Academics

Academics

Excelsior School is a small, boarding high school that offers a rigorous, college-preparatory education. Our school, a WASC accredited institution, has established an excellent track record of graduates matriculating at distinguished colleges and universities. Our alumni have attended many of the prominent colleges in California and other states, including Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Brown University, Pepperdine University, New York University, and Syracuse University., among others. Our school’s curriculum is designed to develop an awareness of student potential. Commitment to community service and individual responsibility are also strongly emphasized to raise responsible members of the community. An in-depth, enriched curriculum and a growing number of extracurricular activities which allow students to become critical thinkers and productive communicators. A close knit community forms due to the low student to teacher ratio.

The Excelsior School curriculum is varied and challenging, providing a strong college-preparatory program in various fields of study: English, history, mathematics, computer science, science, foreign language, art, performing arts and physical education.Advanced Placement preparation is available in english, history, math, science. The Excelsior faculty employs a wide variety of teaching methods. All courses emphasize reading, writing and research skills, and some courses include educational field trips to local museums, theaters and historical sites. The visual and performing arts are an integral part of the Excelsior experience. Each student is required to enroll in at least one full-year studio art course and one music course before graduation, and many students choose to take additional electives in these fields.

The college counseling program is committed to the careful matching of each student with a school that is particularly appropriate for each individual. Excelsior recognizes that each student is unique — that student has his/her own educational and professional goals, academic strengths, financial resources and preference for certain geographical locations. Each student is advised to pursue a course of study that emphasizes his/her particular talents and strengths. SAT prep is provided for all students. Students have to access to teachers and administrators to go over all aspects of the college application process. Help with personal statements is also part of the curriculum for seniors. The school arranges for universities to come visit and talk about their corresponding schools. We arrange visits to universities for interested students as well. Our goal is for all students to attend the college of their choice.

 

Graduation Requirements

High School

Graduation Requirements

Subject Course Requirements

Required Semester Credits

English:

4 years of English

40

Social Science:

 

3 years of social science

1 year of World History

1 year of United States History

1 semester of American Government

1 semester of Economics

30

Mathematics:

 

2 years of math

Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 and Geometry Integrated Math 2 or higher level courses.

20

Science:

 

2 years college prep laboratory science

Including both biological and physical sciences

20

Fine Arts or

Foreign Language:

1 year of fine arts or foreign language

10

Physical Education:

2 years of physical education

20

Electives:

80 units of credit

Student may select elective courses in the following areas: art, business, consumer and homemaking education, English, foreign language, mathematics, music, industrial technology education, physical education, reading, science, social science and work experience/CCOC/ROP.

80

TOTAL:

220

Exam:                          Pass the high school proficiency examinations

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA ENTRANCE REQUIREMENT

University of California

Requirements (starting 2003)

(A-G Requirement)
 

A-F/G Subject Requirements:

 

a)    College Prep English: 4 years

English that includes frequent and regular

writing and reading of classic and modern literature. Not more than two semesters of ninth–grade English can be used to meet this requirement.
 

b) Mathematics: 3 years (4 recommended)

(Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
 

c) History / Social Science: 2 years required

Includes one year of U.S. History and one year

of  World Studies.
 

*d) Lab Science: 2 years (3 recommended)

CP Integrated Science I, II, and III (Biology,

Chemistry, Physics), physiology
 

e) Language (other than English): 2 years (3

recommended)

(Must be the same foreign language)
 

f) Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year

Students must complete a year-long approved

course from a single visual and performing arts subject area (dance, music, visual arts, or drama/theater.)
 

g) College Preparatory Electives (1 year required)

Additional courses taken in subject requirement a-f above. They are to be chosen from the following subject areas: social science, English, advanced math, laboratory science, foreign language, and visual and performing arts. Also selected elective courses listed on the UC approved list.

 

SAT I or ACT and SAT II required

 

Students must submit test scores for either the SAT 1 or ACT and three SAT II tests (Subject Tests including writing, mathematics level 1 or level 2, and one test in one of  the following areas - English

literature, foreign language, science, or social science).

 

* The Science College Requirements must satisfy 1 year life science and 1 year physical science.

 

 CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE REQUIREMENT
 

California State University

Requirements (starting 2003)

(A-G Requirements)
 

Students must complete the following minimum requirements:
 

a)    College Prep English: 4 years

English that includes frequent and regular

writing and reading of classic and modern literature. Not more than two semesters of ninth–grade

English can be used to meet this requirement.
 

b) Mathematics: 3 years

(Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
 

c) History / Social Science: 2 years required

Includes one year of U.S. History and one year

of  World Studies.
 

