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academic program


ta b l e o f c o n t e n t s
























after school
























(The Masters School reserves the right to modify the school policies and course offerings listed in this guide.)

A Message from the Academic Dean

School Administrators

What makes The Masters School so extraordinary? Its international student body, its proximity to New York City, and its palpable ethos of kindness are part of the formula, but what truly sets us apart is our academic program.

Head of School Maureen Fonseca, Ph.D.

At The Masters School, our expectations tend to be different than those of other schools. When our students gather around a Harkness table, they must actively participate in their education. They are not mere receptacles for information but active seekers of truth. They must continually probe, listen, analyze, and absorb. In Harkness methodology, students discover that there is seldom one right answer, but rather a variety of positions worthy of consideration. As the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” At The Masters School, our goal for students is not merely to function, but to flourish. Because our academic environment is supportive as well as rigorous it encourages a productive exchange of ideas and deep learning. This academic program guide will give you a good idea of what students can gain at The Masters School. We encourage you to read it carefully, and to find additional information on our website. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Chris Goulian Academic Dean

Our Mission The Masters School provides a challenging academic environment that encourages critical, creative, and independent habits of thought and a lifelong passion for learning. The Masters School promotes and celebrates academic achievement, artistic development, ethical action, athletic endeavor, and personal growth. The School maintains a diverse community that encourages students to participate actively in decisions affecting their lives and to develop an appreciation of their responsibilities to the larger world.

Head of Upper School Christopher Frost Academic Dean Chris Goulian Dean of Students Priscilla Hindley ’66 Associate Dean of Students Director of Residential Life Timothy Weir Associate Dean of Students Gillian Crane ’92 Ninth Grade Dean Ronica Bhattacharya Tenth Grade Dean Eileen Dieck, M.D. Eleventh Grade Dean Matthew Ives Twelfth Grade Dean Jane Rechtman Director of College Counseling Kathi Woods Director of Community Service Amy Atlee Associate Head of School for Faculty Affairs and Program Development Adriana Botero Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid Chris Downs Associate Head of School for Institutional Advancement Tim Kane Director of Business and Finance Christine Schwegel Director of Athletics and Physical Education Kevin Versen


a c a d e m i c c a l e n d AR 2 0 1 2 – 2 0 1 3

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

AUGUST Pre-season registration for fall athletes

February 28

September New student registration

march 2, 4

Returning student registration


Fall semester begins


Curriculum Night for parents


Presidents’ Day – no classes



Spring vacation begins at 3:00 p.m.

april Classes resume


Third quarter ends


October Last day to drop or add courses



Columbus Day – no classes


SAT exams (offered at Masters)

Family Weekend


November 4

First quarter ends SAT exams (offered at Masters)

Advanced Placement examinations

4 6-17

Memorial Day – no classes


Classes end


2 3

june 3-6

Thanksgiving vacation begins at 3:00 p.m.


Final examinations

Classes resume


Grades 9 and 10 dismissed at 2:00 p.m.


Senior Awards ceremony


Graduation at 4:00 p.m.


December Winter vacation begins at 4:30 p.m.


The academic year is divided into fall and spring January Classes resume

semesters. Above are listed the important academic 7

MLK, Jr. Day – no classes


Fall semester ends


Professional Day – no classes


SAT exams (offered at Masters)


Spring semester begins


dates for the Upper School. Some dates listed may be subject to change.


The Harkness Method At The Masters School, the Harkness method of teaching requires students to take a proactive role in and responsibility for their own learning. Classes are taught in a seminar format around large oval wooden Harkness tables, where every student has an equal place of prominence in the interactive learning experience. The Harkness approach motivates students to prepare thoroughly, participate daily, and solve problems collaboratively. They explore divergent ideas, challenge assumptions, and lead class discussions. Consequently, Masters students develop outstanding listening skills, the ability to think critically, and the confidence to speak with clarity and nuance.

Weekday Schedule Breakfast 7:00–7:45 a.m. Morning Meeting and academic classes 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Tutorial period and extra help 3:00–3:30 p.m. Athletics & Co-Curricular programs (athletic games and practices may go later) 3:30–4:45 p.m. Dinner 5:30–6:30 p.m. Study hours 8:00–10:00 p.m. All boarding students in their dorms 10:00 p.m.


