High School Curriculum by Grade

Curriculum

Our rigorous academic curriculum is a comprehensive whole so that after a four year journey each student walks away with the ability to critically examine any topic set before them, with the skills to engage and participate in an individual or group project, to confidently understand his or her relationship to the Humanities, Math, Sciences, and Arts.  Students are asked to take on age-appropriate tasks within the classroom, on campus, in the community, and in their lives, allowing them to move into more freedom of responsibility as they are ready, with appropriate support and encouragement.  Through these opportunities, they hone important social skills, learning and continually practicing how to work in teams, to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and to recognize what it takes to achieve their goals and accomplish the desired results.

9th Grade

Encountering a New and Interesting World

As a group of apprentices 9th grade students look at the world with new eyes, gathering insights from their observations. As journeymen they practice finding the balance between opposites. The are eager to learn and will work hard to make new ideas their own. Their skills and experiences from previous years provide a foundation as they test the world to find their own truth. In black and white drawing they create a picture in which light and dark exist in relationship to one another, while finding all of the shades in-between. In blacksmithing they give form to the heated iron and in the process must find inner form. Their question, “What am I and the world made of?” moves them towards a journey of interest in the world. With each year, their capacity for self-reliance increases, as does
their interest and empathy for each other.

Main Lessons

  • Tragedy and Comedy
  • Revolutions
  • Chemistry-Organic Compounds
  • History through Art
  • Counting Theory
  • American Literature
  • Biology-Comparative Anatomy
  • Physics-Thermodynamics and Electricity
  • Earth Science-Geology
  • Farming

Ongoing Courses

  • Mathematics: Algebra I
  • Humanities: Freshman Composition, Far East, Civics, Les Miserables
  • Language: Spanish I, II, III, IV and German I, II, and III
  • Art: Black and White Drawing, Clay Sculpture, Blacksmithing, Black and White Block Printing
  • Drama: Improvisation and Speech
  • Eurythmy: Major/Minor, Expansion/Contraction, Pitch
  • Music: Vocal or Instrumental
  • Gardening/Farming: Grafting/Pruning, Health/Nutrition, Herbal Studies, Farm Construction
  • Physical Education

10th Grade

Discovering What’s Real

During the tenth grade there is a shift in which the child turns her attention outward. With the whole heart, the student “befriends”
the world and discovers a new ability to find connection with herself and the other through a deepened inner life. When this longing for connection is born, a sense of loneliness can also arise. The tenth grader can become conscious of a sense of separation between themselves and the world and asks the question, “Is it
possible that I am what I know?” As a method to find a balance in their thinking, tenth graders can gain confidence through the practice of comparison. They look at movement and tension between opposites and the work it takes to find harmony despite the tension. This impulse to seek balance can result in the student’s ability to make a new sense of connection between the self and the other that is born through a deepened and renewed understanding of the world.

Main Lessons

  • Earth Science-Geography
  • Biology-Embryology
  • Greek Play
  • Sacred Geometry
  • Conic Sections
  • Physics-Mechanics
  • Ancient Civilizations
  • History through Poetry
  • The Odyssey
  • Chemistry-Salts, Acids, and Bases

Ongoing Courses

  • Mathematics: Geometry I
  • Humanities: Research Paper, The Double, Medieval History, Civil War
  • Foreign Language: Spanish I, II, III, IV and German I, II, and III
  • Art: Watercolor Painting, Weaving, Color Drawing, Woodwork-Dovetail, Pottery, Color Block Printing
  • Eurythmy: Thinking-Feeling-Willing, Styles of Poetry:epic, dramatic, lyric
  • Music: Vocal and Instrumental
  • Physical Education

11th Grade

Developing Clarity

The eleventh grader is newly comfortable with ambiguity, complexity, and multiplicity of viewpoints and is able to truly enter into objectivity for the first time. He comes to regard the self as a distinct entity, worthy of study and capable of free choice. Motivation changes from extrinsic (rewards-based) to intrinsic (what is meaningful to me?). In response, the curriculum looks at unseen forces, encouraging students to develop thinking not restricted to the physical senses. Chemistry presents the atom; physics, electricity; astronomy, the heavens; literature, Parzival, with its Grail Quest to unknown realms. Both History through Music and Comparative Religions provide a window to regard the infinite and can aid the soul life of the student at a time often characterized by existential doubts.

Main Lessons

  • Parzival
  • Projective Geometry
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Physics-Electricity and Magnetism
  • Earth Science-Astronomy
  • History through Music
  • Chemistry-Atomic Structure
  • Biology-Botany
  • Shakespeare
  • Economics

Ongoing Courses

  • Mathematics: Algebra II, Advanced Algebra II, Pre-Calculus
  • Humanities: Creative Writing and College Essay, Comparative Religions, U.S. Expansion, Romanticism
  • Foreign Language: Spanish I, II, III, IV and German l,ll, and III
  • Art: Acrylic Painting, Life Drawing, Jewelry, Book-Binding
  • Eurythmy: Choreographic Principles and Musical Elements
  • Music: Vocal or Instrumental
  • Physical Education
  • Electives: Drama, Creative Writing, Sports, Electronics, Cooking, Painting, Philosophy, Permaculture, Photography, Yearbook, Honors History, Honors Spanish, Debate
  • Agriculture Main Lesson Block

12th Grade

Becoming Responsive and Resilient

Seniors desire meaningful challenges that test their inner drive for critical thinking while being a part of community that actively develops leadership capacities—empathy, compromise, and creative collaboration—traits necessary for innovative action in the world. The twelfth grade year encourages the development of an inner resolve for self-directed learning and leadership. Students begin to fully evaluate their answers to the questions, “What is my place in the world?” and “How can I contribute my gifts to the greater good?” The curriculum reflects and supports this questioning, including several classes taught seminar-style where students co-create the content and facilitate discussion. Seniors are tasked with maturing their awareness of individualistic needs and goals in relationship with the larger community. Simultaneously, each is engaged in a year-long exploration, dubbed the “Senior Project,” an individual journey where each student pursues an inner question that requires personal discipline, creative thinking, and scholarship to address.

Main Lessons

  • Calculus
  • Physics – Light
  • Senior Seminar
  • Biology – Evolution
  • Faust
  • Chemistry – Bio Chemistry
  • Africa
  • Transcendentalists
  • History through Architecture
  • Senior Thesis/Project
  • Senior Play

Ongoing Courses

  • Mathematics: Calculus or Topics in Contemporary Mathematics
  • Humanities: 12th Grade Project, College Essays, Contemporary Issues, Modern U.S. History, Russian Literature
  • Language: Spanish I, II, III, IV and German I, II, and III
  • Art: Self-Portraits in Clay, Self-Portraits in Oil Painting
  • Eurythmy: Solo and Small Ensemble, Choreography
  • Music: Vocal or Instrumental
  • Physical Education
  • Electives: Drama, Creative Writing, Sports, Electronics, Cooking, Painting, Philosophy, Permaculture, Photography, Yearbook, Honors History, Honors Spanish, Debate