Course of Study
Marlborough is divided into two divisions, the Middle School (Grades 7, 8, and 9) and the Upper School (Grades 10, 11, and 12). The curriculum is centered on a required core of studies, believed to be fundamental for all students, and elective courses, designed to fit the interests of individual students. Classroom groups are small enough to permit individual attention, and students have the opportunity to take regular, honors, or Advanced Placement level courses.
Middle School students are required to take a minimum of six courses each semester, while Upper School students are required to take a minimum of four academic courses each semester. Special Studies courses are taken in addition to the four required courses. Most Upper School students take five academic courses and elect other non-academic courses to complete their course plans.
- Academic Requirements
- Graduation Requirements
- Advanced Placement Courses
- Beyond AP Courses
- Special Studies
- 7/8 Electives
In the Middle School, Grades 7-9, full-year requirements are as follows:
- World Languages
In the Middle School, Fine Arts requirements are as follows:
- Grade 7 and 8: students can elect to take up to twelve fine arts electives during 7th and 8th grade.
- Grade 9: one year of Visual or Performing Arts. Semester courses must be taken in the same area, must be sequential classes, and cannot be taken in lieu of Physical Education.
In the Middle School, Physical Education requirements are as follows:
- Grade 7 and 8: two quarters of Physical Education each year
- Grade 7: required one quarter class of Health
- Grade 8: required one quarter class of Health
- Grade 9: Health
In Grade 7 one quarter of Digital Presence for Social Impact is required, and in Grade 8 one quarter of Storytelling for Impact is required.
The following are graduation requirements to be completed in Grades 9-12:
- English: each semester (American Studies may be substituted for English II).
- Mathematics: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II; three years of mathematics.
- History and Social Sciences: United States History and Modern History.
- Science: three year-long science courses (9th Grade Biology required).
- World Languages: through level III of a language (at least two years).
- Physical Education: four semesters, including Health (9th grade), Health & Wellness (11th Grade), and Emergency Preparedness & Water Safety. Dance may be taken to fulfill P.E. requirements.
- Fine Arts: one full year in Grade 9, and two additional semesters in Grades 10-12. Semester courses in Dance can be taken to fulfill either a Fine Arts or P.E. requirement. Art History or AP Art History fulfill only one semester of the requirement.
These are minimum requirements and many colleges to which Marlborough sends its graduates strongly recommend one year of mathematics beyond Algebra II (especially in the senior year); four or five years of one foreign language, or any combination of two years of one and three of another foreign language; two additional semesters of History and Social Sciences; two semesters in the Fine Arts; and electives in the Sciences. Choices depend on the student’s interests, on the kind of record she wishes to present to the colleges, and on the breadth she desires in her education. All departments offer courses beyond the level of preparation for college.
Many Marlborough students take College Board Advanced Placement tests in May. Students who score a 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement examinations may receive college credit or advanced placement at the college level. Advanced Placement examinations are offered in Art History, Studio Art (4), Biology, Calculus (AB and BC), Chemistry, English Literature, Environmental Science, French Language, Latin Vergil, Physics (C), Spanish Language, Statistics, United States History, and World History.
Students wishing to challenge themselves beyond the Advanced Placement level may choose to take the following courses: Honors Computer Science Projects, Honors English Seminar, Honors French Literature and Cinema, Honors Hispanic Literature and Film, Honors History Seminar, Honors Humanities Seminar, Honors Mathematics Seminar, Honors Multivariable Calculus and Differential Equations, Honors Research in the Humanities, Honors Research in the Social Sciences, Honors Research in Science.
An option available in all departments, Special Studies gives students an opportunity to study topics not in the standard curriculum. It is designed for students who have challenged themselves in all aspects of a department’s course offerings and would like to continue their study within the department.
Students select their electives from the following list. Students in 7th grade pick six electives, and students in 8th grade pick eight electives.
