Grade Guidelines

For more information about scheduling guidelines, click to expand the categories below.

Grade 9

You are required to take at least four courses from “core” disciplines plus certain additional required courses if your academic maturity and skill levels warrant it. For students who need additional time to adjust to the demands of a college preparatory school, requirements can be deferred to later terms or years.

Required Courses (Year-long)

• English 210: Literature of Self Discovery
• Mathematics 500: Algebra I: If credit is granted for Algebra I taken in Grade 8, you will take the next course in the mathematics sequence (Mathematics 501: Geometry)
• Science 850: STEM Foundations: a required science course for all freshmen
• Global Language: Students will either begin or continue the study of a global language to fulfill a three-year minimum requirement. You may choose French, Latin, Mandarin, Russian or Spanish.
• History 400: World Civilizations: a required course for freshmen
• Ninth-graders may take either of the trimester courses, English 232: Public Speaking, Health/Physical Education 985: Health Education or choose from a small number of other courses that are approved by their Class Dean.

Optional Sixth Course (Year-long)

Ninth-grade students may choose to take a sixth course from one of the following:

• Art 101: Drawing and Design
• Global Language

Ninth-grade students may study a second global language with the permission of the Academic Dean.

Electives

Ninth-grade students may elect the following courses:

• Music 604: Chorale: A year course, Chorale meets for rehearsal one period each day.
• Music 607: Instrumental Music: Instrumental Music rehearsals are scheduled during the academic day. Individual and small-group lessons are scheduled as students' and teachers' schedules allow.

Grade 10

You are required to take at least four core courses plus other additional required courses. Students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement are strongly encouraged to take courses in the five major disciplines: English, global language, history/social sciences, mathematics, and science. Taking two courses in one discipline (e.g., two global languages) is possible, but highly irregular, and should be done only after careful consideration. Permission of the advisor, department head, and class dean is required to take two courses in the same discipline.

Required Courses (Year-long)

• English 220: Literary Genres
• Mathematics 501: Geometry (If you took Geometry in Grade 9, you will take the next course in the mathematics sequence: Mathematics 502: Algebra II).

Select at least two courses from the following areas:

• Global Language: Students should continue toward the global language graduation requirement. In tenth grade, students are normally in the second or third year of a language, but it is possible to begin a language in Grade 10 and/or take two languages. Students can choose from French, Latin, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
• Science: Most sophomores will take Science 800: Biology or with teacher recommendation Science 800H: Biology Honors. If you've completed Biology, your next choice in the science sequence is Science 802: Chemistry Honors, Science 812: Chemistry, or Science 807: Physics. Students in Algebra II as tenth-graders normally take Chemistry Honors. If you are taking Geometry in tenth grade and you did not earn honors grades in Algebra I, you may opt not to take science in Grade 10. The decision not to take either Physics, Chemistry or a tenth-grade science course will be made jointly by the student, the department chairperson and the class dean.
• History/Social Science: If you have taken History/Social Science 400: World Civilizations, the next history course necessary for graduation is History/Social Science 404: U.S. History. In most cases, this course is taken in the sophomore year.
• Art: Students in Grade 10 may choose Art 101: Drawing and Design. If you've already taken Art 101 in ninth grade, you may be eligible for art electives with the permission of the instructor and the Academic Dean.

In addition to courses listed in Section I above, sophomores must take courses that are required for graduation.

• Tenth-graders may take either of the trimester courses English 232: Public Speaking or Health/Physical Education 985: Health Education. Some sophomores may receive permission to take Religion 710 : The Bible, Music 601 Masterpieces of Music or Art 120: Art History (each trimester courses) depending on their academic standing.

Electives

Tenth-grade students may elect the following courses:

• Music 604: Chorale: A year course, Chorale meets for rehearsal one period each day.
• Music 607: Instrumental Music: Instrumental Music rehearsals are scheduled during the academic day. Individual and small-group lessons are scheduled as students' and teachers' schedules allow.

Grade 11

In eleventh grade, you are required to take at least four core courses plus additional required courses. Students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement are strongly encouraged to take courses in the five major disciplines: English, global language, history/social sciences, mathematics, and science. Taking two courses in one discipline (e.g., two global languages) is possible, but highly irregular, and should be done only after careful consideration. Permission of the advisor, department head, and Academic Dean is required to take two courses in the same discipline. Elective courses are not available to students at will. Rather, the term “elective” reflects the student’s ability to apply for a course. Although every effort is made to honor student requests, the Academic Dean in consultation with advisors, department heads, and teachers, reserves the right to deny access to elective courses.

