College Readiness and Curriculum
A Principia Upper School education is designed to help students develop applicable, transferable skills and competencies that they can effectively use in taking on the opportunities and challenges in college, the workplace, and well into their future.
Our teaching approach builds on the respected Understanding by Design® curricular framework along with our mission and mandate “to keep abreast of educational progress and in key with changing world conditions” (Principia Policy 11). We are committed to developing the leaders of tomorrow —clear, vigorous, fearless, tolerant, unselfish thinkers and doers who are ready to put their education to use for the greater good. We do this by fostering opportunities to practice creative, collaborative, and entrepreneurial problem-solving.
All students are supported and expected to perform to high standards. They enroll in at least six classes each semester, with a minimum of four core subject classes. Required classes in key curricular subjects are required for graduation and include English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Arts, Bible, Personal Finance. We offer challenging courses and programs led by dedicated faculty who place an emphasis on innovative and critical thinking. Our approach coupled with hands-on learning opportunities propel students into success with an abundance of academic and personal achievements.
Principia Upper School’s core graduation requirements prepare student for public and private colleges and universities. We also offer several advanced-level courses both Advanced Placement (AP) as well as dual-enrollment courses that earn college credit for students interested in more competitive institutions.
See our current Course Catalog
We have a number of resources available to support students' academic success. Academic Check-Ins (ACI) are a part of the school schedule and allow all students to check in with their Crew leaders to review their progress and get additional support. This is also a time for students to meet with teachers for help on schoolwork outside of class time. Conference period is also available twice a week during which students can get one-on-one help from teachers. Our English department hosts a Writing Center (located in the IDEA Center) where emerging writers can get specific help. The Learning Engagement Center (LEC) is another resource available to students for additional help with classwork.
College Planning Program
The Upper School Counseling Office guides students through a college planning program that includes specific college and career counseling for each year of high school. Students start exploring colleges freshman year and continue to dive deeper as they get closer to senior year. Through the search and research process, the goal is for each student to find their “best fit.” College admissions representatives visit during lunch in the fall and spring, and students are encouraged to stop by and ask them questions to learn more about the school. The counselors meet with juniors and their parents in January/February and outline the college application process. In the fall of the student’s senior year, the counselors will meet weekly with all seniors until college applications have been submitted.
For a more complete look at the college application process, please see the College Planning Guide.
Academics at a Glance
95% students attend college/ university
8:1 student-teacher ratio
12 AP and college-credit courses
10+ STEM projects completed per semester, per student
1 Upper School Learning Engagement Center
11 national/international trip opportunities
89% of faculty have advanced degrees