2019 is here! Half the year has already flown by and we are already preparing for next school year! It's time for middle and high school students to consider the classes they want to take in the 2019-20 school year.

For PreK through rising grade 5, all courses are pre-selected as part of the BASIS Curriculum. Students take the same engaging core classes (depending on grade), including Connections, Engineering, science, P.E., and humanities. These courses are designed to help students lay a solid foundation in critical thinking and problem solving skills that will come in handy for the more advanced courses in middle school and up.

Differentiated math classes begin in grade 5. Grade 4 students will be assessed at the end of the year, and the Academics Team will make a preliminary placement for next year. A second placement test is offered at the end of the summer for students who wish to test into a different class than the preliminary placement. (More detail will be sent to grade 4 families at the end of the year.)

For students rising into grades 6–12, in addition to taking planned BASIS Curriculum courses, they must choose one or more academic courses to fill their schedules for the upcoming school year. Grade 6 students select one fine arts elective for the first time. Grade 7 students choose an elective from a broader set of offerings, as well as foreign language.

The elective interest survey comes first, followed by course selection. Read on for more details about this process:  

Elective Interest Survey (rising grades 7–12)

We love encouraging our students to seek out and explore new passions, which is why our electives are driven by student interest and demand. Because of this, electives may vary each year.

The process starts with our teachers submitting proposals for any new electives they may be interested in teaching. When submitting these proposals, teachers could be inspired by a personal interest or a stimulating discussion they’ve had with their current students.

In early January, an Elective Course Survey will be given to students in grades 6–11 so they can indicate their preference in electives. While they do not register for an elective at this time, the survey helps our Academic Team gauge the interest in each elective to better determine which classes to offer during registration.

Students in grades 8-12 also have the opportunity to suggest their own elective. Suggesting an elective does not guarantee it will be offered next year, but students will work with the Academics Team to decide whether there is enough student interest and teacher availability to offer the desired elective. If there is, the school will offer it as part of course registration. 

Course Registration (rising grades 6–12)

Course registration takes place in February. For students currently in grades 5–11, a course registration link will be emailed to current parents. (New 2019-20 parents will receive the link as part of the acceptance process in the spring.) This process is digital so parents and students may discuss and complete course registration together. The Academics Team is always available to answer any questions students and parents may have.

The courses students register for depends on their grade level, as noted in the chart below. 

Rising Grade

Courses Selected


Fine Art (art, drama, or music)


Foreign Language (Spanish, French, Latin, or Mandarin) and elective




Elective and first science


Elective, English, and second science


Elective, English, and third science


Varies by graduation year and plan


Rising grade 6 students choose which fine art (art or drama or music) to take.

Rising grade 7 students choose an elective course as well as the foreign language they want to pursue. As a reminder, students will continue to study this same language throughout their high school careers.

Rising grade 8 students continue in their foreign language and math track, but will get to choose an elective. The high school elective selection includes AP-level electives that grade 8 students may enroll in if they want to tackle an additional challenge. We recommend that students talk with their teachers or dean to help determine what will be a good fit for them.

For rising grades 9–12, students continue in discipline paths they have already started (i.e., math, history, and foreign language), but they now get to choose a science course, an English course, and an elective. In history, the course is determined by grade-level and does not require a selection.

As always, our Academics Team, teachers, and other resources are always available to advise families on the best class placement for each student as they make their decisions. We can’t wait to see what they come up with and what areas of interest they are eager to explore in the upcoming school year!