Upper School Overview
Our Upper School offers a safe and supportive academic and social environment that embraces and celebrates the intellectual and emotional needs of students as they develop into independent, resilient adolescents. The curriculum focuses on quality over quantity and is guided by caring subject-specific teachers who motivate their students in the classroom and ardently support them in smaller settings such as advisory group, and individual study help. Students’ desire for independence and self-expression is nurtured by creating an inclusive environment to pursue leadership roles, ask questions, and experience setbacks. Students attend block classes, which provide a substantial amount of time for in-depth exploration and discussion of concepts and skills. Within this framework, increased emphasis is placed on students taking responsibility for their learning and preparation.
Extra-curricular activities such as team athletics, student government, and outdoor education provide developmentally appropriate opportunities for Upper School students to explore new experiences outside of academics. A twice-weekly Elective Arts Block allows for in-depth study of the visual, musical, and performing arts.
Spanish is the foreign language choice for Upper School students. Its position within the core schedule signifies the importance placed on students having the time to develop an authentic level of proficiency of speaking, reading and writing in the target language.
Daily student speeches continue in chapel, allowing Upper School students to develop and demonstrate valuable public speaking skills and bring a more mature perspective to topics such as trustworthiness, honesty, kindness, and humility.
The Advisory Program provides a supportive environment in which Upper School students grow in self-acceptance and compassion. Through guided lessons and activities, students strengthen the traits of honesty, responsibility, courtesy, and concern for others, which we see as the building blocks of emotional intelligence. Through activities and conversation, advisees connect meaningfully with peers and faculty in the context of their own emerging independence. Above all, Foothill Country Day School nurtures within our students a sense of being known and valued both in and outside the classroom.