (SCI 201 or SCI 200) and Physics 1 (SCI 301 or SCI 300). Pre-Calculus (MAT 401 or MAT 400) is also a prerequisite course. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course.  Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as: fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic and nuclear physics.  (Full year, 1 credit)

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS C: MECHANICS (SCI 540) This theoretical course is designed for the most advanced mathematics and science students and prepares them for the AP Physics C: Mechanics examination. Physics I and Calculus (MAT 414, MAT 500, or MAT 520) are prerequisites for the course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is intended to familiarize students with the principles and applications of the ever-growing field of computational chemistry.  Accelerated students with strong math skills will experience first-hand the power that is gained when theory and computers are combined and, in particular, how models can provide great insight into the factors that influence atomic and molecular phenomena.  The following topics are covered: the postulates of quantum mechanics and applications thereof to model systems and the use of modern methods including ab initio, semi-empirical, and density functional theory to address problems regarding chemical structure, spectroscopy, equilibrium, and reactivity. Class discussions include not only the development and exploration of technical concepts but also the frontier areas of research that have benefitted from the use of computational chemistry. (Semester, .50 credit)


This course expands upon basic genetic principles learned in introductory biology courses and familiarizes students with the concepts that underlie current biomedical genetic research. Advanced students with strong math and logical reasoning skills will delve deeper into the types of mutations that lead to various diseases and conditions as well as explore their own DNA and genetic fates via commercially available DNA testing kits. Students will also engage in in-depth discussions about the ethics of genetic testing in light of modern technological advancements, and explore how these advancements facilitate the development of personalized medicine. Students will also learn about the various types of genetic analyses currently available, and use these techniques to solve staged crime scenes. Students who successfully complete the course will have a sound knowledge base of introductory college-level genetics. Biology 1 (SCI 101 or SCI 100) and Chemistry 1 (SCI 201 or SCI 200) are prerequisites. The Science Department recommends candidates for this course. (Semester, 0.50 credit).


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval. H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12









Biology (H)

Chemistry (H)

AP Biology

Physics (H)

Biology (H)

Chemistry (H)

AP Physics 1

AP Biology or AP Chem or

AP Physics 1, or CB or any two of the above


The World Languages faculty empowers students to understand and appreciate the diverse values, beliefs, biases, and worldviews of non-English speaking people. Students explore linguistic systems through a variety of culturally authentic materials. The faculty employs multimedia resources to expand and refine exposure to the art, literature, and history of the Spanish and French and Chinese-speaking world. Through the acquisition of another language and a more intimate acquaintance with other cultures, students are better equipped to perceive and interpret the world and their place in it. Requirement:  French, Spanish, or Chinese through Level 3.




This course serves as an introduction to the study of the Mandarin language. Instruction in spoken Chinese makes use of the Pinyin system of Roman letters, while written Chinese makes use of simplified characters that are used in Mainland China. Emphasis is placed on developing pronunciation and speaking skills with special focus on mastering the four tones used in Chinese. As students’ vocabulary and pronunciation skills increase, they are given short reading and writing assignments. Chinese language instruction is embedded in the context of Chinese culture. Students should have mastered some 250 characters by the end of the course and should be able to read and write simple texts in Chinese. (Full year, 1 credit)



Students continue to develop their writing, speaking, and listening skills in Chinese 2. Vocabulary and characters already introduced are reviewed and expanded. Grammatical lessons continue to be taught through the context of Chinese cultural units. Instruction makes use of all modes: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Special emphasis is on mastering written characters introduced through the year. More advanced grammatical structures are introduced. Computer assisted language learning takes place through the use of programs using Chinese characters that rely on students’ ability to recognize character combinations and employ them in creating original texts. Students may take this course at the honors level with departmental approval. At the honors level, students are required to study topics in greater depth and demonstrate greater understanding of the material through different and more challenging assignments. (Full year, 1 credit)



This course continues to build on the material introduced and mastered in the first two levels of Chinese. New material is introduced that expands on students’ ability to manipulate characters and vocabulary in novel situations. The four modes of speaking, listening, writing, and reading continue to be utilized so that students experience Chinese as they would any language used in daily life. An increased stress on creating original written pieces and oral presentations is made throughout the year. Computer assisted language learning programs continue to be employed that further develop students’ capacity to recognize an even larger number of characters and grammatical structures. Students may take this course at the honors level with departmental approval. At the honors level, students are required to study topics in greater depth and demonstrate greater understanding of the material through different and more challenging assignments. (Full year, 1 credit)



Students increase their knowledge and command of Chinese characters in this course, while reviewing and building upon the foundation they have received in the previous years’ courses. Students are placed into real life situations in which they express themselves in Chinese in both oral and written formats. Students are also presented with novel situations that give them the opportunities to create original conversations and dialogues. Computer-assisted programs continue to play a role in students’ instruction in Chinese characters, as well as in aiding their ear training in the pronunciation of words. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course focuses on language proficiency while interweaving appropriate cultural content and providing for frequent formative assessment of students developing proficiencies within the context of their learning. Teachers will select authentic sources and proper materials to create instructional materials and class activities. Students will develop their oral and strategic skills, while applying their growing cultural knowledge to comprehending written texts and spoken messages. (Full year, 1 credit)


Developing students’ awareness and appreciation of the elements of the culture of Chinese-speaking people is a pervasive theme throughout the AP Chinese Language and Culture course. The course engages students in an exploration of both contemporary and historical Chinese culture. Students learn about various aspects of contemporary Chinese society, including geography and population, ethnic and regional diversity, travel and transportation, climate and weather, holidays and food, sports and games, and current affairs.  The course introduces students to significant persons, products, and themes in Chinese history. Students apply their growing cultural knowledge to communicative tasks: cultural knowledge informs communicative ability and vice versa.  Throughout the course, students hone their language skills across the three communicative modes: Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational. In so doing, they develop necessary knowledge of the Chinese language, including pronunciation, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures, and written characters.


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval. H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Chinese 1

Chinese 2 (H)

Chinese 3 (H)

Chinese 4 (H)

Chinese 2(H)

Chinese 3(H)

Chinese 4 (H)

AP Chinese


FRENCH 1 (FRE 101)

This course is designed for students who have no previous knowledge of French or whose background in the language is found to be relatively weak. Content includes French grammar, verbs, vocabulary, and some idioms. There is an emphasis on speaking and understanding basic written and spoken French. Various aspects of French culture are discussed within the context of units on family life, friends, school, and food. (Full year, 1 credit)

FRENCH 2 (FRE 201)

This course combines a review of previously learned structures and the development of language proficiency according to the needs and abilities of students. Oral work is encouraged through various class activities. Speaking, reading, and writing skills are improved with emphasis on increasing vocabulary. Cultural material is presented in greater detail at this level. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is designed for students who have successfully completed one full year of French. This course continues the development of fundamental language skills and the study of new vocabulary and grammar. Balance is sought among the major areas of aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as awareness of French and Francophone civilization and culture. Students are encouraged to write on various vocabulary-related subjects. Finally, the comprehension of intermediate level readings is also stressed during the second semester. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

FRENCH 3 (FRE 301)