Delta Week Schedule Monday



Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

C2 8:00

A1 8:30

A2 8:30



Advisee Breakfast or Class Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

E2 8:30

B4 8:30

E3 9:25

A4 9:25

Break 10:20

Break 10:20

M2 / G4 10:40

C4 10:40

N2 / G4 11:35

D4 11:35

C3 8:55 B1 9:25

A3 9:25 Break 9:50


Break 10:20

Break 10:20

C1 10:40

M1 / G1 10:40

O1 / G2 10:10

O2 / G3 11:05 D1 11:35

N1 / G1 11:35

Break 12:30

Break 12:30

Lunch and Flex Time 12:00

Break 12:30

Break 12:30

E1 1:10

B2 1:10

D2 1:10

F2 1:10

F4 1:10

F1 2:05

B3 2:05

D3 2:05

F3 2:05

E4 2:05

Classes are taught in a modified block schedule. Major classes take place for 220 minutes per week and minor classes 110 minutes. The schedule alternates on a two-week cycle.

Phi Week Schedule Monday



Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

D2 8:00

E1 8:30

B2 8:30



Advisee Breakfast or Class Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

Morning Meeting 8:00 – 8:25

F2 8:30

F4 8:30

F3 9:25

E4 9:25

Break 10:20

Break 10:20

M2 / G4 10:40

C4 10:40

N2 / G4 11:35

D4 11:35

D3 8:55 F1 9:25

B3 9:25 Break 9:50

Break 10:20

Break 10:20

C1 10:40

M1 / G1 10:40

O1 / G2 10:10

O2 / G3 11:05 D1 11:35

N1 / G1 11:35

Break 12:30

Break 12:30

Lunch and Flex Time 12:00

Break 12:30

Break 12:30

A1 1:10

A2 1:10

C2 1:10

E2 1:10

B4 1:10

B1 2:05

A3 2:05

C3 2:05

E3 2:05

A4 2:05



Graduation Requirements Masters School students are required to successfully fulfill the graduation requirements listed below and to pass all of their courses by the end of senior year. Only courses taken in the Upper School count toward fulfilling these requirements. English: Four years Math: Three years, through at least trigonometry Languages: Three years of the same language, through at least level III


History: Three years, one of which must be United States History Religion: A half-credit course, World Religions, typically taken in tenth grade Science: Three years of science, two of which must be laboratory sciences The Arts: The equivalent of a half-credit course in any of the visual or performing arts to be taken in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade Public Speaking: A quartercredit course to be taken in eleventh grade Health: The Freshman Seminar (part of which is devoted to health) and a quarter-credit course in eleventh grade

Planning Your Program of Study Ninth Grade Ninth grade is an introduction to the Upper School, and all freshmen who are not in ESL courses take five major classes: English 9 Mathematics World History I Science Language (French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish)

Ninth graders also take these required minor courses: Freshman Seminar Humanities (which has art, music, dance, and drama components) Physical Education (which may be satisfied through athletic team participation or certain co-curricular activities) Freshmen may also choose to enroll in a minor course from a selected list.

Tenth Grade All sophomores take five major courses: English 10 Mathematics Science World History II (which complements English 10 and World Religions) Language (French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish)

Tenth graders also take these required minor courses: World Religions Physical Education (which may be satisfied through athletic team participation or certain co-curricular activities) Sophomores may also choose to enroll in additional minor courses from a selected list.

Athletic Credit Requirement: Students must participate on an interscholastic team three out of six seasons of their ninth and tenth grades; at least one of these seasons must be during freshman year.

Eleventh Grade All juniors take five major courses: English 11 Mathematics United States History Science Language (French, Spanish, Mandarin, or Spanish)

Eleventh graders also take these required minor courses: Public Speaking Health Physical Education (which may be satisfied through athletic team participation or certain co-curricular activities) Elective courses, both majors and minors, are offered in most disciplines.

Twelfth Grade All seniors take five major courses and any graduation requirements that have not yet been fulfilled. English is required; seniors select their other major and minor courses from electives offered in: History and Religion Modern and Classical Languages Mathematics Science Visual and Performing Arts

Twelfth graders are also required to take: Physical Education (which may be satisfied through athletic team participation or certain co-curricular activities)

Honors, Accelerated, and Advanced Placement (AP) Courses Many courses are offered at a variety of levels: basic, regular, honors, accelerated, or Advanced Placement. Honors or accelerated sections require students to work at a faster pace, with more difficult material or a more challenging workload than a regular section would present. These courses may culminate in an exam given in May (SAT II or AP) that may provide students with an opportunity to earn college credit. All students who enroll in an AP course are required to take the AP exam for that course. Students are not encouraged to take more than three AP courses in a given year. Students under consideration for placement in honors sections of mathematics or science, for accelerated sections of foreign language, or for an AP course must meet the criteria outlined by each department. Enrollment in these courses is highly selective. This is especially true for AP courses, the curricula for which are meant for students who have demonstrated the ability, motivation, and discipline to work at the college level for the duration of the course.



Programs of Study Each year The Masters School offers qualified students the opportunity to apply to semester programs that provide rich alternative learning experiences.

CITYterm Sharing the campus of The Masters School and using New York City as its classroom and laboratory, CITYterm brings together six residential faculty members and thirty intellectually adventuresome juniors and seniors for a semester of intensive experience-based learning. The Urban Core curriculum focuses on the history, literature, and unique environment of New York City. The project-based curriculum emphasizes student-driven development of a wide range of skills in inquiry, reading, writing, critical thinking, and collaborative leadership. Students also study math, language, and science in small classes that emphasize a skillsbased approach to thinking and learning.

The Oxbow School


This school in Napa, California, offers a program that places the visual arts at the center of its interdisciplinary, project-based curriculum. The program satisfies the academic requirements of college-bound high school students while exposing them to college-level studio arts practice.

High Mountain Institute High Mountain Institute (HMI) provides a unique combination of academic and wilderness experiences to a select group of high school juniors and seniors. Students live and work on the forty-acre alpine campus and explore the Colorado Plateau during a series of learning expeditions.

School Year Abroad School Year Abroad (SYA) gives high school juniors and seniors a deep understanding of another people and another way of life through near-total immersion in a foreign culture. It gives students opportunities to grow in responsibility, self-reliance, and tolerance as they face the challenges of living abroad. Every year the program sends approximately sixty eleventh and twelfth graders to each one of their unique schools in Beijing, China; Rennes, France; Viterbo, Italy; and Zaragoza, Spain.


College Counseling Students engage as fully in the college search process as they do in all other aspects of their life at The Masters School. Beginning in sophomore year, and accelerating through junior and senior years, counselors work closely with individual students to guide them through a process of self-exploration. The counselors help students explore and articulate their interests, skills, and personalities and move toward fulfilling their aspirations for college and beyond. This enables each student to examine an appropriate range of well-matched colleges and universities. Through the use of Naviance, an interactive web-based program, each Masters School counselor provides students and their parents with detailed information and expert guidance from the early days of research and exploratory college visits, to the day when the student makes the final choice of which college to attend. Although acceptance at a college or university that fits the student’s educational, social, geographic, and financial criteria is a significant end-product, the self-discovery that occurs along the way is yet another hallmark of The Masters School experience.


Facilities & Resources Pittsburgh Library The Pittsburgh Library is reserved for quiet study and research and houses a collection of approximately 20,000 volumes and fifty-two periodicals. Students have access to over 3,300 current and back issues of magazines, scholarly journals, and national and international newspapers through online indexes and full-text services. Twenty-two computers are dedicated to online research. The Tower lab has twelve PCs and four Macs. The library catalog, Athena, and Internet reference sources are accessible from all networked computers.


lessons using music, television, movies, radio, and other sources, offering students the opportunities to practice their listening skills, engage interactively, and review grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation. Using a PC as a digital recorder, students can hear the voice of a native speaker through their headphones, try to reproduce the sounds they have heard, and then not only hear but see what they have recorded to help them improve their pronunciation.

Music Lab This specialized lab is equipped with twelve Macs loaded with current recording studio software, a teacher station, digital pianos, and headsets for an immersive creative experience.

Technology Center

Music Rooms

The school’s main computer facilities are located in Morris Hall, the science and technology center. There are eighteen computers with access to high-speed laser printers and scanners. Each computer has a Windows 7 operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Students have access to a variety of graphic and media publications software to support and encourage special multimedia projects. A school-wide wireless network allows for mobile connections to the Internet, printers, and file storage from any point on campus.

Individual soundproofed rooms are located in Strayer Hall for students interested in private music lessons, practice sessions, and group work. A Pro Tools recording studio is

Digital Media Lab

and weekends.

The Digital Media Lab features sixteen Macs with a teaching station and projection setup. A series of programs are bundled on each user-friendly computer, allowing students to access video and photo editing software, including Final Cut and Adobe Suites. The system permits the person sitting at the teaching station to answer questions with real-world examples that can be projected instantly for the class to see.

Advising System

Photography Lab The Visual Arts Department operates a darkroom for use by students interested in mastering traditional photography techniques.

Language Lab The digital language laboratory is integral to language teaching and learning. Teachers create multimedia

also located in the music building.

