Academics

Perkiomen School offers a superb college preparatory education—from a middle school experience that nurtures independent inquiry, to the latest instructional technology applied in innovative ways.

At Perkiomen, we believe that to learn and grow into responsible citizens of the world requires a certain kind of risk, a willingness to face new challenges. Take Mandarin Chinese, try out for a sport you have never played before, or make yourself at home in the Innovation Center. Of course, you will make a mistake or two. Don't be afraid to fail...just be sure you learn from the experience.

Graduation Requirements

English (12 credits)

All students are required to complete four years of English study for graduation. ESL composition and literature courses taken in tandem satisfy one year of English study. Qualified students may apply for enrollment in AP English Language (traditionally as juniors) or AP English Literature (traditionally as seniors). Qualified ESL students traditionally take AP English Language as seniors.

History (10 credits)

All students are required to complete three years of history study for graduation; one year must be United States History or AP United States History BUT not both. Students traditionally complete Foundations of the Modern World as freshmen, Modern World History as sophomores, and either United States History or AP United States History as juniors. The combination of three history term courses in either their junior or senior year satisfies completion of one year of history study. Students may take Art History or AP Art History but NOT both. Students are also required to complete one term of religion for graduation in either their junior or senior year.

Science (9 credits)

All students must complete three years of science for graduation. Two of the science courses must be lab science. Students must complete a course of study in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or the equivalent to enroll in the AP course in that content area. Students traditionally complete Biology as freshmen, Chemistry as sophomores, and Physics as juniors. The combination of three term courses in science in either their junior or senior year satisfies completion of one year of science study without lab. Students enrolled in ESL Composition and ESL Literature classes may be required to take ESL-120.

Mathematics (9 credits)

All students are required to complete three years of mathematics up through Algebra 2 or the equivalent. The traditional sequence is Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry (regular or honors), and Algebra 2 (regular or honors). If students are presently enrolled in upper level math courses, MAT-301 through MAT-493, and they plan to continue their math study, they should check with their current math teacher about the next course in the sequence. Students may take Calculus or AP Calculus but NOT both. International students planning to enroll in AP Statistics must have completed ESL Advanced classes or have the approval of the ESL Program Director.

World Languages (6 credits)

Upper School students are required to take two consecutive years of the same world language at Perk whether or not they took world language courses in middle school. Three years is preferable for college admission. Qualified ESL students who complete their ESL classes as sophomores are encouraged to take two consecutive years of the same world language in their junior and senior years. Students presently enrolled in a world language should talk with their current teacher about the next course in the sequence.

Fine & Performing Arts (3 credits)

Students are required to complete one year of fine arts study. Band and chorus meet every other day and taken in tandem satisfy the fine arts credit. Two consecutive years of band or chorus also satisfy the fine arts requirement.

Health (1 credit)

Health requirements are completed through the School’s Wellness Curriculum.

Other Courses (10 credits)

Students must supplement the required course credits with 10 additional course credits of their choosing.

Physical Education

To satisfy the physical education requirement students must participate in afterschool programs each trimester. One trimester must be an interscholastic athletic team. There are several options for teams and physical fitness.

Community Service

Each year, Upper School students are required to complete six hours of community service.

Additional Information

While these graduation requirements provide the minimum acceptable credits or courses for a Perkiomen diploma, it is essential to know that most colleges expect more than the minimum. Perkiomen, recognizing that colleges expect students in a college preparatory school to graduate with excellent credentials, has the following expectations:

Each student at Perkiomen School carries five major courses and any minor required courses such as Health and World Religions. A sixth major course may be selected only with the permission of the Head of Upper School.

If a student completes any basic academic requirement, they should seek advice from their advisor, the Head of Upper School, and/or the College Counseling Office prior to making their next course selection. In mathematics, for example, the three credit requirement through Algebra II may be met early in one’s career at Perkiomen. Students should plan to continue the study of math beyond that level if they have any interest in a selective college.

Students and parents should understand that Perkiomen will not make course changes or requests based on teacher preferences.

Once a student begins a first year world language, that student is required to enroll in the next level. Only if the school grants a waiver to this exception can a student shift to another language prior to completing the first two levels. Most selective colleges look for a sequence of three years, even if their minimum requirements state otherwise.

Students should understand that their grade point average is the sum total of all credits earned while at Perkiomen School.

Grades nine, ten, eleven and twelve of a student’s education fully count toward the cumulative average. Students should work consistently throughout upper school to achieve a cumulative average and standardized test scores that will maximize their chances of entrance to a selective college.

Family Responsibilities - It is expected that all financial obligations to the school will be satisfied before the onset of the graduation program festivities. Faculty will not grade final papers/exams or submit grades until all financial obligations are met. This may prevent a student from graduating with their class or participating in commencement weekend programs.

End of Year Expectations - Baccalaureate Service, Commencement Banquet, and Commencement are held at the end of the year. Because Perkiomen School highly values its sense of community, the end of the year capstone events and commencement program are required of all seniors including postgraduate students.

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