The Upper School at Columbus Academy is dedicated to the development of young adults who are engaged in the process of grooming themselves for success in college and life beyond. These students are accorded appropriate levels of freedom in the courses they select, the activities they pursue, and the special interests that they develop.
While academic excellence is an understood expectation in the Upper School, our program allows students to further challenge themselves by selecting specialized courses. At Columbus Academy, class size remains small and students get the attention and support they need to grow. Courses labeled as Advanced or Honors present material that is at the college level and often earns student credit at the college that they attend. Each discipline offers a wide range of classes as well as electives and one-semester classes. Whether it is Jazz Band or South African History, Advanced Computer Topics or a fifth year of Chinese, an Upper School student is sure to find a challenge that matches his or her passions, needs and interests.
What is of value to the students is not confined to the classroom. Students are given opportunities to develop their leadership skills in a wide range of extracurricular activities. The Upper school sponsors more than 30 different clubs, including such offerings as student publications, affinity groups based on ethnicity, chess club and astronomy. All our clubs have faculty sponsors but are student led. Additionally, Academy fields 14 interscholastic athletic teams, giving all students an opportunity to compete and participate.
Leadership is also evident in our Service Program. Students are required to participate in a Community Service program. These activities occur both on and off campus and are designed to let students invest their time and energy into the improvement of the communities that surround them and make a positive difference. The officers of the Service Board are elected by their peers and have the authority to direct the projects that are selected.
The curriculum of the Upper School is much more than a course listing. It is a set of experiences designed to move them forward in their confidence, their range of knowledge about the changing world we live in, and their role in it. All students engage in the Junior Speech. This public speaking requirement is designed to develop poise, self-confidence and personal viewpoint. Some choose to participate in the East Asian Institute that has traveled to China with more than 100 of our students and faculty over the past few years. As stated in the Mission Statement: “The Academy strives to develop and sustain a community of thoughtful, responsible, capable and confident citizens eager to engage in a pluralistic and ever-changing world.”