9-10 High School Academics & Curriculum


The academic program for grades 9-10 at the High School is designed to prepare our students for success in the Collegiate Institute, and to inspire a life-long love of learning. We offer a rigorous curriculum in English, Math, Spanish, Social Studies, and Science, and also give students the opportunity to pursue their interests through an electives program. During class, students are working to master academic content, but also build study skills that will help them in 11th and 12th grade, college and beyond. We hope that when students leave 10th grade they are kind, confident, and competent learners.
At the High School we recognize that students have a variety of learning styles and needs, and therefore have programs in place to support struggling students, and push students who need an extra challenge. We provide various supports for students in their courses including Academic Labs and Saturday School and 9th and 10th graders have the option to participate in after-school Honors Programs in STEM and / or Humanities, and qualified sophomores can take Advanced Placement classes in Computer Science and U.S. History.

Curriculum Components

All High School students take four years of English and Social Studies classes in which they build literacy skills while developing an understanding of the world around them. In English class, units are based around essential questions, which students explore through reading, writing, and discussion. Social Studies teachers support literacy instruction, while guiding students through thematic units of study. In 9th grade, students build an understanding of World History by examining Oppression and Resistance, World Religions, and Global Progress. In 10th grade students focus on the history of the United States.
The Mathematics Department of the Middle School and High School offers a comprehensive six-year program aimed at ensuring all students learn and perform to the highest standard in a collaborative, supportive, and motivating environment. Grades and courses align to the instructional shifts called for by the Common Core State Standards and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Focus, Coherence, and Rigor. Also embedded within each course are the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. Students will leave 10th grade having completed at least one year of Algebra and one year of Geometry, depending on their course placement. The mathematics department aims to be transparent with students and parents about the criteria for course placement. These criteria include the student’s course grade, performance on previous PARCC and MCAS exams, performance on grade-with common benchmark assessments, and teacher recommendations.
Science at the High School aims to build students’ content knowledge, as well as their scientific thinking and practices, such as lab inquiry and design. In 9th grade, our students focus on Biology, by designing their own labs, dissecting organisms, and creating presentations. In 10th grade, our students take Chemistry, where they will have many hands-on laboratory experiences, and have the opportunity to further develop their computational skills.
Most students in grades 9-10 take Spanish. Spanish classes are leveled to meet students where they are in their language competencies, but all classes focus on developing proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking in Spanish. Students also explore the products, practices, and perspectives of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
9th – 10th graders at the High School are able to choose from a catalog of electives. Students can choose to take Visual Arts, Theater, Guitar, Sankofa, Engineering, or Computer Science.
Physical Education
During physical education classes, students engage in movement, exercise, and activities that provide the opportunity to explore themselves and at the same time interact with others. Students also get a chance to recognize individual differences and how to establish group relationship through play. Students in the High School have the option to sign up for after-school sports including cross country, volleyball, soccer, basketball, track, baseball, and softball.

One-to-One Technology

Each student is provided a Chromebook to which they are responsible for during their time in the High School. Students are expected to be prepared with their device in every class and teachers have incorporated one-to-one technology use into the curriculum.