Upper School at West Sound Academy is the path to higher education at college or university.  Students and faculty focus on the school mission of being a college preparatory school that graduates accomplished, creative, intellectually curious young adults prepared to contribute responsibly to the world. Teachers nurture their students to become global citizens and life-long learners.  During their Upper School years at West Sound, students are encouraged to add "equipment" to their personal "tool boxes" in order to develop their own social, emotional, and intellectual growth.  The whole individual is allowed to flourish and thrive.

Aizhan from Kyrgyzstan and Evalotta from Germany in English class
Students at work in IB History class

Recognizing that life in an increasingly interconnected world requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness, West Sound Academy has adopted an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, offering IB Diploma Programme coursework in the junior and senior years.  Students have the option of pursuing the full or partial IB Diploma Programme when conducting their course selections during the spring or summer before their Junior year. West Sound Academy graduated its first IB Diploma Programme students in 2013. The holistic, integrated programme has gained wide-spread recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

9th and 10th Grades

College Preparatory Courses

Students in Grades 9-10 have a selection of challenging courses. The curriculum stresses critical and disciplined thinking, effective communication and scientific analysis, and creative problem solving. Skills introduced and reinforced in the classroom, including critical reading, critical writing, and document analysis and evaluation, will prepare students for the rigors of coursework in the junior and senior years and for success in college after their years at West Sound.

History – US History 1840 – 1940; US History post-1940; Themes in History

English – English Literature

Language Acquisition – Spanish, French or English

Experimental Sciences – Physics and Chemistry

Mathematics – Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus

Arts – Visual Art, Art History, Introduction to Theatre, Theatre

Students at work in Chemistry class
Other Electives – 3-D Design, Computer Programming, Creative Writing, Dance, Documentary Film, Graphic Design, Journalism and Literary Magazine, Music Ensemble, Painting, Physical Education, Photography, Robotics, Sculpture and Ceramics, STEM - Real World Problem Solving, STEM and Computer Science


11th and 12th Grades

WSA Diploma & International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Courses

Students have the option of completing the full diploma as a Diploma Candidate or participating in the Diploma requirements in some of the courses as Diploma Course Students. Students may also choose not to participate in any of the external assessments of the IB program.

Group 1 — Language and Literature in English or Self-Study in the student’s Native Tongue

Group 2 — Second Language

Group 3 — Individuals and Societies:  History

Group 4 — Experimental Sciences: Biology or Chemistry

Group 5 — Mathematics offered at three levels

Group 6 — Visual Arts or Theatre

Students in IB Mathematics class

The IB Diploma curriculum ensures a breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences, mathematics and the arts. In addition the program has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding:

The Extended Essay - Students engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a self-chosen question relating to a specific International Baccalaureate (IB) subject, and complete a 3,000 to 4,000 word paper. The Extended Essay Coordinator guides the Candidate through the entire Extended Essay process, and assigns each candidate a supervisor from the WSA faculty who provides individual support and guidance.

Theory of Knowledge - Central to this course is an examination of the questions, "What do I mean when I say 'I know', and why should anyone believe me?" Students examine these questions in the context of the definitions of knowledge itself, and through various ways of knowing including emotion, reason, perception and language.  Sam Phillips and Anna Zacovic in 'Anatomy of Gray' - the Fall 2014 playThe course challenges students to critically and thoughtfully examine their personal knowledge and ways of knowing and to learn to respectfully listen to, and learn from, their classmates, as well as from a broad spectrum of others.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) - Students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. These tasks have real consequences from which students can achieve genuine accomplishments and success or failure; each consequence provides a powerful means of learning.  Students in all grades participate in CAS activities at varying levels with the intention of developing measurable learning outcomes after each activity.

Additional Classes

June Term

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