Fitness Center The Fitness Center is a spacious area that includes aerobic, free weight and life fitness machines. Supervised by a certified strength and conditioning instructor, it is open to students throughout the school day and during evenings

The Masters School advising system—which includes the tandem support of both class dean and advisor—ensures that each student receives individual attention, guidance, and support throughout his or her school career. Upon enrollment, every student is assigned a faculty member as an advisor who remains with the student throughout his or her years at The Masters School. Four mornings a week advisors and advisees gather together at Morning Meeting, Class Meeting, or at an advisee breakfast. The advisor frequently meets informally with his or her advisee, individually or in a group, throughout the year. The advisor is the first point of contact when parents wish to inquire about their student’s academic or social progress. The advisor monitors and guides the student’s involvement in all areas of school life and promotes the student’s growth and development by helping him or her find the appropriate balance and breadth of challenges.

Class Deans

Extra Help

Each class has one member of the faculty assigned as a Class Dean, who provides oversight for the entire class and becomes well-acquainted with each student in the class. The Class Dean’s overview and objectivity is a valuable resource for the advisors, teachers, and coaches as well as the Head of Upper School, Academic Dean, and Dean of Students.

Occasionally, students may have difficulty mastering material presented in a course despite their best efforts. When faced with these situations, students should make use of the resources already in place to help them through the challenging material. Extra help appointments with the subject teacher should be the first recourse. Extra help can also come in the form of time spent with another student who has mastered the material, or parents or family members in consultation with the teacher. As with homework, extra help should only be given with the intention of guiding students to better understand and master the concepts presenting difficulty so they can learn to work independently.

The Freshman Seminar The Freshman Seminar is a yearlong minor course for ninth graders that provides students with a uniform introduction to the school community, its values and expectations, and the interdisciplinary skills they will need for success during their years at The Masters School, as well as health and wellness. The teachers of this course work closely with the Ninth Grade Dean and the ninth grade teachers and advisors to provide a support network for students throughout their freshman year.

The Math Clinic The Math Clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. If a student needs additional help on a particular problem or concept beyond the normal classroom teacher conference time of 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., then a student is welcome to meet with a member of the mathematics faculty on duty in the Math Clinic.

Peer Writing Center The Peer Writing Center serves all Upper School students in all subject areas. Peer tutors—juniors and seniors who are among our strongest writers—are available to help students begin a paper, go over a draft, or revise a final version. Peer tutors also help English students review grammar exercises. The Peer Writing Center is open on a drop-in basis during the school day and from 7:00 – 7:45 p.m. Any student who needs ongoing writing support has the option of meeting with the same peer tutor weekly or, if the schedule permits, meeting regularly with the teacher who heads the Peer Writing Center. Tutors never replace subject teachers; rather, juniors and seniors provide additional assistance and support for their peers.

Teachers are available for occasional extra help sessions during free periods and after school between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. Additionally, teachers are often available for extra help when they are proctoring a study hall or, in the case of residential faculty, when they are on duty in the dormitories. At the request of the teacher and student, an extra help session can be added to the student’s schedule as a weekly appointment. As teachers need to be available to provide extra help to all of their students, the help provided to any one student must be within reasonable limits.



Masters Thesis Masters Thesis is a rigorous guided elective for seniors who want to choose a topic, conduct in-depth research, write and present a scholarly research paper, and complete a creative project culminating in a performance, lecture, or exhibition. The class is interdisciplinary, so students gather broad perspectives relating to their chosen topic. Recent topics have included: The Broken Ladder: The Flawed Development of the American Education System 14

“Show Me, Don’t Tell Me” A History of Photojournalism “Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!” A Comparison of Rome and the United States Lights, Camera, Love: The Conventions of Romantic Comedy The Heart and Mind of a Soldier: The Effects of War on the Psyche Twelve Steps to Nowhere: The Evolution of Addiction Treatment

A sample of recent Senior Seminars: The Art and Craft of the Short Story African American and Immigrant Literature Subjectivity (or On Being a Subject and Occasionally an Object) Memorable Women in Fiction

Signature Programs Throughout their Upper School careers, Masters School students have opportunities to experience unique undertakings as part of their core curricula. From World History I to American Studies to Masters Thesis, students can pick their passions and shape their learning experiences. Additional programs such as Big Apple Academics and off-campus study opportunities further enrich a Masters School education.

Freshman Year City Project, a unit of World History I, takes students into New York City to compare aspects of modern-day urban life with those of the ancient world. The ninth grade Humanities course exposes freshmen to drama, dance, music, and visual arts.

