The High School program is a rigorous, college-preparatory program. Students are required to study English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies all four years of high school, and World Languages for three years. For the majority of core academic classes, the High School is divided into two groups: Lower High School (9th and 10th graders) and Upper High School (11th and 12th graders).
The Montessori character of Welsh Hills School extends to the High School and is reflected in the intrinsic values of kindness, respect, service, grace, and courtesy, as well as in the emphasis of independence and critical thinking in the pursuit of knowledge. Students are regularly involved in decision-making at Welsh Hills and are engaged in the wider school community with the younger students. High School students participate in the school-wide Continent Study, an annual in-depth global study of a particular continent and the people, cultures, geography, and history of that part of the world.
An integrated humanities approach is used for the study of History and English Language Arts; novels studied in English are chosen to coincide with the time periods and themes that are being studied in History. For both High School groups, history follows a two-year cycle. Lower High School History alternates between American History - (Colonization through the Civil War) and World History. Upper High School alternates between American Government and American History (Reconstruction through Present Day). Similarly, the Lower High School ELA courses alternate between American Literature and Global Literature, while the Upper High School ELA courses alternate between Government in Literature and Contemporary Literature.
The High School mathematics program is focused on the development of effective thinking and problem-solving skills. Students develop confidence and competence in the use of patterns to solve problems, apply knowledge, and understand data. The program strives to instill recognition of both the utility and beauty of mathematics. The curriculum currently includes Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus. We also offer periodic electives in Number Theory and Computer Programming and plan to offer Statistics and Calculus in future years.
Science courses are offered alternate years, and students in Lower High School (9th and 10th grade) and Upper High School (11th and 12th grade) complete the courses in a two-year cycle. Lower High School students study Biology and Physical Science alternating years, and students in Upper High School study Physics and Chemistry alternating years. The courses are designed so that a student may take them successfully in either order. All science courses include an emphasis on understanding the scientific process and how science works. Students are taught to think critically about information and be prepared to update their ideas when new evidence contradicts old ideas. Astronomy and Earth Science concepts are woven into the other four science courses, particularly in Physical Science and Physics.
Spanish is currently the only world language class that is offered. Spanish is offered at all levels from Spanish 1 through Spanish 4. Students who prefer to study world languages other than Spanish are welcome to pursue independent study.
Students participate in a variety of elective classes that fall under the STEAM umbrella: music, theater, visual arts, computer programming, and robotics. Other electives such as Health and Wellness, Practical Life, Film Studies, Creative Writing, and Ancient Greece are offered as well.
Senior Capstone Project
Students must complete a capstone project in their senior year as a graduation requirement. The capstone includes research in an area of the student’s interest, community service, and a presentation to the school staff and the families of graduates about the results of the project.