Upper School Curriculum

Goals of Rancho Solano Preparatory High School

  • A sound, rigorous education and thorough college preparation for every student.
  • An integrated, cumulative study of the humanities provides students with cultural touchstones; shared experiences; and the reading, writing and research skills required to excel in college.
  • A wide range of course offerings, allowing students to create individual plans of study to meet their academic goals and interests. A growing list of electives, created in response to student suggestions, includes courses in business, marketing, physical education, and the fine and performing arts.
  • A community enriched by individuals who are highly accomplished in a diverse range of disciplines and share a commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence. 

Curriculum 

English/Humanities

The grade nine and ten English curriculum prepares students for the rigorous IB program they will undertake as juniors and seniors. The curriculum also builds the writing, research and critical thinking skills students need to be successful in college and beyond.

Reading assignments, written work and class discussions stimulate critical thinking skills. Students will develop excellent research and presentation skills while gaining a deeper understanding of cultural studies, literature and the written word. Coursework promotes appreciation for the interplay between culture, art, mathematics, science and music while building language arts skills. 

Courses include:

  • English I: Genre Study
  • English II: American Literature
  • English III
  • English IV
  • IB English Literature - offered at the Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) 

Mathematics

Students in grades nine and ten will develop the conceptual skills needed for success in the IB Programme offered to grades eleven and twelve. Class placement is based upon skill level, academic readiness, and future scholastic goals.

At every level, students learn math vocabulary, solve contextual problems, and develop critical thinking skills. Through rigorous coursework, students learn to communicate mathematical ideas clearly and demonstrate their understanding of mathematical topics. 

Courses include:

  • Algebra II
  • Geometry
  • Pre-Calculus
  • IB Mathematical Studies*
  • IB Mathematics*

*IB Mathematical Studies is offered at the Standard Level (SL) I and II
*IB Mathematics is offered at the Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL)

Science

Rancho Prep follows an innovative “physics first” approach to science education. Students typically complete physics during grade nine followed by chemistry in grade ten with the opportunity for additional science electives at every grade level. Students are able to pursue advanced coursework in physics, chemistry and biology in the IB programme.

Science courses at Rancho Prep are conceptually based and aimed at fostering critical thinking skills. The primary focus is building students’ understanding of the underlying concepts and processes rather than simple memorization of content. All courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on laboratory, research and in-depth projects. 

Courses include:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • IB Biology*
  • IB Chemistry*
  • IB Physics*

*IB Chemistry, Biology and Physics are offered at the Standard Level and Higher Level. 

Social Sciences

The Social Sciences offer a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for the IB Programme. Students learn not only how to read, write and think, but also to work collaboratively, research, and assess and apply information in new ways.

Our coursework promotes global awareness and understanding of the relationships between culture, history, politics and economics, both in the past and the present.

  • World Cultures
  • American History
  • Economics
  • Government
  • IB History*

*IB History is offered at both SL and HL. 

World Languages

Students learn to embrace the study of world languages through activities that integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening with cultural awareness.

As students move toward the IB World Language curriculum, they learn to engage in critical thinking, reflection, observation and critique in the target language. The Prep curriculum stimulates internalization and application of the material rather than rote memorization. 

Courses include:

  • French I
  • French II
  • French III
  • French IV
  • IB French SL 2
  • Mandarin I
  • Mandarin II
  • Mandarin AB Initio SL 1
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Spanish III
  • IB Spanish*

*IB Spanish is offered at both SL and HL. 

Fine Arts 

Performing Arts

Our Upper School Performing Arts Department offers both performance and theoretical based classes:

  • Concert Band*
  • Choir*
  • Dance*
  • String Orchestra*
  • IB Music

In addition to the school day curriculum, we also offer private music lessons in all instruments and voice parts.  Extra-curricular ensembles include jazz band, pep band, honor choir, and rock band.

*Members of our high school performing ensembles perform regularly in festivals, concerts, and competitions.  

Visual Arts

Our visual art curriculum incorporates drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and more, providing a strong foundation for students who pursue IB-level art. Students develop an understanding of the role of art in our increasingly visual and international world.

Visual Arts Courses:

  • Visual Art I, II, III, IV
  • IB Visual Arts*

*IB Visual Art is offered at both SL and HL.

Media Arts

Upper School Media Arts Courses offer advanced techniques in screenwriting, film, and animation.  Advanced classes offer students opportunities to create short films, short animations, documentaries, and screenplays. 

  • Film and Production

Other Electives

Prep students utilize our additional elective offerings to pursue their individual interests and fulfill graduation requirements. Our highly trained staff encourages students in areas such as pursuing a healthy lifestyle, strengthening their writing skills or learning about the business world through hands-on, experiential coursework. 

Courses include:

  • Writing Skills I
  • Writing Skills II
  • PE for Athletes
  • Fitness & Nutrition
  • Health 

Technology 

Our technology courses prepare students in both software and hardware applications.

Courses include:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology in a Global Society

Physical Education

Physical Education promotes activity and fitness in the context of healthy living and decision-making. Students participate in a wide range of PE units – from yoga to floor hockey to weightlifting –to develop their interests and gain exposure to new sports and activities.

Our highly trained staff encourages students to understand and appreciate a healthy lifestyle. Students are able to develop individual interests rather than follow an approach of one size fits all.

  • Physical Education
  • Weight Training and Athletic Conditioning
  • PE for Athletes 

Request More Information

If you would like to learn more about becoming part of the Rancho Solano Preparatory School family, please request more information or see our overview of the admissions process

Contact Us

  • Phone
  • Lower School Office:
    602.996.7002
  • Middle/Upper School Office:
    480.646.8200
  • Preschool – 5th Grades
  • 5656 E Greenway
  • Scottsdale, AZ 85254
  • USA
  • 6th-12th Grades
  • 9180 E Via de Ventura
  • Scottsdale, AZ 85258
  • USA

Social Media

Accreditations

  • AdvanceED
  • NINPSA

Copyright 2017 Rancho Solano Preparatory School

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