To help you achieve this, we've created a welcoming, friendly place for students with different interests and backgrounds to get to know and support each other. You have the freedom and flexibility to choose from an extensive listing of courses including a variety of levels of our core subjects of English, math, science, and history – many with a writing-intensive focus that will help prepare you for the demands of college and beyond.
A high-quality curriculum to prepare you for the rigors of college
Highland's Upper School students, who come from all across the region and from countries around the world, experience challenging college-preparatory academics. Of the nearly 250 students enrolled in our Upper School, 78% take at least one Honors and/or Advanced Placement (AP) course per year.
Not finding the class that's perfect for you? We offer a range of independent studies as well as online and dual enrollment courses with area colleges and community colleges. We truly believe that every student needs and deserves the opportunity to discover their own interests, abilities, and passions.
A culture of honor and integrity
The Honor Code provides the foundation for a vibrant and visible school culture of trust and openness. The community commits itself to the highest principles of academic integrity and respect for people and property through a ceremony at the start of each school year in which students sign the Honor Code. Students strive to be their best selves in an atmosphere where character development is an essential element of achievement.
Need extra help? Our faculty and staff are here for you
We understand that challenge and support go hand in hand. A low student-teacher ratio ensures that students receive the individual attention and mentoring needed to develop their potential.
The educational experts in our Learning Center work with students who need additional help to strengthen their learning strategies and self-advocacy skills. Taking support a step further, we build integrated advisories into the schedule every day to allow students to learn from and mentor each other across grade levels.
Academics go hand-in-hand with extracurricular opportunities
Our students develop self-confidence through all facets of school life. You gain leadership skills through highly collaborative extracurricular activities, school plays and musicals, and athletics, and by holding positions including Prefect Board members, team captains, and club and class officers.
Some of the extracurricular highlights of the year include Spirit Week, which pits classes against each other in a week-long series of fun and creative competitions. International Week, which introduces a relevant country that is featured as part of the curriculum in classes throughout the semester is another student favorite. Academic highlights include the Poetry Slam and Flash Fiction contests sponsored by the English department, and 'This I Believe Speeches' presented by our Leadership classes.
Experience is the best teacher
Whether you're hauling a blue crab straight out of the Chesapeake Bay while on Freshmen Field Studies, pulling an all-nighter with your Robotics team members, or learning how to build your own sub-sonic wind tunnel, getting out of the classroom is an essential part of a Highland education. Annual field studies trips, Junior internships, and a month-long Senior project are woven into the fabric of Upper School life. Not only do they give you a chance to earn valuable real-world experience, but they also help to bring a year's worth of studies to life in a palpable and meaningful way.
We understand that your high school years will be some of the most memorable of your life. Whether you're a Highland 'Lifer' who's been here since Kindergarten or joining us for the first time, Highland's Upper School is a place where you can truly build the foundation – academic, social, and emotional – for your life in college and beyond. You can read more about experiential learning at Highland here.
Learn more about Upper School departments
Click on any of the expanding boxes below to learn more about Highland's Upper School departments: