Oak Hall's Upper School curriculum is a challenging, college preparatory program consisting of a core curriculum and a wide range of electives. Building on the strong foundation established in the Middle School, this program prepares students for acceptance and success in competitive colleges and for success in life beyond college. Honors and Advanced Placement courses are offered in every academic department. Many semester- and year-long electives are also offered.
Oak Hall has high expectations for all students. Upper School classes emphasize both mastery of specific content and the skills necessary for success in college and in the years after college. These skills include:
- critical reading and thinking
- effective oral and written communications
- problem solving
- research techniques
- and the use of technology as a tool in the acquisition of knowledge
Beyond the core courses of English, history, math, science, and foreign language, students are encouraged to develop their aesthetic dimension through participation in a variety of art, music, and drama classes. They are also encouraged to participate in the school's athletic and outdoors programs in order to acquire an appreciation for physical fitness, cooperation, and the natural environment.
Students must earn 24 credits in grades 9-12.
Students must be enrolled in and successfully pass a minimum of six courses earning six credits each year. If a student does not successfully earn six credits, they may be required to attend summer school or make up the credit in some other way. Additionally, students must take four academic courses (defined as offerings from the English, History, Math, Science, and Foreign Language departments plus all AP classes) each semester.
I. English: 4 credits required.
- English I
- English II
- English III
- English IV
English I and IV are offered at the College Preparatory and Honors levels. Many students elect to take AP English Language in the sophomore year, and AP English Literature in the junior year.
Independent Study exists as an option for highly motivated and responsible seniors. The purpose of this option is to allow students to explore an area of special academic interest, that is not offered at Oak Hall School, or to pursue work in a subject at a more advanced level than we offer. In many cases the Dual Enrollment option at Santa Fe College or the University of Florida can accommodate such special individual needs. When Dual Enrollment is not an option, Independent Study may take its place.
Independent Study projects should be proposed by the student using the proper form. The student's project must be approved by the Department Heads Council and by a sponsoring faculty member. To be approved the project must be completed independent of regular class meetings, the student and the sponsoring faculty member must meet and discuss the project at least twice a week. If credit is to be granted for the project, the student must produce a tangible product and/or sit for an examination. Independent Study projects should be planned to last one semester and should result in the equivalent of one semester's work. Deadline for approval is one week before the end of a semester.
II. History: 3 credits required.
- American Government
- World History
- U.S. History
American Government, World History, and US History are offered at the College Preparatory and Honors levels. AP Government and Politics is available as early as the freshman year to qualified candidates. Many students elect to take AP World History in the sophomore year, and AP US History in the junior year. AP European History and AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are offered as senior electives.
V. World Language: 2 credits in the same language in the Upper School required.
- Latin I and II, Chinese I and II or
- Spanish I and II
Students are required to complete two levels of the same language in the Upper School (even if they receive a credit from Middle School.) Chinese, Latin, and Spanish students are encouraged to progress to the Advanced Placement level. Students who finish the AP level by their senior year may elect to take a year of Ancient Greek.
Qualified Upper School juniors and seniors may be dually enrolled for both college and high school credit in courses offered at the University of Florida. Oak Hall will permit these courses to satisfy only those graduation requirements outside the core curriculum. Students should plan to take no more than two dual enrollment courses per semester, and grades earned in these courses, while listed on the transcript, will not be computed into Oak Hall's grade point average. Each semester dual enrollment course will be awarded ½ high school credit. Arrangements to participate in dual enrollment must be confirmed at least two weeks prior to the beginning of each semester.
A junior or senior enrolled in four or more Advanced Placement and/or approved college dual enrollment courses in either first or second semester or both semesters may opt to enroll in only five credit-bearing courses. That student must have enough previous credits to be on track to meet the Oak Hall graduation requirement of twenty-four.
III. Mathematics: 4 credits required.
- Algebra I (may be completed in Middle School)
- Geometry (may be completed in Middle School)
- Algebra II
Geometry, Algebra II, and Precalculus are taught at the College Preparatory and Honors and levels. Many juniors and seniors elect to take AP Calculus A/B, and qualified seniors can take AP Calculus B/C.
VI. Fine Arts: 1 credit required from any of the following:
- Advanced Instrumental Music
- Advanced Photography
- AP Studio Art
- Art I
- Asian Art
- Ceramics I-II
- Creative Design
- Digital Storytelling
- Drawing and Painting
- Multimedia Applications
- Theater I-IV
VII. Health and Physical Education: 0.5 credit of each required.
IV. Science: 3 credits required.
Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are taught at the College Preparatory and Honors and levels. There are a variety of Advanced Placement options in science, including: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics I, AP Physics II, and AP Environmental Science.
Oak Hall School operates on a two-semester academic calendar, with two grading periods (quarters) each semester. The semester grade is determined by assigning 40% weight to each of the two quarters and 20% to the semester examination. Semester exams are given in all courses except performance and computer classes. Only the semester grade is recorded on the student's permanent record. One-half credit is awarded for each passing grade earned.
The school reports letter grades on report cards, transcripts, and teacher comments. Grade point averages (GPAs) are determined on a 4.0 scale. For computing GPA, Advanced Placement courses are weighted 1.0, and Honors courses are weighted .5. A percentage equivalent is included in the following chart:
A+ 98 - 100% 4.33 A 93 - 97% 4.0 A- 90 - 92% 3.67%
B+ 87 - 89% 3.33 B 83 - 86% 3.0 B- 80 - 82% 2.67
C+ 77 - 79% 2.33 C 73 - 76% 2.0 C- 70 - 72% 1.67
D+ 67 - 69% 1.33 D 63 - 66% 1.0 D- 60 - 62% 0.67
F below 60% 0.00
Honors and Advanced Placement Courses
To qualify for Honors and Advanced Placement courses students must meet criteria established by each department. Students who then elect to take these courses must maintain a C average in the current course. Students earning a D or below will be placed on probation in that course for one quarter in order to allow them to raise their average to a C. Students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are expected to take the AP examination, which is administered by the College Board in May. Students are normally limited to four AP classes each semester.