Mind, Body, Spirit

By carefully increasing the sophistication and complexity of the course material throughout the upper school curriculum to coincide with the continuing development of the students’ ability to think critically and abstractly, we provide the challenges and opportunities of a broad, liberal arts education that our students need to reach their potential and discover their unique talents and interests. Similarly, our community service program, incorporated directly into the school day, fosters an awareness and appreciation of the true value of those talents. With the introduction of elective courses in the Fifth and Sixth Forms, the Upper School allows students some measure of focus in a particular area while still achieving a significant degree of mastery across a wide spectrum of disciplines.

The boys are supported throughout this process by caring and dedicated teachers who are able to engage the students through small class sizes, our faculty advisor system, our athletic program, and in our extra-curricular clubs and activities. From the broad course of studies in our Third and Fourth Forms to the college-level challenges of our Advanced Placement program in the Fifth and Sixth Forms and all the way through to the college application process, our Abbey Boys receive the attention and encouragement from teachers and coaches who know each boy as an individual.

Upper School Curriculum

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Alex Morse

    Mr. Alex Morse 

    Head of Upper School, Teacher

List of 3 items.

  • Form III - 9th Grade

    After each department name, the number indicates how many times that class meets during the week.
    • English - 5
    • Latin I or II - 5
    • Modern Language (French I or II or Spanish I or II, Arabic I or II depending on previous experience) - 5
    • Algebra II - 5
    • Chemistry - 6
    • Introduction to Catholic Tradition & Scripture - 3
    • AP World History - 5
    • Studio Art, Music, or Drama- 2
    • Physical Education - 1 double period
    • Intramurals - 1 double period
  • Form IV - 10th Grade

    After each department name, the number indicates how many times that class meets during the week.
    • English - 4
    • Latin III or II - 4
    • Modern Language (French or Spanish or Arabic*) - 5
    • Geometry and Trigonometry - 5
    • Physics - 6
    • Sacraments and Prayer - 3
    • AP US History - 5
    • Humanities - 4
    • Physical Education - 1 double period
    • Intramurals - 1 double period
    * In certain cases, and with departmental permission, Form IV students may begin a new modern language sequence. Form IV transfer students may also be placed into these classes, depending on their prior academic background.
  • Form V & VI - 11th & 12th Grades

    After each department name, the number indicates how many times that class meets during the week.

    English - 4 (four semesters)
    All Upper Division students must take an English course each semester. All Form V students must take an AP Language and Composition course in either the fall or spring semester to prepare for the AP Language and Composition exam in the spring of their Form V year.
    For the other three semesters, students may choose from a range of AP Literature and Composition classes offered on a rotating basis each semester. Recent AP Literature and Composition offerings include:
    • Moby Dick and the American Renaissance
    • Hell on Earth; Dante and His Followers
    • Literature of Witness in War Zones
    • Americans in 20th Century Wars
    • African-American Literature
    • The Bonds of American Culture
    • Great Literature of the American South
    • Voices From the Wasteland
    All of these seminars teach canonical literature and help Upper Division students prepare for the AP Literature and Composition exam, which they take in the spring of their Form VI year.
    • AP Latin - Epic Poetry: Virgil and Caesar
    • Advanced Latin Literature: Catullus, Cicero, Horace and Ovid
    • Ancient Greek I and II
    Modern Language- 4-5 (four semesters)
    FORM V
    • French III (for Form III Transfers), IV or AP
    • Spanish III (for Form III Transfers), IV or AP
    • Arabic III (for Form III Transfers) or IV
    • French IV or AP
    • Spanish IV or AP
    • Arabic IV
    Mathematics - 5 (four semesters)
    • AP Calculus BC (one semester); AP BC Calculus (three semesters)
    • AP Calculus AB (two semesters); AP AB Calculus (two semesters)
    • AP Statistics (two semesters)
    Religion - 2 (two semesters)
    • Fundamentals of Christian Ethics (Req. in Form V)
    For the other three semesters, students may choose from a variety of Religion courses.
    • Science and Religion
    • World Religions in Dialogue
    • The Monastic Movement in the Church
    • Unity and Division in Christianity
    • Christian Ethics
    • Bioethics
    • Christian Spirituality
    • Philosophy of Religion
      Social Studies - 5 (three semesters recommended)
      • Two semesters American Studies required (Choose from:  AP U.S. Government & Politics, AP Economics/Macro, U.S. Constitutional Law, Native American Studies)
      • AP European History
      • AP Comparative Politics
      • AP Economics (Macro/Micro, one semester each)
      • International Relations
      • Middle Eastern Studies
      • Anthropology
      • Native American Studies
      • DC History
        Science - 5-7 (four semesters)
        • AP Biology (required in Form V)
        • AP Chemistry
        • AP Physics
        • AP Environmental Science
        • Fundamentals of Engineering (Civil and Mechanical)
        • Robotics
        Computer Education - 2 (electives)
        • Introduction to Programming: Visual Basic.NET
        • AP Computer Science
        Fine Arts: 3-5 (two semesters minimum)
        • AP Art History
        • AP Music Theory
        • Production & Theatre (Independent Study)
        • Fundamentals of Acting
        • History of Film
        • Men's Chorus
        • Studio Art
        Community Service (required each semester)
        Students in Forms V and VI are given assignments at the beginning of each school year. Service is performed on Tuesday mornings. Service hours must be completed in order for graduation requirements to be satisfied.
        Independent Study Project
        Students with a high level of curiosity, demonstrated achievement, and a developed interests in one or more fields (excluding science) may identify, develop, and complete an Independent Study Project with the guidance of an adult mentor. Students should consult with the Head of the Upper School, the student's Form Advisor, the project mentor, and the Chair of the relevant department(s).

        Note: Electives vary from year to year.

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