Maclay Upper School offers a wide range of academic courses, including AP, honors, and college-level courses to challenge students and help them reach their potential.
Honors English I
Advanced Honors English I
Honors English II
Advanced Honors English II
Honors English III
Honors English IV
Honors English IV: Contemporary Literature
Honors English IV: Southern Literature
Honors English IV: Women in Literature
Honors English IV: Film as Literature
Honors English IV: Mystery and Detective Literature
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition
Honors Journalism: Yearbook
Honors Journalism: Newspaper
Holocaust Literature and Film
Creative Writing: Literary Magazine
The English Department at Maclay School seeks to develop active thinkers and writers. We believe that a solid foundation in reading and writing promotes this active learning; thus, the department attempts to provide students with language skills, and we inspire them to develop an appreciation of literature which will help them become life-long, active learners. As Rita Felski writes, we hope to encourage students to view the study of English as a process of "curating, conveying, criticizing, and composing." Furthermore, as a department, we use the National Council of Teachers of English standards as a guiding philosophy.
Throughout the curriculum, special emphasis is placed on writing in a variety of modes and genres and on grammar instruction. While we provide students with numerous opportunities to write creatively, the department places special emphasis on formal academic writing. Students write. A lot. Our curriculum has been carefully designed so that students can develop, build, and link skills during all four years of high school. All US English teachers use a uniform marking codes guide and a continually evolving scope and sequence document. Here, we list grammatical concepts, modes of expression, and literary concepts to be introduced, reinforced, or mastered at the different grade levels.
Because active thinkers and writers must find inspiration, we encourage our students to read widely and deeply, both during the school year and during the summer. Our curriculum seeks to expose students to a wide-range of voices from a variety of cultures and perspectives.
To be sure, English classes at Maclay are not easy, and there will be moments of struggle. The course of study in our college preparatory curriculum is rigorous and difficult – no matter the grade level or designation. Students will not easily or readily meet with success on every essay, test, or other assessment. But these attempts and struggles will help students develop as readers, writers, and thinkers, for as Paulo Freire says, “Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” And, these pursuits – within each class and throughout all English classes – will be worthwhile. Cultivating knowledge – true knowledge that transcends “information” or “facts” – requires such difficult efforts, and teaching students to think critically and to write well requires patience, time, and supreme effort from all parties and stakeholders.
Honors Algebra I
Honors Algebra II
Advanced Honors Algebra II
Advanced Honors PreCalculus/Trigonometry
Honors Probability & Statistics
Differential Equations I (MAP2302)
Calculus with Analytic Geometry III (MAC2313)
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
The Maclay School Mathematics Department seeks to provide students with the knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking skills to be successful in the future, both in the classroom and in life. Teaching methods account for different learning styles of students and stress analyzing, organizing, and exploring various methods of problem solving with the goal of strengthening all students’ problem-solving skills. Exploratory learning, cooperative learning, and activity-based learning are employed to aid in the transfer of mathematical concepts, as well as drill and practice to reinforce mathematical foundations. Students of all levels are encouraged to share and work cooperatively which serves to bolster self-confidence in their abilities. The Maclay School Mathematics Department strives to hone mathematical literacy and to prepare students for the 21st century.
Honors Ancient History & Geography
Honors Modern World History & Geography
AP World History: Modern
Honors United States History
AP United States History
Honors Contemporary U.S. Government & Political History
Honors Economics w/Financial Literacy
AP U.S. Government & Politics
AP Human Geography
AP European History
World War I & II
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Risk & Reward
Intro to Psychology
Theories of Personality
Abnormal Psychology in Film
African American History
The Social Studies Department seeks to develop students to become active, discerning learners, who are more aware of history, geography, global politics, and world cultures, with special attention given to the study of American values as part of an international context. The department places a great emphasis on character development, and challenges students to aspire to positions of leadership in the school and the greater community. High school students are given the opportunity to take extensive elective courses, which allows them to examine the inter-relatedness of historical themes and their connection to the present. The diversity of course electives in different world regions and philosophies also promotes a better multicultural understanding of history.
The department strives to use the community as a resource, and technology is incorporated as a means of investigation and analysis. Instruction is presented in a wide of variety of techniques to enhance learning and foster student interest. The department believes in developing reading, writing skills and higher order historical thinking skills that will be needed to be successful in the future. The Advanced Placement electives allow for accelerated learning opportunities in the Upper School.
