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The Cushman School

An Identity Linked to Excellence

High School Curriculum

Cushman's High School celebrates each student’s uniqueness and recognizes the power of young people to serve as agents of change. The School provides a wide range of rigorous course offerings to satisfy core requirements as well as unique programming that promotes leadership, communication, and innovation as cornerstone skill-sets.

What makes our High School programming different?

Society & Me Challenge Seminar (SAM)
SAM is a required course for all high school students. Its purpose is to have students identify and analyze major issues of our time, choose one they wish to tackle independently and deliver solutions that positively impact the society at large. This work inspires our students to find and share their voices on important timely issues … and ultimately become innovators of change.

Aside from their independent research, students listen to college lectures, and guest speakers who are invited to campus. The SAM teachers ensure that students have the tools and skills necessary to conduct interviews with experts in the field, create a problem statement, and find ways to make improvements. Topics range from hunger, poverty, migration, and climate change to human trafficking, body image, teenage mental health and gender identification. The end result is a more informed and engaged teenager who has produced a tangible platform (a blog, a call to action video, or a website) that demonstrates how he/she can make a difference!

Design, Art and Technology (DAT)
Immersion in DAT is required in 9th and 10th grade and helps students complete their comprehensive SAM projects. This two-part course develops students as innovators who seamlessly unite the concepts of design, art, and technology to achieve great results. The exposure instills the necessary 21st century mindset and skills needed to identify a topic, pose questions, research, analyze and effectively communicate ideas and solutions. This course also lays the groundwork for the use and integration of technology, presentation skills, design thinking, and compelling communication that will empower students to be agents of change throughout high school and beyond!

Cushman's High School students must...

  • Have the skills to adjust to varied learning environments
  • Look at the global issues of our time and deconstruct the systems at play
  • Embrace scholarship and interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving
  • Be innovative and work independently and as part of a team
  • Recognize that he/she is important and needed in this rapidly changing world

“Today we understand that the future of humanity very much depends on our planet, and that the future of the planet very much depends on humanity.” H.H. Dalai Lama


E: Essentials*       R: Regular     H: Honors         AP: Advanced Placement

* Courses offered at the Essentials level as needed.


  • English 1 - R/H
  • English 2 - R/H
  • English 3 - - R/H
  • English - AP
  • English Lit - AP
  • English semester electives(Seniors only) including:
  • Politics/Fiction and Film
  • Creative Writing
  • Self-publishing

Social Studies

  • World Issues -R/H/AP
  • American History -R/H/AP
  • Human Geography- R/H/AP
  • US Government - R/H/AP
  • Macro/Micro Economics - R/AP
  • Psychology - R/H/AP
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Speech and Debate
  • Law and Society
  • Other Electives


  • Algebra I - R/H
  • Algebra II- R/H
  • Geometry -R/H
  • PreCalculus - R/H
  • Calculus- R/H/AP/AP
  • Probability/Stat - R/H/AP
  • Computer Programing - R/H/AP
  • Consumer Math
  • Chaos and Fractals


  • Physics - R/H/AP
  • Chemistry - R/H/AP
  • Biology - R/H/AP
  • Env. Science – R/H/AP
  • Marine Biology - R/H
  • Anatomy/Physiology R/H
  • Climate & Society R/H
  • Computer Programing R/H/AP
  • Other Electives

World Languages

  • Spanish 1-IV - R/H/AP
  • French I-IV - R/H/AP
  • Latin I-IV - R/H/AP
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Sign Language


  • Studio Art - R/H/AP
  • 3-D Design/Architecture
  • Acting/Performance Theater
  • Music Theory - R/AP
  • Dance/Music/Choir Labs
  • Instrumental Ensemble
  • Speech & Debate/Oratory
  • Social Media and Marketing


  • 9th Grade PE
  • 10th Grade PE

Note: Team sports may also be played in partnership with the student’s home school

Society & Me

  • Annual Projects

 Core Competencies:

  • Interdisciplinary Design Gr 9
  • Arts Education Gr 9
  • Leadership and Entrepreneurship Gr 10
  • Internships and Mentorships Gr 10-12

With school approval:

Independent Study; On-Line Classes; Travel Learning

High School Graduation Requirements - Minimum Credits:  (Note: 1 credit = a year-long course. 0.5 credits = a semester-long course)

  • 4 English - each with significant writing
  • 4 Mathematics - at or above Algebra 1 level
  • 3 Science - at least two lab sciences
  • 3 Social Studies - including Global Studies & American History
  • 2 World Languages - sequential in same language
  • 1 Fine Arts - visual/performing arts
  • 2 Physical Ed/Health  - required for all students
  • 5 Other - core competencies; required credits

Society & Me Challenge Seminar (SAM)

At the beginning of each school year, students immerse themselves in exploring issues of global significance and finding local applications. Each student will frame their own challenge question and spend the next six months, researching, innovating and ultimately answering it.

The Cushman High School celebrates teenagers as innovators of change by:

  • Demanding academic excellence and developing inquiry
  • Promoting solution-oriented thinking and celebrating innovation
  • Offering rich immersion experiences
  • Confronting global crises and addressing local challenges
  • Championing projects that deepen learning and cultivate self-direction and collaboration skills
  • Using the arts and technology as tools in problem-solving
  • Showcasing student-created solutions
Ultimately, each Cushman graduate will recognize that
he/she plays an important role
in addressing the challenges of our rapidly changing world