High School Academics

9th and 10th Grades: Bilingual curriculum

Throughout the first two years of High School (as in our Middle School), students follow a composite of French and American coursework based on the traditional French curriculum, to which the necessary elements of the American program are added in English, Social Studies, Art, Current Events, as well as optionally in Mathematics.

  • In 9th Grade, students prepare for and take the Brevet, a compulsory French examination covering math, French language and literature, history-geography and civics. There is also a cross-curricular oral examination component in art history.
  • In 10th Grade, students have the opportunity to explore a number of special electives (economics and social science, experimental laboratory science, literature and society, public speaking, etc.) designed to help them better understand academic interests and strengths.

9th Grade Curriculum

Art - Projects assigned in the ninth grade build upon the skills developed in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade art curricula; the principles of art are reviewed as students are introduced to more materials and techniques . Some assignments provide students with only a few rules pertaining to theme, size, and attention to detail or three-dimen- sional appearance, thereby fostering the students’ artistic license and requir- ing students to pursue their own vision . Other projects, such as a large still-life, are a culmination of the study of com- position, light and shading, perspective, and the rendering of three-dimensional forms This course is taught in English and is mandatory for all ninth graders.

Art Option (elective)- This elective course builds upon skills taught in the required art curriculum, while allowing students greater creative freedom than in the required art classes . Projects often draw inspiration from diverse cultures and artists, expos- ing students to a diverse range of creative expressions . These range from mask-making to designing shoes, but all, whether in form-making, pattern- ing, color theory, or abstraction, reinforce the core required art curricu- lum of that grade. This course is taught in English.

Biology The program is organized around four core topics. In the Human Diversity and Unity topic, students study the origin of an individual’s characteristics, the origin of human diversity, chromosomes, and genetic informa- tion (DNA) . The topic on Human Evolution and History of the Earth focuses on the early formulation of the theory of evolution of living things through geologic time (genetic expla- nations, natural selection, mass extinctions, classification of living things). The Infectious Disease and Protection of the Organism compo- nent of the course leads students to understand the way the body reacts to contamination (immune system, AIDS, and allergies). Finally, the course includes a study on Human Responsibilities in Health and Environmental Issues. This course is taught in French.

Chorus This advanced chorale course continues to develop skills introduced in previous chorale courses. In addition to proper vocal technique, further emphasis is placed on singing expressively, producing good choral tone, and sight- singing independently. Music is age-appropriate and chosen to challenge and inspire students, while encompassing a variety of styles. Students may elect to take Chorus 9 or Music 9. This course is taught in English.

Coding This course focuses on Python 3 as a programming language. Students will write simple programs for analyzing and manipulating data (math and text). The Python language was first created by Guido van Rossum who also started the Programming for Everybody Movement which promotes the learning of Python as a 21st Century skill. The course is taught in combination of video lectures and the online textbook Python for Informatics: Exploring Information both open-source and authored by Dr . Chuck Severance, professor of Informatics at the University of Michigan. This course is taught in English.

English 9 Honors This course is an in-depth introduction to American literature that also provides instruction in writing, vocabulary and grammar. The reading component of it proceeds thematically, linking earlier works with more contemporary ones in the contexts of their respective literary movements . Genres studied are fiction (novel and short story), poetry, theater (drama), and nonfiction. The texts and authors covered include, but are not limited to, Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, poetry by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and T .S . Eliot, The Great Gatsby by F . Scott Fitzgerald, The Catcher in the Rye by J . D . Salinger, The Autobiography of An Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. This course is taught at a native level.

English 9 for Non-native Speakers The literature component of this course consists of an introduction to American literature, focusing on a study of different genres, including fiction (long, short, drama, poetry) and non-fiction (essays, journalistic works). Students work from the anthology Adventures in American Literature (various authors, poetry of E .A . Robinson, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost; “The Open Boat”) as well as individual novels such as John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar . Students also work extensively on building writing skills, with an emphasis on essay writing and other prose exercises .


English 9 ESL (English as a Second Language) As most students arrive in Grade 9 with prior English as a Foreign Language instruction, they have a beginning basis of grammar . The curriculum is therefore designed to build upon these skills of grammar and reading . As with other ESL classes, students are continually taught correct word usage, pronunciation, writing skills, and higher level vocabular. Texts used in this course include More True Stories, World Folktales, Shocks, and Grammar in Context, 4th Edition, Book 2.