Advanced Honors Biology
Advanced Honors Chemistry
AP Physics C: Mechanics
AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
Honors Brain & Behavior
Honors Marine Biology
Honors Principles of Biomedical Sciences
Honors Human Body Systems
The Maclay Upper School Science Department is dedicated to providing each student with a solid foundation in understanding the structure and function of the universe around them, the organisms with which they share the world, and the atoms which make it all up.
The Maclay Upper School Science Department provides a well-rounded science education by ensuring that each student graduates with at least a foundation in the three main areas of science – biology, chemistry, and physics. Our student-centered approach seeks to ensure each student is able to develop to the fullest extent.
Our purpose is:
- To ensure students receive a sufficient challenge to grow while giving them the support needed to ensure they succeed.
- To provide students not only the facts and data currently known to scientists, but also the skills needed to evaluate future claims.
- To push students out of their comfort zone by exposing them to new ideas and new concepts.
- To challenge students’ preexisting ideas and misconceptions and teach them how to evaluate their knowledge.
- To use the experience and wisdom of our faculty to help students to discover their own passions.
- To produce scientifically literate life-long learners with the curiosity to continue expanding their knowledge long after they have left our classrooms.
Spanish II (General or Honors)
Spanish III (Honors or Adv. Honors)
Advanced Honors Spanish IV
Adv. Honors Spanish Conversation
AP Spanish Language & Culture
Honors French II
Advanced Honors French III
Advanced Honors French IV
AP French Language & Culture
Honors Latin II
Advanced Honors Latin III
Advanced Honors Latin IV
Classical Greek I
Spanish is offered from Pre-K 3 through AP. French is offered from 5/6th grade through AP. Latin is offered from 5/6th grade to AP and DIS V & VI. In the fifth or sixth grade, beginning this year, students take one-quarter of French, Spanish, and Latin. Beginning in 6/7th grade students select their language of choice to continue in the Upper School.
Ancient Greek is offered as an elective to higher-level Latin students. Chinese is offered as an enrichment class (elective credit and counts toward GPA) for Upper School FLEX and continues to be offered to Lower and Middle School students as an after-school enrichment course.
The World Language department feels that all students should be exposed to all facets of the languages and culture. Students should be prepared for further study in college and/or in their chosen professions. They should be comfortable using their second language while traveling, working, or communicating with people in their community.
In view of the globalism of our current world and the international job opportunities available, the acquisition of another language is a critical asset for today’s youth. This skill should afford a competitive edge for those vying for a position in any job market.
Studying any foreign language must include much more than a limited lexicon and a body of rules; it must include attitudes, ideas, behaviors according to culture patterns, and all that comprises a “people."
Computer Programming & Cyber Security
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Computer Science A
Engineering Design & Analysis
Engineering Applications of Computer Science
The Computer Science and Engineering Department works to engage students at all levels of ability and interest in order to enhance their knowledge, computational thinking skills and critical thinking skills for success in and out of the classroom. All classes have a strong focus on giving students hands-on experience in a collaborative environment. Using this hands-on collaborative approach allows students to share their strengths and bolster their self-confidence. The societal impacts of engineering and computer science are an underlying theme throughout the department's curriculum. Project-based learning, cooperative learning, and pair programming are employed to enhance students understanding of engineering and computer science. The Computer Science and Engineering Department is committed to providing a broad and rigorous selection of courses to ready students for the 21st century.
The Fine Arts at Maclay is one of the cornerstones of our curriculum, encouraging creative growth in a challenging yet nurturing environment through courses and co-curricular activities in our diverse class offerings. As one of Maclay School’s Four Pillars of Learning, visual and performing arts are a vital component of every student’s education. Essential in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, empathy, social and emotional learning along with curiosity, the arts deepen a student’s understanding and foster an appreciation for other cultures. We strive to cultivate an understanding and love of the arts by providing a positive environment in which the student and teacher can appreciate and explore the creative process together. Our Fine Arts Department at Maclay embraces the belief that all students have the potential to express themselves creatively. The goal of the department is to foster and nurture each student as an artist or a performer and to give each student the tools to be successful.
Foundations of Art
2-D Studio Art I
2-D Studio Art II
Honors Design Collaboration
AP Art & Design (2-D, 3-D, Drawing)
Popular Music I (formerly Americana I)
Popular Music II (formerly Americana II)
Songwriting & Music Production
AP Music Theory
Strings II – Concert Orchestra