Required Courses

• English 224: Style and Structure: (fall trimester), and elective courses in the winter and spring trimesters. Seminar in American Studies is offered by invitation only.
• Mathematics 502: Algebra II: If you took Algebra II in Grade 10, you may continue in the mathematics sequence with Mathematics 520: Precalculus I Honors or Mathematics 510/511/512: Precalculus A, B and C with departmental recommendation. Although Mathematics 502 completes the math requirement, we recommend that juniors bound for competitive colleges and universities continue the study of mathematics.

Select at least two courses from the following areas:

• Global Language: Students can either continue with the language already begun, or begin a second language; it is preferable, however, to study three or more years of one language than two years of two languages.
• Science: Determined by your sophomore year’s course. If you took Biology in Grade 10, then you should take Science 802: Chemistry Honors, Science 807: Physics or Science 812: Chemistry. If you took Chemistry Honors in Grade 10, you have the following options (if recommended): Science 804: AP Chemistry, Science 801: AP Biology, Science 810: AP Environmental Science, Science 803 or 805: Physics Honors or AP Physics, or electives. AP Biology is open to students who have earned grades of B+ in Chemistry and Biology.
• History/Social Science: If you haven't taken History/Social Science 404: U.S. History, then you must do so in Grade 11. If you have completed U.S. History, then you can choose from history electives or, if recommended from the AP History courses.
• Art: Students may choose to take Art 101: Drawing and Design or electives with the permission of the instructor and the class dean.

In addition to the courses listed in Section I, juniors must take courses required for graduation, and should elect to fulfill as many graduation requirements as possible.

Eleventh graders who have not done so should take the trimester courses English 232: Public Speaking and Health/Physical Education 985: Health Education. Juniors should also try to schedule Religion 710: The Bible, Music 601: Masterpieces of Music and Art 120: Art History (each trimester courses).

Electives

Eleventh-grade students may elect the following courses:

• Music 604: Chorale: A year course, Chorale meets for rehearsal one period each day.
• Music 607: Instrumental Music: Instrumental Music rehearsals are scheduled during the academic day. Individual and small-group lessons are scheduled as students' and teachers' schedules allow.

Grade 12

You are required to take at least four core courses per trimester plus other graduation-required courses. Students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement are strongly encouraged to take five courses in Section I.

Required Courses

• English: Students request elective courses and alternates in the spring of the junior year. One-year seniors will take English 224: Style and Structure in the fall. Admission into electives is subject to availability and demand.

You are required to select three credit-bearing courses from the following areas:

• Mathematics
• Science
• Global Language
• History/Social Science

In addition to the courses listed in Section I, seniors must take courses required for graduation.

Twelfth graders who have not done so must take the trimester courses English 232: Public Speaking, Health/Physical Education 985: Health Education, Religion 710: The Bible, Music 601: Masterpieces of Music (or Music Theory) and Art 120: Art History (or Music 623/Art 123: AP Art and Music History).

Electives

Twelfth-grade students may elect the following courses:

• Music 604: Chorale

A year course, Chorale meets for one period each day.

• Music 607: Instrumental Music

Instrumental Music rehearsals are scheduled during the academic day. Individual and small-group lessons are scheduled as students' and teachers' schedules allow.

Postgraduate

Preparing the academic schedule for postgraduate students is a highly personalized process. The Academic Dean, the Director of Scheduling and the Director of College Guidance consult with the student before proposing possible schedule options. Generally, postgraduate students should keep the following in mind when preparing a schedule.

• You must take at least four academic courses in the fall, winter and spring.
• Students should follow a balanced program; rather than "doubling up," for example, in English or science, they should take courses in each of the various academic disciplines.
• Previous courses of study, standardized test scores, and SAT results are used by the Academic Dean, the Director of Scheduling and the Director of College Guidance to determine recommendations for postgraduate courses.
• Elective courses are readily available if you have sufficient time and interest; postgraduates have found Public Speaking to be particularly valuable.
• Postgraduate students are required to take an English course during each trimester of their year at Sem. In the fall term they will be scheduled for English 224: Style and Structure, worth .333 credits.