European History and World Geography I The History course covers the period from 1914 to present day . The Geography portion of the course focuses on France and the European Union. Students are asked to think critically when analyzing documents. They are expected to write a page-long essay using their personal knowledge as well as information presented in a variety of documents. The Civics Education portion of the course exposes students to questions related to citizenship as they study current events in today’s world . This course is taught in French.

French 9 Literature and Composition Honors This is the final year for students to prepare for the Brevet National des Collèges with an Art History test . Students reinforce and deepen their lin- guistic French studies . The course also covers a variety of literary genres and different texts, emphasizing the ability to make arguments, self-expression, and taking others’ arguments into account. This French course is taught at a native level.

German II Students in this course are expected to expand their grammar, including verbs in the indicative and subjunctive forms, passive and active voice, and complex sentences, to gain a better understand- ing of the language . They also learn the history of Germany from 1933 to 1990.

Integrated Mathematics 9 As in previous grades, this course has three objectives: to reinforce and extend the knowledge acquired in previous grades, to enable students to use specific mathematical methods and ways of thinking, and to develop the ability to use mathematics in everyday life and in other disciplines. Topics covered include an introduction to functions (generalities and graphs), the linear and affine functions, and the slope formula; mean, median, and quartiles in statistics; an introduction to probability; computations with square roots; algebra (factoring and distributing); linear equations and inequalities, and systems of two linear equations . Topics in geometry include: trigonometry in a right triangle, the Thales theorem, dilation and reduction, inscribed angles, regular polygons; sections of solids (prisms, cylinders, cones, and spheres); and areas and volumes . This course is taught in French.

American Math 9 Advanced (Geometry) (elective) This course is equivalent to an American Grade 10 course . Topics covered include: essentials of geometry, logic, proving statements in geometry, congruence of line segments, angles and triangles, transformations and the coordinate plane, geometric inequalities, slopes and equations of lines, parallel lines, quadrilaterals, the geometry of three dimensions, similarity, geometry of the circle, locus and construction. This course is taught in English. Algebra 1 (American Math 8 advanced) is a prerequisite.

Latin II (elective) Students study excerpts from an array of texts and authors, such as Seneca, Cicero, Titus Livius, Sallustius, Suetonius, Pliny the younger, and Caesar. They also gain a deeper knowledge of the linguistic and historic aspects of the language, as well as Roman civilization. This course is taught in French.

Music 9 Students continue their studies of Western music and begin learning about the Romantic Era through the 20th century. They also study modern classical music, jazz, and popular forms, such as rock and roll using listening examples, sound recordings, and research of notable figures and compositions. Students may elect to take Chorus 9 or General Music.This course is taught in English.

Physical Education Students begin to understand the importance of physical skills improvement relevant to a chosen sport. Students learn good practice habits and are encouraged to engage in as many activities as possible. Sports include aerobics, street hockey, gym- nastics, badminton, golf, and indoor tennis. This course is taught in English

Physics and Chemistry 9 The Physics and Chemistry course in 9th grade covers: Electricity (alternating current, enhanced observation of alternating current using an oscilloscope, producing and transporting alternating current, and household electrical wiring); Chemistry (the elements around us, conductivity of metals and solutions, combustion of metal and of organic materials, ions in solution, acids, bases and pH); Mechanics (movement of an object (trajectory and speed), ways in which the movement of an object can be affected, force, mass and weight, equilibrium of an object acted upon by two forces) . This course is taught in French.

Spanish II In grade 9, students begin by reviewing the material covered in the previous year such as the present tense and the different types of verbs (reflexive, stem-changing, irregular conjugations). Linguistically, they enrich their vocabulary as well as their verb tenses (the subjunctive mode, the past and future tenses) in order to describe their plans, give commands, express a possibility or a doubt, and make hypothetical statements. Through a variety of oral exercises (dialogues, role-play, presentations), students work on their speaking and conversation skills. They also improve their reading and writing abilities through topics ranging from their family and friends to their preferences and habits. Students continue to explore the culture of different Spanish-speaking countries, notably through artistic masterpieces. The course meets three times a week.

9th Grade Spanish for Native Speakers. This course is intended for native and near-native speakers of Spanish and is taught only in Spanish. Students are exposed to an array of Spanish and Latin American readings by writers such as Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Isabel Allende, Camilo José Cela, Carmen Laforet, and Mario Vargas Llosa . The culture study includes aspects of geography, politics, gastronomy, traditions, music, and cinema from Spanish-speaking countries. This course meets three times a week.

