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 2 members.

  • Photo of Jennifer Cardillo

    Jen Cardillo 

    Upper School Dean of Students
  • Photo of Harvey Johnson

    Harvey Johnson 

    Upper School Dean of Faculty
    (626) 396-6606

PolyEnriched Courses

PolyEnriched courses offer unique opportunities for students who are driven to investigate particular disciplines in deeper and more meaningful ways. These courses promote critical thinking and problem-solving through high levels of student engagement and inquiry, emphasizing deep understanding and long-term retention. Poly currently offers PolyEnriched courses in Chemistry, Biological Research, American Studies, and Modern Latin America, which is taught entirely in Spanish.
PolyEnriched Courses are signature Poly classes that feature:
  • advanced study of a content area
  • discovery-based learning
  • open-ended challenges
  • high levels of student engagement
  • adaptive curriculum not pre-determined by an outside entity
PolyEnriched Courses are designed to serve students who:
  • are insatiably curious about the subject
  • thrive in inquiry-based environments
  • understand that mistakes and missteps are an important part of the process
  • embrace active ownership in their learning

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.

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