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322 Maple Street | Manchester Center, VT 05255 | 802.362.7137

Upper School

Overview

Guided by extensive classroom experience, as well as attention to current research in the fields of education, our teacher have designed a dynamic Upper School curriculum that solidifies skills and integrates higher level thinking of complex themes including social justice, power, global citizenry, and evolving definitions of liberty. With small class sizes, we are able cultivate key 21st century skills such as creativity, effective communication, collaboration, and problem solving. We integrate technology intentionally and use these tools to help our students gain important skills in writing, research, and design. In addition, students have classes in art, PE, French, choral music and instrumental music five times in the course of two weeks.

Teachers provide personal feedback regularly, and help students in their goal setting and reflection. Our teachers also encourage effective study skills through classroom routines and structures, an emphasis on responsibility, and instruction in specific techniques such as organizing and planning projects, learning how to manage homework, and ways to use reference materials. Teachers take into account individual learning styles, and students learn strategies which best suit their styles. 

We want our students to have hands-on experiences both in the classroom and beyond. Our upper school trip program take students to New York, Quebec City and Washington DC to further their learning. Upper school also takes part in an advisory program and work job program that reinforce values of community and stewardship. Our Courage to Care program is expanded in these years and includes:

  • Care for self
  • Service to others
  • Cyber Citizenry
  • Reflection and goal setting
  • Responsibility and attitude
  • Moral Decision Making
  • Respect
  • Teamwork and collaboration

We ask every student to sign a student covenant at the beginning of each year that reflects our community values, and our morning meeting program guides students in the exploration topics such as friendship, decision-making, and conflict resolution in sessions focusing on social skills.

5

Language Arts

Theme: Tolerance and Social Injustice

Reading and comprehension: novels, short stories and poetry; exploration of literary elements such as setting, plot, character development, conflict, climax, resolution, theme, and point of view; literary devices, including simile, metaphor, personification, author’s purpose, storytelling craft

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Writing: descriptive, summary, memoir, persuasive, narrative, and expository writing and poetry; writing process: brainstorming, drafting, proofreading, revising, and completing a final copy

Presentation skills: technology, book talks, literature circle discussions, written essays, research projects, and dramatic interpretation; voice projection, appropriate inflection, proper pacing, attentive listening, response to peers, and sharing of reflections

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: place value and rounding, powers of 10, translate between numbers and words, multi-digit multiplication, long division, divisibility rules, prime and composite numbers, prime factorization, equivalent fractions, addition and subtraction with fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals, properties of addition and multiplication, inequalities with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals

Algebra and functions: write and interpret numerical expressions, analyze patterns and relationships

Geometry and measurement: two-dimensional figures, perimeter, area, and volume, graph on a coordinate plane, metric and customary measurement, symmetry

Statistics and probability: collect, organize, and display data, theoretical probability, experimental probability, outcomes and sample space

Social Studies

Content: Western Civilization including Ancient Greece and Rome

Skills: comprehending both primary and secondary historical texts, discussions both live and blog, research process, constructing thesis statements, outlining and note taking, critical writing, analytical essays, revising and editing

Investigations: participating in a mini-Greek Olympics and producing a period play, experiencing art, culture, food, history, lore, literature, and philosophy of the ancient world

Science                      

Content: microorganisms, plants, animals, ecology, cells, classification, evolution, invertebrates and vertebrates

Skills: beginning laboratory safety and procedures, scientific method, research, data interpretation, inference skills, lab report, vocabulary, collaboration

Investigations: cultivating bacteria, growing plants to study their life-cycle, monitoring Munson Brook, work with live specimens including worms and squid dissection

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials: paint, oil pastels, soft pastels, cardboard, colored pencils, wood, clay, paper and 3-D forms

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, weaving, and pottery

Skills: large assemblages in sculpture, ceramic murals, papier-mâché, wire, found objects and combinations of these media

Exposure: art history and famous American artists

Expansion: art vocabulary, visits to museums and outside art opportunities

French

Listening: conversational and partner activities, rhythmic chants, literature and drama-based activities, French videos, practicing and performing plays and songs

Reading and writing: play-based narratives, songs, story-retelling, written descriptions and grammar practice

