Upper School Programs & Courses
Our private high school curriculum offers a rigorous academic program to challenge every student and satisfy a broad range of interests. MBS students can also participate in an array of co-curricular options to gain a deeper understanding of themselves while contributing to the community beyond.
We encourage our students to take risks, to engage deeply in learning, and to become independent thinkers. At MBS, we teach the values and habits of mind that we believe will prepare young people not only for success in college, but also for lives of meaning and fulfillment.
Courses, and Requirements
The school year consists of two 16-week semesters. Students are required to take a minimum of six courses per semester. Seniors must pass all of their courses to graduate. Exceptions to any of the academic requirements listed below must be approved by the Head of Upper School.
Students generally go beyond these minimum requirements in pursuit of their academic interests, and we encourage them to do so.
Our academic departments and their related courses are listed below alongside academic requirements for all students at the School.
Department and Course Listings
- Advanced Seminars
- Art and Design
- Computational and Information Sciences
- History & Social Sciences
- Independent Studies
- Performing Arts
- World Languages
In an effort to provide a rigorous alternative to the standardized curriculum and testing of AP courses, we have created a menu of Advanced Seminars for Seniors and selected Juniors that equal or exceed AP courses in terms of conceptual challenge, complexity of material, development of critical skills and overall preparation for college academics. They are therefore among the most academically rigorous courses we offer. These courses, which are either one semester or full year, are proposed by faculty with a particular interest and expertise in a given field and are subject to a thorough peer-review process, overseen by a committee of experienced teachers with college teaching backgrounds, before being authorized by the School. The seminar format promotes critical thought and discussion, requires students to work independently and is flexible enough to encompass a broad range of course themes. In all Advanced Seminars, the level of reading, writing and critical discussion equals that found in a first-year college course. Seminars are small, and enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
ADVANCED SEMINARS Fall 2023
Students wishing to take an Advanced Seminar must submit a completed questionnaire and a graded writing sample to the relevant instructor. Interviews might be required, also.
Fashion: Global Imperatives, Materiality, Embodiment (11, 12)
Explorations in Russian Language and Culture (11, 12)
Group Theory, Combinatorics, and Rubik’s Cube (11, 12)
ADVANCED SEMINARS SPRING 2024
Anthropology of Childhood Games and Play (11, 12)
Audio Culture: Music, Noise, Sound and Silence (11, 12)
Comparative Biomechanics (11, 12)
Art and Design
Mission Statement: Art and Design is a multi-disciplinary program, providing students the technology, resources and mind-set to creatively move from abstract to artifact.
Upper School Art and Design is a multi-disciplinary program. The discipline of design thinking comprises the core of the program, and the pedagogical focus stresses personal creativity, collaboration, team building, problem solving, storytelling and media authorship. Using either traditional media or computers as fundamental tools, moving from “abstract” through “artifact,” students are encouraged to adopt a “design” mentality and see hands-on project work as a unified, connected activity held together by some form of "narrative" or story-theme structure. Students are encouraged to develop and discover new skills, take pride in their creations and acquire a respect and appreciation for the work of their peers and other designers and artists.
Note: Starting with the class of 2024, Foundations: Digital and Studio are interchangeable as a prerequisite for advanced Studio art, Digital art and Makerspace classes. Artisan Tools and Techniques are not interchangeable.
Foundations: Studio (9, 10, 11, 12)
Foundations: Digital (9, 10, 11, 12)
Artisan Tools and Techniques (9, 10, 11, 12)
Digital Photography (9, 10, 11, 12)
Film Photography (9, 10, 11, 12)
Architectural Design Studio (10, 11, 12)
Art 2 (10, 11, 12)
Art 3 (11, 12)
Ceramics (10, 11, 12)
Ceramics 2 (10, 11, 12)
Digital Illustration (10, 11, 12)
Graphic Design & Marketing (10, 11, 12)
Graphic Design Agency (10, 11, 12)
2 Dimensional Design with Digital Fabrication (10, 11, 12)
3 Dimensional Design with Digital Fabrication (10, 11, 12)
Printmaking (9, 10, 11, 12)
Intermediate Artisan COURSES
Glass Design (10, 11, 12)
Jewelry Design (10, 11, 12)
Metal Design (10, 11, 12)
Art 4 (12)
Advanced Placement Studio Art (12)
Human Scale: An Advanced Integrated Design Studio (11,12)
Computational and Information Sciences
The Computational and Information Sciences Department offers a multi-disciplinary course of study that explores the application of computer programming, modeling and simulation to real world problem solving. There is a particular emphasis on information visualization and media creation. Throughout the course of study, topics range from computer graphics, 3D animation and computer music to environmental modeling, information theory and complex adaptive systems analysis.