Sophomore Year The entire class participates in Model United Nations as part of their World History II course. Sophomores also study World Religions, exploring how various traditions affect culture, politics, history, and psychology.

Junior Year American Studies is an interdisciplinary elective course offered by the English and the History and Religion Departments during junior year. The course material is coordinated to prompt students to explore the underlying philosophical and moral assumptions of Americans as reflected in their country’s history and literature. Students examine the framework of their own philosophical and moral assumptions and reflect deeply upon what it means for them to identify themselves as Americans. This is also the year in which many students begin taking advantage of the AP course opportunities or enrolling in junior/senior electives such as Seminars in Science.

Senior Year Students may choose from a full complement of electives including Political Science, Economics, and Introduction to Psychology, as well as a range of English Senior Seminars. These full-year seminars vary from year to year, but the selection is always broad and diverse, representing faculty members’ areas of interest and expertise. Seniors can also take Masters Thesis, a yearlong guided independent scholarly research project, or undertake a monthlong capstone project to finish their time at Masters.

New York City: Another Classroom Masters classes utilize a multitude of educational resources available in New York City. Whether it’s visiting a variety of religious institutions, talking with an economist on the trading floor of a Wall Street firm, touring a laboratory with a research scientist at a major university, or attending the General Assembly session at the United Nations, students frequently use the city to complement and enrich their classroom experiences.

Big Apple Academics Big Apple Academics encourages students to take the initiative to experience New York City, expand their class work, and have fun at the same time. The program offers Masters School students the opportunity to delve deeply into academic subjects by visiting cultural sights and other landmarks in New York City for extra credit. Students are encouraged to attend scholarly lectures, poetry readings, performances, watch classic films, or explore the New York Botanical Gardens, The Cloisters, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to name just a few of the options. Each year teachers provide a list of activities and requirements for students interested in expanding their knowledge. Students can visit cultural venues with faculty, family, or friends. They simply need to follow their teacher’s instructions and bring back a ticket stub and/or write a short reflection to earn additional credit in that particular course. The goal is to enhance the learning process and to experience all that the Big Apple has to offer.

After School At 3:30, following the class day, all students continue their involvement in the life of the School by playing on a team or taking part in one of our rich co-curricular offerings. Engagement in sports or co-curriculars allows students to pursue their 15

passions, expand their horizons, and bond with a group of friends.

Community Service

Athletics Most Masters students participate as members of interscholastic teams. Our teams, most of which comprise varsity and junior varsity squads, include soccer, field hockey, cross country, volleyball, basketball, fencing, tennis, lacrosse, baseball, softball, golf, track, and tennis. Through the Athletic Credit Requirement, all students are required to participate as a member of an athletic team for three out of six seasons of their ninth and tenth grades.

Co-curriculars When students are not playing on a team, they can choose from the many cocurricular programs that also take place in the fall, winter, or spring season. We call them co-curriculars, not extra-curriculars, because we consider them essential elements of our curriculum. Students act in theatrical productions, dance, volunteer for community service programs, or work on our numerous school publications.

Interscholastic Teams

Co-Curricular Musical, One-Act Plays, Drama Theater Tech Cabaret Troupe Masters Dance Company Open Art Studio Pilates Fitness Training

Community Service is a unifying experience at The Masters School. Formally, the School calls it MISH (Masters Interested in Sharing and Helping). Across every grade and subject area, servicelearning opportunities are rich and varied. From tutoring students to sponsoring a grade-wide “Hoops for Hope” to the annual all-school Special Olympics, community service opportunities bring Masters School faculty and students together and nurture a sense of altruism that defines our school.

Tae Kwon Do Yoga Ultimate Frisbee Squash Community Service Tower (newspaper) Masterpieces (yearbook)

Fall: Cross-Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball Winter: Basketball, Fencing, Indoor Track & Field Spring: Baseball, Golf, Lacrosse, Softball, Tennis, Track & Field

a c a d e m i c d e pa r t m e n t

English Faculty Darren Wood Department Chair B.A., Swarthmore College Stephanie Andreassi B.S., Cornell University M.F.A., Columbia University Gretchen Beckhorn B.A., Purchase College, SUNY M.A., Mercy College Ronica Bhattacharya B.A., University of Chicago M.F.A., University of Michigan Robert L. Cornigans B.A., Amherst College Caroline Dumaine B.A., Wesleyan University Lisa Green B.A., University of Michigan Ph.D., CUNY Graduate School


Lynne Kassabian B.A., The College of William and Mary Graduate Diploma, The Drama Studio, London M.F.A., Columbia University Sharon Linsker B.A., City College of New York M.A., Columbia University Miguel Segovia B.A., University of Houston M.A., Boston College M. Div., Harvard University Ph.D., Brown University Paul West B.A., Cornell University M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University

English “The mission of the English Department is to help our students think and communicate clearly. We emphasize purposeful writing, effective speaking, thoughtful listening, and careful reading because these skills are the basis for a lifetime of academic and personal growth.”

