The upper school offers an educational program that nurtures the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and artistic development of each student. The curriculum is designed by the faculty and based on the skills and content that a graduate is expected to possess as well as Common Core Standards and/or national standards in specific content areas. It is also integrated and aligned within departments and across school divisions, with an emphasis on promoting depth of understanding rather than a superficial breadth of topics.
Rigorous academics are the cornerstone of the CIS program. As a college preparatory school, CIS is committed to offering courses that challenge each student, provide instruction, and practice and promote mastery in foundational knowledge and skills across the curriculum.
The typical academic course sequence is outlined below. All courses are taught at an honors level; however, they are not titles as honors courses on the transcript. A total of 26.5 credits are required to graduate from CIS.
|Department||Requirement||9th Grade||10th Grade||11th Grade||12th Grade|
|English||4.0 credits||English 9 -
|European Literature||English Language or AP English Language||English Literature or AP English Literature|
|History||4.0 credits||World History (required)||
AP Human Geography
|AP U.S. History|
|Science||4.0 credits||Chemistry||Biology||Anatomy and Physiology or AP Chemistry||
Physics or AP Physics (required)
|Mathematics||4.0 credits||Math course sequence is determined by success in previous math courses and/or an assessment. Students begin earning mathematics credits beginning with Algebra I; the required sequence continues with Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus (with trigonometry). Elective math courses are AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics.|
|4.0 credits||French, Latin, and Spanish are offered from level 1 through the AP level. Although the credits do not have to be in the same language, students are encouraged to study at least one language in depth. Students earn credits for Latin courses in grades 6-8 and Spanish/French courses in grade 8.|
|Fine Arts||1.0 credits||Students choose to take courses from the following list: Art, Choir, Guitar, Jazz Ensemble, or Performing Arts. Courses have included Philosophy in the Arts, Mythology, Film Studies, Author’s Study-Shakespeare, and Children’s Media Analysis. Each semester is .25 or .5 credit (depending on the class) with classes meeting on alternate days.|
|Physical Education||0.5 credits||Students must take at least two semesters of alternating-day physical education.|
|Electives||5.0 credits||Students earn elective credits through aforementioned courses taken beyond department requirements. In addition, some students take online courses through approved programs; these are listed on a student’s transcript.|