Upper School Program Details
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, and satisfactory completion of Life Skills, Junior Workshop and Senior Work.
The Upper School schedule is a unique example of our progressive approach to education that helps us put our values of experiential and hands-on learning into practice.
Most Calhoun students complete the majority of their academic requirements by junior year, allowing 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 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 is 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.
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 during Community Time for Town Meeting.
The breadth of academic opportunities—from advanced seminars to independent studies—challenges students to dig deeper, think outside the box and unlock their potential.
Each Upper School student is part of a cluster group led by a particular teacher. Clusters meet every morning to check in and go over upcoming Upper School events and news.
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.