The Department offers a core sequence of two courses in computer science that is roughly equivalent to the first year of a college computer science major and a course in scientific computing. This core sequence is expanded with a selection of courses in applied computational science covering such topics as complex systems and chaos theory, machine learning and aerospace engineering.
Computer Arts and Sciences 1: Introduction to Problem Solving and Design (9, 10, 11, 12)
Computer Arts and Sciences 2: Algorithms and Data Structures (Honors)
(10, 11, 12)
Complex Systems Science (Advanced Study) (11, 12)
Space Flight Engineering and Design (Honors) (11, 12)
FALL SEMESTER COURSES
Introduction to CGI Animation (9, 10, 11, 12)
Spring SEMESTER COURSES
Introduction to Media Programming (9, 10, 11, 12)
Courses Offered Both Fall and Spring Semesters
Coding for the Web (9, 10, 11, 12)
CASci Studio: Advanced Projects (Honors) (11, 12)
View Full ComputATIONAL and Information
Sciences Course Descriptions
Mission Statement: As students travel their own unique paths through our curriculum, they develop the skills to navigate challenging texts, think critically, and express themselves confidently in both written and spoken word. Students also learn to appreciate and tell their own stories by exploring those of others, and in doing so, they develop awareness of themselves, their communities, and the human condition.
English promotes an integrated seven-year sequence of studies that teaches skills from Grade Six to Twelve. In proportion to cognitive and intellectual opportunities at each level, students learn to read and write critically, with increasing sophistication, as they discover how to ask appropriate questions of texts in all the genres and write with an analytical clarity that promotes creatively developed ideas. Works are chosen both for their literary merit and global awareness of the human condition. As students progress through the program, they deepen their understanding of the dynamic relationship between readers and texts. Class discussion progressively nurtures skills in higher order thinking with an emphasis on articulate self-expression. Teachers create opportunities for project-based learning that augments the emphasis on traditional means of analytical communication.
Interdisciplinary work is cardinal in the Department. In the Middle School, interdisciplinary work arises from teachers' intentional collaboration with their colleagues in social studies, math, science, languages, and fine arts. In the Upper School, the Humanities program in grades 9 and 10 facilitates the study of common themes as they arise in English and History. Grade 12 provides a rich selection of electives that anticipates the thematic and structural orientation of courses students can expect to encounter in college.
HONORS PLACEMENT IN ENGLISH COURSES
All Humanities English Grade 9 and 10 sections as well as English 11: American Narratives sections will employ the earned honors model, which allows any student to earn honors status for the course by meeting a set of clearly defined criteria. Click here for a full description of the process. Senior elective courses will employ the earned honors model as described above. Enrollment in Advanced Placement and Advanced Studies Courses is by departmental recommendation.
Humanities English 9 (9)
Humanities English 10 (10)
English 11: American Narratives (Fall Semester) (11)
English 11: American Narratives (Spring Semester) (11)
Advanced Studies: Literary Studies in American Voices (11)
Advanced Studies: Modernist Literature (12)
AP English Literature and Composition (12)
SEMESTER ELECTIVES (Fall)
English Elective Honors
Semester electives in English are open to seniors only. All semester electives employ the Earned Honors model. (Click here for a full description of the earned honors process.)
Asian American Literature & Visual Arts (12)
Dystopian Literature (12)
The Language of Leadership (12)
Savage Satire (12)
The Short Story (12)
Writing our Lives (12)
Writing Speculative Fiction (12)
Writing the Serial Drama (12)
SEMESTER ELECTIVES (SPRING)
Semester electives in English are open to seniors only. All semester electives employ the Earned Honors model. (Click here for a full description of the earned honors process.)
Adolescent Literature (12)
Afrofuturism: An Introduction to Black Science Fiction (12)
Garden State of Mind: Literature of New Jersey (12)
Literature of Revolution (12)
Literature, Food, and Identity (12)
Monsters and Madness (12)
Writing Poetry: Self and World (12)
Writing the Graphic Novel (12)
Writing the Sitcom (12)
SEMESTER ELECTIVES (Fall and SPRING)
All semester electives employ the Earned Honors model. (Click here for a full description of the earned honors process.)
Writing Center Theory and Practice (11)
History & Social Sciences
Mission Statement: By linking the past and present, the Morristown Beard History Department fosters skills essential to the understanding of the human experience, while guiding students on their individual paths to becoming engaged and empathetic global citizens.
The Upper School history program features classroom activities designed to bring history to life, link the past with the present, promote critical thinking and build academic skills. We offer a rigorous and global curriculum of year-long courses and semester electives. Our enthusiastic faculty use a range of teaching materials and methods not only to impart knowledge and understanding, but also to tap into student creativity and encourage active, participatory citizenship. Students learn to value questioning and to be decision-makers; they learn how to conduct research, apply knowledge and express themselves. Teachers emphasize critical thinking and writing, and believe that history can be made rich with drama, triumph, and tragedy, full-blooded characters and lessons learned for the 21st century.
The Humanities approach to the study of English and History merges the traditional subject areas of these departments to create a richer and more engaging experience of both literature and history. An integrated Humanities curriculum, organized thematically and global in perspective, allows students to make new and surprising connections among different cultures, works of literature and time periods, while enhancing a common set of critical skills. The Program relies heavily on analytical writing, critical and creative thinking, discussion-driven classes, close reading and oral presentation. It is also a model of cross-disciplinary collaboration for both students and faculty.
HONORS PLACEMENT IN HISTORY COURSES
All Humanities Grade 9 and 10 sections, US History 11: The American Experience, and junior-senior Humanities History electives will employ the Earned Honors model, which allows any student to earn honors status for the course by meeting a set of clearly defined criteria. Click here for a full description of the process. Constitutional Law, Human Rights in Latin America, and Behavioral Economics are honors level electives requiring teacher recommendation and instructor approval for enrollment. Junior-Senior Social Science electives do not employ the Earned Honors model.
FULL YEAR COURSES
Humanities History 9 (9)
Humanities History 10 (10)
US History 11: The American Experience (11)
FULL YEAR ADVANCED COURSES
Note on Advanced Placement and Advanced Studies courses: Standardized Advanced Placement as well as faculty-designed Advanced Studies courses are equivalent in rigor and commitment to a course usually taken during the first year of college. Students may be expected to complete pre-course summer work, and should expect additional time commitments throughout the year. All AP students are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May; no standardized test is required of Advanced Studies courses. Enrollment in Advanced Level Courses is based on high performance in the previous year’s history course and the successful completion of a course specific placement process.
AP United States History (11)
AP European History (12)
Advanced Studies: A History of Western Ideas (12)
Advanced Studies: 20th Century Global History (12)
Advanced Studies: Economics (11, 12)
HONORS-LEVEL ELECTIVES (FALL AND SPRING SEMESTER)
The following semester-long electives are offered at the Honors level. Students must have earned Honors in 11th grade history or else receive Departmental Recommendation for placement in the courses.
Behavioral Economics (H) (11, 12)
Constitutional Law (H) (12)
Ethical Business and Economics (Honors) (11, 12)
Fundamentals of Psychology (full year; also listed in Wellness) (H) (11, 12)
Human Rights in Latin America (H) (11, 12)
Humanities History Electives (Fall)
Continuity and Change in the Middle East (11, 12)
Listening to the 20th Century: Part 1 1900-1945 (also listed in Performing Arts) (10, 11, 12)
Humanities History Electives (Spring)
African African Diaspora: A Study of the African Diaspora in the Americas and Beyond (11, 12)
History of the 90s (12)
Listening to the 20th Century: Part 2 1945-2000 (also listed in Performing Arts) (10, 11, 12)
Road to the White House (11, 12)
SOCIAL SCIENCE ELECTIVES
The Sociology of Diversity (11, 12)
The Psychology of Social Media (also listed in Wellness) (11, 12)
Criminology Studies (11, 12)
Diversity and Public Policy (11, 12)
The Living Constitution (11, 12)
Principles of Economics (11, 12)
The Science of Happiness and Wellbeing (also listed in Wellness) (11, 12)
View Full History and Social
Sciences Course Descriptions
Our Independent Study program encourages MBS students to explore areas of interest that fall outside the traditional course catalog. Under the guidance of selected faculty members with a special expertise or interest in the field, your student will work to develop a scope and sequence curriculum, create authentic class-specific content, and design original assessments.
