Upper School Curriculum

Penn Charter is an exciting place to learn because we encourage students to move beyond merely collecting facts. We help students make connections between ideas and concepts across all the disciplines — science, mathematics, language, literature, history, religious studies, physical education, and the arts — and those connections lead to independent thinking and learning.

Students work with advisors to select courses that fulfill requirements, maximize talents, and address challenges. In order to graduate, a student must satisfactorily complete 40 semester units. Of these, 8 will be in English, 7 in mathematics, 6 in foreign language (or at least through level 3 of a language), 6 in social studies, 6 in the sciences, 2 in the arts, 2.33 in health and physical education, 0.5 in computer science, and 2 in religious studies and philosophy. The remaining credits will be electives. Ninth and tenth graders follow a core curriculum enhanced by courses in the visual and performing arts, health and physical education, and religion. Students may supplement required core courses with electives from a wide range of offerings, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses and independent study options. Students will need to meet subject specific prerequisites for placement into advanced and/or AP courses.

The academic year is divided into semesters of approximately 18 weeks. The school operates on a rotating system of blue and yellow weeks so that a given subject occurs at different times each week. Upper School classes meet for 40 or 80 minutes, providing opportunities for a range of teaching approaches. Students receive formal progress reports from teachers at least two times during each semester.

Students work with and learn from an integrated learning support team that includes a learning specialist, counselor, nurses as well as a Writing Center and Math Center staffed by faculty and peer tutors.

Upper School Course of Study

The Course of Study is published each February for Upper School academic planning for the following September. The courses listed below are offered during the 2017-2018 school year.

Enrichment Activities & Sports

At Penn Charter, a multitude of activities and leadership opportunities allow students to stretch beyond their natural talents and inclinations. As part of the curriculum, all students participate in two major activities. One must be a sport and the other can be a second sport or an activity selected from an evolving list that includes:

    • The Studio and Digital Arts Club

    • Class Record (yearbook)

    • Jazz Band

    • The Mirror (the nation's oldest high-school newspaper)

    • Model UN

    • Mock Trial

    • Penn Charter Service Program

    • Plays and Musicals

    • Quakers Dozen (a cappella choral group selected by audition)

    • Girls & Boys a Capella Groups

    • String Ensemble

    • Stage Crew

    • Green Club

    • Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA)

    • Black Student Union

    • Diversity Council

    • Social Justice Club

      Quakers Dozen sings Take On Me

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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