The Upper School program is a carefully balanced, challenging blend of required studies and elective courses that guides students from concrete to abstract thinking. We continue employing both traditional and innovative teaching methods to ensure pre-adolescents remain engaged, active learners. Teachers and advisors provide steady guidance and support as children mature into young teens.
Students encounter a rigorous curriculum including algebra, chemistry, three world language options – Spanish, Latin, Mandarin – and a rich array of elective coursework on topics like Model Congress, Japanese culture, Shakespeare, biodiversity, novel writing and vocal ensemble. Our VCS Beyond initiative offers students unique opportunities to stretch their minds and explore their world through programs to travel abroad, be an apprentice alongside working professionals and partake in scientific research camps. Students’ physical development remains important; we offer a structured physical education program, daily recess and opportunities to participate in interscholastic athletics. Students employ effective scheduling strategies, developing self-disciplined study habits.
Each student’s advisor communicates regularly with parents about their child’s academic and social development. Parents confer with subject-area teachers twice each year and progress reports are sent home in winter and spring. Standardized testing continues through Upper School. 8th Graders take our High School Prep class to mentor them through the high school placement process. Small classes, individual guidance and demanding instruction prepare our Upper School students to move into high school with ease and confidence.