Upper School Overview

IMG_9349MGA Upper School comprises Logic levels, 6th-8th grades, and Rhetoric levels, 9th-12th grades.

All students enroll in our Core Program, but Upper School students have the option of also enrolling in our Core Plus Program.

The Core Program

Our two-day Core Program includes four courses at each level, in these areas:

English

Math

History/Humanities

Science

The Core Program is based on the model of education known as flipped classroom.  In a flipped classroom approach, the students MUST engage in self-study at home, and they acquire much of the course content in this self-study.  Students develop the habits of an independent scholar, a vital skill for college and beyond.

This allows the teacher to devote class time to support and extension activities; review of content;  answering questions; collaborative group work; presentations; and in Math, assistance with math problems.  The flipped classroom model is effective for two key reasons:

  • Teachers do not need to devote the entire class time to delivering content.  The two class periods per week can provide activities a student could not engage in independently.
  • Teachers can guide students and act as a resource in the application of that content, which is often more difficult than acquiring the content. As an example:  in Math courses, homework is essentially the application of the math concepts; if the student has difficult applying the concepts, his/her learning is halted.   Working math problems in class when a teacher is present to act as a resource is valuable support of the application of content.

The Core Plus Program

While the Core Program is devoted to the subject areas which a student studies every year of his/her K-12 education, the Core Plus Program provides additional courses in extra-curriculars and electives.  Students in Rhetoric levels (high school) need 26 credits for their transcript and the Core Program delivers 20 of those credits.  The additional credits, and extra-curricula activities, can be earned in several Core Plus options:

On-Campus Core Plus:  Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Journalism, Shop, AP English and similar classes are offered on Fridays.  Class offerings do vary by year.

Off-Campus Core Plus Partners:  Courses and activities in Visual Arts, Choir, Performing Bands, Speech & Debate, and Team Sports are available to our students through our Core Plus Partners.  These are organizations that specialize in these activities and courses and are an excellent resource for our students.  Electives and extra-curricula activities can be added to the student’s Core Program to customize it according to the student’s talents, interests, and goals.

Online Core Plus:  Hundreds of courses are available online to our students via our Online Core Plus Partner.   Online class options are available in the fields of Science, Math, English, Bible, Philosophy, Foreign Languages, and more.

Core Program Requirements:

1.   Preparation for class.  Success in Upper School depends upon student preparation.  As in any school environment, what is gained from the experience will be dependent upon what is invested.     Teachers prepare class activities and lessons designed to support self-study.  We make the assumption that ALL students will come to class prepared.  Then, class time is most valuable.

2.   Time for at-home study.  Increasing amounts of self-study as the students promotes through the levels.   To prepare for classes, Logic-level students will have 15-18 hours of at-home work;   Rhetoric-level students will have 20-25 hours of at-home work.  Rhetoric level students need to acquire enough hours in study to justify awarding 26 credits toward graduation.

Grading and Assignment Policies:

1. Grades are awarded for assigned work, and can be accessed via RenWeb.    Students and parents receive a confidential log-in ID to access their grades.
2.   Missing assignments earn a zero.   Assignments are considered Missing if they are not submitted in person to the teacher during the MGA day.  In specific instances, an Upper School teacher will accept assignments emailed to him/her.
3.   Late assignments will not be accepted.  Late work creates too great a burden on teachers to track assignments, and it does not teach the students accountability.
On occasion, a parent will exempt a student from an assignment.  Because the MGA teacher has not received and graded it, RenWeb will show a zero for that assignment.