Upper School Program Guide




Mission Statement

Educational And Curricular Philosophy

Implementation Of Our Mission And Philosophy



The College Preparatory Program

The Honors Program

The Advanced Placement Program

The Advanced Seminar Program

Independent Studies

Special Projects


Minimum Graduation Requirements

Certificates Of Distinction

Certificate Of Distinction In STEM

Certificate Of Distinction In Leadership

Certificate Of Distinction In Global Studies

Certificate Of Distinction In World Languages

OPTIONAL: Dual Distinction with Global Studies

Certificate Of Distinction In Art & Design






World Languages

Social Sciences

Computer Science

Innovation Lab

Art and Design

Performing Arts




Clubs and Activities

College Counseling

Study Strategies

Theatre Arts


Mission Statement

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

Educational And Curricular Philosophy

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.

Implementation Of Our Mission And Philosophy

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




Movement between and among our programs is quite fluid and is dependent upon the relative areas of strength for each student. Particularly in highly content-sequential departments like Mathematics and World Languages, departments sometimes will recommend summer work to bridge content gaps if a student is moving, for example, from a College Preparatory program to an Honors program. General selection criteria for Honors and AP courses are available here.

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. The pacing of these courses is faster and the content exploration deeper, allowing for the study of more topics and/or texts.

The Advanced Placement Program

The Advanced Placement program incorporates and often goes beyond a standardized, national College Board curriculum in preparation for a comprehensive examination 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. Departmental approval is required. Students in AP courses must remain committed to the demands of the program throughout the entire year, including preparation for the exam itself. Students must sit for the AP exam to satisfy requirements for the course. Students may not sit for an AP exam at King unless they take the course through King or an independent study approved by the Academic Dean. King currently offers Advanced Placement courses in the following areas:

2-D Art and Design

3-D Art and Design


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 2

Physics C: Mechanics


Spanish Language and Culture

Spanish Literature and Culture


United States History

World History: Modern

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.


Minimum Graduation Requirements

The requirements for a King diploma are listed in the Student/Parent Handbook

Certificates Of Distinction

The Upper School offers Certificates of Distinction to students who elect to complete additional requirements in particular areas of study beyond the broader graduation requirements. In an analogy to undergraduate study, the minimum graduation requirements comprise a sort of “major” in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, but the requirements for each Certificate of Distinction comprise an additional, focused “minor.”

Certificates of Distinction are entirely elective. They are only appropriate for students who, by Grade 10, prefer digging deeply into a focused area of study rather than continuing to explore broadly across the curriculum.

Certificate Of Distinction In STEM

Pursuit of this distinction engages students with a variety of skills that are used by today’s researchers and innovators, such as literature review, experimentation or project design, modeling, data analysis, and presentation of information.

King School provides two paths for students seeking STEM Distinction.  The first path, Path A, consists of successful completion of our most rigorous science, math, and computer science courses (see below for details), participation in club activity, and the completion of a Capstone project. The second path, Path B, involves the completion of a mentored research project through our ASPIRE (Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering) program that results in any one of the following:  (i) getting named a semifinalist in a national competition such as the Regeneron Science Talent Search, (ii) qualifying for the International Science and Engineering Fair, or (iii) publication in a STEM-related journal.


Path A to Certificate of Distinction in STEM

1)  Required Courses:

 All of the following:

One of the following:

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

Science Department

  • Computational Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Anatomy and Physiology


Computer Science Department

  • iOS App Development
  • Advanced Data Structures

Math Department

  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Linear Algebra & Differential Equations

Innovation Lab

  • Design Thinking I

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.

Certificate Of Distinction In Leadership

King's leadership program is founded on the belief that strong, ethical leadership is comprised of skills and behaviors that everyone can learn and develop.  Students have the opportunity to put their leadership skills into action through a variety of course work, case study, project development, team work, and meaningful roles in the community .  In addition, students who want to commit to the academic study of leadership theory can work towards a Leadership Distinction.

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

Certificate Of Distinction In Global Studies

The Global Studies Program at King takes an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to examining and understanding global issues. Interested students engage in an intensive study of global challenges and responses to them in the fields of environmental science, international relations, socio-economics, human rights, and cultural studies. Emphasis is both placed on the intellectual and emotional development of our global scholars with respect to the impact of globalization on multiple geographic and cultural areas of the world. We educate them to appreciate their shared humanity while they investigate the world, and to recognize their own and others’ perspectives. In the classroom, through engagement in field research and work (both local and global), participation in cultural and language immersions, and service programs and internships with local and global partner organizations, King global scholars develop an understanding of the globalized world so that they can recognize the need for their participation in ethical, cultural, socio-economic, political, scientific, and environmental issues. The requirements for earning the certificate of  distinction in Global Studies are as follows:

Required Courses:

Introduction to Global Studies

AP World History: Modern OR Topics in Global Studies

Four high school years of a foreign language

Directed Research in Global Studies (Capstone)

Two of the following elective courses:

Topics in Global Studies

Honors World Religions

Honors America, the Sixties, and the World

AP Comparative Government and Politics

Honors Environmental Studies

Global Art History OR Themes in Global Art

Ancient OR Modern Philosophy

Honors or AS Cultural Anthropology

AP Macroeconomics OR Financial Market Economics

OPTIONAL: Dual Distinction with World Languages

Students can also choose to complete two high-school years of a second foreign language instead of electives in global studies, and gain a dual certificate of Distinction in both Global Studies and World Languages.

Global Citizenship and Community Engagement 

List of Qualifying International Programs

Capstone in Global Studies

Students must have a B+ or better in every class in their global studies courses and two teacher recommendations to qualify for the Capstone.

