The Upper School program is designed to provide students with a 21st century education, including real-life skills and preparation for college. To graduate, students must complete four years of English, three of mathematics, three of laboratory science, three of social science, three of world language, and one year of visual or performing arts which is generally met by taking two classes in the arts. In accordance with US Department of Education and New Jersey State law, all students must take four years of physical education and two quarters of Health class. All students are required to take a minimum of five academic classes per year, but we recommend more. Specific graduation requirements are listed in Table 2 and are detailed in the Student Handbook.
College preparatory level courses are rigorous and designed to advance student skills and knowledge. Skills such as organized writing, research and inquiry are honed as students explore comprehensive discipline based content. These classes are offered in all departments.
An honors level curriculum is available in most departments. These courses are in-depth and require that students invest substantial time outside of class to cover curricular topics. As such, teacher recommendation is required to enroll in these classes.
Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in each department according to demand. AP classes require the ability to read and understand college level material, extensive writing, a high level of problem solving, as well as an investment of time outside of class and therefore require teacher recommendation to enroll. AP classes begin two weeks before the start of each school year and students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the AP exam in May.
In all upper school classes, students are expected to be active participants in their own education. Classes are interactive, inquiry based environments where there is no ‘back row’ in which to remain disengaged. Teachers are experienced educators who utilize instructional technologies and methodologies designed to engage students’ minds with the content while fostering the development of the skills needed for success at the current and future level. The goal is to prepare our young adults for college level study and to provide them with the opportunities to contribute to the rich and diverse academic, athletic, and artistic communities that exist at SRDS.