Upper School | Gr. 9-12

Grades 9-12

As our upper school students look ahead to college and adulthood, our all-encompassing set of academic offerings ensures that each student steps up as a leader through a journey unique to themselves, preparing them for the next chapter of their lives.


Every part of Severn’s curriculum challenges our students to pursue excellence in and outside the classroom. We educate the whole person as we prepare our students to take on academic and personal endeavors beyond Severn School. By taking a full array of unique and rigorous classes, you’ll be ready to seize every opportunity and face any challenge with the confidence to succeed.

List of 3 items.

  • Graduation Requirements (21 Credits)

    • 4 Credits English 
    • 3 credits History (World Civilizations, Global Studies, U.S. History) 
    • 3 credits Math earned in Upper School (including Algebra II); 4 credits is the norm
    • 3 credits lab Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) 
    • 3 credits of the same Foreign Language 
    • 1 credit Visual & Performing Arts 
    • 4 additional elective credits 
    • Athletics – each student must participate in one season per year; 9th graders must participate in one interscholastic sport during that year
    • Health & Wellness – every 9th grader will automatically be enrolled in Health & Wellness (1 class period every cycle); this will be assigned in the fall
  • Advanced Placement Program

    • Students taking AP courses should choose courses based on their interests and strengths. 
    • Students taking more than one AP course need to look closely at their overall load as well all the requirements of each AP course in order to determine what workload they can handle. Students need to keep in mind that AP courses are college level and are rigorous, fast-paced, and require students to master content and skills thoroughly and independently-which is also why these courses are weighed more heavily than honors courses. Most AP courses also require summer work. 
    • In addition, the time-demands of AP courses often stretch students and result in trade-offs on other fronts, including grades in other courses and time available for other commitments and interests. Students and parents need to weigh these factors carefully in assessing the overall course load. 
    • AP courses are not appropriate for students who have a history of absences, challenges with time management, and issues with academic motivation. 
    • Students in AP classes are pre-registered for the exams (no action is needed) and families are billed the AP exam fee ($96/exam for 2022) by Severn’s business office.
  • Malone Schools Online Network (MSON)

    Malone Schools Online Network (MSON) is a consortium of schools that have received funding from the Malone Family Foundation in recognition of their interest in and success with educating gifted and talented students. MSON provides upper level students (generally juniors and seniors) at participating Malone Schools with a variety of superior online courses that enhance each member school’s existing curriculum. These courses are taught by experts in their fields. MSON teachers have experience with independent school education and share a commitment to excellence, small class sizes, and personal relationships. Course offerings target the most talented high school students at member schools. MSON students demonstrate sufficient independence and commitment to succeed in a virtual discussion seminar setting. Each MSON course takes a blended approach, combining synchronous instruction—real-time video conferencing seminars — with asynchronous instruction — recorded lectures and exercises students complete outside of the class. Each course has a minimum of 6 students and a maximum of 16 students. The result is a virtual discussion seminar that is delivered in high definition classroom setups. Most MSON courses carry an Honors weight in our GPA calculation; a select few carry an AP weight. There is an application process for enrollment in these courses. Registration for MSON courses takes place three weeks before regular course registration, and final approval is communicated by the Director of Studies. Currently there are no additional fees associated with these courses.

US Curriculum Guide

Featured Programs


Learning in the Digital World

We believe that technology should be used to enhance student learning, improve communication, and efficiently manage information. Teaching with technology not only prepares students with increasingly necessary life skills but also broadens and deepens student learning.
We use technology to enhance our curriculum, when and where appropriate. Our responsibility is to teach our students how to evaluate technology for its usefulness, to choose the right tool for the right job and to use technology to communicate their ideas effectively. We believe in using tech with purpose.
We use digital tech to promote collaborative learning and design thinking, to improve research skills and information literacy, to develop critical thinking skills, to encourage creativity and to individualize learning across the curriculum. Our students use different tech in different classes, learning how to be flexible and adaptable. They learn that tech for tech’s sake has little value, but as a tool to enhance their learning and ability to connect with others, technology plays a vital role in preparing for the future.

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Upper School Faculty

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Upper School