Independent Studies are ideal for motivated, high-achieving students.
Recent topics include:
|Acting Techniques||Financial Modeling|
|Aquaponic Systems||Food Insecurity|
|Augmented Reality||Franchise Relocation|
|Campus Energy||Media Exploration|
|CO2 Sequestration||Mollyfish Genetics|
|Coral Reef Ecosystems||Motion Graphics|
|Cosmetic Chemistry||Plot Driven Comedy|
|Deductive Logic||Pre 1960s World Cinema|
|Electronic Dance Music||Science & the Glass Ceiling|
|EMDR Therapy||Self Publishing|
|Fabricated Protein||Yemen's Civil War Crisis|
Mission Statement: The Mathematics Department produces students fluent in quantitative and abstract reasoning. We emphasize the importance of constructing and evaluating sound arguments while focusing on connections within and beyond mathematics. Within this framework, we aim to cultivate resilience, critical thinking, creativity, and intellectual curiosity.
Why Integrated Math?:
The Integrated Math Program consists of three full year courses: Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3. Combining both traditional and contemporary approaches, this structure represents an evolution in math curriculum design allowing students a much greater opportunity for growth and development in mathematical thinking. In adopting this new program, MBS puts itself squarely in line with state-of-the-art math programs that reflect the professional consensus of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards. While the program covers all of the traditional areas (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus), Integrated Math blends these different strands of mathematics through each of its three levels and focuses on connections among formerly isolated topics, such as algebra and geometry. This approach reveals a more organic picture of the field of mathematics and fosters deeper insight into its intricacies and beauty. It allows all learners to grasp foundational concepts such as equations, functions and trigonometry through different modes of representation, including graphical, hands-on, geometric, and symbolic. Integrated Math employs the technique of "spiraling" so that each level of the curriculum brings students back through these essential concepts in order to achieve deeper levels of mastery.
Integrated Math 1 (9)
Integrated Math 2 (9, 10)
Integrated Math 2 Honors (9, 10)
Integrated Math 3 (9, 10, 11)
Integrated Math 3 Honors (9, 10, 11)
Function Analysis and Trigonometry (10, 11, 12)
Mathematical Analysis (Honors) (10, 11, 12)
Calculus (11, 12)
Calculus Honors (11, 12)
AP Calculus AB (11, 12)
AP Calculus BC (12)
AP Statistics (12)
Statistics and Probability (H) (12)
Probability Theory (H) (10, 11, 12)
Statistics and Data Analysis (10, 11, 12)
Mission Statement: The Performing Arts program fosters critical thinking, discipline, and a sense of community, all in a creative and rigorous environment. Through a variety of performance and learning opportunities, students discover and cultivate an enduring connection to the intrinsic value of the performing arts in the human experience.
Morristown Beard's Performing Arts curriculum features both performance-based and arts literacy classes. This allows students with previous experience to enhance existing skills, while also encouraging students without training to explore the world through the unique prism of the performing arts. Independent Study opportunities in all aspects of the performing arts can also be arranged. Co- and extra-curricular offerings include semiannual vocal, instrumental, and dance concerts, a fall play, winter musical, spring performing arts festival, and participation in various off-campus events.
Students interested in the play or musical are encouraged to enroll in dance, acting, or chorus.
THEATER COURSE OFFERINGS
Acting (9, 10, 11, 12)
Stagecraft (10, 11, 12)
Technical Theater (9, 10, 11, 12)
All Music Ensembles can be repeated for credit. Completion of one year of a music ensemble counts as a prerequisite for Advanced courses in the CID. Students who have completed over two years of an ensemble course will receive an "Experienced" designation before the course title on their transcript.