This course includes extensive review and a broadening of knowledge of grammar, verbs, vocabulary, and French and Francophone culture and civilization. There is an emphasis on practical applications of the language, including extensive oral work, as well as correct written expression of thoughts. This course completes the requirement, although students are encouraged to take language courses through their senior year. (Full year, 1 credit)


During the first semester, this course includes the review and broadening of grammar, verbs, vocabulary, and idioms. During the second semester, students learn to read more complex, authentic texts and continue to develop their writing skills. French and Francophone culture and civilization are studied through selected readings.  The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

FRENCH 4 (FRE 401)

FRENCH 5 (FRE 501)

Taught simultaneously and differentiated accordingly, this two-year course is designed to refine and strengthen fundamental skills and develop a more sophisticated understanding and use of the language. Intermediate grammatical structures are thoroughly reviewed. Classes are conducted in French and a reasonable level of conversational ability is sought through frequent discussions and oral presentations. Reading and/or discussing diverse, authentic materials, as well as viewing films, stress the use of practical vocabulary and the study of Francophone cultures.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is intended for advanced French students who have successfully completed Level 3 and who are ready to move at a faster pace and to undertake more demanding language material. Although not exclusively, the course leads to the AP Language examination. While reading short stories, poetry, French magazines, and viewing films, students regularly practice sophisticated grammatical structures and systematically increase their vocabulary. They discuss the works, write compositions, and are assessed orally, which all enhance their ability to use the language. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


French 500 is designed to advance the proficiency of students and to prepare them for the AP French Language and Culture exam. Specifically, students develop their speaking, writing, and reading comprehension skills, as well as their knowledge of the Francophone world. Students’ proficiency is regularly assessed through oral participation, written work, grammar, vocabulary tests, and through the reading of authentic materials. Practice AP exams are used throughout the year in preparation for the AP exam.  (Full year, 1 credit)


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval.  H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

French 1

French 2

French 3

French 4/5

French 2

French 3

French 4/5

French 4/5

French 2

French 3

French 4/5

Intro to AP French Language

French 2 (H)

French 3 (H)

Intro to AP

French Language

AP French Language



In this course there is strong emphasis on basic structure, verb tense (past and present), idiom, and vocabulary building. Vocabulary is taught in context. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are given equal importance, as is the development of awareness of the cultural diversity of Spanish-speaking countries. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course expands students’ exposure to basic skills. Emphasis is given to the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Continued study of structure, mood (both indicative and subjunctive), more sophisticated vocabulary, and idioms are the focus of this course. Oral proficiency is encouraged by the use of Spanish for communication in the classroom. Cultural material is presented in greater detail at this level. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course follows essentially the same format as the Spanish 2 course, but is more intensive and moves at a more rapid pace. Oral reports on cultural topics, creative and expository writing activities, and the reading of short literary selections are included in this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


Structure and verb tenses are reviewed in this course. Vocabulary building, acquisition of idioms, and proficiency in speaking and writing form the basic foundations of this course. Short stories are read, discussed, and serve as references for written work. The study of Hispanic civilization and culture is continued. This course completes the requirement, although students are encouraged to take language courses through their senior year. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course focuses on the continued acquisition of verb tenses, vocabulary, and idiomatic expressions. As these tools are refined and perfected, a new world of reading, writing, and discussion opens up for students, one in which they are able to delve into more complex texts and analyze their meanings, characters, and bridges the gap between language and meaning, and allows them to accurately express their arguments regarding any given, open-ended topic. Significant attention is paid to the history of Spanish-speaking countries in order to give more contextual scope to the works that emerged from notable periods. Class participation is a fundamental part of fueling discussions and is expected consistently of every student. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course focuses on the language-culture areas, beginning with Spain and following the exploration and conquest of the New World to Latin America. Historical and contemporary events, geography, Indian cultures, art, and the relationship with the United States are some of the topics studied. Films, videocassettes, periodicals, the internet, and cultural artifacts are used, as is textual material. Satisfactory completion of Spanish 3 (SPA 301 or SPA 300) is a prerequisite for this course sequence. (Full year, 1 credit)


The main objective of this course is to improve students’ ability to speak in Spanish so that they will have the capacity to use Spanish in real life situations as well as share their ideas using conversational Spanish about a wide range of topics. This course is not a grammar course, but rather seeks to employ the grammatical knowledge and skills students have already covered in prior courses in new situations.  The primary evaluative assessments for the course will be oral: presentations, role-plays, dialogues, conversations and commentaries. The course will be taught in the target language. Content will include film, cultural topics, current events and literature. The course will make extensive use of our DiLL software to facilitate oral language exercises as well as to provide an efficient means for assessment.


Reading and writing about short stories, novels, plays, poetry and films, as well as developing practical conversational skills are of primary importance at this level. Because this course serves as preparation for the AP examination, particular attention is given to the development of the techniques of literary analysis. The continued study of Hispanic culture is achieved through historical studies, biographical works, and the literature of Spanish speaking countries. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course forms the second half of the AP syllabus. The literature studied includes representative works from Spain’s Siglo de Oro, such as Tirso de Molina’s “Burlador de Sevilla,” and “Don Quijote,” by Cervantes. The techniques of literary analysis are further refined. Students are required to write analyses of each work, as well as essays on themes used by different authors. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is for students who already have strong skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and are interested in developing a more in-depth understanding of the Spanish language. The course is meant to be comparable to third-year college and university courses that focus on speaking and writing in the target language at an advanced level. This course is conducted almost exclusively in Spanish and encourages students to do likewise. The main objective of this course is to develop proficiency in integrating language skills and synthesizing written and oral materials. Students also work on the formal writing process, extensive interpersonal exchanges, presentational speaking, writing practice, and oral comprehension skills. Students reach a proficiency level in the language and culture that prepares them for the Advanced Placement Exam in Spanish Language. (Full year, 1 credit)




This honors-level course explores the importance of historical events from the reign of Catholic kings, the independence of the Americas, the Spanish Civil War, and contemporary Spain. In conjunction with the history of Spain, which developed via the convergence of a variety of cultures, students study the evolution of Spanish art through sculpture, architecture, and painting. Particular attention is paid to the many influences on Spanish art from the Roman occupation, Islamic period, and later trends from Europe. The works of contemporary Spanish painters, such as Picasso, Gaudi, and Miró, are also considered. This course is taught entirely in Spanish.  (Full year, 1 credit)


Movement between and among the paths listed below is permitted, pending departmental approval. H = Honors course.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Spanish 1

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Spanish 2

Spanish 3

Spanish 4

Spanish 5

Spanish 2 (H)

Spanish 3 (H)

Intro to AP Span Lit (H)

AP Spanish Lit

Spanish 2 (H)

Spanish 3 (H)

Spain: History of Art (H)

AP Span



The Social Sciences faculty guides students in the scientific study of human societies and institutions. Students learn the terminology of the social sciences, study the major theories associated with the various fields of study, and engage in quantitative, comparative, and interpretive analysis through research and debate.


Requirement:  One semester each of Life Skills 9 and Life Skills 11.



