The Upper School curriculum is a rigorous college preparatory program in the classical and Christian liberal arts tradition. Students share a common integrated curriculum, ensuring a broad academic background with a solid foundation in the humanities (English, literature, history, Christian studies, languages (including Latin), and fine arts). The core curricula of the humanities strand are strategically aligned to engage students in a rich liberal arts tradition of learning. An equally solid foundation in mathematics and the sciences is acquired through comprehensive programs with robust offerings. The Upper School curriculum also includes a health education course and opportunities to participate in physical activity and athletics. A common core curriculum encourages a powerful academic community with shared intellectual experiences. Students are able to make connections between subjects, as all students have taken the same courses and are able to integrate new information to classes previously taken.
Senior Capstone Projects
Upon completion of classes by mid-May, seniors spend three weeks intensively working on a personally selected senior project. The project culminates in a presentation to peers and a defense of the work before a panel of faculty judges. Recent Senior Capstone Projects have included:
- organization and creation of an integrative garden,
- a Peace Corps trip to El Salvador,
- climbing and study of Mount Kilimanjaro,
- performance of a Japanese tea ceremony,
- mechanical and cosmetic restoration of a vintage automobile, among many others.
The National Merit Scholarship Competition
The National Merit Scholarship Competition recognizes approximately 3.5% of the 1.5 million nationwide entrants each year with the highest PSAT/NMSQT®.
|Class of 2010
|Class of 2011
|Class of 2012
|Class of 2013
|Class of 2014
Advanced Placement Program (AP)
Students at Bear Creek have the opportunity to challenge themselves in areas of particular aptitude and passion by enrolling in several Advanced Placement courses. AP courses are taught by Bear Creek faculty, but content is guided by The College Board. AP courses culminate each May with a national examination in each subject area and students may earn college credit based on their exam score (typically a 3 or higher).
Two defining elements of the AP program at Bear Creek are the scope of our AP offerings and the fact that enrollment is, essentially, open to all students. Bear Creek offers the following AP courses each year:
- English Language and Composition
- English Literature and Composition
- U.S. History
- European History
- Physics B
- Calculus AB
- Calculus BC
- AP courses in Spanish Language and Culture, Music Theory, and Latin are offered every other year.
Other AP courses may be offered based on interest. See course catalog for prerequisites.
AP Summary Statistics 2013
|% of Grades 10-12 testing
|% scoring “3” or higher
|% scoring “4” or higher
|% scoring “5”
Bear Creek students are encouraged to explore the AP program in areas that interest them. Whereas some schools discourage AP enrollment to keep exam scores high, in the last four years 77% of Bear Creek’s students in grades 10-12 took at least one AP exam in a given year.