Grammar and vocabulary: greetings, classroom commands, polite words, questions, locations, clothing, adjectives, body parts, emotions, foods, numbers, prepositions, family, calendar, weather, household nouns, school nouns, masculine and feminine, singular and plural, describing events, approval and disapproval, and selected irregular and regular verbs

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics, three-part harmonies, chorus

Playing: recorder, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, African drumming, band

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette, chorus and band performance

Expanding knowledge: Composition competitions, musical terms, reading and writing notation, utilizing composition software

Physical Education

Introduction: fitness work and fitness testing

Development: cooperative activities and group initiatives

Continued exposure: team and individual sports, soccer, basketball, badminton, volleyball, floor hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and ultimate frisbee

Expanding knowledge: application of skills to game-related situations and good sportsmanship

Technology

Basic operations: personal laptop distribution, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing, troubleshooting

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, personal safety, digital etiquette, copyright rules, evaluate credibility of sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research, spreadsheets and graphs, web-based applicaitons, e-mail, music notation software, upload audio and video

Health

Builds on and expands: knowledge of personal health and safety

Exposure: stress management, communication, peer pressure, conflict resolution, I-messages, verbal/non-verbal language, tobacco and smoking

Maintaining: healthy nutritional habits

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: work jobs, green decision making, global impact

Respect/Empathy: moral decision making, mindfulness, respecting peers, honoring diversity

Goal setting/Reflection: advisories, journaling, short term and long term personal goals, establishing a plan, initiative

Personal responsibility: self-esteem, best effort, integrity, courage, and sense of self

Teamwork/Collaboration: project, retreats and trips, establishing roles

Community responsibility: service projects, student council, leadership

Homework

Use of planner
20 minutes per subject
5 nights a week beginning in January
9 book logs

6

Language Arts

Theme: Power and Use/Misuse

Reading and comprehension: novels, short stories and poetry; exploration of literary elements such as setting, plot, character development, conflict, climax, resolution, theme, and point of view; literary devices, including simile, metaphor, personification, author’s purpose, storytelling craft

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Writing: descriptive, summary, memoir, persuasive, narrative, and expository writing and poetry; writing process: brainstorming, drafting, proofreading, revising, and completing a final copy

Presentation skills: technology, book talks, literature circle discussions, written essays, research projects, and dramatic interpretation; voice projection, appropriate inflection, proper pacing, attentive listening, response to peers, and sharing of reflections

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: GCF and LCM, operations with integers, absolute value, scientific notation, positive exponents, rates, ratios, and proportions, multiplication and division with fractions, mixed numbers, and decimals, division with zero, inequalities with integers, inverse operations and distributive property

Algebra and functions: simplify numerical and algebraic, expressions, evaluate expressions, solve multi-step whole number, algebraic equations, relationships between dependent and independent variables, extend a pattern, relationship between linear equation, table of values, and graph

Geometry and measurement: three-dimensional figures, coordinate plane, surface area, scale figures, congruency, area of polygons and composite figures, angle relationships, line relationships, classify polygons and polyhedrons

Statistics and probability: represent and interpret data, measures of central tendency, variability, representations of data, determining probability, complements

Social Studies

Content: Western Civilization including Medieval times, the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration

Skills: comprehending both primary and secondary historical texts, create timelines, map work, discussions both live and blog, research process, constructing thesis statements, outlining and note taking, critical writing, analytical essays, revising and editing

Investigations: architectural and art projects including stained glass windows, scaled drawings of historical buildings and perspective drawing, period simulation games, Medieval Banquet, field trip to New York City to visit the Cloisters Museum and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Science

Content: earth science including plate tectonics to volcanoes, physics including motion and force, sound and light

Skills: laboratory safety and procedures, scientific method, computer applications, research, lab reports, graph and data interpretation, inference skills, vocabulary, collaboration

Investigations: soil analysis at Merck Forest, designing an earthquake-proof structure, creating a model volcano, exploring physics laws using skateboards and sneakers, and developing engineering skills by designing and constructing a simple machine

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials: paint, oil pastels, acrylics, paper-mâché, soft pastels, cardboard, soft and colored pencils, wood, fire, clay and paper