This course focuses on issues of transitioning into high school. Discussion-based classes concentrate on selected topics related to personal wellness, including taking care of all aspects of the self in the physical, mental, and social realms. Students focus on goal setting, decision making, self-values clarification, and building the skills of refusal, assertive communication, and self-advocacy. This course meets two days per rotation, and is required of all students in Grade 9. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course focuses on building the skills that help students’ transition into the post-high school world. Discussion-based classes focus on building the skills of refusal, effective communication, stress management, and empathetic listening. Guest speakers, topical videos, and role-play situations enhance classroom conversations throughout the semester. This course meets two days per rotation, and is required of all students in Grade 11. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)



This course examines the basic principles of leadership and is rooted in the belief that leadership can be taught. Meeting twice per rotation, students will look at the importance of EQ, different leadership styles, and models for implementing change.  During the second semester, and utilizing the skills learned during the first semester, students will work in groups to identify needs within the school and put plans in action to strengthen the community.  The course culminates with an evening presentation to parents and specific faculty. This course is open to students in Grade 10 and 11. Students interested in pursuing the Leadership Distinction need to take this course as a sophomore. (Year, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This project-based course is a continuation of SOC 205 and uses the tutorial model. Meeting twice per rotation, students delve deeper into personal leadership skills and will refine their group projects that were begun the year before. Completion of Leadership Foundations is a prerequisite for this course.   (Year, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course will actively engage students in the acquisition of information about historical and contemporary theories, concepts, and issues associated with leadership. Students will be exposed to the academic study of leadership using a variety of texts, case studies, and group simulation activities. At least one semester of SOC 205 is prerequisite. (Semester, .25 credit)


INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL STUDIES (SOC 362) This course introduces students to the concept of globalization as a dynamic process and condition. It explores the causes and effects of globalization and asks questions such as: What is globalization? How does globalization occur? Is globalization a new phenomenon? Is globalization driven by conflict or consensus? Does globalization create new forms of inequality and social hierarchy? This is an inquiry-based course that surveys the socio economic, socio-political, technological, and ecological dimensions of globalization, as well as the ideologies of globalization. Attention is also given to how globalization affects popular culture and daily life through the media and various other communication channels. (Semester,  .50 credit)


This course is meant to explore the concept of globalization as it affects specific global issues and problems. Through extensive research into these issues, students will gain a thorough understanding of the effect such issues have on the economic, political, cultural, and environmental elements of our daily lives. In the process, students will develop critical thinking skills to arrive at a consensus about how to solve the issues and problems they are studying. Learning and using research skills will be a strong component of the course. (Semester, .50 credit)




These Honors or Advanced Seminar courses are designed to inspire in students a sense of philosophical wonderment through the study of Classical and Modern Philosophy. They involve students in such discussions as the problem of self-identity, the Soul, free will and determinism, the Mind and Body problem, happiness and virtuous activity, Becoming and Being, appearance and reality, and the nature of knowledge. The first semester concentrates on Plato and Aristotle, and the second semester on Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche. Students also engage in philosophical thought through film and other audio-visual sources. A final unit in Modern Philosophy introduces students to a comparative study of the Japanese Kyoto School’s synthesis of Zen Buddhism and European Existentialism. Students in the Advanced Seminar, which is taught concurrently, are expected to read and write papers that synthesize more in-depth studies and a greater variety of philosophers. (Semester, .50 credit; Full year, 1 credit)


Students will learn the fundamentals of macroeconomics, money and banking, personal finance, and financial literacy.  Topics covered include: measuring and evaluating GDP, economic growth and the business cycle, unemployment and inflation, demand and supply in the aggregate, fiscal policy and government deficits and debt, international trade, exchange rate theory, money and banking and money creation, monetary policy and the role of the Federal Reserve, investing and financial markets, personal financial management including insurance, the mortgage market, taxes, planning for the future, and the importance of spending plans and savings, and how to evaluate real-world developments in the economy, financial markets, politics, geo-politics, and changes in the international flows of capital.  This course also introduces students to daily real-time analysis of actual current economic and financial market developments at home and around the world, economic methodology, creating arguments, empirical analysis and verification, and the fiscal and monetary policy formulation process. (Semester, .50 credit)


Students will learn the fundamentals of our money and banking system by exploring the role of money in the economy and by examining how financial institutions work.  Students will come to understand the important role markets and financial institutions play in their personal life and how the movement of trillions of dollars each day around the country and world affects business profitability, what goods & services are produced, and the well being of the country. Topics covered include: the nature and function of money, different monetary systems, the gold standard, how to measure money, money creation and the fractional reserve banking system, the Federal Reserve System, the theory of monetary policy, the determinants of money demand, the role of non-bank financial intermediaries, interest rates and their behavior, implementing monetary policy, international trade, exchange rate theory, investing and financial markets, politics and banking, and changes in the international flows of capital.  This course also introduces students to daily real-time analysis of actual current economic and financial market developments at home and around the world, economic methodology, creating arguments, empirical analysis and verification, and the fiscal and monetary policy formulation process. (Semester, .50 credit)



This is a hands-on, expeditionary course wherein students will learn methods of archaeological analysis by working with simulated cases as well as field recovered objects. Student will learn how to date, seriate and type objects as well as how to manipulate these categories of data in the reconstruction of cultural behavior. Students will be trained in the essential aspects of field excavation. Following the training students will participate in an expedition to an ongoing archaeological project and contribute to original research. (Semester 2, .50 credit)



This course examines living cultures – both traditional and westernized – around the globe. The focus is on a number of themes including the development of economic and political systems, trade and exchange, social structure, and the rise of complex societies. Archaeological cultures are also included to provide comparisons for analyzing the material record of group behavior. Culture contact, assimilation, and the forging of artificial identities as a result of colonialism and imperialism are also examined. Students read case studies of cultures and conduct anthropological projects of their own. The Honors and Advanced Seminar curricula are offered concurrently in the same classroom and differentiated appropriately. (Semester 1, .50 credit)


This course is multidisciplinary in its approach to understanding what happens to human beings wrestling with the burden of privilege, the burden of poverty, and the ultimate humiliation in the 21st century of living on the streets. The syllabus is rooted in the studies and findings of Dr. Robert Coles, professor at Harvard University. The course combines academic study and hands-on community service work. The real world experience gives new relevance to academic work, and the coursework provides valuable perspective and analysis to the social issues one sees when volunteering. The final project for the course is a life observed. Each student selects a person, interviews him or her, and writes a life story. The interviewees are invited to attend class and share a portion of their stories. (Semester 2, .50 credit)

Texts: “Children of Crisis Reader,” by Coles; “The Color Purple,” by Walker; “Amazing Grace,” by Kozol; “Nickel and Dimed,” by Ehrenreich;” Voices of Homeless Children,” by Bereck; and “The Mole People,” by Toth.