Darren Wood Department Chair

How do we teach? In the intimacy of small classes around the Harkness table, students work with each other and the teacher in collaborative inquiry and discovery. We study literature as a model for effective communication as well as for its moral and aesthetic value. Discussion, projects, and presentations require students to take an active role in their learning. Using a variety of writing modes—formal, informal, critical, exploratory, personal, and creative—students become strong and versatile communicators. All students are required to take English each year they are at The Masters School.

Senior Seminars In the senior year, having achieved a greater level of literary sophistication and analysis, students may select two seminars from among those being offered. Offerings during 2011-12 included: African American and Immigrant Literature Memorable Women in Literature Re-imagining: Parodies, Retellings, and Literary Cannibalism Subjectivity (or On Being a Subject and Occasionally an Object) Workshop in Flash Fiction The Art and Craft of Lyrics The Art and Craft of the Short Story Convention and Defiance in European Literature Getting Outdoors: The American Nature Essay Poetry Workshop Writing Creative Nonfiction: Personal Essays and Personal Narrative

Yearlong Courses English 9 English 10 English 11 American Studies

Senior Seminars AP English Language* AP English Literature*

ESL Language Arts II and III ESL Literature and Composition ESL Advanced Literature and Composition

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit


Mathematics Faculty

“Through our program students learn how to engage in mathematical activities of analysis, synthesis, deduction, and prediction. The department’s primary objectives are for the student to gain a sense of the beauty and power of mathematics as a subject, to appreciate its relevance and importance to our everyday lives, and to recognize it as a universal language for communicating ideas and concepts.”

Sheldon Perlysky Department Chair B.A., Queens College M.S., Rutgers University Anna Cabral B.A. and M.A.T., Cornell University John Chiodo B.S., Concordia College M.S., Pace University

Sheldon Perlysky Department Chair

Michael Comerford B.A., Princeton University

How do we teach? Through the use of the Harkness table, we expect students to develop the creativity and perseverance needed to solve problems and communicate their mathematical knowledge to others. The skills acquired in the math classroom—including the ability to reason quantitatively and find creative solutions—are becoming indispensable in today’s world, regardless of career choice. All students are required to take math for three years and through trigonometry. Students who complete their course of study in mathematics at The Masters School should have developed the mathematical proficiency needed for entry into a range of

Michele Dennis B.A., Oxford University M.S., Cornell University Jonathan Fermo B.E., Vanderbilt University M.S., City College of New York (CUNY) Matthew Kammrath B.S., Northwestern University

college programs for which math is required.

Heng Jin (Hank) Kim B.A., Boston University

Yearlong Courses

Ron Rothenberg B.A., Wagner College M.A., City College of New York (CUNY)

Basic Algebra Algebra I Basic Geometry Geometry Honors Geometry Algebra II Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry Trigonometry/Discrete Mathematics Topics in Pre-Calculus Pre-Calculus

* By permission of the department

Honors Pre-Calculus Calculus AP Calculus AB* AP Calculus BC* Statistics (prerequisite Algebra II/ Trigonometry) AP Statistics* Introduction to Business/Personal Finance (prerequisite Trigonometry) Honors Mathematics Seminar

Marianne van Brummelen B.A., Vassar College M.A., Columbia University Thomas Wethington B.S., Bucknell University M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University



Language Faculty Richard Simon Department Chair B.A., Stony Brook University M.A., New York University M. Phil., New York University Francisco Calderon B.A., Ohio University J.D., University of Maine and Pepperdine University Jennifer Hughes B.A., Scuola per Interpreti Molly Lori B.S., University of Michigan M.P.H., University of Michigan M.A., Middlebury College Roberto Mercedes B.A., Autonomous University of Santo Domingo M.A., University of Santo Domingo Diploma of Specialization, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo 18

Abdoulaye Ngom B.A. and M.A., Gaston Berger University, St. Louis, Senegal

Modern & Classical Languages “Whether we are helping students appreciate the cultures of the ancient world or preparing them to become full-fledged members of the global community, our hope is that their study of language will help them acquire a more profound awareness of the larger world in which we live.”