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, weaving, and pottery

Skills: large assemblages in sculpture, paper-mâché, wire, found objects and combinations of these media

Exposure: art history and Medieval art

Expansion: art vocabulary, visits to museums and outside art opportunities

French

Listening: conversational and partner activities, rhythmic chants, literature and drama-based exercises, videos, performing plays and songs

Reading and writing: play-based narratives, songs, written descriptions, grammar practice and short stories

Grammar and vocabulary: present tense of regular verbs, singular and plural, masculine and feminine, selected irregular verbs, exposure to le passé and le futur proche, verb-subject agreement, imperative, possessive adjectives, adjective agreement, subject-verb inversion, spelling patterns and accents, the prepositions à and de, expressions, calendar, sports, clothing, body parts, descriptive adjectives, family, emotions, and numbers

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics, three-part harmonies, chorus, lyric studies

Playing: Bell choir, band, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, African drumming

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette, chorus and band performance

Expanding knowledge: Composition competitions, musical terms, reading & writing notation, utilizing composition software, study of major composers

Physical Education

Introduction: accelerated fitness work and fitness testing

Development: cooperative activities and group initiatives

Continued exposure: team and individual sports, soccer, basketball, badminton, volleyball, floor hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and ultimate frisbee

Expanding knowledge: application of skills to game-related situations and good sportsmanship

Technology

Basic operations: personal laptop distribution, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing, troubleshooting

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, personal safety, digital etiquette, copyright rules, evaluate credibility of sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research, spreadsheets and graphs, web-based applicaitons, e-mail, music notation software, upload audio and video

Health

Builds on and expands: knowledge of personal health and safety, stress management, proper nutrition, the effects of alcohol and smoking

Introduction: endocrine system, reproductive system and human sexuality

Exposure: habits of hygiene

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: work jobs, green decision making, global impact

Respect/Empathy: moral decision making, mindfulness, respecting peers, honoring diversity

Goal setting/Reflection: advisories, journaling, short term and long term personal goals, establishing a plan, initiative

Personal responsibility: self-esteem, best effort, integrity, courage, and sense of self

Teamwork/Collaboration: project, retreats and trips, establishing roles

Community responsibility: service projects, student council, leadership

Homework

Use of planner
20-25 minutes per subject
5 nights a week
9 book logs

7

Language Arts

Theme: Western and non-Western authors, Global Literature

Reading and comprehension: novels, short stories and poetry; exploration of literary elements such as setting, plot, character development, conflict, climax, resolution, theme, and point of view; literary devices, including simile, metaphor, personification, author’s purpose, storytelling craft

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Writing: descriptive, summary, memoir, persuasive, narrative, and expository writing and poetry; writing process: brainstorming, drafting, proofreading, revising, and completing a final copy

Presentation skills: Technology, book talks, literature circle discussions, written essays, and research projects; voice projection, appropriate inflection, proper pacing, attentive listening, response to peers, and sharing of reflections

Mathematics

Numbers and operations: proportional relationships, percent problems, conversions between fractions, decimals, and percents, inequalities with rational numbers, operations with rational numbers, perfect squares and square roots, integer exponents, order of operations

Algebra and Functions: linear equations, generate rules from patterns, calculate slope, graph linear functions, write linear function represented

Geometry and measurement: scale drawings and constructions, area and circumference of a circle, transformations of polygons, Pythagorean Theorem, convert like measurement units in metric and customary measurement

Statistics and probability: use samples and populations to make predictions, dependent and independent events, probability of compound events and mutually exclusive events

Social Studies

Content: Global Awareness and in depth studies of South America, Africa, Australia, Southeast/West Asia, China, Japan, India, and the Middle East

Skills: geographic reasoning to make decisions using factual and statistical analysis, comprehending both primary and secondary texts, map work, discussions both live and blog, research process, creative problem solving on world issues, critical writing, constructing thesis statements, outlining and note taking, revising and editing

Investigations: poverty, human rights, health and disease, hunger, war and conflict resolution, population, and environment with exposure to artifacts, literature, drama, music and belief systems

