Upper School (Grades 9 - 12)
Students enter our upper school from a variety of backgrounds - from brand new students entering our community for the first time to "FRA lifers," who have been on our campus since pre-kindergarten. Regardless of how long students have been at FRA, the upper school provides a dynamic educational experience that prepares students to excel in college and beyond. Upper school classes focus on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills to ensure students are prepared to enter a rapidly-changing world. All courses are designed to appropriately challenge students, pushing them to expand their abilities and develop new skills while engaging with rich content.
In addition to standard and honors courses at every grade level and a host of academic electives in each discipline, FRA offers approximately 20 Advanced Placement courses, allowing students to gain the depth and breadth of academic fluency required by the top colleges in the country.We believe students learn best when they feel known, supported, and loved. FRA’s relational culture is fostered in intentionally small classes that allow students to receive high-quality feedback and grow academically while also engaging in our co-curricular programs. FRA students can be found playing at least one sport, perfecting art forms, mastering a foreign language, volunteering in the community, and reflecting on their spiritual life. Our graduates are confident individuals, prepared to fulfill their own unique purpose.
FRA offers an extensive array of academically rigorous courses across all disciplines, giving students the opportunity to explore areas of interest while simultaneously building strong transcripts.
Advanced Placement (AP) is an internationally recognized academic program built on the commitment, passion, and hard work of students and educators from secondary schools and higher education. Each AP course’s curriculum is modeled on a comparable college course and shaped by university faculty. This alignment allows students in these courses to demonstrate to colleges that they are capable of performing at the highest level, and students who score well on final AP exams can earn college credit.
In addition to multiple subject-specific courses in each major discipline, FRA offers the AP Capstone program, a two-year course of study to empower students to pursue a personalized research project in an area of particular interest.
FRA offers approximately 20 AP classes each year:
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
AP French Language
AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish Literature
AP Latin Vergil
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Physics I
AP World History
AP United States History
AP European History
AP Art History
AP Studio Art
AP Studio Art 3D Design
Upper school is an exciting time of growth and preparation for life beyond high school. Allison Hammat, FRA's upper school counselor, serves as an advocate for each student and a liaison between home and school. She is available to meet with students one-on-one or in small groups to address social or emotional concerns and assist students in meeting their potential. Allison partners with teachers, advisors, and upper school grade chairs to ensure students receive the support they need to be successful in and out of the classroom. Her office also coordinates both internal and external speakers on a variety of important topics for young adults.
The upper school advisory program assists students in their personal, social, and emotional development as they seek to become leaders of integrity and purpose. Every upper school student has an advisor who serves as a mentor and a guide. Advisors help students set and achieve their academic goals and ensure that all students have a faculty member who serves as their advocate throughout their time in the upper school.
Advisory groups of eight to 10 students meet four times each week for 25 minutes to build trust and relationships. Because advisory groups stay together for all four years with the same advisor, the relationships formed in these groups are exceptionally strong. These groups focus on a variety of issues that confront high school students, and their primary purpose is to ensure that all students have a family group within the school and an adult who can walk alongside them throughout their experience.
At FRA, we purposefully design the opening weeks of the school year to build a strong foundation for all of our freshman students, whether they have been part of our community their whole lives or are just beginning their journey. The freshman year at FRA is unique. Before school even begins, our freshmen spend four days in orientation and on retreats, so by the time they arrive for their first day, school already feels like home.
Students often define their academic abilities during their first year of high school, and we believe their success will continue to grow throughout their high school and college careers if they learn and apply strategic study skills and work ethic.
The Freshman Institute is a time of intentional opportunities for freshmen to get to know each other and learn habits that will lead them to successful high school years. This experience provides support to our students as they transition into the upper school together.
The week before school begins, the upper school hosts a new student orientation and a freshman orientation on campus. Rising freshmen spend time walking through their schedules, meeting with their teachers, talking with their advisory groups, and getting to know one another. By the end of these orientations, students will have gotten a clear sense of what to expect on the opening days of school and will have spent significant time in their advisory groups.
The freshman retreat is the capstone experience of our freshman class before the start of the school year. The retreat focuses on building strong interpersonal bonds among the class and is led by FRA's director of spiritual life and freshman advisors. Senior student leaders also join the group, serving as the first liaisons into the life of upper school and facilitating the transition to the new school year.