CONTEMPORARY LYRICAL BALLET
Open to intermediate/advanced dancers or dancers who have taken Dance Technique and Choreography. This class explores traditional ballet technique through a contemporary lens.
DANCE TECHNIQUE AND CHOREOGRAPHY
This class focuses on fortifying dance technique through contemporary and ballet training. Participants will also work in groups to create choreography and learn new skills to assist them in the development and expansion of their choreography toolbox.
DIGITAL SOUND AND MUSIC
Make music the way the pros do it! In this course, the student will learn how to write and record a pop song. From singer-songwriter style to electronic music, the student will learn how to write and arrange with a songwriting partner. Students will learn the basics of song structure, instrumental and vocal styles, and how to record their song using the GarageBand app on their laptop.
FLEXIBILITY AND DANCE IMPROVISATIONS
This class focuses on flexibility, lengthening and strengthening the muscles, and dance improvisation explorations that explore new ways of thinking about moving. Examples of movement improvisations include spontaneous interpretations of a story, generating movement by using different body parts and exploring movement in unconventional spaces.
IMPROV II, CHARACTER AND LONG-FORM
Students will expand their improvisational skills in this class: finding physical and vocal specificity in their character choices, and nuance and detail in their story-telling. The class will develop listening skills, creative flexibility through the Presence Work of Ruth Zapora, and ensemble development to create long-form improvisation.
Prerequisite: Theatre Games and Improvisational Techniques or Permission from the Instructor
INTERMEDIATE DANCE TECHNIQUE AND CHOREOGRAPHY
This course is open to students with intermediate dance skills. The class focuses on more intermediate/advanced technique and complex choreography combinations. Students will explore and develop their creative voices through their own choreography process.
MAKERS’ SPACE: SEWING + COSTUMES
Students in sewing will be introduced to basic sewing for Theater. This will include an introduction to tools and materials, Hand sewing, Sewing machine introduction and practical use. These skills will then be put towards creating in class projects.
MAKERS’ SPACE: SHOP + CARPENTRY
Students in this course will be introduced to the basics of safely using hand and power tools in order to design and fabricate self-made projects. With an emphasis on practical skills, problem-solving, and design-based thinking, students will learn how to take an idea and turn it into a reality. Our primary material will be wood, although the class may include painting, plaster and other hands-on sculptural or building processes.
MOVEMENT AND PLAY
In this course, students will learn about the value of restorative activity and engaging in experiences ranging from mindfulness practices, solitude walks, group play, constructive rest and developmental/somatic movement. This class will involve some expeditions off campus, as well as weekly assignments geared towards creating personal wellness practices both in and out of school.
PLAYS AND ACTING
In this course, students are offered the opportunity to explore plays and characters from different time periods and playwrights. Students will investigate the fundamental building blocks of theatre and will learn theatre-creation techniques in order to develop characters and scenes. Examples of some plays that may be read are Antigone, The Glass Menagerie, Melancholy Play, You Can’t Take It With You, Tartuffe, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, A Raisin in the Sun, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and The Crucible.
PLAYWRITING: CREATING WORK FOR STAGE
This is a course in which students generate original work for the stage using a variety of writing and creation practices. We will study a selection of plays and write original work modeled after specific styles. The course may involve autobiographical writing to create solo performance material, writing based upon ancient myths and stories, writing for musical theatre and/or original, genre-mashing on-the-feet “writing” for performance.
THEATER GAMES AND IMPROVISATIONAL TECHNIQUES
Come play on your feet and in your voice! Students will learn to play vocally and physically while gaining an experiential understanding of improvisational acting techniques and ensemble development. The skills learned help develop confident communication and skillful collaboration in all walks of life. Through theater games and improvising scenes, students will develop listening skills, a trust of their creative impulses, and a self-confidence earned through rigorous play.