The capstone is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating intellectual experience for global scholars. Capstone projects in global studies may take a wide variety of forms. They are all long-term research-based or project based, and culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. Candidates to the certificate of distinction in global studies must enroll in the directed research course during their junior year in order to complete their capstone. Global scholars may choose from the following options:

Certificate Of Distinction In World Languages

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.


OPTIONAL: Dual Distinction with Global Studies

Students may choose to complete just two high-school years of a second foreign language plus Introduction to Global Studies and either AP World History: Modern or Topics in Global Studies and gain a dual certificate of Distinction in both Global Studies and World Languages.

Certificate Of Distinction In Art & Design

The Visual Arts program stresses the importance of original creative thinking and individual artistic expression. Students engage in art-making based on observation and vision, are encouraged to use critical thinking, and to persist in exploring unique ways of executing their work. Learning is supported by exposure to the history of art and work from artists around the globe. Reflection and class critiques further strengthen artistic growth.

Students who wish to pursue a Certificate of Distinction in the Visual Arts will complete challenging coursework, participate in related club activities, and partake in summer and/or extra-curricular art learning, culminating in authentic capstone projects that reflect their unique artistic vision. Students will consider their role as an artist within society, creating work that is relevant, original, and that addresses universal concerns through the exploration of a personal theme.


1) Required Courses:


2) One of the following elective courses:

Visual Arts Department


Performing Arts Department

Computer Science Department


    Innovation Lab

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


4)  Summer/Extra-Curricular Work (one summer only)


5) Assessments:

Students who express interest in earning the Visual Arts Distinction will have an initial interview with the Visual Arts Department faculty in order to evaluate their understanding of the work that will be required and their ability to successfully meet all deadlines.

Students who are pursuing the Visual Arts Distinction will meet with the faculty at the end of each school year for an incremental capstone review to ensure that they have met all requirements thus far, and are on track to complete the distinction successfully.

6) Capstones:



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 setting it against text Beah's A Long Way Gone, Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and The Diary of Anne Frank,, students learn to reconsider their understanding of the hero and think about what it means to finally go home. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Texts: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Haddon; The Odyssey, by Homer; Burial at Thebes by Heaney;; The Diary of Anne Frank; A Long Way Gone, by Beah; The Tempest, by Shakespeare; a selection of short stories 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 the relationship between the individual and the community by exploring the ways in which power, reputation, and responsibility shape the choices that we make. We will think about the tension between fear and desire, guilt and innocence, and empathy and cruelty as we set one text against another to better understand connections between different cultures and societies. . (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Texts: Excerpts from the Bible; The Laramie Project, by Kaufman; The Crucible, by Miller, Macbeth by Shakespeare; The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood; Night, by Elie Wiesel, Lord of the Flies by Golding, selected short stories and poems; Grammar for Writing, Grade 10 by Sadlier.


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. 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 "Major" — 1 credit)

Texts: Frankenstein by Shelley; The Penelopiad, by Atwood; Macbeth by Shakespeare; The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood; 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 "Major" — 1 credit)

Texts: Everything I Never Told You, by Ng; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Kesey; Homegoing, by Gyasi; Take Me Out, by Greenberg;: The Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald; selected short stories and poems.


This course is designed to introduce students to a range of American voices and texts that will investigate a series of topics, including freedom and slavery, justice and mystery, and secrets and identity. In addition, this course will group texts that are in conversation with one another across a mixture of genres - novels, poetry, short fiction, drama, memoir, polemic, and other non-fiction works as we prepare to look at American literature through rhetorical and literary lenses. With this in mind, it is essential that students are able to synthesize their understandings as they explore theme and character alongside intention, audience, and subject.

Additionally, this course will prepare students to take the AP Language exam. It aims to strengthen students’ understanding of how context shapes content as well as the way that conventions of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. The course also seeks to produce skilled writers who can move nimbly through a variety of writing tasks including: analysis, synthesis, and persuasion. This challenging and rigorous course places a premium upon the student’s independence and initiative. Each individual must be willing to engage meaningfully with the materials, take responsibility for all written work, and respectfully consider the classroom as a community of collaborative learners. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Texts considered: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Douglass; Between the World and Me by Coates; Song of Myself by Whitman; Sula by Morrison; In Cold Blood by Capote; Angels in America by Kushner; The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald; and a collection of essays, short stories, and poetry.


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.



Why has Get Out earned $176 million in this country alone? Why have Stephen King books sold more than 350 million copies? Why do we like being scared so much, and what are we really afraid of, anyway? In this course, we will read and watch some horror classics and think about what they reveal about how we embody and manage our fears, and how personal stories about vampires, zombies, and proms gone horribly wrong reflect our anxieties about sexuality, race, and gender. Possible texts include Let the Right One In, The Haunting of Hill House, and Carrie. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


The United States was founded on the twin principles of freedom and equal rights...right? In this course, students will examine the letter of the law to discover the precise context and wording of key legal documents that define the American justice system. Particular attention will be focused on laws pertaining to teenagers. You may find it surprising that, until reaching 18, most jurisprudence applying to minors falls under property law. Think 18 is too late to wait to vote? Think a 13 year-old should face a life sentence? Close study of Constitutional law and landmark Supreme Court decisions forms the foundation from which students will launch individual projects researching relevant legal topics that will culminate in student-produced video PSAs about what to do if caught in a legal bind. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


What is poetry? How and why does it move us? This course will take an in-depth look at the style, technique, and devices employed by contemporary poets. There will be a focus on the critical reading, interpretation, and analysis of poetry. Students will select contemporary works and share them with their classmates, and they will be expected to write and share their own pieces. The students will also write a research paper on the background and influences of a selected poet.  The course will culminate with a “Coffee House” evening organized and presented by the students. At this event, members of the Community will be invited to share and hear original poetry read in Open Mic format. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