This course introduces students to the science of Psychology. The goals of the course are to expose students to the theories of great thinkers in the discipline, to provide them with a working knowledge of terms and concepts, and to examine research methodology through critical thinking about past and current experiments. Using case studies, film, group work, lecture, and self-examination, the course is designed to ensure a basic foundation for future exploration in the field. (Semester, .50 credit)


This course is designed to explore the symptoms, possible causes, and treatments of mental illness. The goal is to familiarize students with the types of afflictions in an attempt to un-stigmatize those who suffer. Using case studies helps deepen students’ understanding of how the brain is supposed to work and what can go wrong. Other methods of instruction include film, group work, lecture, and self-examination. General Psychology (SOC 355) is pre-requisite. (Semester, .50 credit)



This course will look at the development of archaeology from the first controlled excavations to those of the present day. Significant finds (King Tut, Troy, etc) and personalities in the field will be reviewed.  Important sites such a Stonehenge, Pompeii and others will be examined.  Current methods of excavation and methods of analysis will be covered. Students will have opportunities to work with field-recovered objects. Field trips to view museum collections will also be undertaken. SOC 360 is taught concurrently with and differentiated from SOC 359 for Honors-level rigor. (Semester, .50 credit)


This honors-level course takes a global approach by incorporating how world cultures have been impacted by their religions and by their diffusion. More emphatically, the course considers the “return” of religion into the 21st century socio-political arena, and examines the causes and forces shaping it. This return, and topics around it, is the crux of the global importance of the course, alongside its intent to get students acquainted with diverse religious cultures, how religion impacts humanity, and how it is important to understand religion to understand humanity and its variety of cultures. The course also includes a philosophical approach to the meaning of religion, examining definitions and metaphysical problems pertaining to religion, including the problematic issue of theodicy. The course includes classical primary sources: Gilgamesh, The Koran, The Bible, The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist and Sufi texts, among others. Furthermore, the course takes on the distinction between secular and religious culture, and attempts a unifying approach. (Semester, .50 credits)


This Grade 12 course, meeting once per rotation, is designed for students to put into practice the skills and experiences garnered over the previous two courses to tackle a novel project.  Students will draw upon the strength of the group and faculty advisor to solve issues that they come into conflict with.  Completion of Leadership Seminar is a pre-requisite for this course. (Year, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course analyzes the relationship between policy formation at the state, federal, and global levels and the resulting economic and social impacts domestically and globally. Through varied readings, lectures, and discussion students will learn about contemporary American political economy and the complex connections to the global economy. Units explore theories of modern political thought, including liberal, conservative, libertarian, and globalist ideological perspectives; logistics and theories of American politics and government; public policy formation; and international political economy. The overall emphasis is to discover through empirical analysis how policy impacts the health and performance of economies and, by extension, standards of living for societies. (Semester 1, .50 credit)


This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics in examining aggregate economic behavior. Various measures of economic performance are investigated and students learn how to apply them to evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of an economy. The aggregate demand and aggregate supply models and their applications in the analysis and determination of national income are also studied, as is an evaluation of the effectiveness of fiscal policy and monetary policy in promoting economic growth and stability. This course also examines the impact of international trade and international finance on national economies.  Various economic schools of thought are introduced as solutions to economic problems. (Semester 1, .50 credit)


This course is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics as they apply to the functions of both producers and consumers. Emphasis is placed on the nature and function of product markets, including the study of factor markets and the role of the government in promoting both efficiency and equity in the economy. (Semester 2, .50 credit)


Comparative politics is the study and comparison of domestic policies across countries, and as students embark on a yearlong preparation for the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam they will survey the structures and processes of governments around the world, including the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Iran, Brazil, India, Nigeria, and Mexico. Not only does this class hope to introduce students to fundamental concepts and theories used by political scientists, but also the goal is to expose students to the rich diversity of global politics.  At its core, this is an introductory college-level political science course that illuminates the origins, foundations, and compositions of global political systems, institutions, and ideologies.  By comparing and contrasting a wide range of governments and the cultures that shape them, students will deepen their global perspectives and enhance their appreciation for international affairs. (Full year, 1 credit)


The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major sub-fields within psychology. This fast-paced course surveys fourteen topics including research methods, biological bases for behavior, learning and cognition, and abnormal psychology. Students will analyze, synthesize, and evaluate resources such as a textbook, professional journal publications, film, and other media as they develop and hone reading, writing, research, discussion, and study skills required in a college-level course. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course provides students with practical instruction in time management, organizational strategies, and test preparation. Students use materials and content based on their specific courses.  The syllabus of the Strategy class does not create an additional workload for students, but helps the student to set goals for each subject area and work toward those goals. While classes are conducted in a small group, each student has time to focus on his/her unique learning styles with the instructors, who are the Directors of Teaching and Learning. This course is offered at all grade levels.


The Computer Science and Digital Applications curriculum is designed to respond to the needs of all King students and enhance student opportunity for advancing individual aptitude, knowledge, and skill. The Department seeks to build a more profound intellectual awareness of our evolving technological society and prepare King students in the practical applications, usage and management of technology and its deep relevance to science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and virtually all aspects of living in the evolution of humankind.



The Upper School currently offers a variety of programming courses at King with the objective for each student to achieve reasonably proficient programming skills upon graduation. We currently offer the following courses in the Upper School.  


This introductory minor course is a part of the core curriculum in Grade 8, and it is offered separately in the Upper School for students who come to King afterward. Students learn the most fundamental vocabulary and uses of computer science. Then they learn to write code to draw basic shapes and create basic games. Dip your feet into coding without grades or homework! (Semester, .25 credit)


This semester long introductory Java language programming course teaches students to design and program graphic and interactive applications. Students begin by using the Turtle Graphics package, a simple drawing tool, to create interesting programs while learning the fundamental concepts of data types, conditional statements, loops, methods, arrays, inheritance, object-oriented design, and polymorphism. The end result of this educational experience will conclude with a final programming project, Hangman Game. This course prepares interested students to advance to the AP Computer Science course and is the prerequisite therefore. Programming 1 is offered concurrently in the Fall semester with AP Computer Science Principles. By the beginning of Quarter 2, students declare their intention to complete the full year of AP Computer Science Principles or to end the semester with credit for Programming 1. (Semester, .5 credit)


Students in this AP Computer Science class will learn programming methodology and procedural abstraction using an in-depth study of algorithms and data structures, as well as review the detailed examination of a large case study program. Students will be challenged sufficiently to promote the understanding and application of the logical principles and tools that underlie programming. This course will provide students with advanced knowledge of Java language and the basic analytic and reasoning skills as they progress to future academic pursuits. Assessments will be given in the form of tests, quizzes and regular homework assignments. Students will spend the last month doing practice exams to prepare for the AP test in May.  Successful completion of COM 311 is a prerequisite. (Full year, 1 credit)


AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career. This course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cyber-security concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles will give students the opportunity to use technology to address real-world problems and build relevant solutions. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science. AP Computer Science Principles is offered concurrently in the Fall semester with Programing 1.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This semester-long Special Projects course guides students through the creation of working, usable applications. In this course, there will be less emphasis on the theory behind computer science and algorithms and more on putting that knowledge to use to produce something one might use in real life. The class will pick one or several projects, such as building a Twitter Bot, a BitCoin trader, an automated shopper. Students will then be guided through the design, development, deployment and operations of that application. We will start small and gradually add features, complexity, and robustness. Through the course, students will be exposed to concepts and skills such as: exposing and consuming APIs, data transport (JSON), databases, streaming, AI/ML, notebooks and data analysis, cloud services/infrastructure (AWS), open source, version control (GitHub), testing, and refactoring. Programming will be done in Python. AP Computer Science A (COM 500) is prerequisite. A "hacker’s" mentality is expected: independence, curiosity, and a willingness to dive in and tinker. As with all Special Projects, this course will meet less often than a major—probably twice or three times per rotation—but will assume a major course’s workload. (Semester, .5 credit)