United States History I This course covers United States history from the Civil War to the Great Depression and the New Deal. The first third of the course is an in-depth study of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that follows. The middle third of the course explores the changing world due to the Industrial Revolution and the immigration policies that developed in the United States as a result. The final third of the course builds on the earlier themes as the nation moves into the 20th century and becomes a major player on the world stage. Students are expected to master note-taking during classes taught in a primarily discussion format. In addition, students must demonstrate advanced analytical reasoning skills through both their written work and their class participation. This course is taught in English.

United States History I Intermediate Students gain an understanding of the changes that took place in the United States from the eve of the Civil War to the eve of World War II and learn to identify the key individuals and events that were agents of those changes. They work to develop writing, research, and critical thinking skills as tools to analyze the transformations that took place during this period in the nation’s history. Students also practice public speaking by participating in class discussions and giving oral presentations. This course is taught in English at an Intermediate level



10th Grade Curriculum

Art I (elective) Using a problem-solving approach, students will improve their drawing skills, gain a deeper understanding of color, and learn to organize more meaningful compositions. Students will create drawings, collages, prints, paintings, and sculptures in order to communicate personal ideas and solve visual problems . One important area of focus involves the depiction of pictorial space. Overlapping, linear and atmospheric perspective, and the rendering of volumes will be explored -- to equip students with the tools they need to construct pictorial space with clarity and confidence. Students will undertake both in-class and out-of-class projects. They will benefit by discussing their works during class critiques. And they will begin to build a portfolio that shows the range, depth, and quality of their artistic knowledge. This course is taught in English.

Biology/Earth Science The program aims to build common scientific knowledge and to develop critical thinking and social awareness . It is structured around three major themes: The Earth in the universe, Life, and the evolution of living things; Contemporary global issues (energy and soil); The human body and health . The course is taught in French.

Chorale 10 (elective) This advanced chorale course continues to develop skills introduced in previous

chorale courses. In addition to proper vocal technique, further emphasis is placed on singing expressively, producing good choral tone, and sight-singing independently. Music is age-appropriate and chosen to challenge and inspire students, while encompassing a variety of styles. This course is taught in English.

Economic and Social Sciences This course has an exploratory curriculum that seeks to expose high school students to the knowledge of new disciplines they have not encountered in their prior studies. The course aims to provide all students with the principles of economic and sociological knowledge essential to the education of all citizens who seek to understand the workings of the economy and society in which they live; to enable students to discover a new academic discipline and to help them make enlightened decisions regarding their 11th and 12th grade education; to provide students with some essential concepts and ways of thinking about economics and sociology that will facilitate their studies as high school juniors and seniors and, later on, at the university level. This course is taught in French.

English 10 Students study classic literature, including novels, plays, and poems, in an effort to create parallels with the 10 Regular curriculum. Students also cover a history of philosophy via J . Gaarder’s Sophie’s World . Texts used in this course include Walt Whitman’s poetry, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Spies: A Novel by M . Frayn, The Importance of Being Earnest by O . Wilde, A Lesson Before Dying by E . Gaines, Cold Mountain by C . Frazier, Ella Minnow Pea by M. Dunn, and short stories and other plays from a variety of literary traditions .Students learn the major modes and genres of composition. This course is taughti n English.

English 10 Honors This course is a survey of world literature and philosophy. It begins with a study of the epic, including Gilgamesh, Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid. The concentration on ancient Greek literature also includes a close reading of Oedipus Rex and an examination of tragedy. The year continues with excerpts from Dante’s Inferno and a close reading of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Milton’s Paradise Lost . The second half of the year emphasizes poetry, including the works of Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats . The course concludes with a reading of Woolf ’s Mrs. Dalloway. Throughout the year, the works are examined in light of key philosophers of the western world, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and many others, using Kolak’s Lovers of Wisdom as a basic text . This English course is taught at a native level .

European History and World Geography In the History portion of the course, students study several key moments in history, including citizenship in Athens and Rome, medieval European societies (11th -13th centuries), the Renaissance, the French Revolution, and the revolutionary movements in Europe in the first half of the 19th century. The geography portion of this course focuses on the study of sustainable development. Several themes are used to provoke a deeper conversation about the subject, including how humans can share the wealth of the earth, the plausibility of feeding the entire planet, how we should manage our water resources, and finally, urban life and sus- tainable development. This course is taught in French.