Richard Simon Department Chair

How do we teach? In Latin and Greek, the department uses a rich and thorough approach to bring students to a place where they can read original authentic literature—in however small excerpts—as soon as possible. Courses in both languages complement and strengthen the missions of our English, History and Religion, and Art Departments. French and Spanish are taught in the target language from the start, stressing the development of the four basic modern language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Mandarin works progressively toward immersion. With all languages, students have the opportunity to incorporate a wide variety of technological resources into their studies.

Marie-Suzanne Raabon B.A. and M.A., University of Paris IV, Sorbonne

All students are required to complete three years of study in the same language in the Upper School, though we encourage students to pursue their language learning through the senior year. Most students take their major language for all four years, and many study more than one language.

Lena Pu Silberman Beijing Foreign Studies University J.D., Columbia University

Language Offerings

Emily Zocchi B.A., New York University

Beginning through advanced in French, Latin, Mandarin, and Spanish; minor in Ancient Greek.

Yearlong Courses Latin I–III AP Latin-Vergil Seminar in Latin Poetry* Seminars in Latin Literature French I-IV Accelerated French II-Ill AP French Language and Culture*

Seminars in French Language Cultures* Spanish I–V Accelerated Spanish II-III AP Spanish Language* Seminars in Spanish Language Cultures* Mandarin I-V Ancient Greek I-II (minor courses)

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit

History & Religion “Our goal is that students absorb the lessons of history and religion and leave with an appreciation of the world around them, including an understanding of how we got to where we are today and a desire to have a positive impact on the world in the future.”

History & Religion Faculty Skeffington K. Young Department Chair B.A., University of Chicago M.A.T., Tufts University

Skeffington Young Department Chair

Mark Barr B.A., Vassar College M.A., University of Virginia Ed.M., Columbia University

How do we teach?

Lisa K. Berrol B.A., University of Chicago Ed.M., Harvard University

Our curriculum focuses on the students’ development of critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills. Students learn how to analyze primary and secondary sources and to use them to support their historical arguments, both in writing and discussion around the Harkness table. Students learn all aspects of library and Internet research, how to identify useful sources and compile a bibliography, how to take notes and formulate a thesis, and how to write an effective paper that presents a logical, cohesive argument. All students are required to take three years of history, one of which must be United States History in the junior year; and the World Religions course, normally taken in tenth grade.

Ellen Cowhey B.A., Bethany College Courtney DeStefano B.A., Skidmore College M.A., European History, Boston College Matthew Ives B.A., The Catholic University of America M.A., University of Maryland A.B.D., University of Maryland Maxfield McKenna B.A., Amherst College

Yearlong Courses World History I World History II United States History American Studies AP United States History* World Religions (minor course) Introduction to Journalism Journalism

Senior Electives Introduction to Psychology Political Science Economics AP European History* Masters Thesis Biblical Studies Bioethics

* By permission of the department

Jane Baron Rechtman William Sloan Coffin Chair in Religion B.A., University of the Pacific M.Div., Union Theological Seminary C.M.H., Drew University M.A., Drew University Colleen Roche B.A., College of William & Mary M.A.L.S., Columbia University Eric Shapiro B.A., University of Pennsylvania J.D., Fordham University Post Masters Certification, Manhattanville College Cathy Warren B.A., Williams College



Science Faculty Frank Greally Department Chair B.S., Purchase College Christopher Allen B.A., Dartmouth College M.S., University of Maryland Catharine Boothroyd B.A., State University of New York at Purchase Ph.D., Genetics, The Rockefeller University John Comforto B.A., Williams College Eileen Dieck, M.D. B.S., St. Lawrence University M.D., New York Medical College Elisabeth Merrill B.A., Mercy College M.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 20

Leslie M. Reed B.S., Guilford College Robert Stanford B.S., Binghamton University Kristen Tregar B.A., Bryn Mawr College M.S., CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Science “Studying science opens students to a range of ways of thinking. A student of science at the Masters School will not only study the details of respiration, the distance from the Earth to the sun, or what makes a chemical bond covalent, but will spend time studying the world around them and how it works.”

Frank Greally Department Chair

How do we teach? Around the Harkness table, students develop the critical thinking skills necessary to understand and address the issues generated by today’s scientific and technological advances. They master a solid base of factual information as well as problemsolving techniques to be used in both lab and classroom settings. These analytical skills are fundamental to their success in situations encountered both in high school and beyond. All students are required to take three years of science, two of which must be lab sciences. With the exception of Contemporary Issues in Science, all science electives have laboratory components.

