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Academics

Top-notch academics are at the core of the Quarry Lane School academic experience. Our administration and faculty continually collaborate to maintain a curriculum that keeps pace with the needs of our students and continues to broaden their intellectual boundaries. Outstanding faculty, small class sizes and comprehensive teaching techniques are all essential components of our academic program.

At our high school level, we are proud to offer three unique academic tracks, each uniquely designed to guide our student's path to success. With a 100 percent acceptance rate into colleges and universities, Quarry Lane students leave our campus fully prepared to thrive in the next step of their educational journey.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme


Quarry Lane is proud to be the only private school in the East Bay to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and balanced two-year curriculum for juniors and seniors noted for its depth, challenge and international perspective. The IB program is recognized worldwide as one of the finest college preparatory programs a student can take, and is widely considered the gold standard for college admissions.

Learn more about the IB Diploma Programme

High School Curriculum

Academic Tracks

One of the key features that sets Quarry Lane's program apart is our three distinct academic tracks:

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme Track

The IB Diploma Programme Track provides a comprehensive education to prepare students for top university study. It has an interdisciplinary, global curriculum which begins in the junior year. Oral and written examinations are internationally developed and assessed. Quarry Lane is the only private high school in the East Bay Area to offer this prestigious diploma, which is considered the gold standard for university admission.

Learn more about the IB Diploma Programme at Quarry Lane

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Track

We have developed a challenging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Track for high school students who want to focus on these areas as a future career. Our applied science curriculum models a real-world design and research engineering lab, which supports students' empirical and theoretical research projects. These projects create opportunities for students to work alongside industry professionals at top universities and research labs. This track is not only focused on academics, but also challenges students to solve real-world problems using the disciplines of science and engineering.

College Preparatory Track

The College Preparatory Track curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for the academic challenges of higher education. With high academic expectations for all students, our graduation requirements ensure a comprehensive educational foundation and meet, or surpass, the admissions standards of public and private universities across the country. We offer a variety of advanced placement (AP) classes which allow our students to achieve university credits before they graduate from high school.

Harkness Methodology

"Being able to build on someone else’s idea and not just your own initial thought was really useful in a college setting."
- Ravi Maddali, Quarry Lane alumnus '15

Many of Quarry Lane's Upper School humanities instructors have implemented the Harkness methodology in their classrooms. The Harkness methodology focuses on a collaborative, discussion-based approach to teaching that inspires students to find and use their voices. Seated around a large, oval conference table, students exchange insights and ideas. Throughout their class, they engage in lively conversation, as well as active listening. The Harkness method fosters a learning environment that is conducive to critical thinking and analysis, where students are challenged to assert their opinions, ask questions, and ultimately learn from each other.

Classroom Layout

Harkness tables allow all the students to face into each other, which encourages discussion and student-driven participation. The Harkness tables teach the students to collaborate with each other, rather than compete with each other, and this interaction continues beyond the classroom and becomes a cornerstone of our IB program. The instructor is a participant in the Harkness discussion as well, demonstrating to students how to learn, by teaching them how to ask questions and how to find answers. When it comes time to taking tests or quizzes, each Harkness table has pull-out test tables to give the students individual work areas


Building Lifelong Learners


The Harkness Methodology gives our students the short-term and long-term skills to be lifelong students. The most effective teaching methodologies are practiced by doing and teaching others. Harkness makes extensive use of these methodologies through its discussion-centered practices. It also fosters a sense of community and connectedness that connects our students long after graduation.

English

The primary goal of the English Department is to instruct and inspire our students to become effective readers, thinkers, writers, speakers, and listeners so they may express their ideas while understanding and evaluating those of others.

We believe that the study of literature illuminates the power of language to provide meaning and illustrate the diversity of human experiences. Quarry Lane's high school students actively engage with a variety of literary works from different genres, time periods, cultures and styles to help broaden their proficiency in analysis and interpretation of literature, as well as develop their intellectual curiosity and love for reading.

At the high school level, students learn to write critically, effectively and personally while refining their composition, grammar and vocabulary skills. Through our program, students graduate from Quarry Lane as effective, confident writers with the necessary skills to succeed in their college years and beyond.