Vocal Spectrum is designed for students interested in learning how to sing and expand their music knowledge. Students will be introduced to healthy singing techniques and basic music theory. This class will teach the fundamental musicianship skills that are the foundation for choral singing. As the quarter progresses, this training will help students be more confident to sing in small groups, as well as singing solo. Repertoire will include classical literature and musical theatre.
3D DESIGN & BUILD
In this Visual Arts course, students will create 3-dimensional models based on their own original designs. Projects could include: small-scale architectural model-building, sculpture, furniture design, book arts, and/or garden/playground design. Some materials used might include: cardboard, wood, metal, wire, Plexiglas, and found objects.
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AND FITNESS
This class is dedicated to educating students on the components of a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, and inspiring them to create positive habits that will last. After learning basic weight room safety guidelines and proper technique, students will have the agency to create and discover different modalities of being physically active. This student-centered class is perfect for those who are interested in discovering new, sustainable ways to enjoy physical fitness and for those who strive to be fit for life.
AQUATIC SPORTS AND WATER SAFETY
No matter what your current swimming ability is, completing this course will teach you how to swim efficiently and execute all four strokes with proper technique. Students will use appropriate equipment to learn the dynamics and physics of how to swim faster and more effectively. Racing starts, flip turns and workout design will also be covered. In addition, the class will cover basic water safety skills, introduce water polo, and incorporate water aerobics.
CERAMICS & SCULPTURE
This Visual Arts course focuses on learning to understand space and volume. Students will create three-dimensional forms using clay and other materials such as metal, plaster, wood, papier-mâché, wire, cardboard, and found objects. Projects will include: sculpture, utilitarian and non-functional ceramics.
Students in this Visual Arts course will learn the techniques needed to create original digital artwork and designs, such as digital paintings, magazine covers, collages, and drawings. Combining cutting edge digital tools with traditional art-making processes, students will use graphics tablets, scanners, and Adobe Photoshop. This course develops each student’s artistic creativity and software skills leaving students empowered to create whatever they can imagine.
DRAW & PAINT
Students in this Visual Arts course will have the opportunity to explore with drawing, painting, and design projects while using a variety of wet and dry media. No previous experience, skill, or special talent is required and you need not know how to draw to take this class.
The foundation of this class is Hatha Yoga, which is based upon the 3 pillars of yoga; mind, body and spirit. The students will be introduced to and explore mindfulness and meditation, yoga postures and sequences, as well as breath work. The class will range from more rigorous strength building to restorative yoga with deep relaxation and yoga nidra. A regular yoga practice has been proven to reduce injury, build strength, increase flexibility and balance, enhance focus, lessen anxiety, improve test taking and performance skills, balance energy levels and promote calm. This class is for everyone and students are encouraged to work at their own pace.
INTERSECTION OF DANCE AND VISUAL ART
Students will be active participants as dancers, choreographers, photographers and filmmakers to explore and create a blended art form based on movement. Students will work together to make their own dance film/video.
PRINTMAKING & COLLAGE
Students participating in this Visual Arts course will explore various printmaking and collage techniques while applying elements and principles of design. Experimentation with cut, layered, and combined imagery and materials will be emphasized. Projects could include: relief prints, monotypes, and mixed media collages.
You may have played soccer, basketball, or softball before, but have you played Folf or Spikeball? This class will teach you the rules and tactics of a broad range of great recreational sports that you may (or may not) heard of! Students will develop collaboration and teamwork skills while learning the rules and tactics required to succeed in each of these games. Throughout this course, students will gain confidence in their ability to participate in a variety of new activities, increasing their enthusiasm and preparation for pursuing diverse and creative ways to continue their active lifestyle.
VR & ANIMATION
In this course, students create their own virtual worlds, interactive artwork, web content and immersive digital designs using cutting-edge tools. Projects will include: creating your own VR theme park attraction, building interactive and clickable animations as well as painting in the groundbreaking Vive VR system “Tilt Brush”. Software includes Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Animate, Google Sketchup and Tilt brush.
