Academics at Community School

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Life in the Upper School comprises diverse formative experiences in the classroom, on the playing fields, on stage, and in the backcountry. From the first exciting and slightly nervous days of ninth grade to crossing the stage to receive their diplomas as graduates, Upper School students continually build qualities of self-confidence, awareness, and independence. As they progress through the grades, development in these areas finds reward with increasing levels of autonomy and responsibility. Leadership opportunities abound academically, athletically, and in the Outdoor Program. Whether playing varsity soccer as a freshman, leading the ninth-grade river trip as a senior, or singing a solo in the fall musical, students are also regularly challenged to exceed their perceived limits and seek out new experiences.

The Upper School promotes a culture of mutual respect and trust between teachers and students. Experts in their subject areas (15 of our 20 Upper School teachers hold master’s degrees and two have earned Ph.D.s), our faculty values the art of teaching. Beyond the classroom, teachers are regularly involved in students’ lives as academic mentors, trip guides, coaches, community service leaders, and friends. After a class, an outdoor trip, or a well-played match, students regularly thank teachers for their support and help.

This culture of care and respect fosters a learning environment that is open, accepting, and curious. We cultivate independent thinking and support students as they step beyond their comfortable boundaries, both academically and individually. We encourage all students to participate across the spectrum of interests and activities, including athletics and the fine and performing arts. It’s not unusual to see a student playing competitive soccer, acting in a school play, and devoting time to community service projects in the same week.

The Upper School is committed to a liberal education undertaken in an environment where it is safe to take intellectual risks and which encourages independent thought, self-confidence, creativity and imagination. We embrace diverse learning styles and provide support to foster academic success. By the time they graduate, Community School students possess a true sense of self and a deep confidence in their ability to learn and achieve.

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