Curriculum

Upper School

Upper School requirements and offerings are college preparatory in that they satisfy entrance requirements of all American colleges and universities. Additionally, a focus on writing and reasoning skills prepares students for the academic rigor and challenges of college.

The curriculum provides a solid base of common, foundational components freshman and sophomore year and allows for more personalization junior and senior year. And with 19 AP courses, numerous honors and elective classes, and opportunities for independent study, students are able to pursue a course of study that is both challenging and engaging.


In order to graduate from St. John’s School, a student must accumulate a minimum of 17.5 credits by successfully completing the following:

• English I, English II, AP English Language, English IV
• Global Issues in Historical Context, World History II, and United States History
• Geometry, Algebra II and Precalculus
• Biology I, Chemistry I, and Physics I
• Through Level III of a world language
• Fine arts classes or performing ensembles (one credit; as outlined in the section entitled
“Fine Arts Graduation Requirement”)
• Additional elective courses

In addition to the above credit requirements, students must also participate in Physical Education (as outlined in the section entitled “Physical Education Graduation Requirement” below). Unless otherwise noted, courses are yearlong.

NOTE: All courses must have a minimum number of students enrolled (generally 10) who can take the course at a single period in order for it to be offered.

Fine Arts Graduation Requirement

Students may fulfill the one-credit fine arts graduation requirement in a variety of ways involving either graded, non-auditioned courses (described in the course offerings) or certain co-curricular ensembles.
1. Fine Arts Courses - Includes graded semester (1/2 credit) and year-long (1 credit) courses not requiring auditions in visual arts, music, and theatre as described in the course offering section of this guide.
2. Fine Arts Co-Curricular Program -(non-graded performance-based ensembles open by audition that supplement the general curriculum in dance and music).

Choral Music:

• Les Chanteuses, Kantorei, Chorale
(½ credit for each year of participation)

Instrumental Music:

• Winds, Strings, Jazz
(½ credit for each year of participation)

Dance:

• Caprice & Intermediate Caprice: ½ credit for each year of participation after the P.E. requirement has been met
• Intermediate/Advanced Caprice, Advanced Caprice, & Terpsichore: 1 credit for each year of participation after the P.E. requirement has been met

Students must participate in the co-curricular ensembles including scheduled performances for an entire year in order to earn credit toward the graduation requirement.

Students withdrawing from any one of these before the end of the year will earn NO credit.

Dance classes taken in grades 9 and 10 and used for P.E. credit at that time, may not subsequently be applied to Fine Arts credit.

Physical Education Graduation Requirement
The St. John's one-credit graduation requirement in Physical Education will be fulfilled during the ninth grade year. Students may earn Physical Education credit using one of the following options:

  • Participate on one St. John’s sanctioned athletic team, JV or Varsity*.
  • Participate in two trimesters of Physical Education (PE) classes. Note: PE classes will be offered only in Winter and Spring trimesters.
  • Participate in the St. John’s cheerleading program during Fall or Winter trimester.
  • Participate in a St. John’s Dance Ensemble. Note: This requires a full year commitment. A dance ensemble may not be used to earn both a Physical Education credit and a Fine Arts credit concurrently.
*A student who begins Spring trimester as a participant on a team will move to PE classes if he/she elects to withdraw from the team. Participation in PE classes will continue through the end of Spring trimester. To complete the Physical Education Requirement, the student will participate in either Winter or Spring PE classes during 10th grade.

For more information, please see the Physical Education Curriculum tab.

The St. John’s Upper School Honor Code
 
"A form of association which will defend the person and goods of each member with the collective force of all, and under which each individual, while uniting himself with others, obeys no one but himself, and remains as free as before." This was Rousseau's design for the social contract. Each one of us puts into the community his person, his powers, and trust under the supreme direction of the general will.
 
Honor Pledge: On my honor, I have not given or received any unauthorized aid on this work.

Living together at St. John's, we have our own scaled-down, though no less important, reproduction of this social code:  the student-run honor system. In theory, this contract is founded on the belief that students can take responsibility for establishing and maintaining standards for their own behavior, thus protecting personal freedom and community standards. In order to secure a greater civil freedom, individuals make a commitment to the community out of trust and mutual concern.
 
Honesty, respect, and responsibility for others are basic precepts of honor. Actions or attempted actions that run counter to these precepts are violations of the Honor Code. It is the student's responsibility in cases that seem unclear to check with the appropriate authority. Ignorance of the Honor Code is not an excuse for a violation.