Course Offerings


English 1 - Grade 9
ENGLISH honors 1 - grade 9
ENGLISH 2 - grade 10
english honors 2 - grade 10
english 3 - grade 11
english 4 -grade 12
ap english language & composition - grades 10-12
ap english literature & composition - grades 10-12
ib english year 1 sl/hl - grade 11
ib english year 2 sl/hl - grade 12

*All course offerings are subject to change

Mathematics


The Quarry Lane School Math Department aims to shape independent thinkers who are able to discover, understand, and apply mathematics in their lives. We believe that the mathematical learning process is most effective and engaging when the creative aspects of the subject (exploratory problem-solving, modeling) are balanced with enough conceptual rigor and technical facility to enable forward progress. Thus, both these sides of mathematics are incorporated at every level of the QLS curriculum. All topics are studied verbally, visually, and symbolically, with the aim that students learn to communicate mathematics in all of these modes.

Mathematics Course Offerings


algebra - grades 7-9
algebra 2/trigonometry - grades 8-12
algebra 2/trigonometry honors - grades 8-12
geometry - grades 8-12
pre-calculus - grades 9-12
pre-calculus honors - grades 9-12
ap calculus Ab - grades 9-12
AP calculus bc - grades 9-12
ap statistics - grades 10-12
statistics 2 - grades 11-12
business statistics - grades 11-12
ib math studies sl - grades 11-12
ib math sl/hl - grades 11-12
ib further math hl - grades 11-12
multivariable calculus - grades 11-12
linear algebra - grades 11-12
mathematical modeling i - grades 11-12
mathematical modeling Ii - grades 11-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

Science


The Quarry Lane science curriculum affords students with an opportunity to delve into scientific principles and concepts through laboratory and hands-on learning experiences. We hope to expose students to the broad array of information available in these fields, foster their individual interests, and nurture their fascination with the world around them. As they progress through the curriculum, students will have the opportunity to take elective courses in the Advanced Placement and IB series including: Physics (AP/IB), Chemistry (AP/IB), Biology (AP/IB), and Environmental Science and Societies (IB). These advanced courses will give them an appreciation of not only the impressive breadth of material in these disciplines, but also allow them to dig far deeper into some of the topics through extensive hands on work in the lab and in the field. Our science program provides our students with a strong foundation that prepares them for some of the best science programs at universities across the world.

Science Course Offerings

chemistry - grades 9-12
solid state chemistry (h) - grades 9-12
honors chemistry - grades 9-12
ap chemistry - grades 9-12
ib chemistry sl - grades 11-12
ib chemistry hl - grades 11-12
biology - grades 9-12
biology with applications - grades 9-12
ap biology - grades 9-12
ib biology sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib biology hl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib environmental sciences SL 1/2 - grades 11-12
physics - grades 9-12
ap physics 1 - grades 9-12
ap physics 2 - grades 9-12
ap physics c - grades 9-12
ib physics sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib physics hl 1/2 - grades 11-12
astronomy - grades 9-12
ib astronomy sl 1/2 - grades 11-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

Engineering and Technology


Quarry Lane has developed a robust engineering and technology program with access to cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art facilities including prototyping and fabrication workshops. At our high school level, students have the option of taking a full four years of engineering courses, or explore different courses at their own pace.

Our unique Science, Engineering and Technology academic track is focused on preparing students for some of the nation's top engineering universities. The applied science curriculum models real-world design and problem-solving. Our research engineering lab supports students' empirical and theoretical research projects and provides students with the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals.

In addition to our curriculum offerings, Quarry Lane offers a host of extracurricular clubs focused on engineering, design and technology. These may include FIRST Robotics Club, Maker Club, Engineering Club and Girls Who Code (clubs are subject to change based on student interest and availability).

Engineering and Technology Course Offerings


ap computer science principles - grades 9-12
applied science - grades 9-12
introduction to engineering - grades 9-12
engineering project laboratory - grades 9-12
engineering design and assembly - grades 9-12
energy and sustainability - grades 9-12
introduction to modeling & stimulation - grades 11-12
introduction to matlab - grades 11-12
programming for scientists & engineers - grades 11-12
ap computer science - grades 11-12
ib design technology sl/hl - grades 11-12
advanced object-oriented programming - grades 9-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

History and Social Sciences


The History/Social Studies Department contains courses concerned with both the study of the past and the relationship between the individual and society. Its courses help students develop their critical reading and writing skills. In their time at Quarry Lane, students progressively become more acquainted with methods of historical research and analysis, argumentative and persuasive writing, and the oral and audiovisual presentation of research. In particular, the department pushes students to explore the relationship between historical cause and effect, to think about the relevance of contemporary events, and to place events and ideas in their historical and/or social context.