Science

Content: biology from cells to human anatomy; environmental science, earth’s resources and energy conservation; cell structure, function, processes and energy; genetics, evolution, bones, muscles and skin, food and digestion, circulation, respiration and excretion, the nervous system, the endocrine system, populations and community

Skills: prediction, laboratory safety and procedures, scientific method, computer applications, research, lab reports, graph and data interpretation, inference skills, vocabulary, collaboration

Investigations: preparing a slide to study cells, growing plants under different light conditions to understand photosynthesis, dissecting chicken legs

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials: pencil, paint, oil pastels, acrylics, paper-mache, soft pastels, cardboard, colored pencils, wood, clay and paper

Introduction: sketchbooks and class critiques

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, weaving, masks, ceramics and, pop art

Skills: facial drawings using a grid method, shading, texture, and contrast

Exposure: art history and famous American artists

Expansion: use of concise art vocabulary, visits to museums and outside art opportunities

French

Listening: videos, conversational partner activities, on-line language practice, field trip to Québec City

Reading and writing: on-line activities, cultural readings, play-based narratives, songs, story-retelling, written descriptions and grammar practice

Grammar and vocabulary: present tense of –er verbs, singular and plural, masculine and feminine, forming questions, expressing negation, être, verb-subject agreement, possessive adjectives, descriptive adjectives, prepositions, languages, foods, classroom items, school subjects, object pronouns, adjective agreement, spelling patterns and accents, subject-verb inversion, prepositions à and de, numbers, and vocabulary associated with the arts, sports, foods, hobbies, and Québec

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics, three-part harmonies, chorus, lyric studies

Playing: African drumming, band

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette, chorus and band performance

Expanding knowledge: Composition competitions, musical terms, reading & writing notation, utilizing composition software, study of major composers, lyric writing, song form, ear training

Physical Education

Introduction: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, speed and agility workouts

Development: group challenges, initiatives and trust activities

Continued exposure: team and individual sports, soccer, basketball, badminton, volleyball, floor hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and ultimate frisbee

Expanding knowledge: fitness work and fitness testing, application of skills to game-related situations and good sportsmanship

Technology

Basic operations: personal laptop distribution, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing, troubleshooting

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, personal safety, digital etiquette, copyright rules, evaluate credibility of sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research, spreadsheets and graphs, web-based applicaitons, e-mail, music notation software, upload audio and video

Health

Builds on and expands: personal health and safety, stress management, nutrition, reproductive system and human sexuality

Introduction: substance abuse, decision-making

Exposure: healthy, productive relationships, maintaining a positive self-image

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: work jobs, green decision making, global impact

Respect/Empathy: moral decision making, mindfulness, respecting peers, honoring diversity

Goal setting/Reflection: advisories, journaling, short term and long term personal goals, establishing a plan, initiative

Personal responsibility: self-esteem, best effort, integrity, courage, and sense of self

Teamwork/Collaboration: project, retreats and trips, establishing roles

Community responsibility: service projects, student council, leadership

Homework

Computer for planning purposes
30 minutes per subject
5 nights a week
9 book logs

8

Language Arts

Theme: American Narrative and Experience

Reading and comprehension: novels, short stories and poetry; exploration of literary elements such as setting, plot, character development, conflict, climax, resolution, theme, and point of view; literary devices, including simile, metaphor, personification, author’s purpose, storytelling craft

Vocabulary: Wordly Wise, grammar, punctuation, and spelling

Writing: descriptive, summary, memoir, persuasive, narrative, and expository writing and poetry; writing process: brainstorming, drafting, proofreading, revising, and completing a final copy

Presentation skills: Shakespeare play, technology, book talks, literature circle discussions, written essays, research projects, and dramatic interpretation; voice projection, appropriate inflection, proper pacing, attentive listening, response to peers, and sharing of reflection

Mathematics

Numbers and Operations: real numbers, operations with radicals, properties of exponents, factorials, simplify polynomials, operations with polynomials

Algebra and Functions: linear equations in slope-intercept form, point-slope form, and in standard form, linear relationships, concept of a function, systems of linear equations, systems of linear inequalities, distance formula, solve for variables, direct and inverse variation

Algebra: function as a model, function notation, domain and range of a function, factor quadratic expressions, solve quadratic equations, quadratic formula and the discriminant, radical functions and equations, rational functions and equations

