The Upper School is the culmination of Stuart Hall School’s cohesive PK-12 educational experience. The Upper School provides four years of challenging coursework in the liberal arts and sciences preparing students for colleges and universities worldwide. Stuart Hall provides several options to receive honors credit for individual courses, as well as the opportunity to pursue an Honors Diploma. Students who have a strong interest in the arts may concentrate in Visual Art, Theatre, or Music while completing a college preparatory curriculum.
Honors Program: The goal of the Honors Program at Stuart Hall is to provide a deep and broad education in the liberal arts and sciences and to develop three essential cognitive skills: critical thinking, oral and written communication, and independent investigation and research. To qualify for honors courses student must have a weighted minimum grade point average of 3.3 in the preceding course in the respective academic area, and are expected to maintain a weighted Grade Point Average of 3.3. The honors program includes core courses taken for honors, Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, and college-level courses through Mary Baldwin College.
Honors Courses: Students may choose to take a college preparatory course for honors credit and contract with his or her teacher to do so. The contract specifies how the honors level work meets the four goals: deeper and broader knowledge of the material, critical thinking, communication, and independent work. Courses available for honors credit through contract include many courses in the four core disciplines: English, history, math, and science. Students who plan to graduate with an Art, Music, or Theatre Emphasis are eligible to take a course in their concentration for honors credit after two years of Emphasis courses taken for regular credit.
Advanced Placement*: AP is a rigorous academic program that provides the opportunity for students to earn college credit or placement while still in high school. There are many benefits for students enrolled in AP courses:
• A 2008 study found that AP students had better four-year graduation rates than those who did not take AP.
• Taking AP increases eligibility for scholarships and makes candidates more attractive to colleges:
o 31 percent of colleges and universities consider a student's AP experience when making decisions about which students will receive scholarships.
o 85 percent of selective colleges and universities report that a student's AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions.
*(Source: College Board)
Stuart Hall offers AP courses in English, math, history, science, world languages, and music. Students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the course exam administered in May.
Dual Enrollment: Seniors may take College Composition which provides dual enrollment credit at Stuart Hall and Mary Baldwin College. Successful completion of this course will give the student one credit in English at Stuart Hall and as many as six semester hour credits at Mary Baldwin. The course is taught at Stuart Hall at no added expense to the student.
College Courses: Students who wish to take a course at Mary Baldwin may do so 1) with permission of the teacher 2) if scheduling permits and 3) if an equivalent course is not available at Stuart Hall. Mary Baldwin offers courses to Stuart Hall students at a rate of 1/3 the per-credit hour tuition.
Honors Diploma: To graduate “With Honors” a student must successfully complete a total of ten courses for honors, AP, or college credit with a minimum weighted Grade Point Average of 3.3.
Advisory: The Upper School advisory program is integral to the school’s mission, Mind-Body-Heart-Spirit. Small advisory groups meet a minimum of three times each week for morning meetings and lunch. Advisory groups also meet for special events such as community service or chapel programs. Advisors are kept apprised of overall student progress and serve in the capacity of student advocate and liaison by assisting students with academic, social, and personal questions or difficulties.
College Counseling: Stuart Hall School maintains a 100% college acceptance rate with careful oversight by a professional college counselor. College counseling at Stuart Hall is designed to help students and their parents/guardians negotiate the intricate college admissions process. Through individual and group meetings that begin when students enter the High School, the College Counseling office guides students on self-discovery and college-discovery. Although outcomes are important, the college counseling office strives to provide an atmosphere that allows a student to find his/her voice in this important process and to find post-secondary institutions that meet the student’s individual needs and expectations.
Honor Code: Stuart Hall’s Honor Code is a special part of the School, distinct from all other expectations. Our Honor Code is based on the principles of mutual trust and honesty. The Code provides the School community with an environment of cooperative spirit, respect, and truthfulness.
Prefects: Prefects hold the most prestigious student leadership positions in the School. Prefects function to perpetuate the Honor and Conduct Codes, to report violations of the School’s expectations, to act as peer support, to provide leadership in community activities, and to uphold and preserve the standards and traditions of the School. Prefects are also responsible for performing certain jobs such as holding the stop sign when students are crossing the street to go to chapel, helping in the library, helping the receptionist, and in the case of boarding prefects, helping to manage life on dorm. Prefects assume responsibility for orienting new students to the expectations of the Honor and Conduct Code, and comprise the student-run Honor Board.
To be chosen as a prefect is one of the highest honors of the School. It recognizes the level of trust and respect accorded by peers and teachers. This respect is derived from the student’s demonstrated leadership, high standard of personal integrity, and mature judgment. Both the faculty and the student body nominate prefects each spring. No student under serious honor and conduct sanction may be nominated. A committee of administrators interviews the candidates and determines the final selection.
Student Government: The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as a vehicle for students to exercise effective leadership, address concerns, sponsor School activities and service projects, and accomplish tasks efficiently. The SGA meets regularly. The student body, through the SGA, makes proposals for change in the School by majority vote. Twice a year, once each semester, the SGA president presents the student body’s proposals to the Dean of Students. After review, proposals are discussed with the faculty, and changes may be implemented when possible. Qualifications for SGA Offices are determined by the SGA.