History Course Offerings

ap european history - grades 10-12
world history - grades 9-10
world history honors - grades 9-10
u.s. history - grades 10-12
AP u.s. history - grades 10-12
u.s. government/economics - grades 11-12
ib history of the americas sl/hl - grades 11-12

Social Science Course Offerings

government in practice - grades 9-12
ap psychology - grades 10-12
ib psychology - grades 11-12
economics - grades 11-12
ib economics sl/hl - grades 11-12
ib business and management sl/hl -grades
IB tok (theory of knowledge) - grades 11-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

Visual and Performing Arts

By studying the visual arts students develop technical ability and an understanding of both traditional and contemporary aesthetic practices through multi-cultural perspective. Reflective of the Quarry Lane School’s institutional philosophy, the Visual Arts serves as the foundation for creative exploration, communication, cross cultural understanding, global citizenship and autonomous learning.

Visual Arts Course Offerings

fundamental art - grades 9-12
art in design - grades 10-12
advanced art studio - grades 10-12
ib art sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib art hl 1/2 - grades 11-12


The Quarry Lane School theater arts program focuses on developing language and communication abilities, problem solving skills and the creative process. The class lessons focus on concepts that promote positive self images, social awareness, empathy, values and attitudes as well as an understanding of theater.

Theater Arts and Dance Course Offerings


fundamentals of dance - grades 9-12
theater arts - grades 9-12
advanced theater arts - grades 9-12
ib theater arts sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib theater arts hl 1/2 - grades 11-12


Music

The Quarry Lane Music Department serves a number of important functions in the yearly cycle of events on and off campus. The performance groups, such as Jazz Band and Cougar Choir, give students the opportunity to play or sing music in an ensemble setting, creating important skills beyond music making itself, such as working together in a group and multitasking (such as listening and playing at the same time). Music classes are focused on practical music learning, with the intent of building skills that are useful to all students regardless of what their career path may be. Listening, performing, and composing music are a major aspect of all student projects; based on a conviction that all people are inherently musical, and dedicated to helping students find a purpose and enjoyment for music through their entire lives.

concert band - grades 6-8 (grades 9-12 with approval)
jazz band - grades 6-12
music appreciation - grades 9-12
choir - grades 6-12
Chamber ensembles - grades 7-12
ib music composition sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib music solo performance sl 1/2 - grades 11-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

World Languages

“Language is a key to opening minds and attitudes. To speak, read, write, and understand another language is the beginning of understanding other people.”
-Senator Paul Simon, The Tongue-Tied American, 1980

Studying foreign languages helps students broaden their understanding of different cultures and people and helps students to develop a global mindset. In our high school world languages program, students may select from either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish. Throughout their world languages course(s), students acquire a working knowledge and ability to communicate in their language of study. This communication is evidenced in all four language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In order to develop better conversational fluency and understanding, students are required to participate in class using the language of study.

Course Offerings


Mandarin 1 - grades 9-12
mandarin 2 - grades 9-12
mandarin 3 - grades 9-12
mandarin ib ab/sl - grades 11-12
spanish 1 - grades 8-12
spanish 2 - grades 8-12
spanish 2 honors - grades 9-12
spanish 3 - grades 9-12
spanish 3 honors - grades 9-12
spanish 4 - grades 9-12
ap spanish language & culture - grades 11-12
ib spanish sl 1/2 - grades 11-12
ib spanish hl 1/2 - grades 11-12
spanish ib ab initio - grades 11-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

ESL


The Quarry Lane English as a Second Language (ESL) Program provides students with the opportunity to achieve fluency in English and gain a solid foundation in English reading, literary analysis, writing, speaking and listening. The goals are to prepare EL/ESL students for higher level EL/ESL or mainstream English language courses at Quarry Lane School, and to have fun while doing so.


language takes the stage - grade 9
communication by design - grade 11
esl grammar and writing (esl 1) - grades 9-12
esl grammar and writing/el (esl 2) - grades 9-12
esl listening/speaking/el (Esl) - grades 9-12
esl reading 1 - grades 9-12
esl listening/speaking/el (esl 2) - grades 9-12
esl reading 2 - grades 9-12
el world history - grades 9-12
el u.s. history - grades 9-12
el economics - grades 9-12

*All course offerings are subject to change

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