Chorus (9, 10, 11, 12)
String Ensemble (9, 10, 11, 12)
Jazz Ensemble (9, 10, 11, 12)
Contemporary Percussion Ensemble (9, 10, 11, 12)
DANCE COURSE OFFERINGS
The foundation of the MBS Dance curriculum is the three-year sequence from introductory through Advanced Dance. These full-year courses include extensive warm-up, as well as exercises to develop proper alignment, flexibility, coordination and strength. Various styles are explored throughout the sequence, including jazz, modern and lyrical.
Dance (9, 10)
Intermediate Dance (10, 11, 12)
Advanced Dance (9, 10, 11, 12)
Morristown Beard Dance Ensemble (9, 10, 11, 12)
Tap (9, 10, 11, 12)
Introductory Music Classes (single semester)
Piano Skills (9, 10, 11, 12)
Foundations: Music (9, 10, 11, 12)
Music Theory (9, 10, 11, 12)
Intermediate Courses: Performing Arts in the CID
Fundamentals of Studio Recording (10, 11, 12)
Advanced Courses: Performing Arts in the CID
Electronic Music Composition (10, 11, 12)
PERFORMING ARTS IN SOCIETY
Listening to the 20th Century: Part 1 (1900-1945) (also listed in History) (10, 11, 12)
Listening to the 20th Century: Part 2 (1945-2000) (also listed in History) (10, 11, 12)
Mission Statement: Science education prepares students for a future that includes college, career, civic responsibility, and global stewardship. Students will be inspired by the wonders of science and engaged by experiential learning as they progress towards deep understanding. Students will develop critical and innovative thinking, while acquiring quantitative and qualitative analytical skills so that they can make responsible, informed decisions as empathetic world citizens. We provide our students with the background that they will need to tackle the rigors of science and engineering courses in college if they choose to pursue them.
The science curriculum includes a three-year sequence of courses designed to introduce students to the broad, basic areas and elements of science. They are offered in different versions in order to enhance opportunities for student success (see course descriptions below). In addition to the core subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, all students are encouraged to take Environmental Science, and qualified students may take science electives, Advanced Placement, and Advanced Studies courses.
Incoming students entering MBS in grades 10, 11 or 12, who have pursued core upper school science classes in an alternate order to that offered at MBS, should contact the science department chair to discuss their placement.
Earned Honors in Science Courses
Students in Chemistry, Biology, and Environmental Science may work to achieve Honors credit for the course by meeting a set of clearly defined criteria. Click here for a full description of the process.
Mathematical Physics Honors (9)
Quantitative Chemistry Honors (10)
Experimental Biology Honors (11)
Environmental Science (11, 12)
ADVANCED COURSES AND FULL-YEAR ELECTIVES
Advanced Studies: Organic Chemistry (11, 12)
AP Biology (11, 12)
AP Chemistry (11, 12)
Advanced Physics (H) (11, 12)
Anatomy and Physiology (H) (11, 12)
Autonomous and Mobile Robotics (Honors) (11, 12)
Drone Engineering (11, 12, as well as exceptional students in grades 9, 10)
Forensic Science (11, 12)
Genetics and Biotechnology (H) (11, 12)
Sports Medicine (also listed under Wellness) (11, 12)
Mission Statement: Wellness education aims to produce a positive attitude toward lifelong wellness addressing biological, social and psychological dimensions of health, through developing the skills needed to promote overall well-being.
Wellness is a cornerstone of a Morristown Beard School education. Over the sequence of Wellness courses, students are asked to explore what promotes and what inhibits the flourishing of human life, both individually and socially. Students in Wellness courses not only gain new knowledge but draw together their learning from Math, the Arts, the Humanities, and the Sciences, recognizing the breadth of skills and content that bear on the study of Wellness, and appreciating that Wellness permeates the life of the mind and body alike. Above all, Wellness at Morristown Beard School encourages students to more fully comprehend that Wellness cannot be separated from the ethical and the cultural: a core component of our Wellness program is sustained training in cultural competence and ethical leadership.