Students will read both children's and young adult literature and create book trailers to help promote the material that they have read. The class will discuss how to present book themes in order to entice others to read their books. Once completed, book trailers will be embedded in the Marlborough Catalog for the community to enjoy. This course offers students the opportunity to read books outside of the traditional curriculum and then promote those materials beyond the classroom.
In this course, students will strengthen their ability to write imaginatively. Class time will be spent examining sample works of literature and discussing specific techniques, but the focus will primarily be on student work. Students will craft short stories, poems, and memoirs, and share them with one another in a workshop setting.
CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: CSI MARLBOROUGH
Using basic principles of biology and chemistry, this course will offer an exploration of how forensic science is used to systematically solve problems in real life crime scene investigations. Throughout this course, participants will play the role of an investigator, securing the crime scene, recording details, and engaging in hypothesis testing based on evidence they collect. Through experimentation, reasoning and creative thinking, students will work in teams to piece together events of a fictional crime, identify potential suspects and ultimately solve a case.
DRAWING AND ANIMATING WITH CODE
Calling all coders and soon to be coders! In this class you will grab your laptop and harness the power of the Processing computer programming language to create amazing digital worlds. You will learn key computer programming concepts while demonstrating how coding is a creative activity. One of the most exciting things about writing code is that you can create something from nothing! This class will focus on computer graphics, with open ended projects involving user interaction, animation, algorithmically generated art, image manipulation, and simple video games.
INTRO TO JOURNALISM
Students contribute to the middle school newspaper in print and online, learning the basics of writing news and opinions as well as photography, infographics, and page/screen design. Students will gain a basic understanding of news media and its role in our society as well as software skills in Photoshop, Adobe Spark, Adobe Premiere Rush and Wordpress. The impact of media on our culture is also discussed as well as ethical issues related to the media. This course prepares students for staff and editor positions on the middle school newspaper, The M and later the UltraViolet.
This is a course in which students participate in ensemble groups of varying sizes. Ensembles are formed in the beginning of the year according to instrumentation and level of expertise. Ensemble skills—including interpretation, balance, tone production, and performance skills—are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to participate in public performances at the end of the second semester. This course typically meets once per week and is usually scheduled outside of regular class meetings, such as Flex, lunch, or after school. Prerequisite: Audition.
MEDIA STUDIO 101
This course introduces students to the processes and technical skills necessary to produce a finished video or audio piece for online distribution. Students use microphones, a sound mixer, video cameras, lighting and a broadcast switcher to create projects such as TV segments and podcasts. Media Studio 101 prepares students for work on VTV, Film production, live streaming or their own personal/educational projects.
Have you ever wondered how today’s most innovative companies--Apple, Instagram, Spotify, Netflix--came to be? Or ever had a great idea and wondered how to turn it into something more? Then this is the class for you! In small groups you will learn the basics of entrepreneurship and the Lean Startup Method, practicing design thinking and designing solutions for real people and real problems. At the end of the course, you will pitch your solutions to a team of industry professionals, learning valuable real-world skills such as public speaking, presentation building, data analysis, and market research along the way.
In this course, students will learn the basic principles of personal finance with the goal that each student will be empowered to make intelligent and informed decisions when using money in real life. In order to learn the financial skills and habits of mind necessary to use money wisely, students will participate in group discussions, exercises, and simulations. Additionally, after learning how to build and manage wealth, students will also participate in a stock market competition that will continue even when the course concludes. As a final project, students will engage in some service learning as they share their new financial acumen with their peers via informational YouTube videos.
PRODUCING A WEB SERIES
Students conceive, write, shoot, edit and present a web series. Learning the basics of video production, screenwriting, editing and promoting a web series using tools such as the CEI studio, 4K camera, lavalier microphones, Adobe editing software and studio lights, students learn what it takes to produce webisodes from start to finish.
