Upper School Curriculum

Upper School Course Curriculum Guide 2018-2019

Requirements for Graduation

To be eligible for graduation from Sandy Spring Friends School, a student must meet the following requirements in the Upper School:

  • Successful completion of four (4) years of English, with English taken each semester.
  • Successful completion of three (3) years of History, including one year of U.S. History.
  • Successful completion of three (3) years of Mathematics in the Upper School.
  • Successful completion of three (3) years of Science of which one year must be a biological science and one year a physical science.
  • Successful completion of three (3) years in any one Global Language during high school.
    Student placement is made by the Global Languages Department. Permission to advance to the next level of a foreign language is not normally granted to students achieving less than a C- (70%) average, unless proof of additional satisfactory work (e.g. summer school) is submitted for validation.
  • Successful completion of three (3) years of Arts, including the Arts and Ideas class, are required for graduation. Arts and Ideas to be taken in 11th or 12th grade.
  • Successful completion of at least one (1) year of other courses from the above areas or other electives, in addition to the requirements described above.
  • Successful completion of one (1) semester of Quakerism or its equivalent for students entering in the 10th – 12th grades. For students entering the Upper School in ninth grade, the Quakerism requirement is fulfilled as part of the 9th Grade Program. For international students, the Quakerism requirement is fulfilled as part of the American Culture class.
  • For 9th and 10th grades: Successful completion of at least two (2) physical activities - Physical Education or Athletics - each year, in the Upper School. For 11th and 12th grades: Successful completion of one (1) physical activity - Physical Education or Athletics - each year, in the Upper School.

Course Load

  • Each student is to carry a minimum load of six scheduling commitments (including academic classes, arts classes, and physical education requirements) each semester. It is strongly recommended that a student take five academic classes each semester.
  • A student must have approval from the appropriate Department Head in order to take more than one course in the same department during the same semester.
  • A student must have approval from the Head of the Upper School in order to take six or more courses in the same semester from among the following departments: English, History, Mathematics, French and Spanish, Science.
  • A student must have approval from the Head of the Upper School, in collaboration with department heads, to take more than two AP courses in the same school year, unless the third AP is in Global Languages or Mathematics. Students are strongly encouraged to limit their AP courses to no more than three.

Community Service Requirement

The purpose of the Community Service Program at Sandy Spring Friends School is to respond to the needs of others and to thereby enrich the school community and the lives of its members. Every Upper School student is expected to perform community service for the broader community as well as service to the School.

Only community service hours earned in the summer prior to 9th grade and through Upper School may count toward the graduation requirement. The community service requirement must be completed by the end of the first semester of a student’s senior year. Additional details about community service may be found in the Community Handbook. In addition, one service Intersession must be completed prior to graduation.

Intersession is a one to two-week period in the spring in which the School’s normal routine is interrupted so that all students and faculty can participate in special projects. All Upper School students are required to participate each year. Intersession projects might involve community service, physical activity, arts activity, cultural or informational trips.
Costs are not included in the tuition and range from $200 to $2900.
Students must participate in at least one Service Intersession during their enrollment.

Academic Records

For students entering Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS) after 9th grade, course titles and credit earned, but not grades, from their previous school (s) are recorded on their SSFS transcript. An original transcript(s) from their previous school(s) is attached to their SSFS transcript. Copies of all high school transcripts are forwarded to transfer schools, colleges, and universities.

Students may earn a maximum of two (2) credits at an accredited educational institution outside SSFS after matriculating at SSFS. (Students participating in a semester abroad are exempted from this limitation.) An original transcript(s) of courses taken outside SSFS is attached to the student’s SSFS transcript.

The cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated based on grades earned in courses taken at SSFS. Grades earned outside SSFS are not calculated into the cumulative GPA.