In the first semester of this year-long course, students learn to use the Swift programming language within the Xcode integrated development environment for Apple iOS. Lessons and exercises focus on bringing together available Xcode features into functional and appealing user interface design that meets the layout constraints for iPhone and/or iPad. In the second semester, students develop their own apps, following the entire process of designing a rough idea and enhancing it with detailed goals; forming, implementing, and adjusting a project plan; prototyping, testing, and iterating the app; and, finally, preparing an app for release. The goal for each student is to release one fully fledged and comprehensive app at the end of this course. COM 500 is prerequisite. (Full year, 1.0 credit)


This program will provide for the student a high level of understanding in several areas of digital consumption. Courses in filmmaking, graphic design, and web development will encourage the student not only to engage with how they use technology, but also to conceptualize the manner in which technology operates within society.


Web Design I introduces students to HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in order to develop and design uniquely functional websites. Students will learn a basic history of the Internet and how devices connect, communicate, and dispense information to one another in today’s highly connected world. As a final project, students will code an entire website in regards to responsive web design. (Semester, .25 credit)


This co-taught, interdisciplinary class offers students the opportunity to fulfill their Visual Arts (Fundamentals of Art for Beginners) graduation requirement while working with state-of-the-art 3D design software and printing hardware. Students learn design vocabulary and aesthetics through the study of revolutionary early 20th century European design movements. This knowledge lays the groundwork for their own designs. Possible projects include designing and 3D printing:  small scale architecture elements to be assembled, jewelry, site specific art installations, and new tools to solve everyday needs. (Semester, .25 credit)


Digital Photography teaches students the basic photographic concepts of composition, exposure, & color temperature with its relation to the digital medium. Students will be immersed in Adobe Photoshop and how its many tools are able to digitally transform imagery in myriad ways. By using enhanced text, constructive and destructive layers, blend modes, students will engage with their own photographic imagery on a higher level. As a final project, students will create a digital portfolio of images relating to a theme of their choice. (Semester, .5 credit)



Digital Animation explores how to bring stories and characters to life through the magic of animation. From flip books to 3D, this hands on course will explore techniques like rotoscoping, stop motion, and “green screen” graphic compositing using image capturing software and motion graphics software. Students will end the course with a digital portfolio of short animations and digital effects. (Semester, .5 credit)



Filmmaking I provides students a bare bones insight into the technical craft of digital film production and editing through hands on projects. Students will focus on elements of image, sound, and structure in order to tell a story visually. Pre-visualization skills such as storyboarding and shot list design, in addition to non-linear editing techniques will amplify the visual literacy of the student. Throughout the course students will produce a number of short digital video projects and short films.  (Semester, .5 credit)



Filmmaking II engages students to expound their filmic abilities in a more accelerated fashion. Students will implement more advanced principles of digital filmmaking into their projects, such as basic art direction and cinematography. Students will learn to paint with light and up their production value in ways that will better highlight the suspension of disbelief with their visual storytelling. As a final project, students will produce a 5-7 thesis short film. Prerequisite: Filmmaking I or Department approval. (Semester, .5 credit)


The Visual Arts faculty helps students learn to use and manipulate a wide range of media and techniques to express themselves and develop their personal artistic vision. Students develop artistic skills and good craftsmanship, learn to seek alternative answers to problems, and become deeply involved in the artistic process. Through the enhancement of nuance and intuition, and the respect for and understanding of human creative endeavors from other cultures and points of view, students learn to view the world through the eyes of the artist.

Requirement: .25 credit of Foundations of Art for Beginners. This course requirement may be waived only by portfolio review and assessment by members of the Department. It may be fulfilled alternatively with COM 205: Design for 3D Printing.


This course is the foundation course and prerequisite for all other Visual Arts electives, with the exception of Global Art, The Phenomenon of Human Expression (ART 341). FAB consists of a series of projects and problems designed to teach skills and techniques in a variety of media including painting, drawing, ceramics and photography. Students will learn about the elements of art and the principles of design by examination of the art and artists of different periods and cultures. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This is a course for students who enjoyed working in a variety of media in FAB. Projects in this class are more sophisticated and in depth, and students are given more time to complete them. Recommended for students who want to take Advanced Art 1 the next school year, or those who want to continue taking minor art courses. Examination of art and artists from different cultures and periods are included more frequently. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course teaches students how to draw using techniques such as contour and gestural drawing. Emphasis is placed on observational drawing. Various media are explored including graphite, charcoal, and pastels. Students are encouraged to come up with creative solutions to assignments that strengthen technical skills. Class critiques and exposure to art history enrich the syllabus.  (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course explores various printmaking techniques, including mono-prints, linoleum cuts, collographs, and silk screening. Students become familiar with printmaking tools, equipment, and vocabulary. They are exposed to the work of master printmakers and learn about the significant role printmaking has played in history. At the end of the semester, students have an extensive printmaking portfolio. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


Students experiment using watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints, as well as learning about less traditional painting media including wax encaustic and digital painting. They are asked to create their own unique interpretations of a still-life, landscape, and portrait painting. The history of painting is studied, familiarizing students with art movements and techniques. Class critiques and discussions further advance students understanding of the variety and possibilities of this important medium. (Semester, Pass/ Fail grading, .25 credit)


This is a class that explores clay as a medium that can surprise us with its many properties and possibilities. In this course, students are exposed to a variety of techniques and skills that enable effective forming of clay. Pinch, coil, slab, and basic hand building techniques, are taught and assignments include applying those techniques to one’s idea. Instruction in wheel throwing is included, but optional. Glazing and firing the pieces are also part of the instruction. This course is a prerequisite for Clay Explorations (ART 317). (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


In this course, students work toward improving and refining skill in the major techniques for forming both functional and sculptural clay pieces. Emphasis in the first quarter is on mastering technique, refining craftsmanship, and using and experimenting with glazes. The goal is to produce an interesting and varied body of work determined by the Student.  Works by both ancient and contemporary artists are examined. (Semester, .50 credit) 


This course explores how humans around the globe and throughout time have documented their histories and expressed their ideas with different forms of art. The course looks at art as it relates to specific themes that reflect our shared human experience. Themes covered include: Self and Society; Power, Politics and Glory; Love and Sex; Mortality and Immortality. In addition to traditional assessments, students can choose to do their final project as a research paper, or as a relevant artwork. This course has no prerequisite. (Semester, .50 credit) 


How do you put a yearbook together? What goes into producing a creative magazine? This year-long, graded minor course will answer these questions by actively teaching students the fundamentals of publishing, including: digital design, copy editing, and photography. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate as a class to design the Yearbook and the literary magazine, Creative Ink. We will establish a theme, design individual pages, tell stories with images, and work with writers to finalize copy. We will develop proficiency in the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign), and work with an online platform. Students will also understand the importance of real world deadlines and feel the pride associated with creating King publications. (Full Year, .5  credit).