READ HARDER BOOK CLUB
Do you love books and wish you had more time to read? Are you hitting your Goodreads challenge goal? (Do you have one?) The Read Harder Book Club is the perfect elective to take your reading to the next level. At the start of the quarter, you'll pick from a selection of books to read in book-club groups. You'll have time in class to read silently and catch up on reading your book-club book or another independent reading book of your choice. You'll participate in book-club style discussions about what you are reading and create a final creative project with your group. Let's make 2020-2021 the best reading year yet!
RUNNING A BUSINESS: THE CEI CAFE EXPERIENCE
In this course students will learn the ins and outs of running a real business by managing all aspects of Marlborough's CEI Cafe. By studying other businesses, conducting market research, deciding which products to carry, and implementing a marketing strategy, students will learn what's needed to run a successful business. Students will also build their financial and budgeting acumen by creating and analyzing their own profit and loss statements. By the end of class, students will have gained valuable real-world experience they can later include on their resumes when applying for a summer job or internship.
This is a course in which students participate in ensemble groups of varying sizes. Ensembles are formed in the beginning of the year according to instrumentation and level of expertise. Ensemble skills—including interpretation, balance, tone production, and performance skills—are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to participate in public performances at the end of the second semester. This course typically meets once per week and meets during a free period, Flex, lunch, or after school. This is a year long course. Prerequisite: Audition.
MS DEBATE 1
By learning the art of academic debate, Middle School students will cultivate their abilities to think critically, argue rigorously, research thoroughly, and communicate clearly and persuasively. Students will learn the Lincoln-Douglas debate format, focusing on a variety of topics dealing with broad questions of morality and justice to practical public policy questions facing our society today. In the course of this study, students learn to be thoughtful and engaged citizens of a pluralistic democracy. This course will take place during the first quarter. After that time, students will have the opportunity to continue with debate as an extracurricular activity and compete against other schools.
MS DEBATE 2
Debate 2 students will learn advanced concepts and strategies to prepare them for participation in varsity interscholastic debate competitions. These include plans, disadvantages, counterplans, critiques, topicality, and debate theory. This course is designed for students who participated in MS Debate 1 in grade 7.
Students in this class will compete as a team in a national robotics competition called the FIRST Tech Challenge. Students will follow an engineering process to design, build, program and operate a robot to compete head to head with other teams in Los Angeles and Beyond. This project-based class provides an opportunity for learning and applying a variety of skills, including 3D computer-aided design, 3D printing, cutting and drilling of metal, wiring electronics, and programming. The class will work as a team to document their process in an engineering notebook. This collaborative course provides a number of leadership opportunities as students pursue sponsorships, market their team’s “brand,” and participate in community outreach. As a team, students will showcase their work and compete in five weekend tournaments between December and February. This course is required for participation on one of Marlborough’s robotics teams.
In this course, students will generate their own scientific questions from which they will develop, refine and test their original experiment. This class is designed for those who are self motivated, creative thinkers who love science. During our three quarters together, students will be guided through each step of the scientific method. The culminating event will be presenting their findings at the Los Angeles County Fair in March where they will receive a medal on stage in front of a packed house of scientific thinkers. The fair is an opportunity for scientists, engineers and business leaders to network with the educational community, to exchange ideas and discuss career opportunities. In the past, projects numbered close to 1,200 in 38 categories. Various science organizations provide interactive activities and engaging presentations for students that are showcased for the 4,000+ student participants and visitors yearly. If students achieve first or second place in their categories they may travel to state, national and/or international competitions.
