Upper School

Curriculum That Prepares Students for College

Ann Arbor Academy’s Upper School encompasses grades 8-12, with Thirteenth Year students sometimes joining classes as well. The goal of the Upper School curriculum is to prepare students for college and adulthood with academics, skill building, and social supports that promote growth and independence and allow students to reach their potential. Classes are multi-age, and there is a strong focus on multi-sensory and project based teaching and learning. There are classes in every subject for students with particular needs in that area - reading classes as well as advanced literature, for example. Academy faculty are skilled in differentiating material so that students can pick up concepts and demonstrate skills at their own best academic challenge level.

Building on Student Strengths

Students with unique developmental timelines and learning needs are met where they are, and their strengths and needs are understood. We know that neurodiverse learners may have gifts in one area and really struggle in another, and that there are many ways to measure learning. Working with students closely to determine how they best learn, and to deliver content to them in a way that works, allows Academy faculty to build on student strengths. This approach makes a huge difference in the way our students view themselves, and we find that increased confidence is the first step towards being able to learn effectively.

Nurturing the Whole Child

Ann Arbor Academy’s focus on nurturing the whole child is clearly seen in our strong electives and arts offerings, our advisory and counseling program, and our commitment to developing skills in students that will help them make a successful transition to life after high school. Ninety percent of our students go to college, and the other ten percent find employment after graduation. Students learn to build on what they do well at the same time they are addressing areas of difficulty in academics and social skills. Most importantly, our students can advocate for themselves and explain how it is they learn and what they need in order to be successful in college and the workplace.