The high school curriculum is presented through three types of classes
In emphasizing the powers of observation and description, ninth-grade courses seek to answer questions that focus on what: “What is the world like?” As ninth graders begin to experience their own thinking and individuality, and as their former certainties are called into question by the chaotic buffeting of puberty, they need confidence in the physical grounding of their existence. This year’s studies include organic chemistry, geometry, and earth science. Students also study history through art, becoming aware of evolving architecture, evolving depictions of nature, and evolving portrayals of the human form.
Tenth-grade courses emphasize the powers of comparison, discrimination, and judgment. By tenth grade, adolescents attain a more harmonious inner situation that is suited to asking how: "How do the processes of the world bring contrasts into balance?" Tenth-graders study mechanics, with its laws of balanced forces and motions. They also study Euclidian proofs and the elements of poetry that have evolved in the English language. In history, tenth-graders turn their attention to ancient cultures and an appreciation for the evolution of consciousness that began in ancient times and culminated in the epitome of harmony and form represented by ancient Greece.
An important change occurs between tenth and eleventh grades as adolescents turn to their individual internal worlds. Acknowledging this year of turmoil, eleventh grade courses emphasize the powers of analysis and the ability to discern meaning and purpose. Now the student embarks on a lifelong quest for knowledge of self and others. The central question that underlies the offerings this year is “Why?” This year introduces the stories of Parsival and Hamlet and examines the philosophy of Descartes. In the sciences, the physics of electromagnetic fields exemplify the possibility of knowing that which cannot be perceived directly. Students choose work internships to reflect their emerging interests as they begin to experience the adult working world.
Twelfth grade nurtures the powers of synthesis and a capacity for comprehending the evolution of the human being and the natural world. The twelfth grade confronts questions of who: “Who am I?” and “Who are you?” Twelfth-graders explore a range of ontological concerns through studies of American transcendentalism, Faust, evolutionary theory, and modern economic history. Independent senior projects reflect the emerging individuality of each student and incorporate personal research and service, culminating in an artistic, oral and written presentation.