Learning at Lincoln
Grades 6â€“12 volume 2
Opportunity A girlsâ€™ school creates a setting where girls feel completely comfortable being themselves, and where academics, athletics, and all other activities are geared specifically toward them.
A Quaker school is a place where academic rigor is valued along with integrity, community, peace, equity, and service.
Welcome to Lincoln School, the only all-girls Quaker school in the nation. We provide an ideal learning environment for students in early childhood through twelfth grade. Nowhere else will you find a school culture and academic environment quite like ours.
Tradition Lincoln School thrives at the intersection of two venerable traditions: the Quaker ethos of rigorous academic and ethical standards, and the art and science of educating girls. It’s a combination we’ve been perfecting since 1884.
Our Quaker emphasis on community and the integrity and worth of each individual sets the foundation for our students’ educational experiences here. In small classes and a supportive environment, each girl is challenged, inspired, and encouraged to shine.
Being oriented entirely toward girls also provides significant advantages, such as academic and leadership opportunities for our students. A major study revealed that 13% of girls’ school graduates intended to major in math or science in college, as 2
compared to 2% of girls and 10% of boys nationally. It is clear that girlsâ€™ schools do a superb job of removing gender stereotypes associated with certain subjects and professions. On average, approximately 30% of the girls graduating from Lincoln each year intend to pursue a math or science degree.
In the following pages you will learn more about Lincolnâ€™s distinctive academic program. We emphasize exploration, self-expression, ethical awareness, and the acquisition of the skills and knowledge that enable girls to thrive with confidence in a competitive, complex, and multicultural global world. Truly, a Lincoln education opens a world of possibilities and opportunities for girls. 3
New Ways of
Exploration Exploring the ideas and creative works of others is key to the study of English and the visual and performing arts at Lincoln. On their journey toward understanding what it means to be citizens, students gain confidence in their own ideas, interpretations, beliefs, and capacity for self-expression.
English at Lincoln Our students read diverse works of literature and respond through various writing techniques. In the Middle School, students read such texts as Boy: Tales from Childhood by Roald Dahl, and then write their own “Girl Tales”; they read 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye and create their own poems as part of the Grade 8 poetry portfolio project.
In the Upper School, freshmen explore identity in cross-cultural texts such as The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Sophomores examine personal journeys and moral choices in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Homer’s Odyssey, and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The construction of American identity in classic and contemporary texts is the focus of study for our juniors, while senior opportunities include AP English and the senior seminar, the theme of which changes each year.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors have additional options for English electives, such as Film Studies and Creative Writing. The elective Religion and Spirituality draws upon concepts from philosophy, religious tradition, psychology, literature, and the arts to explore essential questions about the human condition. Characterized by close reading, seminar-style discussion, and reflective and well-reasoned writing, the course is representative of the kinds of meaningful explorations pursued through the English curriculum at Lincoln.
Developing Strong Readers and Writers Lincoln’s Quaker ethos urges students to see things from others’ perspectives, which is key to engaging works of literature in a meaningful way. Small classes allow for each student’s voice to be heard and for teachers to be responsive to each student’s growth as a writer.
The Arts at Lincoln In addition to having an established place in the curriculum, the arts are integrated into many parts of our interdisciplinary academic program. Students learn about the Renaissance by listening to period music... explore Native American society through its art and folklore... and focus the lens of social commentary to examine artist Kara Walkerâ€™s depictions of race, gender, power, and the darker aspects of humanity. In the Middle School, students have music and performing arts classes two to three times a week. There are also two choruses, which have rehearsal time built into the school day. In the visual arts classes, students make use of a spacious, well-equipped studio, where they work with a variety of two- and three-dimensional media. 8
Nurturing Creativity The Upper School has a broad curriculum of art courses and related activities, from chamber music to guitar lessons, from music theory to music history. Our students perform in seven vocal and instrumental groups. Lincoln offers introductory and advanced theater courses and the opportunity to learn technical theater on a state-of-the-art light and soundboard system. In the Middle and Upper Schools, students stage between seven and eight dramatic productions each year. Visual arts courses in painting and drawing, ceramics, photography, and sculpture enable students in the Upper School to explore a variety of media as they also learn to think and to express themselves creatively.
Our most dedicated art students can choose to be visual arts majors, which enables them to select a particular media for in-depth study. As juniors, they begin to build portfolios suitable for submission to top undergraduate art schools and colleges with art programs. Senior art majors put on their own exhibition each year.