Wellness 9 (9)
Wellness 10 (10)
Integrative Health 10 (10)
Fundamentals of Psychology (full year; also listed in History and Social Sciences) (H) (12)
The Psychology of Social Media (also listed in History and Social Sciences) (11, 12)
Nutrition (10, 11, 12)
The Science of Happiness and Wellbeing (also listed in History and Social Sciences) (11, 12)
Integrative Health 11 (11)
Senior Transitions Program (12)
Sports Medicine (also listed under Science) (11, 12)
Peer Group (11, 12)
Mission Statement: The World Language Department believes meaningful communication is fundamental to all language learning. We practice the language in context, developing cultural awareness as well as linguistic competencies. Students learn about what can be said in a world language as well as how to say it. Our program embraces progress while acknowledging that learning a language involves cycles of acceleration and adjustment
Language Study at MBS
The Language Department offers beginner to advanced classes in French, Latin and Spanish as well as an Advanced Studies Italian course. Freshmen coming from the MBS middle school are placed through a combination of testing and teacher recommendation. New MBS students take a placement test and typically enroll in Introductory, Novice, Foundational or Building Language (see below). The graduation requirement is three consecutive years of the same language (French, Latin or Spanish) in the Upper School. For more detailed information about the Upper School language requirement, click here.
World Language Proficiency Curriculum
The World Language proficiency curriculum is designed to allow students to move forward through language at a pace that provides them opportunities for success. This curriculum reflects the most current research in the field of language instruction and is informed by benchmarks and best practices defined by the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The courses are defined by performance objectives rather than time spent learning the language. These performance objectives provide information for students about what they must consistently demonstrate to reach a particular level, putting them in control of their own progress. Teachers will expose students to language in a manner that allows them to meet benchmarks for the level above their current level. Thus students can move through the sequence at a pace that fits their language development, advancing past levels if they demonstrate competence in the relevant benchmarks. The sequence is illustrated below. Students demonstrate extraordinary achievement by advancing to Experienced and Advanced courses.
Sample Student Trajectories
The MBS Upper School Program
French and Spanish
The ultimate goal of second language study is the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations. This requires that students develop oral, aural, written, grammatical, lexical and cultural forms of linguistic competency. We endeavor to develop all forms of competency through use of a variety of approaches, with special emphasis on appropriate use of the target language in various contexts. As students reach upper level courses, increased emphasis is placed on higher order thinking carried out in the language being studied. A variety of assessment practices (oral, aural, written, project-based, formative and summative) measures student progress across the range of required abilities. While mastery of vocabulary and basic structural elements of language is required, the MBS language program strives to maintain a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere of learning in which student engagement and active participation in class activities are strongly promoted.
In addition to the ability to comprehend ancient Latin texts, the study of Latin develops a host of skills that are applicable in all disciplines. It trains the mind to observe text carefully and analytically and to reach appropriate conclusions based on both detail and context. It promotes analytical and synthetic thinking, intellectual and linguistic rigor, and effective, clear communication. It also contributes to gaining self-knowledge through learning about the origins of Western Civilization. Beginning with the study of the elementary components of Latin, students progressively acquire more complex decoding abilities which lead to the development of reading proficiency. Latin students will also delve into various aspects of Roman literature and history, culture and mythology, thereby observing connections that demonstrate the continued relevance of the classical legacy to contemporary civilization.
Advanced Studies: Italian Language, Conversation, and Culture
This course is not offered every year
This advanced course is for students who have fulfilled the language requirement and wish to continue their study with a new language. Students successfully completing this course should be able to place into intermediate Italian in their first year of college. Complete course description below.
Travel and Immersion Programs
In coordination with the Global Studies Program, the World Language department participates in the School's global outreach efforts by organizing trips to Francophone and Hispanophone regions of the world as well as to those countries important to the study of the classical world and its languages. Recent trips include Montreal, Rome, Costa Rica, Cuba and Panama. Financial aid is available for eligible participants. In addition, the department offers a French exchange with a partner school in Nantes, France.
OVERVIEW OF COURSE OFFERINGS
Introductory - Experienced French, AP
Introductory - Experienced Spanish, AP
Introductory - Advanced Latin
INTRODUCTORY, NOVICE, FOUNDATIONAL AND BUILDING LANGUAGE
Language instruction begins with the development of strong basic communication skills in many routine topics such as greetings, introductions, personal and family identity, basic needs and wants, likes and dislikes, introduction to food, time and weather, school life and leisure activities. Students continue to practice the four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as they strive towards competency in the above areas. Culture is integrated into the classroom through use of authentic materials (audio, audio-visual, textual, internet and print-based). While initially the focus of instruction is not on grammar or vocabulary, a high level of mastery requires that vocabulary be acquired and that students be knowledgeable about the basic structural features of language (e.g. tense, conjugation, gender, agreement). By the end of this sequence of courses, students will have actively learned a variety of communication functions (such as narration, description, comparing and contrasting), will have practiced various modes of communication in both written and oral form (interpersonal, interpretive, presentational) and will have read short fiction and verse.
