Prospect Hill Academy’s academic program is designed to serve the school’s mission and reflect its core values. Academic excellence does not occur by accident; it is a direct function of outstanding teachers developing, refining, and implementing an outstanding curriculum that addresses the unique needs of the particular students we serve.
Prospect Hill Academy’s K-12 curriculum builds on the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks by articulating the essential subject area and grade level learning objectives, course content, and major assessments. It is designed to promote high expectations for all students, provide all students with the opportunity to learn, and ultimately equip all students with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the college environment. Prospect Hill Academy’s curriculum is dynamic and responsive, constantly addressing the academic needs of our students, as informed by both internal and external assessment data. As a K-12 school, we have the unique opportunity to build curricular coherency by ensuring that important skills and knowledge are reinforced as students transition between grade levels and campuses. Our curriculum therefore reflects many years of thoughtful and deliberate planning, collective problem solving, and an unwavering commitment to engage all students in meaningful, relevant, and developmentally-appropriate work.
Our core curriculum is centered around English, Mathematics, and Spanish, required for every student in Kindergarten through the twelfth grade, as it is our belief that these disciplines serve as the foundation for our students’ intellectual development. Furthermore, all students study Science, Social Studies, Computer Science, and the Arts, which are essential fields of study in our complex, rapidly evolving, technology driven world. As college life approaches, Juniors and Seniors are encouraged to enroll in one or more of our Advanced Placement courses, or take a class at a local college or university. In addition, Seniors may choose to design and complete a Senior Project of their choice to prepare them for the more self-directed, autonomous learning environment of college.
Classroom instruction at Prospect Hill Academy emphasizes the development of higher order critical thinking and problem solving skills. Through breaking down learning expectations into manageable parts and incorporating a range of traditional and authentic assessment measures, teachers design and implement lessons to address the unique needs of the different students they serve. Teachers also work in teams to plan units and lessons “backwards” from desired outcomes and learning objectives. Students at all grades are required to demonstrate deep, substantive learning through performance assessments that extend beyond the traditional pencil and paper tests, such as projects, exhibitions, portfolios, presentations, debates, reports, and a range of writing assignments in all subjects.
As a K-12 institution, Prospect Hill Academy promotes data-driven decision making as the key component to improving teaching and learning throughout our three campuses. Termed Collaborative Inquiry, our school improvement model requires teachers to systematically collect, analyze, and interpret student achievement data to assess the effectiveness of their instruction and to inform their curricular and instructional planning. Accordingly, teachers habitually share instructional practices around the teaching of specific skills, design common assessments, grade student work, set goals, reflect upon and revise instructional strategies, and improve the curriculum.
At Prospect Hill Academy, we take pride in the quality and rigor of our academic program while remaining committed to ongoing improvement over time. Our students deserve nothing less.