French 10 Literature and Composition Honors. This course is the first in a two-year sequence focused on the content and exercises required for the oral and written Baccalaureate exam in French which students take at the end of 11th grade. Theater, the novel, and persuasive essays are important course themes studied in the context of selected classics of French literature, with a focus on the 17th century. Students are trained in the skill areas of analytical reading and writing, the crafting of literary commentaries, creative writing and essay writing. This French course is taught at a native level.

German III Students study literary texts (both poetry and prose) and are asked to explain the grammatical structures of the texts, as well as initiate discussions. Another key theme of this course is music, which covers Bach through current rap. This course is taught in German with some grammatical explanations in French.

Integrated Mathematics 10 (Algebra 2) Topics covered in this course include number sets and their properties . Variations and graph of following func- tions: linear, reciprocal, quadratic, homographic and trigonometric. Algebraic and rational expressions, fac- toring, algebraic and graphic resolution of non-linear equations and inequalities. Statistics and probability: measuring central tendency and dispersion, frequencies distribution, simulation, sampling and range of fluctuation. Sample space, events, equiprobable spaces, finite proba- bility spaces, intersection and union of events. In Euclidean geometry, emphasis is placed on training in logical reasoning with plane and space properties: plane configurations, straight lines and planes in 3-D, parallelism, intersection of solids by a plane, areas and volumes . In ana- lytic and vector geometry: equation of a line, vectors (coordinates, sum, difference, multiplication by a real number), systems of linear equations. Algorithms: Basic (variables, input, output, expressions, functions), conditional statements, itera- tive loops, pseudo-code . Application: Programming with the TI 84 or using a language like Python or Scilab. Set- mathematical notation, logical reasoning (connectors, negation, truth tables, prop- ositions, logical implication). Graphing calculator, geometry software. This course is taught in French.

American Math 10 Advanced (Algebra 2) (elective) Algebraic Methods: fractional exponents, operations with algebraic fractions, frac- tional and radical equations. Functions: composing two functions, inverse of a function and its graph . Circles: inscribed angles, measuring angles, finding chord, tangent and secant-segment lengths. Transformations: line symmetry, rotation, translation, dilation, composing transformations, reflecting and rotating using coordinates. Trigonometry: functions, identities, equations, formulas, solving triangles. This elective course is taught in English.

Latin III (elective) Students study the Roman world through three central themes: The Roman citizen, The Roman world: Mare Nostrum, and Heroic and mythological characters . The texts highlight the essential aspects of the political, historic, moral, literary, and artistic cultures of the times . Syntax and morphology are strengthened in this course and students are expected to expand their vocabularies using a Latin- French dictionary as a resource . This course is taught in French .

Literature and Society The purpose of this research-oriented course is to showcase the benefits of a humanities-based education by focus- ing on themes prevalent in Literature and Social Studies . The students explore two or three themes taken from the following six: Writing to change the world: the role of writers in the major social issues; From clay tablets to digital screens: the saga of the book and the written world; Image and language: showing and being heard; Stakes and outlook for media, information and communication; Public speaking: from the agora to the online forums; Perspectives on others and on other places.

Physical Education Students are introduced to the French physical education program . This program requires a proficiency in at least two team sports and one individ- ual sport . Students are made aware of the physical requirements for good evaluations and given the instruction necessary to improve skills and tech- niques to achieve maximum results . Sports offered may include, but are not limited to, endurance running, volley- ball, basketball, badminton, dance, running relay, soccer, orienteering, rock climbing and lifeguard training . This course is taught in English.

Physics and Chemistry - 10 The Physics and Chemistry course in 10th grade is organized around three themes: Health, Practicing Sports, and The Universe . Health covers the fun- damentals of medical diagnosis and medication . Observation of results builds notions of concentration and chemical types, as well as reflections on the constitution and structure of matter. The unit on Practicing Sports deals with the study of movement, the concept of pressure, materials and molecules involved in the practice of a sport, as well as the needs and responses of the body . The Universe unit spans large cosmic structures to the structure of matter, including stars, planets and the solar system; this approach provides a coherent general overview of the subject matter . This course is taught in French .

