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  • Upper School

There are exciting conversations beginning to happen all over campus this week, as we talk with our high school students about what courses they would like to take in the fall. Our school theme this year, “Ignite Your Passion and Purpose,” has inspired some exciting changes in our curriculum. We want to offer students even more choice in course selection and timing of their high school classes, because we know that when students get a sense of agency in designing their own curricular destiny, they tend to work harder and be more successful in their coursework.

Our academic advisor for grades 9 and 10, Mrs. Kristi Morris, will explain to our incoming freshmen that they have more options in their arts requirement. No longer will our girls be locked into a single class for a full year. We’ve reimagined these arts classes into semester-long surveys so that students can explore their creativity. Even if they are destined to be a show choir superstar, they might like to take a course in painting and drawing in addition to a choir class, and the new semester-long scheme will facilitate this. We’ve added Introduction to Publishing as an underclasswoman option as well. We’ve recognized that our ninth grade students often long to have their voice heard in newspapers, literary magazines, and even broadcasting. Rather than waiting until their junior and senior years, we will begin fueling their passion and purpose in these areas at a younger age.

Our college counselors, Alison Malbrough and Colleen Murray, will work with our older students in choosing courses that will prepare them for success in college. We’ve created more choices in our science curriculum so that students can take Anatomy and Physiology, Coding, Engineering, and other STEM electives earlier in their high school careers so they can find what they love and pursue those subject areas. Students who love history will be delighted by some of our new electives such as Art History and Contemporary History (launched this year). Our goal is to stoke the intellectual curiosity of your daughters so they can’t wait to come to school every day and learn about this complex, exciting, and wonderful world we live in. Doing so helps me quench my own sense of passion and purpose for making Villa a place where your daughters will discover exactly who they were created to be.

Mrs. Jeannie Steenberge
Upper School Principal