- Fine Arts: Performing and Visual Arts
- History and Social Sciences
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Physical Education
- World Languages
- Courses and Programs Offered Through The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)
- Additional Resources
Whether in reading, writing, or speaking, the ability to use language artfully and interpret it critically enhances our understanding of self, others, and the world in which we live. The English Department’s goal is to develop these skills through the study of literature. Many different teaching styles are employed, but every English class seeks high levels of participation in student-centered discussions. We challenge students as writers by asking them to work with a variety of genres and styles, giving special emphasis—particularly in the upper grade levels—to the formal academic essay. We also believe that students’ critical skills are best developed through challenging encounters with a variety of genres, styles, historical periods and cultures. In the midst of this diversity, our larger focus of instruction is consistent at every grade level—to strengthen the skills with which our students express themselves and to enhance their ability to analyze the world around them.
Senior year affords students the opportunity to take two English electives, one per semester. These electives represent a wide range of literary study to appeal to students’ various interests.
Yearbook, UltraViolet, and Other Publications See CEI/Media Electives
The Performing and Visual Arts Departments at Marlborough believe that there is an interrelationship and interdependence among all disciplines in the arts. The programs are designed to enable students to form an appreciation for the creative process, develop the personal commitment needed to complete a piece of work, establish an appropriate level of technique and skill in their chosen disciplines, and to recognize artistic quality. Students are expected to communicate effectively in both verbal and written form about the art genre in which they are participating, develop confidence in their accomplishments, value cooperative interaction, and to cultivate a personal approach evolving from the aesthetics of a broad range of artistic styles and disciplines. The Performing Arts Department offers a full range of courses in dance, theater, and music. Dance Dimensions, Marlborough Chamber Choir, Marlborough Ensemble Theatre and Instrumental Ensemble are performing groups open only by audition. The Visual Arts Department offers a full range of courses in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, metals, filmmaking, and digital arts.
For Other Media-Related Courses See CEI Electives.
To be eligible for admission to the University of California, students must take one year-long course in visual or performing arts. The following Marlborough courses fulfill the UC Fine Arts requirement:
* Indicates that the courses must be taken in the fall/spring of the same school year
Foundations in Drawing and Painting
AP Art History (see History and Social Sciences section for course description)
AP Studio Art—Drawing
AP Studio Art 2D Design
AP Studio Art 3D Design
Marlborough Ensemble Theater
Marlborough Chamber Choir
The study of history and human societies is intrinsically fascinating and our classes capture that excitement. The Department’s courses foster rigorous thought about continuity and change over time and interactions among societies. They also teach students to think about history by analyzing geography, politics, economics, demography, social and cultural systems, as well as arts and ideas.
Our Middle School courses introduce ancient societies and modern world cultures in ways that breathe life into both old and recent history for students. Students begin honing their skills as readers, writers, and analysts, and build a base for more advanced Upper School study of both American and World history. In addition, the Department offers courses in non-historical social sciences, especially in our elective offerings.
Understanding the present and grappling with the future demands a comprehension of the past. History’s tales of human aspirations, strivings, accomplishments, and failings help our students become knowledgeable, engaged, effective citizens of their country and of the increasingly global society in which they live.
Students must satisfy the United States History requirement in Grade 10 by taking one of the three following year-long survey courses or by enrolling in the interdepartmental American Studies program:
Students may satisfy the Modern History requirement in Grade 11 or 12 by taking one of the three following year-long survey courses:
The Department’s offering of electives aims to provide opportunities to pursue further study in history and social sciences. Electives offered in past years have included: Twentieth Century American Popular Culture, Politics, Globalization and International Economic Development, Economics, The Modern Middle East and South Asia, American Political Thought, The Sixties, History of Imperialism, Africa and the Atlantic World, Globalization in Latin America, The Supernatural in Latin American Culture and America in the Cold War.
The curriculum for the Mathematics and Computer Science Department stresses the development of problem-solving techniques, logical reasoning, and data analysis.
The Mathematics Department prepares students for college-level mathematics, teaches students to become independent problem solvers, and strives to motivate students to appreciate the elegance and wonder of mathematics. The Department is aware of developmental issues unique to young women in math; to that end, our courses can be viewed as an ongoing open dialogue among teacher and students. The Department emphasizes the integration of technology in its courses. Calculators and computer software help the students apply what they learn to real world applications and also to visualize more challenging mathematical concepts. The Department uses many teaching strategies including lecture, partner work, collaborative groups, and projects in the pursuit of its goal of providing young women with the best possible mathematics education.
