Upper School Curriculum Guide

A wide variety of teaching practices and learning opportunities

Upper School Curriculum Guide

Blended Learning

Blended online learning is evolving rapidly in many different directions at the K-12 level, as learning institutions prepare their students with radically different learning and living skills necessary for the 21st century. Blended online learning, which combines the fully online environment with other modes of instructional delivery, is the fastest-growing segment in the educational arena. The accessibility and flexibility of structured online curriculum combined with the “human touch" of interaction with the teacher in a face-to-face setting is an ideal paradigm for teaching and learning. The Upper School courses listed below have been developed by the Bullis School faculty and will be taught through its web-based learning management platform called Haiku Learning Systems. The complete course descriptions are included in the listings for each department.

Faculty of the Upper School courses have developed high-quality online courses that are taught in a blended online structure. Typically, each class meets with the teacher (face-to-face) in the traditional classroom setting two to three days per week. For the remaining two to three days per week, students manage their use of time in virtual sessions; after signing in with a proctor they can do online work for their class, work on other course work, or even do off-campus work. While the workload for each blended online course is in alignment with the typical schedule rotation of the traditional class, the online work settings during the schedule rotation provides flexibility for students to manage their time.

Class participation in the online component requires interactivity through asynchronous discussions, collaborative work using technology-rich resources, and possibly scheduled synchronous sessions via web conferencing, all with regularly scheduled due dates and deadlines. All Bullis teachers developing and teaching blended online courses prepared their courses with formal teacher professional development in this new teaching/learning delivery style. The courses are fully developed with clearly defined goals, objectives, activities, and student outcomes that meet core academic standards.

Please note that blended learning courses are indicated in class listings by a (BL) after the course name.

Signature Programs

Bullis currently offers planned courses of study in four signature program areas—Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), Entrepreneurship, Humanities and Global Studies, and Visual and Performing Arts. The Signature Program model entails opportunities for interdisciplinary study, experiential education, research-based culminating/capstone experiences and student choice among curricular offerings.Signature programs are available at all grade levels, 2 through 12, to teach institutional and core academic values of the school and afford students an understanding of the personal traits and interpersonal behaviors associated with successful performance in life.

In the Lower School, cross-curricular Signature Programs, which are embedded into the core curriculum of reading, writing and math, provide emerging experiences for students. Middle School embraces an issues-based, modular approach to Signature Programs that provide greater opportunities for student exploration and build readiness for some stand-alone courses in the 8th grade. Students in the Upper School may opt for rigorous, innovative courses that build on core graduation requirements. The Upper School Program allows students to concentrate on select classes related to a given signature program and deepen their experience in a chosen area. Students participating in signature programs may engage in a formalized internship program and mentor relationships.

In the Upper School, we seek to honor the unique needs and contributions of each student through a continuing process of challenge and self-reflection. We draw on a wide variety of teaching practices and learning opportunities to cultivate respect, understanding and compassion for others. The success of our students also depends on close collaboration with parents and families. We expect our students to work with teachers, students and other members of the community to become independent, life-long learners.

In educating our students, we seek not only to prepare students for success in higher education, but also to equip them with the skills needed for a balanced, fulfilling and meaningful life. The Bullis curriculum provides students with the academic background for success at the college level, but also acts as the cornerstone for a range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities that help develop well-rounded individuals.

Students play an active role in the process of course selection, and each student's schedule is tailored to meet his or her academic needs. Before spring break, Upper School students receive academic advising and materials for use in planning the following year's schedule. Students work out tentative course selections with their parents and advisors. The advisor then gives the tentative schedule to the academic staff for review. New students have the opportunity to meet with Upper School administrative staff regarding course selection.

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