US Curriculum Guide
For course listings for the current school year, please refer to the 2017-18 Upper School Curriculum Guide (PDF).
Packer's Upper School curriculum is designed to encourage each student to realize his or her highest level of achievement. An engaging academic program; a vibrant community; and an array of artistic programs, athletics and clubs enable students to extend their interests and cultivate their talents. Freshmen and sophomore students pursue a prescribed program to ensure that they are confident and capable in critical analysis, reading, writing, mathematics, research, language, computer literacy, and study skills. Junior and senior years provide multiple opportunities to apply these skills through elective courses in areas of particular academic and creative interests.
The freshman year is organized around a study of major literary works, ancient civilizations, and the FreshArts course, which is an introduction to the fine and performing arts. Additionally, freshmen take an introductory physics course, a world language class, mathematics, as well as one semester of Everyday Computing (computer literacy and basic Computer Science), a one quarter health seminar prior to Freshmen also participate in Packer’s peer support program.
The sophomore year focuses on the American experience from both a historical and a literary perspective. Chemistry, world language, mathematics, and health complete the required course of study for the grade. Students may also choose to pursue an elective course in the tenth grade. Some students elect to enroll in a second world language, journalism, a computer science course, or authentic science research through a multi-year “Introduction to Science Research Program”, a visual, dance or theater arts course to round out their second year of Upper School.
Students in their junior and senior years have increased flexibility in their academic schedules. Advanced Topics (AT) courses and other upper level electives from each of the academic departments enable students to pursue particular strengths and talents. The eleventh grade program features Biology, and a variety of electives in English and History. Students must complete at least one History elective designated a global skills course. Two History electives are required over the course of the junior and senior year. Students are required to take two semesters of English in their junior AND senior year. Independent study, School Year Abroad, Chewonki Semester School, High Mountain Institute and cultural exchange programs are just a few of the special opportunities available for eleventh and twelfth grade students.