Upper School

Upper school is when young people begin to stretch towards the adults they will become.

As a Quaker school, Moses Brown strives to develop in every student the skills they will need to be compassionate, competent, and considerate leaders and stewards of the communities of which they will be part. They experience and demonstrate the respect and care that are required by our shared humanity. In their time in the upper school, students learn to solicit diverse perspectives; listen deeply; use reflection and discernment to evaluate and interpret data; and make conscious, well-considered decisions. They learn that individual choices are inherently related to social problems and solutions, and that individual voices can be powerful tools for advocacy and change.  When they leave Moses Brown, students leave empowered—not just to find their Truth, but to live and share it with courage and commitment.

The four-year upper school experience begins at Friends Camp in South China, ME, where ninth-graders spend a weekend getting to know each other and the ethos and practices of a Quaker school. They experience the first of many Meetings for Worship and build community through challenges, games, and conversations. A cardboard boat challenge introduces them to a design-thinking approach that they will encounter throughout their upper school journey. Orientation to our community continues in the semester-long Ninth Grade Program, which focuses on health and wellness; creating a culture of belonging; study skills; and introduction to upper school life. This work continues for older students through age-appropriate grade-level programming and upper school assemblies.

The upper school academic program meets students where they are and challenges them to become independent, self-advocating, and passionate learners over their four years. Ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade students take grade-specific English and humanities courses. Students are placed in math, world language, and science courses that ensure appropriate challenge. Students have access to arts courses across four years, and their degree of choice across the curriculum grows as they get older. For example, twelfth grade students may choose from English electives from Moby Dick to Literature of War; humanities courses from AP Psychology to Religion, Conflict and Identity in the Middle East; and science courses from AP Chemistry to Ornithology.

In the upper school, students develop into global citizens and ethical leaders, and practice the critical thinking skills of scholars in each discipline. Our 5,000 square foot “Y-Lab” maker space gives classes across the curriculum a place to test their ideas and bring abstract concepts to life. Field trips around New England, for example to nature reserves, art museums, and local non-profits, help students apply their learning to authentic contexts. The TRIPs program sends students around the country and world to engage in service learning and cultural immersion. Co-curricular offerings include athletics, theater productions, instrumental ensembles, robotics, Model UN, debate team, and more. A wide range of student run clubs further engages students in social justice causes, friendly competitions, and shared interests. Affinity groups across a range of identities further support the growth and well-being of upper school students.

Throughout the upper school experience, students benefit from an exceptional advisory program and strong relationships with their teachers that help them to understand themselves as learners and as community members. An individualized college counseling program also supports students in knowing themselves well and using that knowledge to guide their decisions throughout the college process. It is through these relationships and conversations that the mission of Moses Brown is lived each day, and students grow into young people who know themselves as learners and leaders ready to make an impact on the world around them.

Meet the Upper School faculty.



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