High School

Cultivating a lifelong love of learning.

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Our High School Program

At The New School, our mission is to help students learn to use their minds well. High schoolers choose their classes, rather than follow a prescribed sequence, and teachers and students are on a first-name basis and interact as colleagues. Classes are small by design and structured as seminars, rather than lectures.

Our graduates emerge as self-reliant, academically curious, skilled learners–individuals who have a strong sense of self and are prepared to succeed in whatever they choose to do next.

What makes our program one-of-a-kind?

Our students are given a great deal of choice, particularly in the high school, to encourage them to invest in their education. Rather than general classes (e.g., English 9, Chemistry 10, Social Studies 11), students choose from a generous selection of fascinating classes within each discipline (e.g., The Search for Self in Literature, The Chemistry of War, The Art and Science of Dreams). In essence, our curriculum focuses on applied learning and mastery of academic skills, rather than memorization of facts.

Junior Portfolio

The junior portfolio is one of The New School’s capstone projects and it extends naturally from the New School’s mission statement to help students learn to use their minds well and take charge of their lives. The portfolio asks students to engage in structured reflection about how they are growing as a person, using the essential skills as a lens for monitoring this progress. Our spring portfolio conference days, when students share about their perceptions and life experiences with their families and teachers, are always some of the most meaningful days of the year.


Exhibitions are an integral part of The New School, and of high school morning modules. Although every class has its own set of goals and expectations, high school morning module teachers design classes around essential questions that are addressed by students at the end of the quarter through final, public exhibitions. The format and details of any exhibition will be shaped by the type of class and the expectations of the teacher (based on the content/curriculum they design), but all exhibitions should involve some element of student choice. During exhibition presentations, students become the teacher, and the expertise and opinions they share should be their own.


The community life of The New School is largely created by the students. Our student government meets weekly to discuss topics of student and community interest and plan events, from the prom to guest speakers to field day. Most tellingly, we have an all-school meeting every day, which is an open forum where any member of the community may make an announcement. We care about connectedness and student initiative: we all know, respect, and listen to one another, and everyone has an equal voice and matters within the school community. Most of our students play on one of our sports teams or participate in student-led clubs. For us extracurriculars are about inclusion, options, and having fun. And because clubs are student-created, the possibilities are limitless, from debate, to baking, to rocketry, to anime, to current events, to chorus.

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