Benchmark upon completion: The student communicates with limited flexibility in vocabulary and structure, using high-frequency words and rote phrases.
Introductory French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Introductory Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
Introductory Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Novice French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Novice Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
Novice Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Foundational French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Foundational Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
Foundational Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Building French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Building Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Building Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
INTERMEDIATE AND EXPERIENCED SPANISH AND FRENCH
In these courses, conducted primarily in the target language, students will continue to practice communication abilities in many every-day contexts, but with emphasis on developing vocabulary, structures and usage that reflect more sophisticated thinking abilities within the target language (evaluation, analysis, synthesis, creative writing). Growth is promoted through in-depth projects and tasks, and greater contact with authentic materials. Courses progressively emphasize working in the language as much as on the language; as such, student participation in the target language is required. As in the lower levels, all fundamental language skills are encouraged (listening, reading, speaking, writing), but with increased expectations for sustained discourse in the target language and creative use of previously practiced skills. A high degree of proficiency in previously studied material is implicit in upper-level classes.
Intermediate French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Intermediate Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Contemporary Hispanic Narratives (9, 10, 11, 12)
Experienced French (9, 10, 11, 12)
Experienced Spanish (9, 10, 11, 12)
Heritage Spanish Language
This is a yearlong course designed to engage and promote a high level of speaking, thinking, and writing for Hispanic heritage speakers. Upon completion of one or two years, students will enter Experienced and Advanced Spanish, respectively. The Heritage Spanish course will run yearly, with each year alternating between A and B years, with A years focusing on authentic, non-fiction memoirs and historical documents highlighting the diverse voices encompassed in the Latin American identity. B years will focus on literary fiction from Latin America, and the dominant stylistic trends that represent novels, poetry, and short stories from this part of the world. This is a seminar style course with copious reliance upon treatment and discussion of primary source material. There will be student presentations, frequent writing assignments to cultivate written expression and one major project or paper per semester.
Heritage Spanish Language A (9, 10, 11, 12)
INTERMEDIATE AND EXPERIENCED LATIN
Intermediate Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
Experienced Latin (9, 10, 11, 12)
ADVANCED LANGUAGE COURSES -- AP AND ADVANCED STUDIES
Advanced Studies: Roman Literature of the Golden Age (11, 12)
AP French Language (9, 10, 11, 12)
AP Spanish Language (9, 10, 11, 12)
|Math||3 years (Integrated Math 1, 2, 3)|
|Science||3 years laboratory sciences with no repeat|
|Arts||1 year fulfilled through the Art and Design or Performing Arts Program
(2 years starting with Class of 2024)
|World Language||3 consecutive years of the same language|
Wellness 9 (full year); Wellness 10 (one semester), Integrative Health (one semester)
Upper School Signature Programs
The Upper School at MBS features an ever-evolving group of Signature Programs built upon forward-thinking academic research.
We continually seek to push the boundaries of our teaching and learning, and our Signature Programs reflect this commitment. Our Signature Programs are an important reason why our students report high levels of preparedness (and consequently, achievement) through college and beyond.
Upper School Signature Programs
Upper School Signature Programs
Interdisciplinary Concentrations Program
The Interdisciplinary Concentrations Program offers pathways for students eager to explore an aspect of the world that transcends single classes, disciplines, and extracurricular pursuits
Advanced Seminars foreground critical thought and discussion, requiring students both to think across disciplinary boundaries and to engage in college-level readings and arguments.
Our Independent Study program encourages Upper School students to explore areas of interest that fall outside the traditional course catalog.
This integrated Upper School curriculum, global in perspective, will allow your student to make new and surprising connections among different cultures.
Earned Honors Model
Upper School has created a model in many classes whereby students are given the opportunity to earn honors on the basis of the work they produce.
Advanced Studies Program
The Upper School offers a suite of discipline-specific, year-long Advanced Studies (AS) courses that equal or exceed AP courses as rigorous alternatives to the standardized AP curriculum.