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Important Information 2020-21



During Mod 5, there will be a two-week registration period during which students in Grades 9-11 will select courses for the following school year. The registration process will typically begin at a special Town Meeting, which will include an introduction of the Course Catalogue (including a preview of new courses) and an overview of the course registration process. Following the Town Meeting, students—and their cluster advisors—will be given access to a Course Registration Folder in Google Docs. The folder will include the student’s current academic transcript, a Transcript Audit Form, and a Course Selection Form.

Although it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to complete his/her Course Selection Form, this process works best when students consult with teachers, cluster advisors, college counselors, and parents/guardians to make informed decisions. It is advised that students use the Transcript Audit Form to ensure that adequate progress is being made toward Calhoun‘s graduation requirements.

On the Course Selection Form, students will see and select from the courses for which they are eligible; many courses require prerequisite coursework or the approval of the faculty member/department. In some areas of study, students will be asked to select a number of courses in their order of preference. Other required courses, including Life Skills/9th Grade 101, Junior Workshop, Junior College Seminar, and Senior Work/BRiDGE will be automatically added to a student’s schedule. Any scheduling requests unique to an individual student should be clearly articulated in the Notes section of the Course Registration Form. Once a student submits a Course Registration Form, it will be shared with parent(s)/guardian(s) as well as any faculty whose approval is required for a designated course selection. Additionally, completed forms for rising seniors will be shared with the College Counseling Office to ensure that each student is positioned for success in the college process. 

While every effort will be made to honor student scheduling requests, it is important to note that core academic coursework will be prioritized in the event of a scheduling conflict. For elective courses, scheduling priority will be given based on seniority, availability, and the timely submission of the Course Registration Form. Finally, changes to course offerings may be made due to enrollment levels or available staffing.


In line with our progressive, student-centered educational philosophy, Independent Study coursework is available to Upper School students—primarily in grades 11 and 12—with the following guidelines: 

  • The main purpose of Independent Study is to allow motivated students the opportunity to explore beyond the boundaries of the normal Calhoun Upper School curriculum. Therefore, Independent Study may not be used to replace a required course or an elective course that is already offered.
  • An Independent Study Proposal Form must be submitted during the course registration period each spring. A successful proposal will consist of clearly-defined goals for the coursework, as well as suggested texts and possible assessments.
  • Each student approved for Independent Study will receive a designated block to complete academic work as part of the school day.
  • Typically, Independent Study will be granted one credit upon successful completion, and denoted on a student’s academic transcript.
  • Students will receive a letter grade for Independent Study from the supervising teacher unless otherwise directed by the Upper School Academic Dean. 


Students are encouraged to review their schedules—for the entire academic year—as soon as they are released prior to the first family cluster conferences of the academic year. In the event that changes need to be made to any courses in Mods 1-5, there will be a two-week Add/Drop period at the start of each academic year. All requests must be made using the Add/Drop Form. Verbal requests will not be honored. 

For all ‘added’ courses, students must get approval from the teacher. Students in Grade 12 requesting any changes are also required to consult with their primary College Counselor before submitting an Add/Drop Form. Forms will be submitted to the Upper School Academic Dean for approval—occasionally, the Dean will consult with teachers, cluster advisors, and/or Grade Deans before finalizing changes. Schedule changes requested after the initial two-week Add/Drop period will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Upper School Academic Dean and Upper School Director. 


External coursework—taken through an accredited academic program—is one option for students who want to enrich their Calhoun coursework through further study. In rare cases, students may be permitted to engage in external academic work to reinforce and remediate topics taught within core academic courses. However, outside coursework should not replace core academic graduation requirements offered as part of the Calhoun curriculum. Requests to engage in any outside work must be made in writing to the Upper School Academic Dean. The approval process will include a discussion about how the external coursework will be denoted on a student’s transcript.


The ability to enroll in more than one math course in a single academic year is a path available to motivated students who have proven their command of key math concepts. Accelerating the pace of math courses is a decision that should be made in consultation with a student's cluster advisor and relevant math faculty. 

Most accelerations in math will involve cascading classes that might begin in the middle of one school year and conclude at the beginning of the next. This would allow a student to take a full math course in the first three mods, begin a new math course in the last two mods, and finish that new course at the beginning of the following year. The following diagrams illustrate four potential math pathways at Calhoun:

To accelerate in math, a student must have a grade of A- or higher for all three modules of the previous math course taken at Calhoun. Ninth graders will not be able to enroll in more than one math course to ensure they have time to acclimate to Upper School academics.