The Upper School curriculum challenges and inspires students to reach their fullest potential with an inquiry, project/problem based approach that provides academic rigor in our classrooms. With a student to teacher ratio of 12:1 or less, students receive support they need to excel. Technology in every classroom, as well as a 1:1 computing program and online classes, ensure the latest in curriculum delivery and support for STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) initiatives. Students develop an appreciation for the Arts, life skills, global awareness, leadership skills, teamwork, and strong presentation and reasoning skills through the curriculum and numerous extracurricular activities. Students can become part of an award winning CSI team or argue a legal case in a courtroom as part of Mock Trial. Student government learns what it means to lead and serve others, and our athletic programs offer competitive sports, as well as opportunities for leadership and life-long friendships.
The core subjects of English, math, history, science, religion and world language provide the foundation for the curriculum, and electives that meet students’ needs and interests are offered in every grade of the Upper School. Advanced sections in English, math, history, and science are offered in all grades, and students may opt to take Advanced Placement courses as early as sophomore year. Online classes are available and students work with the Assistant Head of School and Director of Guidance to ensure there is an appropriate balance of support and rigor for these courses.
Each student is assigned an advisor. This year, there are two advisors assigned to each grade. The advisors serve as homeroom teachers, then meet individually with students once or twice a marking period. Advisors make sure that students are fully engaged and communicate with parents regarding student progress each marking period. Students can go to the advisors for academic or social concerns. Additionally, some students are assigned an individual mentor for an extra layer of support. Mentors meet weekly with their advisees to discuss academics, as well as extracurricular involvement, organization and study skills, and any other areas in which a student might want to improve.
Each year the Director of Guidance chooses a theme on which to hold a speakers’ series. Guest speakers, experts in their field, speak to the Upper School students during Friday assembly period. Time is carved out every Friday to hear speakers address students on important life skills. Topics for 2015-6 include positive thinking, “Finding Your Fabulous,” etiquette, and self-marketing. Speakers are powerful role models that inspire and challenge the young women in grades 9-12.
Unique to Lacordaire, students participate in a Week of Intersession after Midterm exams in mid to late January. Regular classes pause, and students learn about topics that are not part of a traditional curriculum. Ninth and tenth graders spend the week taking mini classes in subjects of interest. Some of the Intersession activities include French Cooking, Quilting, Film Making, CSI and more. Juniors go off campus for internships in fields that excite them. Students have found internships in fashion, medicine, law, education and just about every occupation one can imagine. Seniors use Intersession week to complete Project Justice/community service hours at off campus sites.
Honors courses require work beyond the regular college preparatory curriculum. Lacordaire Academy has developed a curriculum that stimulates intellectual curiosity and challenges students’ abilities in every class; however, students in advanced classes have opted for a greater level of rigor and can expect more independent course work. Placement in honors classes is determined by placement exams, standardized test scores, teacher recommendation, and/or previous performance in an earlier grade.
If a student expresses an interest in a discipline not offered in the current curriculum, an online course may be arranged. Online courses allow Lacordaire to expand the curriculum to offer a larger selection of courses. Lacordaire Academy has partnered with the Online School for Girls, but students may take courses from other online, accredited programs with approval from the Assistant Head of School. More information about the Online School for Girls can be found on www.onlineschoolforgirls.org. Lacordaire offers two half scholarships for online courses.
Students may enroll in college credit courses offered by Seton Hall University and/or Caldwell University. These courses are offered at Lacordaire Academy and taught by teachers holding at least a Master’s degree and who are accepted as adjunct teachers by the colleges. Some examples of these courses are Human Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Education, French, Statistics, and Calculus.
Advanced placement courses are offered in French, Spanish, Calculus AB, US History, Literature and Composition, and Language and Composition. Other AP courses, such as Government and Computer Science can be taken online for a fee.
For more information about Lacordaire’s curriculum, click here: Course of Studies
Click here for: Upper School Summer Reading 2017