Advisors play a key role in the educational experience of each Lincoln student. Each student has an advisor who monitors her academic and personal development, provides support in the context of a one-to-one relationship, and acts as the point person for parent contact. For Middle School students, the “handshake period” at the beginning of each day provides an important connection with advisors, who will also hold individual conferences and small-group meetings for advisees. Upper School students use guidance and coaching from the advisor as a springboard to becoming more effective and independent decision-makers. While courses and teachers change with each semester, the advisor and the friendship and camaraderie of the group provide a great sense of continuity.
Advisors give you a person to talk to if you need help with anything: school work, friends or even your home life. The best part is having parties with the other kids from your group. Belle, Class of 2017
Growing Into Global
Citizens Lincolnâ€™s curricula in history and world languages are grounded in the Quaker values of peace, justice, and community responsibility. As our students gain insight into the multicultural world around them, they also develop the confidence and the capacity to play a positive role in it.
History at Lincoln It is one of the most eagerly anticipated projects of Grade 8: the Human Rights Project. Under teacher guidance, students carry out the careful investigation of global human rights. They select a topic, carry out research, and share their findings. The Human Rights Project prompts students to examine the historical and cultural contexts of world issues, such as imagining how these problems might be addressed by ethical citizens of the global world. The projects and presentations are examples of the thoughtprovoking, meaningful ways our students engage their world.
Historical Perspectives The curriculum begins with the Grade 6 study of ancient history, the foundations of societies, and the meaning of citizenship. Seventh graders then broaden and enhance their knowledge by studying American history from the perspective and experiences of Native Americans, African-Americans, and women. In Grade 8, students look to history to explore and explain conflicts in the world today. Students in Grade 9 explore topics in European history from the middle ages to the end of the 19th century. Tenth graders study the 20th and 21st centuries in a Contemporary World Issues class. Eleventh graders study US History with an AP option. Grade 12 offers AP Art History and, in alternate years, Tradition and Modernism in the Middle East or Postcolonialism in Africa, Asia, and Australasia.
Languages at Lincoln For Middle and Upper School students, Lincoln offers the foundational language of Latin starting in Grade 7. The modern languages of French and Spanish are offered in Grade 6 and on, from introductory to advanced and AP levels. Starting in Grade 9, students may also take Arabic and pursue it to the advanced level.
Lincoln has a long and proud tradition of excellence in language teaching and learning, as reflected by our students’ outstanding performances on the national exams for Latin, French, and Spanish every year. For example, in 2011 alone Lincoln Spanish students captured 4 gold medals, 17 silver, 15 bronze medals and 31 honorable mentions. Twenty students placed in the ‘top 10’ category in the State of Rhode Island; 12 students placed in the ‘top 10’ category at the national level. In Latin, students achieved 1 national gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze and 5 honorable mentions.
Off-Campus, Experiential Learning for Juniors Lincoln students gain direct experience with the world beyond Lincoln through opportunities for off-campus study during their junior year. Our students have challenged themselves through study-abroad programs in many countries, including Argentina, Japan, France, China, Nepal, and Costa Rica. Other experiential learning options include semester-long programs at the Mountain School, offering work and study on an organic farm in Vermont, and at Coloradoâ€™s High Mountain Institute, which features wilderness, academic, and leadership training. 17
Embracing Arabic For ten Lincoln students, writing letters of peace and friendship to Iraqi school children was an unforgettable experience. It was also a significant accomplishment, since the letters were written entirely in Arabic. A recent addition to our language offerings, Arabic has been embraced with enthusiasm and determination by Lincoln students despite its challenges. The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters, each of which can be written in 4 different ways. Whatâ€™s more, because of the various dialects, there are different words to exchange greetings in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. As they learn to read, write, speak, and comprehend spoken Arabic, our students also examine the geography and cultures of Arabic-
speaking countries. Guest speakers, including an Iranian linguistics professor, have provided insight into the history of the Middle East and its languages. Visits to a local Middle Eastern restaurant, where students try the cuisine while using their language skills on the restaurantâ€™s staff, have given students a taste of contemporary life and culture.
Multiply Why do nearly one third of Lincoln graduates seek to major in science, technology, engineering, or math in college? Our educational environment removes social pressures and stereotypes that dissuade girls from developing their abilities. Our curriculumâ€™s challenging and compelling courses provide a solid background for all studentsâ€”and instill a passion for many, opening new areas of interest and opportunity.
