The School requires the following yearlong course credits for graduation:
- Four credits in English;
- Four credits in mathematics;
- Two credits in history, including one in United States history;
- Three credits in a laboratory science; and
- Two credits or through the third level, whichever is more advanced, of the same classical or modern language (at least three consecutive year credits is strongly recommended).
Students must also take:
- A half-credit course in Health and Wellness in the IV Form year;
- Religious studies courses in the IV and VI Forms; and
- Must participate in a curricular or co-curricular aspect of the arts program before graduation.
Course Loads by Form
The minimum course load for the various forms within the School is as follows:
- Five one-credit courses
- Introduction to the Arts
- Five one-credit courses, including History and Literature of Religious Thought: The Abrahamic Tradition
- Health and Wellness
- Five one-credit courses
- Four one-credit courses
- Philosophy / Religious Studies elective
Petitions for exceptions to the above requirements may be made to the Academic Committee.
Our curriculum and classroom practices teach students to:
- Think logically, creatively, and critically;
- Articulate their thoughts persuasively;
- Engage with ideas and worlds beyond their immediate experience through literature, history, and the arts;
- Develop a firm foundation in computational skills and quantitative analysis;
- Explore, quantify, and analyze physical phenomena using rigorous scientific methods;
- Become aware of their place in a world of diverse philosophical, religious, and cultural traditions;
- Gain a solid grounding in at least one foreign or classical language;
- Use information technology wisely, for research, communication, and experimentation; and
- Understand nuanced ethical and moral issues and make judgments with both sensitivity and courage.
St. Andrew's student-teacher ratio is 5:1, with an average class size of 12 students.
Students plan the next academic year's course schedule in the early spring of the preceding year with the help of their faculty advisors. Course selection is based not only on the next year's requirements, but also on the student's academic goals for his or her remaining years at St. Andrew's. After consultation with advisors, parents, other faculty and, in the V Form, a St. Andrew's college counselor, students submit their class selections to a committee composed of the School's Academic Dean, Director of College Counseling, and academic department heads for final review.
For incoming students, the Academic Dean, academic department heads, and School Registrar will examine the student's previous course of study, transcripts, and recommendations to help determine proper placement in St. Andrew’s courses. New students may also be asked to take online placement tests in mathematics and foreign language before arriving at St. Andrew's; such tests are typically administered in May or June.
Examinations & Assessments
Students take examinations in their courses at the end of the first and second semesters. The School reports numerical grades: a grade of 85 or above represents honors work, a grade between 85 and 60 is passing, and below 60, failing. The School sends reports home via email in November, February, and April. In October and March, each student’s faculty advisor writes a letter to parents detailing the student’s mid-term performance. In June, the student’s advisor writes a complete review of the year that accompanies final grades and teacher class comments. The Academic Dean and academic advisors may also write letters or comments about a student in special instances.
St. Andrew’s is also the leading independent school in the country in the use of the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA), an innovative written exam that eschews traditional multiple-choice format and helps schools measure the quality of their instruction in writing, problem-solving, analysis, and calculation. Developed by the Council for Aid to Education, this test, a version of which is used at over 200 colleges and universities across the country, assesses students’ readiness to think critically, adjudicate between competing hypotheses, and present their conclusions in a clear and compelling way—skills crucial to college, work, and civic life and prominent in a St. Andrew’s education. Students take this test at the beginning of the III Form year and in the spring of the V and VI Form years.
Students take standardized tests as the School recommends for college preparation and admission. Fourth Form and V Form students take the PSAT, which for the V Form serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In their V and VI Form years, students generally take the SAT, the ACT and at least two SAT subject tests.
Students may take Advanced Placement examinations in various subjects; some Advanced Study courses will prepare students for these tests, but in most cases students will have to study for AP tests independent of general class instruction.