The Department requires the use of a TI-Nspire CX graphing calculator in all courses beginning with Geometry or Geometry Honors. In order to develop students’ number sense, no calculators are used in Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.
The field of Computer Science encompasses a broad range of skills that will be essential to the next generation of leaders: problem solving and computational thinking, translating ideas into code, design and engineering, and combining technical ability with creativity. The core ideas of computer science can be applied to many different areas: business, security, entertainment, art, engineering, and science.
The Computer Science curriculum has been designed with two general goals in mind: 1) to give students a first introduction to creating with code, and 2) to provide a solid foundation for students who would like to continue to study computer science in college and beyond. The curriculum emphasizes fundamental ideas in computer science theory, and also gives a broad view of the varied applications of computer science. In our classes we rely on open technologies, avoiding dependence on specific vendors or software ecosystems. However, we also encourage students to embrace new technology and to explore the creative potential of cutting-edge hardware and software.
Promoting the physical well-being of the members of the Marlborough School community is part of the mission of the School. The Physical Education Department serves as the leader and main constituent in attaining this goal. The Department recognizes the individual needs of the students and strives to help each student develop her personal capabilities to her fullest potential. Through participation in a variety of physical activities the Department helps students develop an appreciation for the importance of regular exercise and behavior patterns that will lead to a healthy lifestyle, reduced stress, illness prevention, proper nutrition, and overall fitness. In addition to teaching the particular skills and strategies for specific sports, the Department helps students develop socialization and leadership skills through activities that foster cooperation, team building, and sportsmanship. Various modes of technology are utilized to enhance the students’ understanding of fitness and the sports included in our curriculum. Each student is nurtured to develop a positive self-image as a “physically-educated” individual, able to implement the knowledge and skills she learns in class into her life. This goal is explicitly expressed in our Department philosophy of “Fit for Life.”
In Grades 7-8 students are exposed to a variety of activities to expand their experiences and develop into well-rounded young women. By exploring new activities in the various units, some students may choose to pursue their interests in a more competitive direction by joining an athletic team.
In Grades 9-12 students enroll in four semester electives. The focus in Grades 9-12 is on life-long skills, personal fitness, stress management, and more in-depth instruction in activities of special interest to the students. Dance electives can fulfill the Physical Education requirement.
The requirement for grades 9 - 12 will be 4 semester credits which may be fulfilled in the follow ways:
- Health in 9th grade
- Emergency Preparedness/Water Safety in grades 9th - 12th
- Completion of Athletes’ Conditioning and the appropriate season of that sport
- Semester electives
The goals of the Science Department at Marlborough School are as follows: to help students develop an understanding of science concepts and skills that enable them to develop a love of science and an appreciation for the role of science and technology in everyday life; to provide students with the fullest possible preparation for success in college science programs; to nurture self-confidence and a sense of worth in young women, intellectually, emotionally, and socially at all levels of scientific endeavor; to promote the concept of working in cooperative groups; and to demonstrate the interrelatedness of scientific disciplines through the use of innovative curricula and a variety of teaching methods.
The curriculum is structured so that students have an opportunity to discover, explore, manipulate, contemplate, and experience real science. Laboratory and classroom experiences foster critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that enable students to take charge of their life-long learning process. The laboratory, in particular, is a place for students to test their ability to think critically and creatively while working cooperatively with their peers. Students are also provided with opportunities to develop their skills in using computers for data collection and analysis in the laboratory, and to research and study via the Internet.
Electives in Science may be offered yearly, rotate from year to year, or may not be offered in subsequent school years. When possible, this is noted in the course description.
Honors Research in Science
See Courses Offered Through The CEI for course description.
