Upper (High School) Curriculum
The Upper School Program
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Academic Calendar 2012
The challenge we face as a society is that we have clearly increased the stakes in a good high school education. The best colleges are more selective than ever and are seeking students whom they believe will bring many strengths to their campus.
A Successful College Preparatory Program
A college-preparatory high school program must recognize the factors that most influence college acceptances and be sure students understand and have an opportunity to meet those factors. At this stage in time, this emphasis can be best summed up by the term "rigor"! The colleges wish to take students who:
- have taken demanding course loads
- who've contributed to the life of their school
- who have given back to their communities
The goal of Marywood-Palm Valley School is to provide every student with
the opportunity to meet the acceptance criteria of four-year colleges.
For this reason, our curriculum is limited to college-preparatory courses only, and our requirements for graduation are higher than the state requirements. While we recognize that not all students will necessarily choose to pursue a four-year program immediately out of high school, we wish to make sure that it is their choice not to do so, not a limitation that has been imposed by a poor decision in high school!
High School Curriculum Summary by Grade
High School- Grade 9
All grade 9 students must take English, Geometry, Geography, Biology, and either French I or Spanish I. Students must also take a performing arts elective, such as visual arts, drama or jazz band for one full year before graduating. Physical and health education are also mandatory.
High School- Grade 10
All grade 10 students must take English, Math (Algebra II), World History, Chemistry and either French or Spanish II or III. Students also take electives and physical and health education. Strong academic students can opt to take the Advanced Placement World History exam.
High School- Grade 11
All grade 11 students must take English, Math (Algebra II or Pre-Calculus), U.S. History, Biology and either French III or Spanish III. Students also take electives and physical and health education. Advanced placement options are available for English Language and Composition, U.S. History, Biology, and Art.
High School- Grade 12
All grade 12 students must take English, Math (Statistics and Probability, Pre-Calculus or Calculus), AP Government and Politics, Anatomy and Physiology or Physics, an elective and at least one semester of physical and health education. Students are strongly encouraged to continue study of a foreign language. Advanced placement options are available for Calculus, Comparative Government & Politics, English Literature and Composition, European History, French, Psychology, and Spanish.
All students are required to complete at least 36 hours of community service each year to graduate from Marywood-Palm Valley School. Students may seek community service within the school, where opportunities exist for assisting in the aftercare program or as a peer tutor for younger students. They may also choose to do community service outside the school in one of the many charitable organizations in the Coachella Valley area. All community service hours must be accounted for by a supervising adult other than a parent. Students must complete at least 36 hours within a twelve-month period each year and cannot accumulate hours in one year to distribute to another year.