About Our Upper School
- Challenging, Thoughtful Academics
- Intentional Structure & Support
- Opportunities for Connection
- A Note from the Head of Upper School
Welcome to Commonwealth Academy’s Upper School program — a program where students are challenged by a rigorous but supported college prep program and provided the tools necessary to advocate for and push themselves. In Upper School , our students build upon the academic and executive functioning foundations laid in previous grades while simultaneously developing the additional skills necessary to thrive in a complex, competitive, and globalized world.
CA’s Upper School is a safe, welcoming, and accepting community. Here, individual differences are embraced and celebrated by students, faculty, and staff alike. With our purposefully small classes, students have the opportunity to connect and develop lasting relationships with teachers, and with one another every day.
In Upper School , we support our students in becoming academic risk-takers who possess the confidence to try, engage, and sometimes even fail, knowing that they have the support to course-correct and embrace those opportunities for growth and learning. Our students have the space to think, develop their voice and perspective, and be active learners, leaders, and problem-solvers. Learning isn’t always easy for our students but tackling challenges in an environment as supportive as ours helps make them more resilient and allows them to build a stronger foundation for academic growth. Our students work to become advocates for their learning by exploring their strengths and challenges and developing (and adding to, of course) the toolbox of strategies that they can use after Upper School .
Passion and engagement at the upper school-level begin with our students but certainly do not end there. Upper School faculty members are content experts and invested in engaging CA students in relevant, meaningful, and active learning experiences. They get to know our students as individuals, which allows them to provide strong support for growth and development in both academic and executive functioning-related areas.
The curriculum at CA is structured to provide students with challenging opportunities that prepare them for college, as well as day-to-day life after Upper School . While still providing the executive functioning support and differentiated instruction that students need, we maintain our focus on the college preparatory experience and outcomes.
Upper School students have a variety of courses from which to choose to fulfill credit and diploma requirements. Students are also afforded many ways to challenge themselves through Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) work. Students who are interested in exploring a particular discipline in greater depth may also challenge themselves by earning a Diploma Certificate along with their Standard or Advanced Diploma.
Students who attend our Upper School leave our school with the confidence and overall readiness required to thrive in college. Our program is designed with our student’s success in mind. From small class sizes to embedded organizational supports and a consistent schedule, we provide an environment that allows students to focus on their academics. Further, understanding the importance of comprehensive writing skills in Upper School and beyond, we have developed a stand-alone writing class that allows students to spend focused time on writing in a variety of formats — technical, research-based, etc.
With the help of the support team, teachers implement strategies and accommodations based on the needs of our students. During their Upper School years, our students develop lifelong strategies to help them self-advocate, manage a complex workload, and organize their physical and digital worlds.
At CA, we recognize the significance and value of forming connections and building relationships with peers and faculty. Our close-knit community values the contributions of each individual and understands the importance of having a safe and caring place to learn. Through a variety of purposely designed programs, students connect with and learn from their peers. In the classroom, students participate in activities that foster growth in their abilities to collaborate with their peers. Outside of the classroom, students engage in advisory groups (that remain the same throughout their C/A career), service projects, and Friday social clubs. Beyond that, students are encouraged to — and often do — participate in our athletics, drama, and student leadership programs.