What happens to us as individuals when we encounter adversity? What then happens to our relationships because of those shifts? This course will explore how we make sense of the transformative challenges we face in our lives, especially as we engage them many years later. We will look at ways that our past defines us but also how it imprisons us, and what that confinement means for the relationships that transcend those years. Probable titles include So Long, See You Tomorrow, The Things They Carried, and Never Let Me Go. (Semester "Major" — .50 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? The reading list will change depending on what good books are published in the next few months, but in the last couple of years we have read novels about everything from the Iraq War to the Manson family murders to the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


When you think back to 2nd grade, what pictures jump to mind? In some cases, the big events will stand out: the end-of-year skit, the time you fell off the jungle-gym, the memorable speaker who visited class one day. If we think deeply about them, we are likely to discover that those moments have shaped us and the way that we experience our surroundings. In this course, students will read short personal essays by writers who are looking at such memories in their own lives. The class will explore each essay -- how it begins, how it ends, what is shown vs. told, what is hidden vs. revealed, and the literary techniques that are employed to bring the narrative to life for the reader. Students will then compose their own pieces about the memories that have shaped them into the people they are today. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


Because laws are “necessary but not sufficient” in shaping society, this course focuses on the lighter side of what changes hearts and minds via popular culture. Specifically, we examine the influence of film, song, sports, and humor in molding the national ethos. From landmark movies such as Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times,” to game-changers like Jackie Robinson, music milestones like “American Pie,” and current comics’ edgy stand-up routines, students will first learn to deconstruct the essential elements of four distinctive writing genres, then compose multimedia creations of their own. Through screenwriting, sports reporting, lyrical composition, and comedy, students will find serious reasons for fun. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


This course will be an in-depth examination of the ways performance literature impacts our lives. We  will read dramatic works, write about those works, and discuss them in Harkness format. There will be a focus on imagery, use of language, theme, and the appeals to emotion that dramatic literature makes. At the culmination of the course, the students will create, design, produce, and perform a short dramatic scene and share it with interested members of the community. Possible texts include  Death Of A Salesman, For the Love of The Nightingale, and Glengarry Glen Ross. (Semester "Major" — .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 "Major" — 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 writing-intensive course trains students to convince skeptical readers of a debatable position.  Thematically, the readings from economics, media studies, politics, and psychology focus on the issues that confront Generation Z, which names the cohort of young people born between 1997 and 2012.  During the fall semester, the class weighs in on an age-old debate between parents and children, older generations and their younger successors: Do kids today measure up?  Come spring, students research and then enter into dialogue about the self-selected topic that matters most to them.  

Methodologically, the class’s efforts to develop your powers of persuasion starts by emphasizing that effective arguments enter into conversation with the views of others.  Accordingly, we approach writing as a social activity in which authors tailor their rhetoric to suit the intended audience.  The course’s reading and writing assignments aim to build on a toolbox of skills for responding to an argument; adopting common “thought moves”; crafting the rhetorical situation, appeals, arrangement, and style that define an essay; researching and evaluating sources; assembling a critical conversation; anticipating and then countering rival points of view; and ultimately delivering an argument with credibility and confidence.

Considered texts: They Say / I Say by Graff and Birkenstein, iGen by Twenge, Alone Together by Turkle, It was All a Dream by Allen, and a selection of contemporary essays.  

Prerequisites: ENG 350 and current teacher recommendation.  (Full year, 1 credit)

English Sequencing


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 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. This College Preparatory class will introduce students to approaching the past as an historian, which includes reasoning across space and time, comparing events or figures, and contextualizing critical moments in ancient history. Using Harkness conversations, students will be introduced to oral debate and discussion. A research paper is required.  (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


This 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. In this Honors-level course, students are expected to demonstrate and exercise historical thinking and writing skills like reasoning across space and time, comparing events or figures, and contextualizing critical moments in ancient history. More advanced readings in the ancient classics and secondary sources are included in the course of study. Using Harkness conversations, students will be introduced to oral debate and discussion. A research paper is required. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)



This course examines the interactions between Europe and the world, and how those interactions created conflict and shaped the world today. The course globalizes the world history curriculum, and it does so by paying particular attention to the diverse cultures of China and Japan, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. This course considers the growth of the Modern European nation-state and how interactions between European  and non-European states transformed as a result.  Rather than a strictly chronological approach, the curriculum utilizes the theme of “contested spaces,” which allows students to compare and contrast specific conflicts. Particular focus will be placed upon cultivating persuasive and argumentative writing. Modified readings in primary, secondary and tertiary sources are used to expand on critical reading skills. Using their research and historical-thinking skills, students complete problem-based units through negotiations and simulations. This allows students to attempt to create new interpretations of today’s socioeconomic and political arena. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


This course is a yearlong survey of modern world history. Two of our major organizing themes this year will be conflict through the lens of contested lands and the enduring quest for peace. This course wants to show that, in the same way as there has been continuity in fighting, there has also been continuity in trying to build and spread peace.  Beginning with the world in 1000, this course examines the economic and political developments of diverse cultures in the global south across the Middle East, India, China, and Africa. Emphasis is placed on innovation, belief systems and the extent to which the world was already interconnected. From there, our view expands to include Europe and subsequently the Americas. The complexity of interactions and conflict increases as students delve into the crusades, the columbian exchange, imperialism, industrialization, globalization, and war. The conflicts we undercover traverse economic, political and social divides. 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 "Major" — 1 credit)


