10th Grade - Developing Powers of Comparison


Developmental Picture of the Student

After the ninth grader’s sometimes tumultuous adjustment to high school, the tenth grader begins to rediscover balance and inclusivity. Where the ninth grader may see things as “either-or,” the tenth grader can see that things can be “both this and that.”

The sophomore year can be a relatively dark time, sometimes labeled a “puberty of the soul” that reflects the tenth grader’s emotional transition. Although there is a new steadiness, the enthusiasm of ninth grade may dissipate. Students may experience a somewhat bleak assessment both of themselves and of the human condition. It is important that tenth graders encounter ideals and achievements to light their way.

How the Curriculum Meets the 10th Grader

The tenth grade curriculum embodies metamorphosis; it shows how balance can be achieved through process and points to the fundamental lawfulness of the cosmos. In chemistry, sophomores study the reactions of inorganic elements and are introduced to chemical nomenclature and equations. In physics they discover  principles of mechanics; in earth sciences they work with complex yet predictable patterns of weather and climate.

As students discover balance and lawfulness in natural and human phenomena—and as they exercise their powers of comparison—they find their own fulcrums to assess and evaluate the world. They learn that in the balancing of opposites, new forms arise, whether in clouds, tides or chemical compounds. A discovery can prompt the desire to explore the origins of things, whether it be the earliest civilizations or the roots of language.

The art blocks expand the students’ abilities to compare, contrast and interpret visual phenomena. Veil painting challenges the students to explore the world of color in layers. In sculpture, students study essential gestures of the animal world. In woodworking, as a group project, students make work that translates utilitarian function into handcrafted forms, such as mailboxes or a display case.

The 10th grade curriculum shows how balance can be achieved through process and metamorphosis.

In a great burst of concerted energy, the tenth grade produces and performs a play in the weeks between the Holiday and Winter breaks. The sophmores create the set and costumes and all perform roles in this artistic milestone event for the class.

In tenth grade, many students take advantage of travel and study abroad, most often spending three months at schools in Colombia, Germany or Austria. The tenth grade class is also enriched and enlivened by visiting international students from partner schools in our foreign exchange program.


10th grade: Greek Geometry, Trigonometry or Pre-Calculus, the Sciences, Ancient History & the U.S. Constitution.




- Earth Science: Climatology
- Physics: Kinematics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Biology: Circulatory, Metabolic
  & Nervous Systems
- Mathematics Track Options: Greek Geometry,
  Algebra 1, Geometry or Precalculus,

- Ancient History
- Classical History
- History through Language
- U.S. Constitution
- English Track Options: Homer, Iliad & Odyssey
- Poetics
- Short Stories
- World Religions
- Grammar
- Comparative and Analytical Essays
- Internal Documentation

- Soapstone and Clay Sculpture
- Veil Painting
- Drama: 10th Grade Play
- Woodworking
- Textiles
- All High School Chorus
- Music Elective Options: Chamber Ensemble,
  Jazz Band, Vocal Ensemble, African
  Drumming, Guitar I or Guitar II


- German & Spanish, levels 1 – 5

- Gym: physical activities and team-based
  sports promote health, movement,
 coordination, team dynamics and collaboration
  as well as social development
- Eurythmy: artistic movement in a social
  context includes complex patterns,
  coordinated group movement and
  interpretations of the roles of language
  translated into movement

All High School Camping Trip: Three
  days at the Indiana Dunes, building community
  and solidarity among students and faculty

- Community Service: Four days throughout
  the year working for a variety of local
  service and non-profit organizations.

- Service Learning: Two weeks in May at St.
  Bernard Project, New Orleans, Louisiana
  rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane