Upper School Program Details

Academic Requirements

Calhoun’s graduation requirements include four years of English, four years of social studies, three years of mathematics, three years of the same world language (French, Mandarin or Spanish), three years of science (active physics, chemistry and biology), nine credits in the arts, eight credits of physical education, as well as satisfactory completion of Life Skills, Junior Workshop and Senior Work.

Learn more about the US Curriculum, Junior Workshop, Senior Work, and see an example of an Upper School Course of Study.

Most Calhoun students complete the majority of their academic requirements by junior year, allowing for time to dive deeper into their interests. Most students also graduate having exceeded the minimum requirements—for example, students are strongly encouraged to take a fourth year of mathematics, science and world language. 

Assessing Student Progress

Assessment at Calhoun emerges from the strong relationship between students and teachers. Our teachers observe students as they demonstrate their learning, and these observations form the basis of their assessments. Teachers then use this continual process of observation and assessment to create personalized experiences tailored to the learning needs of each student.

Upper School students receive a report upon the completion of each mod, which are a summary and assessment of the work the student has completed during the term. Each report includes in-depth comments, as well as a cognitive and affective grade. 

Community Time

Students and teachers enjoys a common 60-minute free block in the morning called community time. This block begins with a cluster meeting, and the remainder of the time is used for one-on-one meetings, collaborative work on student projects, or club meetings. Once a rotation, the entire Upper School comes together for town meeting during community time.

Advisory & Cluster System

Each Upper School student is part of a cluster group led by a particular teacher. Clusters meet every morning to review upcoming events and Upper School highlights, and to check-in.

Parent/Teacher Partnership

Calhoun encourages a strong partnership between families, students and teachers. Every school year includes two to three family conferences, and teachers are available for additional meetings as needed.