Our academic core curriculum recognizes the college preparatory mission of the Upper School, and affords numerous opportunities for self-expression and growth.
Academics are the primary responsibility at the School, and the value of contact hours with faculty members and promoting learning in community and collaborative settings are of the utmost importance.
The Upper School enjoys an average class size of 14.7 students. A recently revised daily schedule provides longer class periods for deeper learning and more community time for Advisory, faculty office hours, faculty collaboration, Chapel, and club meetings. Many students also take advantage of this unscheduled time to complete assignments and leave their afternoons free for extra-curricular and community service options. Our recently implemented Opportunity Block also allows students a host of options to explore, from yoga to coloring to open computer science lab time.
All students carry five academic courses each trimester unless specific permission to carry fewer is granted by the Head of the Upper School. A significant number of students elect to carry six courses, and some students choose to carry seven. The following are the minimum requirements for graduation, listed by academic department:
Humanities: English (4): Must include Humanities 9: English, Humanities 10: English, English 11*, American Studies: English, and Humanities 12
Humanities: History (3): Must include Humanities 9: History, Humanities 10: History, and American Studies: History. A student entering after the freshman year must complete successfully three years of history, and his or her academic record will be evaluated as to the appropriateness of prior history credits earned.
Mathematics (3): Must include Integrated Mathematics 1, 2, and 3.
World Language: Entering freshmen must pass the third level of a St. Anne’s-Belfield School world language offering (French, Latin or Spanish). Students entering after the freshman year must complete the equivalent of St. Anne’s-Belfield School’s second level of a world language.
Science (3): Four-year students must complete successfully each of the following courses: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. A student entering after the freshman year should complete successfully three science courses, and his or her academic record will be evaluated as to the appropriateness of prior science credits earned.
Fine Arts (1): Four-year students are required to pass one year or three trimesters of visual or performing arts.
Freshman Life Skills or Sophomore Life Skills: Four-year students are required to participate in Freshman Life Skills and Digital Life Skills (two (2) 1-trimester courses) during their freshman year. All sophomores new to the school will participate in Sophomore Life and Digital Life Skills (two (2) 1-trimester courses) during their sophomore year.
Community Service: Four year students must complete sixty hours of gratuitous service before final transcripts and certification of graduation will be sent to colleges. Students who enter after the ninth grade year must complete fifteen hours of community service for each year they attend the Upper School.
Physical Activity Requirement: Four-year students must participate in six trimesters of physical activity, four of which must be completed by the end of their sophomore year. Students who enter school as a sophomore must complete four trimesters of physical activity. Those who enter school as a junior must complete two trimesters of physical activity, and those who enter as seniors must complete one trimester.
Senior Seminar Requirement: Each senior must enroll in at least one senior seminar during the grade twelve year.
The Senior Project Requirement: Created to give seniors a unique learning experience and a chance to be engaged in self-invested and relevant work, seniors are required to design a project or arrange an internship that embraces the academic values of St. Anne’s-Belfield School. The School will determine the Senior Project term. All seniors will be required to present evidence of their experiences during a Senior Project Exposition event.
English Language Learner (ELL) courses are offered for those international students who have not yet achieved fluency in English.
English (4 years): must include mainstream American Studies and Humanities 12 (may include ELL Humanities: English)
History (3 years): must include American Studies (may include ELL Humanities: History) .
Mathematics (3 years): Subject to their performances on a departmental math placement test, ELL students are exempt from the Integrated Mathematics 1 requirement. All ELL students must complete other graduation requirements as indicated in the Curriculum Guide.
World Language (0 years): English counts as a world language.
Science (3 years): Four-year ELL students must complete three years of science, including courses in physics, chemistry, and biology. An ELL student entering after the freshman year should complete successfully three science courses, and his or her academic record will be evaluated as to the appropriateness of prior science credits earned.
Fine Arts (1 year): May be taken at any time.
St. Anne's-Belfield Upper School offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses in:
French Language & Culture
Spanish Language & Culture
Students also routinely take exams in U.S. History, English Language, and English Literature after completing complementary courses in our curriculum.