Ninth Grade

Educate the powers of observation through a study of polarities.

  • As freshmen dive into the new experiences of high school, they are also plunging into physical and hormonal changes of adolescence, and newly into the realm of abstract thinking.

  • Students’ experiences of inner polarities provoked by these changes are reflected back to them in the carefully chosen school curriculum.

  • For example: In physics, students study the polarity of heat and cold; in environmental science, the drama of plate tectonics; in the history of the theater, tragedy and comedy; in art, black and white drawing and printmaking.

  • Students are challenged to exercise powers of exact observation—in the sciences, to describe and draw precisely what happened in the experiments and demonstrations; in the humanities, to recount clearly a sequence of events or the nature of a character without getting lost in the confusion of details.

  • The objective is to train exact powers of observation and recollection so that the students can experience the steadiness of their own thinking in the often-confusing world around them.

Our school day begins at 8:40 with a ninety-minute Morning Lesson period. There are nine four-week-long Morning Lesson Blocks in each academic year.  In ninth grade, the nine blocks are:

  1. Economics of Climate Change
  2. History through Art
  3. World Revolutions
  4. Number Theory: Permutations and Combinations
  5. Comedy and Tragedy: History of Human Development as Seen through Theater
  6. Biology: Comparative Anatomy and Physiology (lab science)
  7. Chemistry: Organic Chemistry (lab science)
  8. Physics: Thermodynamics (lab science)
  9. Environmental Science: Environmental Science (lab science)

Beyond Morning Lesson, all ninth graders also study:

  • two trimesters of English Composition and Literature
  • one trimester of Social Studies: Eastern History and Financial Literacy
  • three trimesters of Spanish or Mandarin
  • three trimesters of Algebra I or Algebra II
  • three trimesters of Music (Orchestra, Choir, American Music or World Percussion)
  • three trimesters of Art (six weeks each of Black and White Drawing, Black and White Printmaking, Blacksmithing, Media Arts, Practical Skills and Farming)
  • three trimesters of Social Sustainability
  • three half-trimesters of Personal Sustainability
  • three trimesters of PE (three one-hour periods per week)
Founding Fathers
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