This is a college level course that prepares advanced students to sit for the AP World History: Modern exam. This course will begin in 1200 CE and will go through the present with an emphasis on regional and interregional interactions, global encounters, industrialization and global integration, and accelerating globalization and realignments. Heavy emphasis is placed on the development of critical analytical and writing skills, and extensive work with primary source documents and recent works of scholarship.  The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)



Using 9/11 as a fulcrum, this semester-long class will explore the fall of communism, the decade of the 1990s in terms of American social, cultural, technological, economic, and political change, and the long-term causes, short-term causes, cultural contexts, and effects of the 9/11 terror attacks. Like many transformative eras and traumatic events, the fall of communism, the roaring 1990s, and 9/11 all have taken on a sort of mythology in the American mind. The course will trace back to the post-WWI interactions between Europe, the United States, and the Muslim world as well as to how the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War led to cultural shifts in the United States that Americans are still trying to comprehend. Indeed, many of the “fault lines” that we see in American society today have their origins in the post-Cold War world, and so to understand how we as a country became so divided and dysfunctional, students must study the crucial decade of the 1990s. Also, in order to understand 9/11, students will acquire the contexts of the Balfour Declaration, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the creation of the state of Israel, the Arab-Israeli Wars, the Lebanese civil wars, Iranian-American relations, the Iranian Revolution, the Saudi Arabian-American alliance, the international oil industry, and the Cold War. (Semester "Major" — .50 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 "Major" — .50 credit)


The media has been a large and compelling part of American history for decades, if not centuries.  If it were not for media, some of the U.S. government's most ardent abuses would have remained in the shadows.  This is a course about the history of American media, as seen through coverage of watershed events in the last two centuries. As we journey through the past, we will explore the media’s role and the values they demonstrated in covering major events such as global war, presidential elections, and civil rights. Although we may find the news media as transformative in their search for truth and defense of justice, we will also see how they can fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the truth. This course also looks beyond traditional journalistic outlets such as newspapers and television news reports and examines the modern-day role that the Internet and its various venues play in reporting the news and shaping history. Although much of the course will be focused on major turning points in history, we will probe current day topics such as “fake news,” Twitter journalism, and satirical outlets such as Colbert Report and the Daily Show. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


The seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians endures and only shows signs of intensifying. Our present global climate offers a particularly important moment in which to study this conflict. Israel and Palestine, home to Jews, Muslims, and others, brings two traumatized nations together and largely in conflict with one another. This course will closely examine the conflict’s history from the late 19th century through the present, using secondary texts written by Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians and Americans, and primary sources from the Ottoman, British and post-1948 periods. We will explore the current state of the conflict through a variety of sources, including interviews, music, poetry, documentary and other text-based sources. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


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 socio-economic 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. Depending on the number of requests for enrollment, the Upper School may offer students the opportunity to take AP European History online instead with a partner institution. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

History Sequencing


The Mathematics faculty works to develop, 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 fluent with analytical, computational, problem-solving methods, logical reasoning, and pattern recognition.

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 "Major" — 1 credit)


By doing hands-on labs, students investigate angles and lines, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals and other polygons, congruence and similarity, right triangle trigonometry, and proofs. Coordinate geometry and algebra are integrated into the entire course. Geometry software applications are used in many topics, and are an integral part of the course. The course uses a spiraling approach: ideas are revisited several times and connected to other topics. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


This course covers all topics in Geometry 205 at a  faster pace with a rigorous approach in order to develop a deeper understanding of the mathematical principles. In addition, this course will cover transformations, symmetry, and constructions. Coordinate geometry and algebra are integrated into the entire course. Geometry software applications are used in many topics, and are an integral part of the course. The course uses a spiraling approach: ideas are revisited several times and connected to other topics. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


In addition to all topics covered in the Accelerated Geometry course, students use discovery-based questions to introduce and explore topics including linear motion, parametric equations, and vectors.. Optimization problems regarding paths of travel are continuously discussed throughout the course. Students in this course are exposed to more complex proofs and geometric constructions. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


This course is an in-depth extension of algebraic concepts studied in Algebra 1.  Emphasis is on fluency and a deep understanding of algebraic manipulations.  Topics covered include linear, quadratic, rational, polynomial, absolute value, and radical equations and inequalities.  Students will learn formal definitions of functions, domain and range and will explore their graphs. In addition, the complex number system and exponential and logarithmic equations will be introduced. The trigonometry portion of the course includes right triangle trigonometry, radian measure, basic trigonometric equations and the Laws of Cosines and Sines. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)



This course is a rigorous study of equations and inequalities associated with linear, quadratic, rational, polynomial, absolute value, logarithmic and exponential expressions in the real number system, as well as the study of radicals and extensions to complex numbers. Formal definitions of functions, domain and range are introduced. The course also covers trigonometric functions, equations, inequalities, fundamental identities, right triangle trigonometry, and the laws of sine and cosine. The overall emphasis is on a formal approach to learning complex algebraic manipulations. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)


This course is for students who need to improve their algebra skills and work more with functions and trigonometry before taking PreCalculus. 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 are expected to take the AMC 10/12 test. Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra II/Trig Honors. All Honors courses require departmental approval. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)



This course is designed for strong mathematics students who may not be planning a major in mathematics or 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 PreCalculus.The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — .50 credit)


This course is designed for students interested in gaining an introductory understanding of the main principles that govern the study of statistics. Throughout, students 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 "Major" — .50 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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.  PreCalculus is a prerequisite/co-requisite for this course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit) This course runs in alternate years from MAT 590, and is offered in 2020-2021..


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.

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 "Major" — 1 credit) This course runs in alternating years from MAT 580, and is not offered in 2020-2021.

Mathematics Sequencing



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.


