All students must complete minimum core requirements. In addition, they may choose elective courses. Students and their advisors plan as broad a program as possible, taking possible college requirements into consideration.
A diploma from Catlin Gabel indicates successful completion of four years of high school experience or its equivalent. For most students this means completion of a minimum of 18 academic courses, including the departmental requirements outlined below and electives. Departmental requirements may be waived upon petition. In addition, departments reserve the right to grant credit for work outside normal departmental requirements. Student are expected to take a minimum of four academic courses at any time.
English: Four years, including Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior English and a year of senior electives.
Math: Successful completion of our two-year integrated Algebra II/Geometry curriculum.
Social Studies: Three years, including Human Crossroads, The Modern World, and United States History.
Science: Three years, including Science I, Science II, and a year of electives.
Language: Three years of the same language.
Arts: Two years of coursework in music, theater, and/or the visual arts.
In addition to the academic requirements, students must complete an annual community service requirement and the following credits in physical education and health:
PE and Health: Students are required to take nine trimesters of physical education and health courses over four years, including Health 9, Health 10 and Lifetime Fitness. Several PE classes are offered during and after school each trimester. Offerings include Outdoor Leadership and Adventure, CPR/First Aid, Rock Climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, Indoor-Outdoor Games, and Beginning Tennis. Additionally, student may earn credit through participation on Catlin Gabel athletic teams, or they may apply for independent PE credit. For independent PE credit, students must complete 50 hours of an activity under the supervision of a coach or instructor over the course of a twelve-week trimester. To qualify, the activity cannot be part of our regular offerings during the trimester the student is applying to receive credit. The application is available here.
OSAA rules require students to be enrolled in and passing five academic courses to play interscholastic sports, both while they are participating and during the prior term.
Catlin Gabel offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. All seniors work beyond core requirements in two to four academic disciplines (English is required). Students may choose from a variety of elective offerings; the school does not offer standard AP or IB courses.
Honors classes are offered in the following areas: Chinese V/VI, French V/VI, Honors Spanish Seminars, Genres, Honors Portfolio, Senior English Electives, Palma Seminars, Honors Social Studies Electives, Advanced Geometry, Advanced Algebra II, Advanced Precalculus, Calculus I, Calculus II, Honors Statistics, Advanced Mathematics Seminar, Accelerated Science I & II, Advanced Biology, Advanced Chemistry, Advanced Physics, Science Research, Honors Computer Science II, Honors Computer Science III, and Honors Computer Science Research.
Catlin Gabel's educational philosophy de-emphasizes letter grades, and student academic work is evaluated primarily through frequent conferences with faculty and through narrative reports. Letter grades (A+ through F) are given once per year in yearlong courses; courses lasting for one semester are graded at the semester's end. We do not rank our students, nor do we calculate and report a GPA on student transcripts.
Along with transcripts, colleges receive Catlin Gabel's profile, which illustrates the breadth and depth of our curriculum, students' SAT results and grade distributions, and the list of colleges where our students have been accepted in the past four years.