Vigorous Preparation for College and Beyond

Offering a sequence of challenging foundational, Honors, and Advanced Placement courses, as well as semester-long electives, the Upper School program provides students with opportunities to explore each academic discipline and pursue specialized areas of interest as they develop their potential in expected and unexpected ways.

List of 6 items.

  • English

    The Upper School English program strives to foster in our students an awareness and love of the expressive power of language, an appreciation for literary art, and the mastery of critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking.
  • History

    Students understand the breadth of human experience, the evolution of ideas, the role of cause and effect in events, and the interconnectedness of geography, economics, politics, religion, and other related topics.
  • Math

    Through a structured program of guided exploration, data analysis, and mathematical modeling, students understand that mathematics is a problem- solving enterprise in which creativity and intuition go hand in hand with factual knowledge to produce effective solutions to significant problems.
  • Performing Arts and Visual Arts

    Students develop their talents through a range of visual arts and performing arts coursework and performance opportunities (i.e., musicals, dance, concerts, plays, art exhibitions).
  • Science

    Students understand science as a dynamic social phenomenon and evaluate the vast and changing body of information to respond intelligently to improve the planet and the human condition.
  • World Languages

    Coursework in French, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish foster global awareness and an understanding of different cultural values, perspectives, and traditions.

Contact Upper School Team

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Ara Brown

    Ara Brown 

    Upper School Director
    626-396-6601
  • Photo of Jennifer Gladden

    J.D. Gladden 

    Upper School Dean of Instruction
    626-396-6606
  • Photo of Christopher Schmoke

    Chris Schmoke 

    Upper School Dean of Student Life; Coach
    626-396-6612

Cum Laude Society

Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society is a national honor society modeled on Phi Beta Kappa to recognize the scholastic achievement of seniors in secondary schools. Since its founding, the Cum Laude Society has grown to 382 chapters, approximately two dozen of which are located in public schools and the rest in independent schools. Membership is predominantly in the United States, but chapters also are located in Canada, England, France, Spain, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

The motto of the Cum Laude Society is Areté, Diké, Timé—Greek words which translate into Excellence, Justice, and Honor. The motto, along with grade point average and rigor of coursework, is considered when nominating society members. Up to 20% of the members of the senior class, who have an honor record may be elected.

Last week, members of the Class of 2021 were selected for membership and will be formally recognized at Honors Day. They are as follows:
Kareem Ammar
Sarah Chin 
Sierra Dahiyat 
Sophie David 
Jack Duncan 
Maggie Grether 
Hill, Molly
Caitlin Huntsman 
Caroline Kelleher 
Lauren Kidman 
Audrey Kim 
Tori Kim 
Benjamin Knell 
Ryan Lee 
Michaela Patzakis 
Neil Rowe 
Madelena Ruedaflores 
Alexandra Segal 
Kyle Torres 

Browse Upper School

Learn More

  • Upper School Course of Study 2020-2021
    The Upper School Course of Study provides current information about our academic policies and in-depth descriptions of each of our course offerings for the upcoming school year.

Aquita Winslow | 9th/10th Grade Dean and 10th Grade Coordinator

One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching at Poly is the connections students make with their teachers, coaches, and advisors. Students know they are being seen, heard, and supported. They know we are proud of them, and I think it makes them feel safe to take risks and to push themselves.