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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)


This introductory course employs a hands-on, problem-solving approach to topics in Physics. Students explore basic physical laws that govern everyday phenomena, and develop their ability to utilize trigonometry, algebra, and graphical analysis to solve related problems. Emphasis is placed upon the technological design process, wherein students creatively model, investigate, and create solutions to real-world challenges through relevant engineering and computer applications. Topics include motion and forces, energy and heat, wave motion and sound, light and optics, electricity and magnetism, and structures and materials. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)





This course explores the evolution of humans as a species from the earliest bipedal hominid, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, through to modern humans. Evidence from skeletal morphological studies, genetics and archaeology are combined to reveal our relation to early bipeds such as Homo erectus, Neandethals and Denisovans. The course also analyzes information gleaned from our nearest living cousins- the great apes- in terms of their behaviours, both cultural and instinctual, as well as their capacity for language and social formations.  Readings are drawn from the most recent scientific studies to present the most up to date understanding of humans’ complex history. The AS, Honors, and College Prep curricula are offered concurrently in the same classroom and differentiated appropriately. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


This course introduces students to organs and organ system that maintain homeostasis in the human body. By the end of this semester course, students should be able to explain how the organ systems work together to maintain a stable internal environment to sustain life. Example of organ systems that will be focused on include nervous, endocrine, immune, excretory, circulatory, and respiratory systems. A major research paper is a requirement for the course which can be worked on as part of science fair project (optional) and/or senior project. Prerequisites: Honors Biology with B or better or College Prep Biology with B+ or better. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


This honors-level course provides a practical exploration of humanity’s interaction with the natural environment. The course begins with a biological and demographic investigation of the human species, with an emphasis on historical trends and future projections across a variety of scales. Students then investigate the broader cycles and systems of energy, nutrients, and matter that define natural ecosystems. The course then focuses upon specific human survival needs (food, water, energy) and the challenges that arise when providing for these needs in the pre-established context of our species and our planet. Students critically assess both market and policy efforts to manage these species-ecosystem interactions, at local, national, and international levels.

        The course content is presented through readings, lecture, and multimedia resources, and there is heavy emphasis on reading and writing skills within the sciences. There is also a component of traditional lab work, as well as an increased emphasis on environmental engineering and the technological design process as it is applied to the course content. Students engage in individual and group presentations, and structured group dialogue is utilized to inform our writing. The Department recommends candidates for this course.(Full year "Major" — 1 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 "Major" — 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. Chemistry (SCI 201 or SCI 200) is Pre-requisite, and PreCalculus (MAT 401, MAT 400, or 420) is at least co-requisite. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 are both algebra-based, introductory college-level physics courses; King offers them in alternating years, and students may take either or both regardless of order. In AP Physics 1, Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics; dynamics; circular motion and gravitation; energy; momentum; simple harmonic motion; torque and rotational motion; electric charge and electric force; DC circuits; and mechanical waves and sound. Honors Chemistry is prerequisite and Honors PreCalculus (MAT 400, or 420) is at least co-requisite. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit) This course runs in opposite years from AP Physics 2, and is running in 2020-2021


AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 are both algebra-based, introductory college-level physics courses; King offers them in alternating years, and students may take either or both regardless of order. In AP Physics 2, students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: fluids; thermodynamics; electrical force, field, and potential; electric circuits; magnetism and electromagnetic induction; geometric and physical optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. Honors Chemistry is prerequisite and Honors PreCalculus (MAT 400, or 420) is at least co-requisite. The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit) This course runs in opposite years from AP Physics 1, and is not running in 2020-2021


This theoretical course is designed for the most advanced mathematics and science students and prepares them for the AP Physics C: Mechanics examination. Calculus and Physics I or Physics II are prerequisites for the course. The Department recommends candidates for this course.  (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .50 credit).


This course offers students seeking an independent laboratory research experience an opportunity to design and execute an original research project of their choice in the mathematical, biological, or physical sciences. Each student works in collaboration with a King faculty mentor and a professional research scientist at universities and other research institutions in the neighboring community. Students are required to work at least 4-8 weeks during the summer preceding their enrollment in the class, and should plan to dedicate at least 5-8 hours per week in the lab in a format to be determined by the student, the research mentor, and the course instructor. In the accompanying classroom instruction, students will learn the fundamentals of conducting and communicating scientific research. Specifically, students will write a critical review paper and a research paper, both in scientific journal format, and present the results of their year’s research in PowerPoint and poster presentation formats to the members of the Science Department and others in the King community in both private and public capacities, including the Annual King Science Fair. Students must be able to provide their own transportation to/from their assigned research site. Enrollment in the class is limited to 8 students.

Prerequisites: At least two years of Honors or Advanced Biology and Chemistry, PreCalculus, which can be concurrent, and permission and recommendation from the Head of the Science Department, the Head of the Mathematics Department, and the ASPIRE course instructor.  (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Science Sequencing

World Languages

The K-12 World Languages Program at King School seeks to broaden students’ global perspectives by promoting a deeper understanding of how the target language and culture relate to their own and to the world at large. The language faculty aims to engage and empower students to develop, reinforce and refine their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in order to build proficiency. Our approach to teaching incorporates worldview concepts such as diversity, globalization, and cultural appreciation. Using rich and innovative methods, teachers help students achieve academic and personal growth by fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and collaboration.  

