Non-Departmental Courses

Many students opt to take elective credits in the form of a second science or foreign language class, or an additional class in the fine arts. Semester electives also exist in the Social Studies and English and Computer Science departments. Additional, non-departmental offerings are listed below.

Course Descriptions

Freshman Seminar 

Required of all 9th grade students.
Freshman Seminar, designed specifically for ninth graders, addresses various issues and developmental needs of young adolescents as they transition to the expectations of the Upper School. Topics include goal setting, time management, decision-making skills, media literacy and study skills, leadership, character and integrity; drug, alcohol and tobacco education (including the AlcoholEdu program); wellness, nutrition, emotional well-being, stress management, bullying, and harassment awareness. This semester-long course is designed to complement the freshman advisory program and help students on their way to a healthy, productive Upper School career.


Prerequisite: instructor approval
This course produces Postscript, the school yearbook. Students take part in interviewing, writing copy, photographing, selecting and cropping pictures, and designing layouts. No previous experience is necessary. This course is evaluated on a credit/no credit basis and does not earn a grade.

Public Speaking 

Open to students in grades 9–12.
This course is about finding and using your voice in a variety of ways for many contexts. Strong presentation and speaking skills are critical to one’s success in many aspects of life. As part of this course, students analyze several speeches from history and current events, but emphasis is on the presentation skills of students themselves. Over the course of the semester, students develop and demonstrate ability to read effectively, understand and utilize basic rhetorical techniques, communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and for a variety of audiences, listen actively, evaluate and critique peer presentations; define, analyze, and solve communication problems; access, interpret, and present information from a variety of sources; and use technology to organize and present information to enhance presentations.