In the modern languages, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish, the sequence of courses develops the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and includes appropriate cultural, historical, and literary materials at all levels. The goal of the Department is to enable students to attain increasingly higher levels of proficiency as measured by the national standards set forth by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The Department uses the AAPPL (ACTFL Assessment of Progress Toward Proficiency in Languages) assessment in the spring to determine whether a student has attained the proficiency necessary to advance to the next level. In addition, the Department seeks to instill an appreciation of Chinese, Francophone, and Hispanic cultures. To better facilitate these goals, students should expect to use little or no English in class. In the Latin courses, speaking and listening are less emphasized, and special attention is given to the structure of the language, as well as cultural, historical, and literary aspects of Latin, and its profound influence on the English language. Students are encouraged to go beyond Level III in World Languages either by taking more advanced courses in their current language, or by starting another language.
For students wishing to extend their learning experience beyond Marlborough’s traditional curriculum, the CEI offers a range of courses and programs focused in five interdisciplinary areas: Entrepreneurship, Media, Robotics, Research, and Computer Science.
Capstone Projects allow highly-motivated seniors to pursue a passion outside of the School's core curriculum. In these year-long projects, typically taken in lieu of a fifth academic course, students choose a field of interest largely unrelated to their scholastic work, deepen their knowledge of that field through a combination of research and hands-on experience, identify a specific problem or question within the field, propose a solution, and attempt to implement that solution in the form of a project or practicum. Students are encouraged to drop one core academic class in the Senior year to accommodate the considerable time commitment. Students may pursue a Capstone Project or Honors Research, but not both. Students seeking further information should contact the Dean of Studies.
Research advances human knowledge and deepens understanding. Asking a question and creating a hypothesis are essential to any research project in any discipline. Research also entails designing methods and models to evaluate the validity of the researcher's hypothesis, as well as conducting searches and reviews of the scholarly literature to situate the researcher's ideas within the broader body of existing knowledge. There are two types of academic research. Pure or basic research aims to increase knowledge without an intentional application, while applied research extends knowledge for specific practical purposes. The following classes are offered for students interested in learning more about the research process and pursuing an independent research project:
Student Publications offer a variety of training in real-world, hands-on media skills in several disciplines. Students interested in journalism and producing a print publication should take Newspaper Production 1, 2 or Yearbook production. Students interested in more visual aspects of media should take VTV for video and podcast production or Special Studies in Visual Media for photography and graphic creation. Students interested in exploring possibilities are encouraged to take Newspaper Production 1 which provides a variety of training in all areas of journalism - print, online, and broadcast.
Entrepreneurship is more than the act of creating a business--it’s about transforming the world by solving big problems, like initiating social change, building a life-changing service, or creating a new product. While entrepreneurs are different in many ways, they also share certain traits: they embrace new thinking and are open to new ideas. They’re drawn to opportunity. They want to help people and make the world better. Anyone can be an entrepreneur, and our Entrepreneurship Program helps students turn their ideas into successful products and services that have real impact. Empowering students to define their future and maximize their impact, Marlborough’s entrepreneurship courses provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills, networking and partnership opportunities, and coaching and mentoring to help them launch their products and services to their target markets. Middle School students can take the Middle School Entrepreneurship elective, and Upper School students can choose from a variety of course offerings. Those who want to pursue the Honors Capstone can apply to participate in the Marlborough Xcelerator during the spring of their Junior Year (see more information in the Capstones section).
Honors Capstone Program in Entrepreneurship
See Honors Capstone Program.
Computer Science See Mathematics and Computer Science
Engineering Design & Analysis See Science electives
Robotics See Science electives
True excellence in education means providing a program that enables all students to see themselves reflected in their curriculum. By embedding intellectual inquiry related to race, ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation throughout, we aim to place all students’ voices at the heart of our work. In the classroom, that applies not only to the information we teach, but also how we teach it.