Geometry and measurement: interior and exterior angles in polygons, linear transformations, Pythagorean triples, special right triangles

Statistics and probability: represent and interpret relationship of two sets of data, permutations and combinations

Social Studies

Content: United States History, pre-colonial era through modern day, evolving definitions of liberty and justice

Skills: debate, understanding perspectives, comprehending both primary and secondary texts, discussions both live and blog, document-based questions, research process, creative problem solving on world issues, critical writing, constructing thesis statements, outlining and note taking, revising and editing

Investigations: trials, debates, and trip to Washington, DC in May

Science

Content: chemistry including solids, liquids and gases, the Periodic Table, man-made materials; environmental science-resources and energy conservation; cell structure and function; environmental science on the earth’s water including wetlands, water supply, pollution and the ocean

Skills: prediction, laboratory safety and procedures, scientific method, computer applications, research, lab reports, graph and data interpretation, inference skills, vocabulary, collaboration, ask questions and work independently.

Investigations: changes in matter, transfer of energy, fire safety and working with acids, bases and solutions, designing a water filtration system, creating a working lock or designing an erosion-proof beach

Art

Discovery: exploration of various art materials: pencil, paint, oil pastels, acrylics, paper-mâché, pastels, cardboard, colored pencils, wood, clay and paper

Creation: two and three-dimensional artwork, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, product and/or space design, weaving, masks, and pottery

Skills: contrast, balance, and unit, drawing with models, over-sized sculpture

Exposure: art history and famous American artists

Expansion: sketchbooks and class critiques, use of concise art vocabulary, visits to museums and outside art opportunities

French

Listening: conversational French, videos, on-line speaking activities, partner information-gap activities; creating, practicing and performing dialogues and presentations

Reading and writing: on-line language activities, cultural readings, describing one’s family and interests; written descriptions and skits

Grammar and vocabulary: il y a, avoir, possessive adjectives, prepositions of location, contractions with à, questions with interrogatives, –ir verbs, prendre, boire, partitive articles, faire, leisure activities, weather, disjunctive pronouns, spelling-change –er verbs, café foods and expressions, numbers, classroom and school objects, calendar, school subjects, immediate and extended family terms, describing weather and clothing, and expressions of time

Music

Singing: canons, harmonies, pronunciation and enunciation, breathing, dynamics, three-part harmonies, chorus, lyric studies

Playing: African drumming, band

Exposure: perform in Winter Concert and Shakespeare Festival, music appreciation, attend live performances outside of school, concert etiquette, chorus and band performance

Expanding knowledge: Composition competitions, musical terms, reading & writing notation, utilizing composition software, study of major composers, lyric writing, song form, ear training, music theory

Physical Education

Introduction: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, speed and agility workouts

Development: group challenges, initiatives and trust activities

Continued exposure: team and individual sports, soccer, basketball, badminton, volleyball, floor hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and ultimate frisbee

Expanding knowledge: fitness work and fitness testing, application of skills to game-related situations and good sportsmanship

Technology

Basic operations: personal laptop distribution, organization of digital files, keyboarding skills, composing, editing, printing, troubleshooting

Ethical use: cyber-citizenry, personal safety, digital etiquette, copyright rules, evaluate credibility of sources

Tools: word-processing, traditional presentation software, internet research, spreadsheets and graphs, web-based applications, e-mail, music notation software, upload audio and video

Health

Builds on and expands: personal health and safety, stress management, nutrition, reproductive system and human sexuality, substance abuse, decision-making

Exposure: healthy, productive relationships, maintaining a positive self-image

Courage to Care

Stewardship of the environment: work jobs, green decision making, global impact

Respect/Empathy: moral decision making, mindfulness, respecting peers, honoring diversity

Goal setting/Reflection: advisories, journaling, short term and long term personal goals, establishing a plan, initiative

Personal responsibility: self-esteem, best effort, integrity, courage, and sense of self

Teamwork/Collaboration: project, retreats and trips, establishing roles

Community responsibility: service projects, student council, leadership

Homework

Computer for planning purposes
30 minutes per subject
5 nights a week
9 book logs