Upper School

Welcome to Upper School!

The Upper School, grades nine through twelve, challenges students to perform at the highest level, while providing support vital to academic and personal achievement.

Designed to prepare students for college and beyond, the Upper School develops students’ independence and motivation to excel.

Our faculty members teach a broad set of curricula rooted in the liberal arts. Course placement is determined primarily by student interest, and students have multiple opportunities for self-directed learning, enrichment, and personalized challenges. Students can experience college-level learning in any of our Advanced Placement classes, and in select instances, students may create their own independent study courses.
            

*Students New to Allendale Columbia

For students who transfer to Allendale Columbia from another school, each situation regarding course scheduling is handled on a case-by-case basis with the Head of Upper School. Some courses that students have taken at other schools may count toward their required courses.

Graduation Requirements

List of 8 items.

  • English

    Required every year
    4 credits
  • Mathematics

    Successful completion of three consecutive years of Mathematics beyond eighth grade, including Algebra II
    3 credits
  • History

    U.S. History in 11th or 12th grade; 
    Topics in U.S. History (for international students)
    3 credits
  • World Language

    Two consecutive years beyond eighth grade, through Level III
    2 credits
  • Science**

    Three years of science, including biology, chemistry, physics
    3 credits
    **All Science and Computer Science courses include labs
  • Visual Art, Music, Theatre

    May be a combination of any two
    1 credit
  • Health

    1/2 credit
  • Additional Courses

    1/2 credit courses may be combined with 1 credit courses
    4 credits

Additional Requirements

List of 3 items.

  • Health

    Health is required for graduation. Health can be taken as a class in tenth grade or, based on approval, as an independent online course in the summer between ninth and tenth grade.
  • May Term

    May Term is required every year. With permission, twelfth graders may choose to participate in the off-campus Senior Project and Internship Program in lieu of May Term.
  • Physical Education

    Students may choose from Physical Education, an interscholastic sport, or an independent study to fulfill their requirement in Physical Education. Students in ninth and tenth grades are required to select one team sport each year. Physical Education classes occur during the academic day and emphasize participation, fitness, and lifetime appreciation of sports. Independent study requires a student proposal for an activity that occurs outside of the school day.

Upper School Courses at a Glance

Upper School Courses at a Glance

List of 16 items.

  • Global Engagement

    • The Foundations of Cultures and Identities
    • Painting and World Art
    • Making an Impact Globally
    • Introduction to Classical Chinese Essays and Poems
  • Creativity & Entrepreneurship

    • Essentials of Entrepreneurship
    • Entrepreneurs as Innovators Cohort
    • Making an Impact Locally
    • Making an Impact Globally
    • Production and Design
      • Theatre Production Track
      • Communications, Marketing, and Design Track
      • TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool Track
  • Invent Center for STEM and Innovation

    • AP Computer Science Principals
    • AP Computer Science A
    • Applying Programming Languages
    • Video Game Creation
    • Full Stack Software Engineering
    • Projects in Computer Science (Post AP)
  • Advanced Placement (AP)

    Computer Science
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    • AP Computer Science A

    English
    • AP English Language and Composition
    • AP English Literature and Composition

    History
    • AP European History

    Math
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Statistics

    Science
    • AP Biology
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Physics 2
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
    • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

    World Languages
    • AP French Language and Culture
    • Spanish Language and Culture*
    *Offered through K12 Private Academy

    Music
    • AP Music Theory

    The Upper School offers several AP courses, which are typically offered to eleventh and twelfth graders. Students qualify for AP course through academic performance, effort, and interest in subject area. All students enrolled in AP classes are required to take the corresponding examinations in May to earn credit for the class.

    Throughout the scheduling process, we encourage students to consider taking AP classes as they provide the potential for college credit as well as the opportunity for the rigor of a college level course.

    Given the workload in these classes as well as the pace at which content is covered, we set a limit of three AP courses in any year. If a student would like to take more than three AP courses in any one year, they would need to petition directly to the Head of Upper School, and it is very rare that exceptions to this policy are granted. Colleges are aware of our policy, and students will not be penalized for adhering to this guideline.
  • May Term

    May Term at Allendale Columbia School exists to provide educational opportunities outside of the normal structure of the school year to support intellectual discovery, encourage collaboration, and foster community involvement.

    Embodying Allendale Columbia School’s core values, May Term provides authentic learning experiences through courses that emphasize global awareness, interdisciplinary content, and/or service learning.

    All students must complete a May Term at the end of each of their four years in the Upper School. With permission, twelfth graders may choose to do an off-campus Senior Project in lieu of May Term.
  • English

    • English 9: Identity, Morality, and Justice
    • English 10: Diversity in Thought and Culture
    • English 11: American Identities
    • English 12
    • Advanced Placement English: Language and Composition
    • Advanced Placement English: Literature and Composition
    • Creative Writing
  • World Languages

    French
    • French 1
    • French 2
    • French 3
    • French 4
    • French 5
    • French 6
    • Advanced Placement French

    Mandarin Chinese
    • Mandarin Chinese 1
    • Mandarin Chinese 2
    • Mandarin Chinese 3
    • Mandarin Chinese 4
    • Introduction to Classical Chinese Essays and Poems

    Spanish
    • Spanish 1
    • Spanish 2
    • Spanish 3
    • Spanish 4
    • Spanish 5
    • Spanish 6
    • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • Mathematics

    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Algebra II
    • Honors Algebra II/Precalculus
    • PreCalculus
    • Advanced Topics in Math: Data Analysis
    • Advanced Topics in Math: Financial Algebra
    • Advanced Placement Statistics
    • Advanced Placement Calculus AB
    • Advanced Placement Calculus BC
  • Science

    • The Physical World: Matter and Energy
    • Biotechnology and Biomimicry
    • Genetics: Understanding Your DNA
    • Forensics
    • Astronomy 
    • Local and Global Research
    • Biology: Cells to Ecosystems
    • The Physics of Sports
    • The Chemistry of Food
    • Science and Literature
    • The Science and Practice of Well-Being
    • AP Biology
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Physics 2
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
    • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
    • Science Writing and Research (Post AP)
  • History

    • History 9: Morality, Democracy, and Justice
    • History 10: Revolution and the Modern World
    • United States History
    • Honors United States History
    • Advanced Placement European History

    History Electives
    • Terrorism in the Modern Age
    • Democracy and Discourse
    • Law & the Legal System
    • Psychology
    • Current Events and Contemporary Global Issues
    • The Foundations of Cultures and Identities
    • Modern American Cultural History
  • Visual Art

    • Drawing and Printmaking
    • Painting and World Art
    • The Photographic Image: From Digital to Darkroom
    • 3D Art: Ceramics, Sculpture, and Installation
    • Studio Art II: Portfolio Seminar
    • Honors Seminar Studio Art
    • Video Game Creation
    • Ceramics
  • Music

    • Wind Ensemble
    • Upper School Chorus
    • Select Chorus
    • Voice Class
    • World Music
    • AP Music Theory
  • Drama

    • Drama Workshop Fall Musical
    • Drama Workshop Spring Play
    • Production and Design
    • The Theatre Experience I
    • The Theatre Experience II
    • The Theatre Experience III
  • Senior Project Program

    The Senior Project Program is a three-week, off-campus experience in a professional environment. For more than two decades, AC twelfth graders have devised a wide variety of projects and internships with several ends in mind:
    • to explore a potential career
    • to participate in community service,
    • to indulge their curiosity in a constructive way about some field of interest.
    Projects and internships are expected to occupy at least the equivalent of the regular school day and must take place in a professional environment in which the students have not had previous work experience.

    At the conclusion, students must prepare and deliver a 5-10 minute presentation to a panel of professionals from the AC community. Some students will be selected to give brief presentations to the Upper School during May Term Exhibition Night.
  • Physical Education/Health

    • Physical Education
    • Independent Study Physical Education
    • Health

    HAC Athletics

    Fall
    • Co-Ed Cross Country
    • Boys Soccer
    • Girls Soccer
    • Girls Tennis
    • Girls Volleyball
    • Boys Golf
    • Girls Golf

    Winter
    • Co-Ed Swimming
    • Boys Basketball
    • Girls Basketball
    • Co-Ed Bowling

    Spring
    • Boys Baseball
    • Girls Softball
    • Boys Tennis
    • Co-Ed Track and Field
     
  • Clubs

    • Admissions Ambassadors
    • Black Student Union
    • Community Service Club
    • Gender Sexuality Alliance
    • Global Engagement Club
    • Math Team
    • Mock Trial
    • Model United Nations
    • Muse – Literary Arts Magazine
    • Student Government
    • Synergy – Yearbook
    • TEDx Club

    Clubs at Allendale Columbia School consist of programs run primarily by students, allowing them to share their interests, concerns, and/or talents beyond the scope of academics and athletics.

    Clubs provide both leadership and participation opportunities for students. Clubs are as diverse as our students’ interests and contribute to the life of the Upper School community.

    Each club is student run and sponsored by at least one faculty member.  Students may choose to have their club run year long or for a semester, allowing for new clubs to be created and new interest to be shared. 

    An Upper School Club Fair is held in September and again in January (if new clubs are to be announced) where students may sign up for clubs of interest to them. 

    The list above is a sampling of some of the active clubs in the Upper School.
            

Have questions?

Contact Head of Upper School Phil Schwartz at pschwartz@allendalecolumbia.org.

Divisions & Courses

At Allendale Columbia, we prepare students for the world they will inherit. In our trusting and responsive environment, students in nursery through grade 12 grow in confidence and develop scholastic independence.