This is a course for those who have completed the Fundamentals of Art for Beginners course (ART 105) and wish to begin building a portfolio, and/or who love art and are motivated to learn and experience more in the discipline. Projects range from structured problem solving to those requiring more independent, conceptual work. A variety of mediums and techniques are covered. Developing more original, inventive, and imaginative approaches is stressed. Group critiques and self-assessments are integral parts of the course. Portfolio reviews with the Instructor occur at the end of each semester. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is for those who wish to become more deeply involved in art making and in developing their personal aesthetic. In addition to continuing to develop skill mastery, refine technique, and improve craftsmanship, students are expected to experiment with a variety of materials and techniques and to push themselves beyond the conventional by taking risks and finding new inspirations and means for expression. Students are expected to use sketchbooks on a regular basis, which may include some reflective writing. Portfolio reviews with the Instructor occur at the end of each semester.  (Full year, 1 credit)


This is the most advanced art course taught at King, designed for students who have completed all other art major courses. Students create their own art syllabus guided by the teacher. They keep a detailed sketchbook, establish their own deadlines, and produce sophisticated artworks that highlight their artistic skills and conceptually follow a theme developed by the student. A professional art portfolio is completed and guidance in applying to art schools is provided if needed. (Full year, 1 credit)


This course is a continuation of Advanced Art 3 and is open to students who have completed Advanced Art 1 through 3. Students in this class usually take FAB at the Summer Institute after 8th grade and start Advanced Art 1 during their Freshmen year. This course of study provides students with an extra year to complete additional independent work and to strengthen their art portfolio.(Full year, 1 credit)


Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Fundamentals of Art for Beginners

Advanced Art 1

Advanced Art 2

Advanced Art 3

Fundamentals of Art for Beginners



Clay Explorations

Independent Study

Fundamentals of Art for Beginners




Intermediate Art


Global Art


Advanced Art 1 (Requires FAB in previous summer)

Advanced Art 2

Advanced Art 3

Advanced Art 4


The Performing Arts faculty engages students in the use of their voices, hands, and/or bodies to express themselves and their ideas in the disciplines of vocal music, instrumental music, theater, and dance. Experiences in this program cultivate the development of intuition, reasoning, imagination, and self-confidence in ways and at a level not found in the traditional classroom setting. (Requirement: .50 credit)



This course is designed for students brand new to the guitar or with minimal knowledge of the instrument. Students are taught all the open chords, beginning with bar chords, basic note reading, major and pentatonic scales. This knowledge is applied to as many pieces of music as possible. Students are required to have their own guitar to use for practice.  (Full year, .50 credit)


This course is designed for students who have taken the Beginning Guitar course, (MUS 216) or who have attained equivalent proficiency. Students in this course work on more advanced pieces of music in many different styles. Students explore jazz, classical, rock, folk, and other styles that may arise during class discussion. Students are required to have their own guitar to use for practice. (Full year, .50 credit)


Dance is a semester-long course that allows students to explore their creativity and encourages their artistic expression.  Whether students are experienced dancers or are dancing for the first time, the class will be geared toward each student’s individual ability level. They will have the opportunity to build their strength, flexibility, and coordination while discovering various styles of dance through choreography. Students will have an opportunity to perform at the end of the semester. Dance is a semester-long course that allows students to explore their creativity and encourages their artistic expression.  (Semester, pass/fail, .25 credit)


A large performance ensemble that plays both traditional concert band music and also Jazz Band music. Instrumentation includes: woodwinds, brass, percussion and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass). The band performs a wide variety of musical styles such as jazz, Broadway, film music, patriotic, and pep band music. During the year, the orchestra has multiple performances around the King community and participates in one to two band festivals. (Full year, 1 credit)


A small ensemble is designed to help students find self-expression and a creative outlet by performing a variety of music styles ranging from jazz, funk, blues, rock, and other multicultural music that is centered on improvisation. Students who play piano, bass, guitar, brass, woodwind, strings, or who sing are eligible to participate.  Students will be responsible for creating all of the music arrangements that ensemble performs. Placement is by audition. Per rotation, students attend 3 sessions of Concert and Jazz Band and 3 sessions specific to the Combo. (Full year, 1 credit credit)

CHOIR (MUS 236 or MUS 237)

This course is open to anyone interested in singing in a choral setting. Students have the opportunity to sing in four or more parts. Students study the Kodaly method of sight-reading, using solfege to develop their ear training. Other topics include proper breathing, vocal health, and mouth position. The repertoire for the course ranges from classical to contemporary. The choir has many performance opportunities throughout the year. Choir may be taken as a major (MUS 236: Full-year, 1.0 credit) or a minor course (MUS 237: Full year, .50 credit).


This course is designed for students who have interest in writing their own songs and understanding the craft of songwriting.  The course has grown out of the Music Composition club, started Fall 2003. Topics to be covered include melody, harmony, lyric writing, music theory, and analysis. The class culminates with either a recording of the original work or a live performance. Prerequisite for the course is two years of proficiency on a musical instrument or permission from the Instructor. (Full year, .5 credit)


This course is designed for students who would like to learn how to play the piano. Students are taught how to read music and learn how the notes translate to the keyboard. Students are required to practice outside of class. Topics covered include rhythm drills, melody phrasing, and playing chords and various styles of music. There is no prerequisite for this course, though enrollment is limited to the number of keyboards the School has available for the semester. (Full year, .50 credit)


This course is designed for students who wish to learn the theoretical aspects of music. Students learn about the basics of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and apply these concepts to many different pieces of music. Students learn to write chords and melody in different situations to demonstrate the various devices they have learned. The course culminates with a composition project that uses many of the concepts learned during the year. (Full year, .50 credit)


This course is intended for students who would like to take choir concurrently with a minor course in musical theater. In Musical Theater Workshop, students study acting, dance, and learn a variety of musical theater works. Students have many performance opportunities throughout the year. Must be enrolled in Choir concurrently.(Full year, .5 credit)


This course explores more deeply the material covered in Music Theory (MUS 361) and prepares students for the AP Music Theory test.  The student's ability to read and write musical notation is fundamental to such a course. It is also assumed that the student has acquired (or is acquiring) at least basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument.  The ultimate goal of this course is to develop a student's ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of these goals is best approached by initially addressing fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Building on this foundation, the course progresses to include more creative tasks, such as the harmonization of a melody by selecting appropriate chords, composing a musical bass line to provide two-voice counterpoint, or the realization of figured-bass notation. MUS 361 is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)



This course is open to any student who is interested in exploring the basics of acting. The course includes physical, vocal, and imaginative exercises drawn from a variety of traditional and progressive approaches to the craft. Exercises include theater games, improvisation, monologues, and scenes. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)

ACTING 2 (DRA 111)