*d) Lab Science: 2 years

Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Physiology
 

e) Foreign Language: 2 years

2 years same language
 

f) Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year

Students must complete a year-long approved

course from a single visual and performing arts subject area (dance, music, visual arts, or

drama/theater.)
 

g) Elective Course: 1 year

(includes any subjects a-f above and selected

college prep elective courses
 

SAT I or ACT required

Other requirements include:

·         Graduation from high school

·         An eligibility index that places applicants

among the top one-third of California's public high school graduates.

 

GPA                       SAT                        ACT

Above 3.0              qualifies with any score

2.80                         660                          14

2.60                         820                          18

2.40                         980                          22

2.20                         1140                        26

2.0                           1300                        30

 

 

Excelsior School

UC/CSU-Approved Courses List

 

a-History / Social Science - 2 years required

Two years of history/social science, including one year of World History, Cultures or Geography; and one year of US History or one-half year of US History and one-half year of American Government/Civics

Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
AP United States History          AP US Hist U.S. History  AP  
AP World History   AP World Hist  World History / Geography / Cultures  AP  
U.S. History AB   U.S. History    
World History, Cultures, & Geog. AB   World History / Geography / Cultures    
 
b-English - 4 years required
Four years of college preparatory English. Students may only use 1 year of ESL/ELD, SDAIE, or Sheltered English.
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
AP English Literature and Composition   AP Engl Lit  English  AP  
English 10AB   English    
English 11AB   English    
English 12AB   English    
English 9AB   English    
English AB (H)   English H  
 
c-Mathematics - 3 years required, 4 years recommended
Three years of college preparatory mathematics that includes the topics covered in Elementary Algebra/Algebra 1, Geometry and Advanced Algebra/Algebra 2. Approved Integrated Math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement.
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
Algebra IAB   Algebra 1    
AP Calculus AB   AP Calculus AB, Calculus AB  Advanced Mathematics AP  
AP Statistics   AP Stat  Statistics  AP  
Geometry AB   Geometry    
Intermediate Alg./Trigonometry AB   Algebra 2    
Math Analysis AB   Advanced Mathematics   Pre-Calculus  
 
d-Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of laboratory science, including two of the three fundamental disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This requirement can also be met by completing the latter two years of a 3-year Integrated Science program.
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
AP Biology   AP Bio  Biological Science  AP   
AP Physics B   AP Phys B  Physics  AP   
Biology AB   Biological Science    
Chemistry (AP)   Chemistry AP  
Chemistry AB   Chemistry    
Physics - Lab   Physics    
 
e-Language Other than English - 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of the same language other than English.
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
French IAB   LOTE Year 1    
French IIAB   LOTE Year 2    
French IIIAB   LOTE Year 3    
Spanish IAB   LOTE Year 1    
Spanish IIAB   LOTE Year 2    
Spanish IIIAB   LOTE Year 3    
 
f-Visual & Performing Arts - 1 year required
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
Art History & Analysis AB Art History & Analysis AB Visual Arts (Intro)    
introduction to music theory intro music Music (Intro)    
 
g-Elective - 1 year required
One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in "a-f" above. All courses must be listed under "a-f" above with the exception of courses marked with a blue diamond () in Mathematics, Language Other than English, and VPA; plus the following:
Course Title Transcript Abbreviation(s) Category Honors Type Course Notes
Computer Science (Programming) AB   Math    
Creative Writing AB   English    
Economics AB   History / Social Science   Semester  
Intro. to Anthropology Intro. to Anthropology  History / Social Science    
Introduction to Sociology Sociology I  History / Social Science    
Physical/Earth Science AB   Science-Physical    
Psychology   Psychology   History / Social Science     

Excelsior School students have been accepted to many acclaimed universities throughout the United States. Below is a list of just some of the schools students from Excelsior have attended.

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of California Riverside
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Colorado
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • New York University
  • Michigan State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Rochester

College Counseling

The college counseling program is committed to the careful matching of each student with a school that is particularly appropriate for each individual. Excelsior recognizes that each student is unique — that student has his/her own educational and professional goals, academic strengths, financial resources and preference for certain geographical locations. A full-time college counselor directs an intensive counseling program which begins as soon as a student enrolls in the Upper School. Each student is advised to pursue a course of study that emphasizes his/her particular talents and strengths. All sophomores and juniors take the PSAT. SAT I and SAT II tests are taken when appropriate in the sophomore, junior and senior years. During the spring of the junior year and fall of the senior year, students meet in a monthly class with the counselor to go over all aspects of the college application process.

Early in the senior year, there is a college night for senior parents. In the fall, seniors visit colleges, arrange interviews and prepare applications and essays.

Students also have access to extensive computer resources for researching colleges.