Upper School

Altamont’s Upper School encourages students to take charge of their learning, their experiences, and their community. Because we define success as much more than a high GPA, our happiest students are our busiest: those who take advantage of new opportunities and learn to balance academics and extra-curricular activities. Advisors, teachers, and administrators support that balance, and as a result, Altamont graduates cite their relationships with teachers as one of the most rewarding aspects of an Altamont education. The trust built among faculty and students affords great privileges and responsibilities that prepare students for a principled life beyond Altamont.

We encourage our students to follow their interests, solve problems, be respectful of others, and strive to improve the fabric of society. Every Altamont student’s experience is different, so the question is: what kind of Knight will you be?

JP Hemingway, Head of Upper School
jhemingway@altamontschool.org

Graduation Requirements

Over the course of the ninth through the twelfth grades, students must accumulate a minimum of 23 1⁄2 credits; they must include 20 major courses (a major course meets four times per week; a minor course meets twice per week and is a half credit). Students must meet departmental requirements in English, World Languages, History, Mathematics, Science, Fine Arts, Health/Physical Education, and Speech in grades 9 to 12. The requirements are:

English

Students must take four years of English with a minimum of one course each year in the following sequence:

  • Ninth Grade: Honors 9th English
  • Tenth Grade: Honors Sophomore British Literature
  • Eleventh Grade: AP American Literature and Composition
  • Twelfth Grade: One English seminar per semester

English Curriculum Guide

Fine Arts

Students must complete one full credit of Upper School Fine Arts over the course of the ninth through twelfth grades. This can be fulfilled by taking courses within one discipline, or 1⁄2 credit in one discipline and 1⁄2 credit in a different discipline within the Visual or Performing Arts. Courses that satisfy this requirement come from Art, Choir, Creative Writing, Drama, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Photography.

Fine Arts Curriculum Guide

Health/Physical Education

Students must complete one year of Upper School Physical Education and the Health course.

Health/Physical Education Curriculum Guide

History

Students must take three years of History in the following sequence:

  • Ninth Grade: World History: Honors Ancient and Medieval Civilizations
  • Tenth Grade: Honors Europe and the Modern World
  • Eleventh Grade: AP U. S. History

Students may change the sequence and grade level only with the written approval of the head of the department and the consultation of the Director of College Counseling.

History Curriculum Guide

Mathematics

Students must complete either Honors Precalculus or Honors Statistics. Most students will follow this sequence:

  • Ninth Grade: Honors Geometry
  • Tenth Grade: Honors Algebra II
  • Eleventh Grade: Honors Precalculus

Students may change the sequence and grade level only with the written approval of the head of the department and the consultation of the Director of College Counseling.

Mathematics Curriculum Guide

Science

Students must complete either three or four years of Science. For both routes, one course must be Honors Biology or AP Biology, and one must be Honors Chemistry. If students choose to take Honors Physics or AP Physics, the student only needs 3 years of science. However, if a student opts not to take Honors or AP Physics, the student must complete four years of Science. In addition students must complete the Laboratory Techniques course. Most students will follow the following sequence:

  • Ninth Grade: Honors Biology
  • Tenth Grade: Honors Chemistry, Laboratory Techniques
  • Eleventh Grade: Honors Physics or AP Physics
  • Twelfth Grade: Honors Physics, AP Physics, or AP-C Physics if not completed earlier

Students may change the sequence and grade level only with the written approval of the head of the department and the consultation of the Director of College Counseling.

Science Curriculum Guide

World Languages

Students must complete three sequential levels of the same world language, beginning in the ninth grade, through a minimum of the third year of the language.

World Language Curriculum Guide

Note: Students may complete only the following courses in summer school at Altamont to apply toward graduation requirements: Honors Geometry, Honors Ancient & Medieval History, Laboratory Techniques, and Speech.

The Academic Policies Committee unanimously approved two revisions to the school’s existing study hall policy, effective as of the fall of 2010-11. First, students are limited to four study hall periods per week. Second, except for seniors in good academic standing, all students will be required to remain in their study halls throughout the year.

Recommended Curriculum

The following is the recommended curriculum for the four years of the Upper School for major courses (meeting four times per week) and required courses. Students are encouraged to take electives in addition to the required courses. Students can vary from this recommended sequence only with the written permission of the appropriate head of the department and the advice of the Director of College Counseling.

The schedule allows for students to take up to seven major courses at a time. However, we do not recommend this load. Students should consult with their teachers, advisor, and Director of College Counseling in deciding upon their courses and load.

9th Grade

  • Honors 9th English
  • Honors Ancient and Medieval Civilizations
  • Honors Geometry (Algebra I or Honors Algebra II with permission)
  • Honors Biology
  • Honors World Language (Levels I, II, III)
  • Physical Education
  • Health
  • Consider completing requirements from:
    • Speech
    • Fine Arts
  • Consider electives

10th Grade

  • Honors Sophomore British Literature
  • Honors Europe and the Modern World
  • Honors Algebra II (Honors Geometry or Honors Precalculus with permission)
  • Honors Chemistry
  • Laboratory Techniques
  • Honors World Language (Levels II, III, IV)
  • Consider completing requirements from:
    • Health
    • Speech
    • Fine Arts course
  • Consider electives

11th Grade

  • AP American Literature
  • AP U. S. History
  • Honors Precalculus (Honors Algebra II, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, or Math Electives with permission)
  • Honors Physics or AP Physics
  • Honors World Language (Levels III, IV, V)
  • Electives in:
    • English
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Science (AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, Human Anatomy and Physiology)
  • Consider completing requirements from:
    • Health
    • Speech
    • Fine Arts course
    • Independent Study

12th Grade

  • Two Semester Seminars in English
  • Honors Physics or AP Physics if not completed earlier
  • Electives in:
    • English
    • History
  • Mathematics (Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Finite Mathematics, Honors Statistics, or Math Electives)
  • Science (AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP-C Physics, AP Environmental Science, Human Anatomy and Physiology)
  • Honors World Language (Levels IV, V, VI, AP)
  • Fine Arts course
  • Independent Study
Note: We strongly recommend that students take four years of both Mathematics and Science. Consult with the Director of College Counseling when making that decision.

Course Request Forms