This course is the continuation of the first-level acting course. Students continue working with scenes and monologues while strengthening movement, vocal, and speech technique. Classwork focuses on character development in a wider range of dramatic literature. Prerequisite for the course is Acting (DRA 101) or approval of the Instructor.  (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course concentrates on the basic elements of theater production from a technical perspective. Classwork includes aspects of design, set construction, painting, lighting, and sound. Students also contribute to the creation of Performing Arts productions. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


Without conflict, there is no drama. The physical manifestation of conflict is violence. This course focuses on the physical conflict in the plays of William Shakespeare. Students learn a variety of historical fighting techniques in preparation to perform them in the context of a scene or play. Classwork also involves comprehending and interpreting Shakespeare’s plays. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


Developing good communication skills is essential. This course is a continuation of the basic Combat course. The basic principles studied in Stage Combat in Shakespeare’s Plays are reinforced, and new techniques are added to the student’s skillset including “off-hand” defensive weapons such as the dagger, buckler, shield, etc. and a greater variety of literature will be explored from the classical world theatre. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


Developing good communication skills is essential for success in both academic and professional settings. This course examines and practices the skills involved in speaking to a group. Classwork involves different types of presentations in a variety of contexts, from informative and persuasive speeches to storytelling. Students are expected to write, edit, and deliver speeches in class and in a public forum. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


This course is for students who are interested in further developing their ability to communicate successfully in a public forum.  Building on the basic skills learned in the first semester of Public Speaking, students will refine their outlining and delivery techniques creating speeches of varying lengths using topics of their choice as well as topics that are assigned.  Effective incorporation of presentation media will be a major focus of the course.  The course will culminate in an opportunity to present speeches before an invited audience of faculty and parents. Prerequisites include Public Speaking.  (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


Students learn the fundamentals of designing and creating theatrical masks, which will include an exploration of how the mask has been employed in theatre over time. Activities focus on using sculptural techniques to capture the “essential spirit” of a character. Participants sculpt in clay, cast in paper-mache and learn painting and decorating techniques to give their masks maximum play.   Time permitting, they will create a plaster mold of their sculptures, and make a latex copy of the original. (Semester, Pass/Fail grading, .25 credit)


The Athletic Program is an integral part of every student’s experience at the School. The Athletic Department offers a broad-based program designed to serve as a complement to the rigorous academic program. The School’s athletic offerings provide students with the opportunity to compete athletically through Varsity and JV team sports, and to participate in a noncompetitive environment through fitness and recreation opportunities.

Because we believe strongly in the many benefits that a quality athletics and fitness program provides to those who take part, participation in the Athletic Program is required of all students. Every student must participate in one of the department’s offerings in any one athletic season. To accommodate students who may not have as strong an interest in team sports, several non-team options are offered, such as winter season strength training and spring personal fitness. We also offer a limited number of sports exemptions to those students who are active competitors on teams outside of school. Exemptions are not automatic and are not available for sports offered through the Athletic Program.

Varsity teams are members of the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA), comprised of independent schools in Fairfield County, CT, and Westchester County, NY. King competes in the FAA in the following sports:





Cross Country




Ice Hockey







Cross Country



Field Hockey







League champions are recognized in all of the sponsored sports.

JV programs are offered only as numbers and interest dictate and are not offered in all sports.  Highly qualified coaches – many of whom are members of the faculty in one of our three academic divisions – direct most of the teams. Please note that juniors/seniors identified by the head varsity coach as a contributing member of the varsity team will not be permitted to play on the junior varsity team of that particular program.

Contests are played both against FAA opponents and against other independent schools involved in both the Western New England Prep School Athletic Association (WNEPSAA) and the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC). The Athletic Program has a strong tradition of success, including numerous FAA championships and New England tournament appearances:



2014 FAA Champions

2011 FAA Champions


2014 FAA Champions

2012 FAA Champions

2009 FAA Champions

2009 Nutmeg Division Champions

2009 NEPSAC Champion Runners-Up

2008 FAA Champions

2008 FAA Nutmeg Division Champions

2008 NEPSAC Champion Runners-Up

2006 FAA Nutmeg Division Champions

2005 FAA Empire Division Champions


2008 WNEPSAA Participants


2011 FAA Champions

2011 FAA Tournament Champions

2010 FAA Tournament Runners-Up

2008 FAA Tournament Runners-Up

2007 FAA Champions

2007 FAA Tournament Champions

2006 FAA Tournament Co-Champions

Ice Hockey        

2016 FAA Champions

2013 FAA Champions



2010 FAA Champions

2010 FAA Tournament Champions

2010 NEPSAC Champion Runners-Up

2006 NEPSAC Champions

Cross Country  

2009 Division 5 New England Runners-Up

2008 FAA Tournament Runners-Up

2008 Division 5 New England Champions

2007 FAA Tournament Runners-Up

2007 Division 5 New England Champions


2014 FAA Co-Champions

2010 FAA Champions

2010 FAA Tournament Champions

2010 WNEPSAA Champions

2009 FAA Champions

2009 FAA Tournament Champions

2009 WNEPSAA Runners-Up

2008 FAA Champions

2008 FAA Champions

2008 FAA Tournament Champions

2008 WNEPSAA Champions

2007 WNEPSAA Champions

2004 WNEPSAA Champions

2004 FAA Champions


2015 New England - Class C Champions

2015 FAA Champions

2014 FAA Champions

2013 New England - Class C Champions

2011 New England - Class C Champions

2008 New England - Class B Champions

2008 FAA Champions

2008 FAA Tournament Champions

2007 FAA Tournament Champions

2005 FAA Tournament Champions

2005 FAA Co-Champions

2004 FAA Co-Champions


The School has a long history of strong commitment to the theater arts. Opportunities exist for all students to explore their talents in this area. Students in the Upper School are required to participate in at least one theatrical performance during their time here. Participation runs the gamut from all aspects of pre-production (set design and construction) to production (lights, sound, stage management) to performance (acting, singing, dancing). Typically, a full-length play is presented in the fall, a full-scale musical in the winter, and student-directed plays in the spring. Though members of the Performing Arts Department supervise all performances, most aspects of these performances are student-run. Leadership roles thus abound during the process of creating and presenting a theatrical performance. The teamwork and spirit of camaraderie evident in all phases of this process provide opportunities for character development not typically found in the traditional classroom. Though participation in only one production is required, students often become involved in several more before they graduate. Over the past several years, US students have presented a wide variety of shows, including:

“Godspell” (2015)

“The Memo” (2014)

“Spamalot” (2014)

“Burial at Thebes” (2013)

“Hairspray” (2013)

“The Miser” (2012)

“Little Shop of Horrors” (2012)

“Our Town” (2011)

“Once on this Island” (2011)

“The Diary of Anne Frank” (2010)

 “The Wiz” (2010)

“The Skin of Our Teeth” (2009)

“Into the Woods” (2009)

 “Arsenic  & Old Lace” (2008)

 “Pippin” (2008)

“The Laramie Project” (2007)

 “Urinetown” (2007)

“The Mousetrap” (2006)

“Cabaret” (2006)

“The Importance of Being Earnest” (2005)

“Hair” (2005)

“The Grass Harp” (2004)

“Ragtime” (2004)

“Dinner at Eight” (2003)

 “Peter Pan” (2003)

“The Comedy of Errors” (2002)


Each of our students should have the opportunity to experience the power of performance. As life-long learners and contributors to the larger society, we want to offer students the chance to connect with the art form in the hope that they will continue to participate either as artists or audience members long after they leave King.