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. Depending on the number of requests for enrollment, the Upper School may offer students the opportunity to take Chinese I online instead with a partner institution. (Full year "Major" — 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. (Full year "Major" — 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. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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.  (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Chinese Sequencing


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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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. It is designed to advance the proficiency of students in French and to also start preparing those students who are thinking of taking the AP French Language and Culture exam. Specifically, the students develop their speaking, writing, listening and reading comprehension skills and examine issues and challenges of critical global concern within the Francophone world and beyond. . The Department recommends candidates for this course. (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)

French Sequencing



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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)



This course will examine works of the Spanish and Latin American literary world beginning with the Romantic Period and going to the present. Genres examined will include plays, poetry and short stories.  The fundamentals of literary analysis will be covered. Representative authors of poetry will include  Becquer, Machado, Dario, Marti, Augustini, Ibarborou, Mistral, Storni, and Lorca amongst others. Playwrights will include Lorca, Dragun and Vodanovic amongst others. Short story authors will include Baroja, Valle Inclan, Imbert Cortazar, Marquez,Fuentes, Allende and Quiroga amongst others. Film adaptations of some of the works will be shown and discussed. The class will also have a field trip to Repetorio Español in NYC to see La Casa de Bernarda Alba. Assessment will be by short essay, longer composition, creative works and oral presentation. The class will be conducted in Spanish. The class is an option for students who have completed Spanish 301 or 300 or 401 or Historia de Literatura y Arte.  

The Honors and College Preparatory courses run concurrently in the same classroom with differentiated assignments and assessments. The Honors course, which requires departmental recommendation, prepares students to advance the next year into AP Spanish Literature.

 (Full year "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)

Spanish Sequencing

Social Sciences

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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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. (Yearlong “Minor” — Pass/Fail grading — 0.5 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.   (Yearlong “Minor” — Pass/Fail grading — 0.5 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 "Minor" — .25 credit)


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. (Semester “Minor” — Pass/Fail grading — 0.25 credit)



This course introduces students to the concept of globalization as a dynamic process and condition. Students will critically evaluate the extent to which this process serves as a force for equity or exploitation. This is an inquiry-based course that surveys the socio-economic, socio-political, technological, and ecological dimensions of globalization. Through active learning experiences, problem-solving and real-world connections, students will gain an appreciation of their individual and collective responsibilities. (Semester “Major —  .50 credit)


This course is meant to explore perspectives towards specific global issues and problems. Through authentic experiences such as first-hand accounts and simulations, students will gain more confidence and ability to navigate complex global issues. Extensive research into these issues will enable students to gain a thorough understanding of how such issues hold economic, political, cultural, and environmental implications. 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. (Semester "Major" — .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 "Major" — .50 credit; Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


Students will learn the core fundamentals of macroeconomics, global financial markets, money and banking, personal finance, and financial literacy.  Topics covered include: measuring and evaluating GDP, economic growth and the business cycle, unemployment and inflation, fiscal policy and government deficits and debt, monetary policy and the role of the Federal Reserve, international trade and exchange rate theory, money, money creation, the banking system and other financial intermediaries, saving and investing, trading, data collection and analysis.   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.


The MME course is designed to help you develop economic reasoning, a particular way of looking at the world as an economist that is valuable in investment banking, banking, finance, investing, government, business and law, among many other fields.   It provides a clear understanding of how the U.S. banking system and global financial markets operate and the relationship to fiscal and monetary policy, and all aspects of personal financial and wealth management.    It is also designed to provide you with the tools and skills needed to excel at the next level academically or professionally.  With a distinctive engaged learning approach, you will develop poise and confidence essential to success in your studies and in a career.  This course is valuable for anyone interested in going into finance, economic research, academics, government service, business and law, among many other fields, and for those who want to understand how the banking system and financial markets operate globally.  (Full year “Major” — 1 credit)


An introduction to the fundamentals of both microeconomics and macroeconomics.   The introduction to the fundamentals of microeconomics includes the study of scarcity, production possibilities, supply and demand, the theory of the firm, consumer behavior, and the nature of competition.  The introduction to the fundamentals of macroeconomics includes the study of the fundamentals of how the U.S. economy operates and performs.  Students will learn about spending, income, GDP, inflation and the price level, wages and unemployment, measuring and analyzing economic growth.  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    


This course is designed to help you develop economic reasoning, a particular way of looking at the world that is valuable in government service, business and law, among many other fields.  With a distinctive engaged learning approach, you will develop poise and confidence essential to success in your studies and in a career and prepare students for further study of economics at the AP level in high school or at the college level.    



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. Students 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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .50 credit)




This course is cross listed with the Science Department, where you may find its description..


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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .50 credits)


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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — .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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit)

Computer Science

The Computer Science 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.


These courses introduce basics of computer science to students who want to experience the discipline without committing a summer or a full year of study, as is required in the Computer Science Sequence.


This course introduces students to computer science as a vehicle for problem solving, communication, and personal expression. As a whole, this semester focuses on the visible aspects of computing and computer science, and encourages students to see where computer science exists around them and how they can engage with it as a tool for exploration and expression.  Students learn to create basic websites using HTML and CSS.  In addition, students learn fundamental programming constructs and practices using block coding while developing animations and games. (Semester "Major" — .5 credit)


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 "Minor" — .25 credit)



This introductory Java language programming course teaches students to design and program graphic and interactive applications. Students 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. This course prepares students to advance to the AP Computer Science course. This course is offered only in the Summer Institute. (.50 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. Algebra I is prerequisite. (Full year "Major" — 1 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. 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. Prerequisite: AP Computer Science Principles or Introduction to Java. (Full year "Major" — 1 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. This course runs in alternating years from Advanced Data Structures, and is not offered in 2020-2021 Prerequisite: COM 500. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


Efficient data structures are a key to designing efficient algorithms and software. This course introduces fundamental ways of algorithmic problem solving by organizing and processing information efficiently. It provides a comprehensive explanation of data structures like linked lists, stacks and queues, binary search trees, heap, searching and hashing. We will discuss the use and downside of each structure individually. We will use programming techniques and algorithms that operate on them like sorting, searching, hashing, finding shortest paths. We will discuss the rudiments of analyzing space and time requirements of algorithms, including big-O notation and proofs by structural induction. We will examine implementations of data structures and algorithms in Java, as well as purely functional data structures in Scala. This course runs in alternating years from iOS App Development, and is offered in 2020-2021.  Prerequisite: COM 500 (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Computer Science Sequencing

Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab provides students the tools, space, and guidance to inspire and nurture discovery. Through real-time critical thinking and trial-and-error activities, students learn to design solutions to real world problems. Innovation Lab courses are inherently interdisciplinary. Immersion in the Design and Innovation curriculum will prepare students to become active participants in shaping the Cultural and Economic landscape of the future.


