Upper School Academics

In Upper School, our comprehensive and challenging academic program is supported by innovative approaches to learning. USM offers a well-rounded, individualized secondary education for every one of our students and provides the learning and life experiences students need to become learners, leaders, and citizens. Guided by our Common Trust, students acquire new skills in an environment of support and mutual respect. Our outstanding teachers encourage academic enthusiasm, develop intellectual curiosity, and expand horizons. Many classes are seminar-style, round table discussions, and all students are expected to participate in the analysis and synthesis of ideas and information. USM also consistently produces some of the highest numbers of students recognized in the top categories of Advanced Placement (AP) scholarship in the state.

An overview of each academic subject is provided below. For more information about skills and outcomes in each area by grade level, please see the 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, or 12th grade pages.

Elective Coursework

USM offers its Upper School students a robust menu of elective course offerings, providing them with the ability to more deeply dive into topics of  personal interest and also explore and learn more about different disciplines.

Unique elective courses may change each year to match student interests, and some electives are only open to students in certain grade levels. Elective courses currently available to Upper School students include:

Educational Technology

Educational technology is an integral part of the teaching and learning process in the Upper School. Together our faculty and students use technology as an educational tool to create, collaborate, and communicate with the global community. The 1:1 Program in the Upper School utilizes a bring-your-own-device approach, where families are responsible for providing a laptop device, running either Windows or Macintosh operating systems, for their students. Teachers and support staff are committed to keeping children safe while they explore the world, with proper adult supervision in place and ongoing student education about acceptable use.

Academic Resource Center

The Upper School Academic Resource Center (ARC) is a fee-for-service program that provides academic support for students with special learning issues. Students are referred to this program by teachers and administrators when there is a demonstrated need for support and other classroom interventions have not been successful. Students work with ARC teachers one-to-one, and meet between two to five times per cycle.

Individualized learning plans are generated that outline strengths, challenges, and appropriate accommodations. Students receive support in the following areas: organizational skills, time management, test taking, reading, writing, and math. Outside neuro-psych evaluations are required for significant accommodations.