Experiences that Fulfill the Requirement

In Addition to the Following Experiences, Students Must View the US Production

Requirements must be met by March break of senior year, unless a student has committed to participate in the student-directed production at the end of their senior year. Students who fail to meet the requirement must read a play and write an analysis based on questions provided by the Performing Arts faculty.


Students are encouraged to participate in at least one activity outside of the classroom. They may choose from a variety of offerings listed below. The clubs meet during a flex period or after school twice a month. There are 40 club activities from which US students may choose that provide them with opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and personal development. Many of our clubs have long associations with the School, while others reflect the interests of students who choose to form a new club.  

The following is a sample of the clubs and activities are offered, divided into four distinct categories. For a fuller description, please see the Upper School Clubs and Activities page on the King website.



The Personal Advisor is the student’s primary advocate, monitoring student progress, discussing academic and/or social issues and concerns, and assisting with the academic planning process. The Personal Advisor also serves as the principal liaison between the student and his/her teachers, and between the School and the student’s parents.  Advisors also work closely with teachers and Grade Deans if a student needs extra help and/or other types of support.

Each student in the Upper School selects a Personal Advisor in May for the following year. Students new to the School and students entering Grade 9 are assigned an Advisor for their first year. Teachers are typically limited to 10 advisees each and meet with advisees to begin each day, and once per rotation for one full period. These meeting times allow the Advisor to go over the schedule for the day, apprise advisees of upcoming events, or simply to spend time talking to advisees about their school experience. Students often create a relationship with an Advisor in their first year in the Upper School and maintain that relationship for their four years here.


Grade Deans are assigned to each grade level to provide an administrative presence devoted entirely to the needs of those classes and their individual members. Together with the personal advisors, Grade Deans are responsible for monitoring a student’s overall progress from an academic, social, and emotional perspective. Typically, Grade Deans meet with students who are having academic or disciplinary difficulty, meeting with the student to discuss these areas of difficulty, and working with the student, faculty, parents, and administration to determine the appropriate means of intervention to help the student through his/ her difficulty. Grade Deans also function as the Class Advisors for Grades 9 and 10, helping students with the planning of class activities and events. In Grades 11 and 12, a separate Class Advisor helps coordinate class activities and events.


The School Counselor is available as a supportive resource to all students in Grades 9-12. The Counselor offers the opportunity for brief solution-focused sessions regarding issues that affect students’ academic or social health. If longer-term care is deemed necessary, the Counselor will provide an initial assessment and provide a referral to an outside community resource. The Counselor also takes the opportunity to meet with students new to the Upper School to discuss any issues, which may arise during their transition to a new school environment. Although most students come to the Counselor by their own referral, Administrators, Personal Advisors, and/or parents can also refer students when they feel that some level of intervention is necessary.


As certified learning specialistS, the Directors of Teaching and Learning assist and guide students with certain aspects of their studies; coordinate action plans designed to capitalize on student strengths to aid in their academic improvement; and monitor student progress. The Directors also teach Strategies courses. Additionally, the Directors function as resources for faculty, parents, and students. The Directors assist teachers in developing teaching approaches and creating assessments that meet the individual needs of their students, demanding more of those students who are ready for a challenge, and assisting those in need of guidance. Finally, the Directors compile the Learning Profiles and help faculty by pointing out areas of strength in each student’s profile which lead to individual programmatic changes aimed at developing student strengths.


The four-year developmental college counseling program endeavors to help our students learn about themselves, their aspirations, and the opportunities available to them; to develop self-awareness and direct their own lives. The program is designed to deconstruct and demystify what has become a complex process. Key is our focus on encouraging students to step up and own an experience that is rightfully theirs. We collaborate closely with our families and make every effort to provide a safe, comfortable environment in which to talk. We listen with care and empathy, and we clarify with understanding. We acknowledge the anxieties inherent in what are the initial steps towards ultimate independence. Our goal is to help students find the right match at a college where they will be valued, productive, and successful. Throughout the entire process, everything depends on the students’ initiative. In service to this philosophy, the College Counseling Office engages families in a holistic, four-year process with grade-specific information meetings throughout the fall and spring semesters. Our one-on-one meetings with students (and parents) that formally start in the spring of freshman year are the cornerstones of our programming.


Presentations during freshman class meetings emphasize the message that students do their best academically and also experience new and established interests. In September, we introduce families to the College Counseling team and offer clarity around several myths that exist around the college process. May’s evening college counseling information night introduces Grade 9 families to the following topics: GPA, GPA trendline, curriculum degree of rigor, grade stratification, course sequencing, and college visitation. Transcripts are sent home at the end of the first semester to introduce the document to the family, which helps increase student awareness of the opportunities ahead and how colleges look at applicants. Students are assigned to one of the three college counselors.  One on one meetings begin with ninth grade students in May.


Presentations during class meetings continue to place importance on academics and the pursuit of personal interests. Sophomores take both the PSAT/NMSQT and a practice ACT during the fall. The sophomore college information night is held in January and is followed by individual one on one meetings. Topics to be discussed include: junior and senior year curriculum design, interviewing at colleges, college identification/selection, school profile, college counselor and teacher recommendations, and PSAT/SAT/ACT information.


Juniors have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. Juniors are encouraged to meet with college representatives when they visit campus. A Financial Aid seminar occurs for junior parents during the fall. During November’s evening informational meeting, juniors and their parents are given an in-depth review of the college process with special focus on: discovering the right fit outside of the classroom, identifying and matching individual achievement versus middle 50% ranges of potential college selections, SAT/ACT testing timeline, and how colleges make admissions decisions. One-on-one meetings (with parents) follow with each junior and their assigned college counselor.

In the spring semester, all juniors attend 3 mandatory, small group college counseling classes, where they learn to develop their personal criteria for their college experience, use appropriate web sites, and start to find colleges that have the right “fit.” They also complete their resume of activities, fill out the Common Applications, and work on college essays.


During the first week of school, an evening informational for seniors and their parents presents the final component of the college counseling program: “The Application Process, Start to Finish.” During the class trip time frame, seniors have three days available for personal college visits.  Ongoing meetings are scheduled with each student to support this process to its completion. Throughout the fall, college representatives visit campus to meet with interested students. A Financial Aid seminar, hosted by the college counseling staff, occurs for senior parents during the fall.

The College Counselors write a letter of recommendation for each senior incorporating information gathered by observations of the student as well as information from faculty, coaches, and information provided by parents. According to the deadlines specified, the Office of College Counseling submits the student’s transcript, school profile, counselor recommendation, and the colleges and US reports to each college on the student’s list. Students are accountable for the submission of their college applications along with standardized test scores.

College Counseling is an ongoing process and the office is available as a resource throughout the year to students and parents alike.