The main purpose of Maker Techniques is to give students who are interested in creating things the basic skills for making more creative, conceptually-driven projects in the lab going forward. By completing a simple exercise for each of the machines and techniques presented, students will expand their understanding of the possibilities for making. Assessments will be based on the student’s ability to follow instructions—safety is paramount in the Lab—and execute each technique effectively while demonstrating attention to craftsmanship. As this graded course meets only three times per rotation and many projects begin on computers, fundamental computer skills are prerequisite: for instance, knowing how to save, store, open, and transfer common file types and extensions; understanding differences between them; and knowing basic key commands such as copy, cut, paste, undo, and screenshot. (Semester "Minor" — .25 credit)


Design Thinking is for people with lots of ideas who may not know how to make them come to life just yet. The design thinking process leads students, step by step, through the research, idea formation, and building stages of innovation. Students will work in small groups to complete two projects during the semester. Creativity and process will be emphasized, while hands-on building will be required as well. We’ll introduce basic visual design principles as well as a brief history of 20th Century design. Familiarity with Illustrator, Photoshop, Tinkercad or SketchUp are helpful, but not required. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


This is an anticipated follow-up to Design Thinking I. Description to follow. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)

Art and Design

The Art and Design faculty encourages students to make Original and Personally significant work, to be Expressive and to experiment with Novel techniques and concepts. To this end, we teach proficiency in a wide variety of artistic skills, encourage strong craftsmanship, and support creative risk taking. All courses incorporate art history from multiple cultures and historic periods, enriching student understanding of art as globally significant and personally relevant. Each course culminates in an OPEN project that students complete independently from conception through a completed artwork that is displayed in the OPEN Art Show.

Requirement: .25 credit IDEA course or a .5 credit Art History course. This course requirement may be waived only by portfolio review and assessment by members of the Department.


IDEA courses are foundational courses that explore the role artists serve in society. They are the prerequisite for all other studio art electives..  


This course  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 "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


What does fashion look like in the 21st century? Through a series of projects, including deconstructing an existing garment, exploring fabrics, and creating an original design, students learn about the responsibilities of the fashion designer. Topics addressed are sustainable design and fashion as personal expression.(Semester "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This co-taught, interdisciplinary class offers students the opportunity to fulfill their Visual Arts (IDEA) 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 "Minor" — .25 credit)


In a typical semester, the Upper School will take requests for all of the following minors and offer the two that receive the most requests


This is a course for students who enjoy working in a variety of media. Each medium is explored in depth, including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and photography.. 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 is a vital component of the course.  . (Semester "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Major" — .50 credit)


This is a course for those who have completed one of the IDEA courses (ART 101) or equivalent 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 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 an IDEA courseat the Summer Institute after 8th grade and start Advanced Art 1 during their Grade 9 year. This course of study provides students with an extra year to complete additional independent work and to strengthen their art portfolio.(Full year "Major" — 1 credit)


This course is for Juniors and Seniors who have completed ADVANCED ART 2 (ART 305) or CLAY EXPLORATIONS (ART 317) and wish to submit either an AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, or an AP Drawing portfolio at the end of the school year. Taken in conjunction with Advanced Art 3/4, students receive additional homework assignments and guidance outside of regular class time. Emphasis is on producing authentic personal work that shows synthesis between concept, materials, and processes. Students document their inquiry-guided investigation by writing about their practice, experimentation, and revision on a regular basis. High standards for craftsmanship are the hallmark of this course and quality and quantity are equally emphasized. (Full year "Major" — 1 credit)

Studio Art Sequencing



This course explores how humans around the globe and throughout time have documented their histories and expressed their ideas with different forms of art. What is Art? The answer to this question is explored in depth. By looking at examples of art from classical, modern, and postmodern times produced by artists from myriad cultures, students learn to understand its function, visual form, and significance. Group discussions and hands-on projects expose students to concepts such as art appreciation, art criticism and aesthetics, as well as the ability to analyze content and derive meaning. 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 "Major" — .50 credit)


This course is a continuation of Global Art History, but Global Art History is not a prerequisite. Using a thematic approach, works of art are analyzed in depth. Themes explored include: Art and Race, Gender and Sexuality, Class and Clan, and Self and Society.  By studying art from multiple cultures and historic periods, students grow to view art as globally significant and personally relevant. A field trip to a New York City museum further deepens these understandings. 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 "Major" — .50 credit)



See description under IDEA Courses. (Semester “Minor” — .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 "Major" — .50 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 "Major" — .50 credit)



See description under IDEA Courses. (Semester “Minor” — .25 credit)


See description under IDEA Courses. (Semester “Minor” — .25 credit)


See description under Innovation Lab (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


See description under Innovation Lab (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)


This class will teach you the basics of 2D design.  You’ll learn how to create compelling imagery that will capture the attention of your audience and communicate your message. This class will also prepare students for more advanced work in the Innovation Lab by providing foundations in design software, aesthetics, creative problem solving, as well as providing an understanding of how effective design guides user experience. Project examples may include designs for posters, record albums, packaging, and webpages. This course is not offered in 2020-2021 (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)