Math and Science at Lincoln Envision the seventh graders who are developing a hypothesis about the amount of water is in a carrot and then designing an experiment to determine if the hypothesis is correct. Picture the experiment that features a pair of ninth graders riding on an oversized skateboard attached to a rope, which is being pulled by another student pairâ€”demonstrating the relationships among mass, acceleration, and force in order to prove Newtonâ€™s Second Law of Motion. Not simply learning about math and science, but actually practicing math and science is a hallmark of Lincoln for all Middle and Upper School students. Math and science here are active, accessible, applied, and real.
Opportunities in the Middle School In the Middle School, students have a general math course, followed by Pre-Algebra, and Algebra I for those who are ready for it. Our students gain the foundation and confidence they need to be successful in the Upper School math courses. The highlights of the broadly based general science curriculum include topics such as the structure of the earth and building electric circuits in Grade 6. Grade 7 areas of focus include the world of plants and animals, and a study of human biology. Grade 8 enjoys an Introductory Physical Science course that lays the foundation for studying physics and chemistry in the Upper School.
Scientists and Role Models All of Lincolnâ€™s science faculty members are not only excellent teachers, but also exemplary role models and women with advanced knowledge in their fields. Our science department chair is a female physicist trained in Eastern Europe. The department also includes a medical doctor who brings to the classroom her years of experience as a pediatrician and a biologist, and a veterinarian whose National Geographicaffiliated tour of the Galapagos Islands is included in her teaching such topics as evolutionary adaptations and environmental survival.
“All-Girls” Works “All-girls” doesn't just feel better; it works better. Research carried out by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute demonstrates that women graduates of single-sex schools exhibit higher academic engagement at the college level than do their coeducational counterparts. Their interest in learning is more intense, especially in areas like engineering, computing and politics that have been traditionally male-dominated. Their self-confidence as writers and public speakers is greater. Their academic ambitions are strengthened; more girls’school alumnae consider college as a stepping stone to graduate school. Their level of effort, their constant collaboration with peers and teachers, and the amount
of time they put into studying are all measurably higher. Perhaps most importantly, their belief in themselves as competent, capable scholars is heightened. The distinction is statistically significant, and it makes a difference not only in secondary school, but also in college and beyond.
Girls Gain Financial Literacy Real-world applications of mathematics underpin Green Power, an annual day of assemblies, workshops, and activities on financial topics and life skills for students in Grades 8-12. Green Power guest speakers are parents, alums, or women with prominent careers in banking and finance. The endowed program aims to give Upper School students the practical tools and knowledge that will help them manage their lives, lead in their professions, and plan their futures. Lincoln also offers LifeSmarts, a state and national financial and consumer literacy endeavor. In addition, students may take the seminar â€œPersonal Finance,â€? a financial literacy course. Major topics include the necessity of planning personal finances; banking and credit; investing in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; tax strategies; real estate investments; insurance; and retirement planning. The seminar often features guest speakers and fieldtrips, including one to the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston.
Advantages Because more girls apply to college than boys, the college admissions process is extremely competitive for girls. Lincolnâ€™s college counseling program ensures that our students capitalize on their personal strengths and the advantages of an all-girls education. With a wealth of leadership opportunities and strong interest and preparation in academic fields traditionally dominated by boys, including math and science, Lincoln students have all the resources to be successful in college and beyond.
A Systematic Approach
Finding an Ideal Match
Lincoln takes a systematic and comprehensive approach to college counseling. All juniors take College Awareness, a five-part workshop that addresses all aspects of the college process, from college visits to applications, interviews to financial aid and much more. Both students and their families attend College Night, a comprehensive information session with a noted college admission director, at which they receive a copy of Lincolnâ€™s detailed College Counseling Handbook. Individual meetings with our veteran college counselor are also part of the process, as are opportunities to attend the Providence Independent School College Fair and the Providence College Fair.
We help students look inward to reflect upon their strengths, aspirations, and preferences and to use their critical thinking skills as they consider and narrow the field of possible colleges and universities. Finding an ideal college match for each individual is Lincolnâ€™s goal, and our graduates matriculate to many of the most selective colleges and universities in the nation.
Lincoln School 301 Butler Avenue, Providence, RI 02906 (401) 331 9696 www.lincolnschool.org