Public Speaking (elective) This bilingual course prepares students to speak publicly before a variety of audi- ences and on a broad range of topics, as they will need to do during their adult and professional lives . Topics include: “Why do we laugh?”; “Should people have the right to smoke in public?”; “Someone I admire;” “My future career;” and free subjects . Students give speeches once a fortnight on average, alternating between English and French.

Spanish III. In grade 10, students are given ample opportunities to review and solidify the grammar and vocabulary basics. They are also asked to deepen their mastery of the language through the study of various authentic documents: visual texts (literature, cartoons, advertisements) as well as audio-visual materials that expose the students to the different accents of the Spanish-speaking world as well as the diverse cultures within it.
Students are challenged to enrich their expression as they continue to communicate through comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing when grappling with more mature, complex world topics (Spain of yesterday and today; the New World; multiculturalism; technology and its effect on society). The course meets three days a week.

Spanish I (elective). Students of grade 10 can choose to start Spanish as a third language (LV3). The course meets three days a week and follows the beginner’s program of Spanish in accordance with the French Ministry of Education. Through thematic topics of daily life (presenting one’s self, describing one’s family, one’s friends, one’s activities), the students follow a progression that combines pragmatic goals (asking questions, getting and giving directions) linguistic objectives (the present tense, the subjunctive mode, the past and future tenses, the use of pronouns and prepositions) and cultural awareness (discovering the Hispanic world, its music, art, holidays, traditions, recipes). In order to be able to communicate fully, students learn to listen, understand, speak, converse, read, and write in the target language.

10th grade Spanish for Native Speakers. This course is intended for native and near-native speakers of Spanish and is taught only in Spanish. Students delve into different texts from Spanish and Latin American writers such as Ana María Matute, Reinaldo Arenas, Laura Esquivel, Rosario Ferré, Arturo Perez- Reverte, and Jorge Luis Borges. The students read and discuss several books. They also watch and analyze movies relating to the literature, culture, and history of Spanish-speaking countries. Some students may choose to present themselves for the Spanish AP (Advanced Placement) Language exam. The course meets three times a week.

Science and Methodology (elective) This hands-on course gives students an opportunity to discover different fields of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science . In this project-based course, stu- dents choose two or three themes to investigate either on their own or as part of a team. They develop scientific proto- cols to confront real world problems and then develop a means of effective scien- tific communication to convey findings (research reports, posters, slide shows etc .). Two or three of the following themes will be studied throughout the year: science and food, science and cosmetology, science and works of art, science and the prevention of risks of human origin, science and world view, and forensics. This course is taught in French .

United States History II This is the third part of a three-year study of U .S . history . The course begins with the post-World War II period and ends with the fall of communism. Students develop familiarity with historical data, geo-political terminology, and research and analytical skills. Texts include American Odyssey, The United States in the 20th Century; When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka; Nickel and Dimed, On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich; primary sources; documentaries; Up Front; The New York Times magazine for students; and the Internet . This course is taught in English.


11th and 12th Grades: Choice between two diploma tracks

Students choose between the French Baccalaureate track, taught in French or bilingually, and the International Baccalaureate track, taught in English or bilingually. Both programs are rigorous pre-university courses of study which meet the needs of highly motivated High School students.

French BaccalaureateInternational Baccalaureate

In my role as Head of High School, I work collaboratively with an expert team of teachers, advisors, coaches and administrators. From the High School Dean and College Counselors, to the School Counselor and Community Service Coordinator, to the Athletic Director, Student Government Advisor and Clubs Advisor, students receive much individualized and small group attention. Faculty members establish and maintain close relationships with students and work with them to build self-confidence and ensure success. Varied teaching styles offer students the opportunity to learn in different ways. Welcoming collaborative dialogue with parents along the way, we all work with a diverse, multicultural student body to cultivate a learning environment that combines rigor, creativity, respect, tolerance, multiple-perspectives and character development.

Mark Rosenblum
Head of High School


Our track record of 100% college acceptance and 100% baccalaureate success places us at the top of French-American schools in North America

Our International Baccalaureate track opened in 2015 has been ranked among the best in the USA


FASNY’s individualized college counseling process, beginning in grade 10, successfully prepares students for higher education in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and elsewhere in continental Europe, offering guidance for students and parents with respect to academic and extracurricular choices, standardized testing, and the college application process.

Through its academic, athletic, extracurricular, and community service programs, FASNY’s High School compares favorably with many of the most prestigious American independent schools in the United States.