How do you put a yearbook together? This year-long, graded minor course actively involves students in the fundamentals of publishing, including: digital design, copy editing, photography and journalism. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate as a class to design the yearbook. We will establish a theme, design spreads, conduct interviews for beat reporting, tell stories with images, work to finalize copy and develop proficiency in the Walsworth online platform. Our team will also understand the importance of real world deadlines and feel the pride associated with creating a King publication which authentically documents the experience of the year. (Full year "Minor" — .50 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 "Major" — .50 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 "Major" — .50 credit)


Alfred Hitchcock said you needed three things to make a great film, “the script, the script and the script”.  In this hands-on class, students will read professional scripts and watch the films to examine how directors translate the written word into the visual language of film. Students will then become writers, crew members and actors to put what they studied into practice by filming their own short scripts. (Semester "Major" — .50 credit)

Performing Arts

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 barre 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 "Minor" — .5 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 "Minor" — .5 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 "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .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 "Major" — 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 "Major" — 1 credit credit)


The string ensemble is a small ensemble for all strings. The ensemble performs a wide variety of musical styles.  During the year, the string ensemble will perform at the Winter and Spring Concerts and may also have some extra performance opportunities around the King community and King cares service events.   (Full year "Major" — 1 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 "Minor" — .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 "Minor" — .5 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 "Minor" — .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 "Major" — 1 credit)



This course is designed with the absolute beginner in mind. No previous acting experience required.  Learn how to use your voice and body onstage and how to feel comfortable interacting with others. A particular focus will be placed on the tools and techniques of the craft. Learn basic physical and vocal exercises. Students will participate in improvisation, theater games and will work with text. The only requirement is to participate in class! Participation is the only requirement! (Semester "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This course is a continues to develop the skills learned in the Introduction to Acting Class. Students will be challenged by a variety of innovative techniques and perspectives. (Meisner. Stanislovski etc) .  This class will explore what it means to develop a character, to dig deeper into the process, and how to apply the requisite skills in the performance of scenes or monologues. Introduction to Acting (DRA 101) is prerequisite except by departmental permission. (Semester "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This course is designed for the student who wants to dig deeper into scene analysis. Students will develop skills that will allow them to understand intention, character development, relationship, and meaning. Students will read and explore scenes from different theatrical styles and time periods. Students will have the opportunity to perform their scene work at the end of the Semester. (Semester “Minor” — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This course is designed to be taken in sequence with Directing II. This course will focus on staging techniques, scene/play analysis, and how to choose a play. Students will practice communicating with actors and technicians and how to see “the big picture”. Students enrolled in this course are expected to assist either on the US fall play or the MS play as an observer and possibly assistant to the director.  The students will choose a play that they will direct in the next semester in Directing II. Acting and Scene study are prerequisite, except by departmental permission. (Semester "Minor" — .25 credit).

DIRECTING  II (practical applications Directing project or Final )

This course is designed as the final capstone project. Students will spend their time working on a play that they have chosen to direct in Directing I.


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 "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This course gives advanced students the opportunity to put their new foundation to the test. Every student will be assigned a position (or multiple positions): dramaturg, production manager, stage manager, scenic designer, costume designer, lighting designer, and sound designer. The semester will culminate with a production project.  (Semester "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)


This course is an introduction and hands-on exploration of the skills and techniques used in the workshop. Students will learn about materials, use drawings and diagrams to plan projects, learn about the tools of the trade, and hone their skills in the shop. Some emphasis will be placed on scenic carpentry but we will also study other woodworking applications such as, carving, joinery, and finishing. Semester "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — 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 "Minor" — Pass/Fail grading — .25 credit)




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 are available as a supportive resource to all students in Grades 9-12. The Counselors offer the opportunity for brief solution-focused sessions regarding issues that affect students’ academic or social health. If longer-term care is deemed necessary, the Counselors will provide an initial assessment and provide a referral to an outside community resource. The Counselors also take the opportunity to meet with students new to the Upper School to discuss any issues that may arise during their transition to a new school environment. Although most students come to the Counselors 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.


See College Counseling.


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. All practices generally take place after school for 1.5-2.5 hours per day.

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. If appropriate, exemptions from the School’s athletic requirement for medical reasons are available through the Dean of Athletics.

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.

Most teams, with the exception of football, play two to three games per week. Football games are typically played on Saturdays. Game schedules are published each season on the website. There are both Fall and Spring pre-season sessions, beginning approximately two weeks before the start of school and the second week of spring break, respectively, that are considered critical to in-season success.  Therefore, all student athletes are expected to attend pre-season practices.

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.

Clubs and Activities

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.

College Counseling

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. We collaborate closely with 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. 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) 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 take place throughout the year.


Presentations during class meetings continue to place importance on academics and the pursuit of personal interests. Sophomores take both the PSATa 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: interpreting and understanding standardized test options, junior and senior year curriculum design,, school profile, and extracurricular opportunities.


Juniors have the opportunity to take the PSAT in October. Juniors are encouraged to meet with college representatives when they visit campus. A Financial Aid seminar occurs fduring the fall. During the Grade 11 College Night, 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 once per rotation mandatory small group college counseling classes, where they learn to develop their personal criteria for their college experience, and start to find colleges that have the right “fit.” They also complete their resume of activities, practice for interviews, 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.”  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.

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 teacher recommendations 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.

Study Strategies

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 Strategies 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 each semester at all grade levels. An additional fee applies (in 2019-2020, $1,780 per semester); assistance may be available for families receiving financial aid.

Theatre Arts

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.