Curriculum
The High School
The High School curriculum is a bridge to the future, equipping today’s students with the capacity for critical thinking, synthesis, and creativity, enabling young adults to develop into thoughtful, engaged, articulate individuals.

There is a strong emphasis in the High School to help develop every student’s abilities to think creatively and independently. The rich, wide-ranging curriculum fosters this endeavor. It combines in-depth courses such as “History through Revolution,” “Thermodynamics”, and “Atomic Theory” with daily skill-building classes in math, literature, and foreign language.

All classes offer the opportunity for the students to excel and to prepare thoroughly for college and beyond. Movement, fine and applied arts, music, and drama further support the development of critical thinking as well as moral character. Elective classes encourage interest-based learning; community service initiatives balance self-development with a greater social awareness. Competitive team sports inspire personal growth and forge strong bonds through teamwork.

Ninth Grade

New bodies and development: Ninth grade students are young teenagers straddling the line between childhood and young adulthood. They tend to experience the world as a place of ideals and extremes. In response, the curriculum trains the students to make exact observations and reflections so they can balance the new storm around them (and within them) with thinking and their own perceptions.  The students’ inner experience is reflected back to them through observing outer phenomena, and they benefit from bringing stability, accuracy, and organization to their many opinions or viewpoints. Working with polarities is particularly visible in the arts (light/dark, warm/cool, convex/concave). It also appears in the history block, Revolution and Reform, as well as the English block, Comedy and Tragedy. In science, the study of Thermodynamics brings clarity about temperature and heat. Geology also makes use of these powerful forces in helping to understand what is at play in the formation of the Earth. Evolution shows a beauty that through apparent disorder can come order. In math, the chaos of life is broken into tangible laws that are discovered through experimentation in Permutations, Combinations, & Probability. 

Guiding question—What? What happened? What’s going on here, exactly? What did you see and hear?

Thought process: Observation

NINTH GRADE
Science:
Evolutionary Biology
Geology
Thermodynamics
Organic Chemistry

Math:
Permutations, Combinations, & Probability
Algebra I & Algebra II

Social Studies
History of Art
Hawaiian History
Revolutions & Reform

English
Comedy & Tragedy
Grammar & Composition
Literature
Drama

World Language
Spanish, Japanese, or American Sign Language

Performing Arts
Orchestra, Ballroom Dance, or Hawaiian Ensemble
Hula

Movement
Physical Fitness & Weight Lifting
Sports & Games
Yoga & Meditation

Studio Arts
Copper Work
Ceramics: Fundamental Vessels
Drawing
Bone Carving

Social Development
Life Skills

Service Learning Practicum
Tenth Grade

The search for values and transformation: The tenth grade student is ready and eager to understand how things work, to investigate processes, and to weigh options. Students sharpen the skill of comparing and contrasting and find the balance between natural and human phenomena—a balancing of opposites. Studying the origins and sources of the universe and of human civilization fosters this search. A secondary theme is process, development, and metamorphosis expressed through clay work, as well as the transformative experience of the forge. The Mechanics block provides a clear study of cause and effect, as well as motion and force, and Oceanography explores the processes at play in the great bodies of water that make up so much of the Earth’s surface. In math, the world is explored through geometry. Both Greek Geometry and Trigonometry are studied in two separate main lessons. Students calculate distances of various places on our island home using trigonometric relationships.

Guiding question—How? How does this related to that? How can we make the world predictable? How do these contrasting phenomena interrelate? And how did they come about?

Thought process: Comparison

Science:
Human Biology
Oceanography
Mechanics
Stoichiometry

Math:
Greek Geometry & Geometry Proofs
Trigonometry
Geometry & Algebra II

Social Studies
Greek History
American History

English
Poetics
Grammar & Composition
Literature
Drama

World Language
Spanish, Japanese, or American Sign Language
Performing Arts
Orchestra, Ballroom Dance, or Hawaiian Ensemble
Hula

Movement
Physical Fitness & Weight Lifting
Sports & Games
Yoga & Meditation

Studio Arts
Ceramics: Metamorphosis
Drawing & Painting
Blacksmithing
Carpentry

Social Development
Life Skills
Service Learning Practicum

Eleventh Grade

Deeper and more individualized questions regarding destiny, life’s meaning, and social responsibility begin to burn: In teaching eleventh graders, we begin to see more glimpses of the adults the students will become. They have an increased capacity for expanded and flexible thinking, and they grapple with abstract, deep, and difficult topics. The curriculum encourages them to analyze and interpret what they study, helping students to look inside, to differentiate from their peers, and to consider their own paths ahead. To address feelings such as “Leave behind what you have been given and get on with your own journey,” students need a different kind of thinking and confidence so that they do not go astray. The stories of Parsifal and Hamlet take the students on a quest for truth and self-development. In their study of science, students stretch their thinking and imagination from the smallest invisible particles to their furthest reaches of the universe. In math, students explore new ways of thinking in Projective Geometry where the postulates of geometry are questioned.

Guiding question—Why? Why are things this way? Why did the events of history take this or that course? Why am I here?

Thought process: Analysis

Science:
Botany
Astronomy
Electricity & Magnetism
Atomic Theory

Math:
Projective Geometry
Algebra II & Pre-Calculus

Social Studies
Asian History
History of the Middle East

English
Parcival
Dante
Grammar & Composition
Literature
Drama

World Language
Spanish, Japanese, or American Sign Language

Performing Arts
Orchestra, Ballroom Dance, or Hawaiian Ensemble
Hula

Movement
Physical Fitness & Weight Lifting
Sports & Games
Yoga & Meditation

Studio Arts
Jewelry
Ceramics: Form & Light
Drawing & Painting
Woodworking

Social Development
Life Skills
College Counseling
Service Learning Practicum

Elective
Yearbook, History of Music, Creative Writing, AP Studio Art

Twelfth Grade

Students push open the trap door of the tower they have been climbing the past 11 years and step out onto an open terrace: Students take stock and synthesize the education they have received over the years to make sense of it all and “know their place for the first time.” The curriculum and capstone project foster the role of human beings in the world. Students acquire the capacity for seeing the big picture as never before, which brings increased responsibility and maturity. At the same time, teachers expect the students to take more ownership over their learning—especially in the capstone project—as preparation for adult life. Transcendentalism connects the individualities of the students to the natural world and spirituality. Russian Literature confronts students with difficult moral questions. The study of Optics focuses the attention of the students on the capacity of attention itself. Modern History connects students to our current time and recent events, enabling them to survey the progression of history and see their paths in the present. In math, applications are featured in track class and in main lesson the culmination of centuries of mathematical thought—Calculus.

Guiding question—Who? Who is this being that is called Human? What stands behind the outer play of events and natural phenomena, integrating them in a synthesizing whole? Who am I? Who am I in the world?

Thought process: Synthesis

Science:
Zoology
Optics
Bio Chemistry
Special Science Topics or College Prep Science

Math:
Data Analysis & Statistics
Math Topics or Pre-Calculus/Calculus or AP Calculus

Social Studies
History of Architecture
Modern History
Economics
Psychology

English
Grammar & Composition
Literature
Drama

World Language
Spanish, Japanese, or American Sign Language

Performing Arts
Orchestra, Ballroom Dance, or Hawaiian Ensemble
Hula

Movement
Physical Fitness & Weight Lifting
Sports & Games
Yoga & Meditation

Studio Arts
Silk Screening
Ceramics: Self Portraits
Drawing & Painting

Social Development
College Counseling
Senior Trip

Elective
Yearbook, History of Music, Creative Writing, AP Studio Art