While stressing the importance of academic excellence for students, the Lower School has primary concern for the child as a whole personality with various affinities. We strive to create a supportive atmosphere of caring and warmth while encouraging children to take healthy risks and embrace new challenges. Teachers approach children patiently and respectfully while providing clear behavioral and academic guidelines. Emphasis is placed on improvement rather than perfection. Most important is the protection of each child's self-esteem and "specialness." Our goal is to help each individual become aware of his or her particular contributions, talents and potential.
To ensure meaningful group instruction, as well as to provide individual attention, there is an emphasis on small classes with close, instructional supervision. Children are grouped according to their instructional levels for both math and reading so that individual needs are more readily met in these two important subject areas. Social studies and language arts are taught by homeroom-teachers, whereas specialized teachers are available for science, art, music, physical education and computers.
Middle School level children are unique. They are moving developmentally from an adult-centered perspective to a wider view of their world, where their own ideas and interactions with peers are crucial. These young people must be educated in a way that taps into their growing world view while giving firm support for their personal questioning and searching. Middle school students should not be treated like lower school or upper school students because they do not respond and learn in the same ways.
The Middle School staff work hard to develop a curriculum, an approach and a schedule that meets the specific needs of these students. This helps to build a school where children want to belong and want to contribute.
In the Upper School, grades 6 through 12, students cross the threshold from childhood into the adult world.
With their futures in mind, our Upper School faculty design courses and schedules that are challenging, forward thinking, and that utilize best practices from around the globe. They hold students to the highest standards of a college preparatory education-analytical reading, fluid writing and critical thinking - integrated with the most current technology available. Our deep and diverse curriculum afford students opportunities to gain a broad understanding of many subjects and allows them to pursue their specific interests in greater depth and detail. Within each discipline, students working with their advisors, choose the level of study appropriate to their individual abilities.
As our teachers guide students through the academic rigors of Upper School, they reach out beyond their syllabi to help each individual become an independent, responsible, self-disciplined and ethical young adult. Building on strong student-teacher relationships in an environment with well-defined guidelines, our faculty members encourage decision-making and help students clarify their values. Within this Upper School setting, students mature socially, emotionally and intellectually as they develop individual responsibility and the confidence to succeed well beyond their years at SCIS-HIS.
Every Upper School student is assigned an advisor who is responsible for attending regularly to that student's academic adjustment and progress. The advisor is available for anything from helping a student schedule his or her time, to selecting appropriate courses, to polling the student's teachers and coaches periodically to check on his or her progress. Discussing the student's academic performance and communicating with the parents, both formally and informally throughout the term, is another important part of an advisor's role. The advisor takes responsibility for seeing the "whole picture" of the student's adjustment to school life and shares what is learned with the student and his or her parents. The advisor is the central link between school and parents. In the event of any concerns, either on the part of the student or the parents, the advisor is first and foremost, the person to whom to turn.