Upper School Curriculum Guide
A wide variety of teaching practices and learning opportunities
Download the Upper School Curriculum Guide
Bullis School, in its vision to prepare its students with radically different learning and living skills necessary for the 21st century, has implemented a blended learning initiative. Blended learning, which combines the delivery of curriculum in an online environment with other modes of instructional delivery, is a proven successful medium for teaching and learning and, at the upper school level, is the fastest-growing segment in the educational arena.1 The blended approach with 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.
Bullis offers blended learning modules and/or courses in the Middle School and the Upper School. The modules and/or courses have been developed by the teaching staff and are housed in and taught through its web-based learning management platform called Haiku Learning Systems. The complete module and/or course descriptions are included in the listings for each division.
In the Upper School, the faculty authors of the courses have developed high-quality online courses that will be taught in a blended online structure. Typically, each class will meet 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 will 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 will provide flexibility for students to manage their time.
Class participation in the online component will require 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 have 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.
1from The Rise of K-12 Blending Learning, by Innosight Institute, Inc. 2011
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.
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.