Yearlong Courses Biology Honors Biology AP Biology* (prerequisite: two years of lab science) Chemistry Honors Chemistry (co-requisite: Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry) AP Chemistry* (prerequisite: Chemistry, Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry or co-requisite: any Pre-Calculus) Physics Honors Physics (co-requisite: Honors Algebra II/Trigonometry) AP Physics C* (prerequisite: Honors Pre-Calculus) Advanced Physics* Environmental Science (prerequisite: two years of lab science, open to juniors & seniors) Independent Science Research

Semester Courses Animal Behavior and Training Forensics Organic Chemistry I and II World Health and Epidemiology Human Physiology

Contemporary Issues in Science Electronics Culinary Chemistry Cognitive Neuroscience

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit

Visual Arts

Visual Arts Faculty

“We want our students to acquire an appreciation of the visual arts and a basic skill set they can utilize throughout their lives. Ideally, they will expand their artistic voices while gaining a better understanding of self and their relationship and

Madeline Wilson Department Chair B.A. and B.F.A., Bard College M.F.A., New York University, ICP

responsibilities to the world community.�

Vince Galgano B.A., Columbia University

Madeline Wilson Department Chair

How do we teach? Students learn an appreciation of art through creative endeavor, the study of art history, and a hands-on experience in the studio. Each student is encouraged to find his or her own means of self-expression through a variety of media. Faculty are professional artists, and students take full advantage of New York City to complement classroom work.

Cheryl Hajjar B.F.A., Massachusetts College of Art M.F.A., Pratt Institute M.A.Ed., Teachers College, Columbia University Stephanie Mestyan B.A., Bennington College M.A.T., Manhattanville College

Humanities Art, Dance, Drama, and Music are half-semester courses required for all ninth graders.

Visual Arts Courses AP Art History* AP Studio Art* Studio Art Major Foundations** Printmaking** Ceramics** Advanced Ceramics Photography Major Darkroom Photography

* By permission of the department ** Open to students in tenth through twelfth grades


Digital Photography** Photography II and III* Video Major Foundations in Film Theory Digital Art in the Connected Age Foundations in Video Production Video Post-Production and Animation Advanced Video*


Music Faculty Nancy Theeman Lisa J. Lawrence Chair of Music B.A., Colorado College Ph.D., University of Maryland Jennifer Carnevale B.M.E, Jacksonville University M.A., Columbia University Gillian Crane ’92 B.A., Muhlenberg College M.S., Mercy College Katherine Meadows B.A. and M.A., New York University Chris Mills B.A., Northwestern University Gilles Pugatch B.F.A., Purchase College, SUNY M.M., Yale University

Music “Music is a vital part of life at The Masters School, and participation in our program is enthusiastic. We offer a variety of musical experiences for beginners as well as accomplished musicians.”

Nancy Theeman, Ph.D. Lisa J. Lawrence Chair of Music

How do we teach? The music program provides opportunities for students to make music, to learn about music, and to share their musical experiences with others. Private instruction by professional musicians is available on a variety of instruments. Performances by groups and individuals are encouraged and frequent. Humanities Art, Dance, Drama, and Music are half-semester courses required for all ninth graders.

Music Courses 22

Choral Music I: Glee Club Choral Music II: Dobbs 16* Jazz Theory Practicum* Chamber Music* Music History (open to juniors & seniors) Music Theory** AP Music Theory* Independent Study in Theory and Composition* Independent Study in Music* Major in Instrumental Music Swing Band* Orchestra Studio Production in the Digital Age

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit

Drama “Our program uses the discipline of theater to encourage students to open the doors of individual creativity and begin to find their own artistic voices.�

Mary Anne Haskin Drama Department Chair

How do we teach? The Drama Department views theater arts as the ideal place for students to experience the collaborative nature of performance. Students study acting, directing, stage-managing, set and lighting design, costume, and makeup as they learn to interpret dramatic literature. They have four performance opportunities in all-school productions, two to three student-directed plays, and monthly coffee house presentations. Our proximity to New York City offers countless opportunities to attend performances. Humanities Art, Dance, Drama, and Music are half-semester courses required for all ninth graders.

Drama Courses

Drama Faculty

Drama on Stage** Independent Study Directing* (twelfth grade) Acting Workshop** Independent Study in Acting* Directing (prerequisite: Drama on Stage) Technical Theater** Theater Design** Public Speaking (required in either junior or senior year)

Mary Anne Haskin Department Chair B.A., Hillsdale College M.A., New York University Jeff Carnevale B.F.A., Jacksonville University M.F.A., Boston University

Janie Wallace B.F.A., Illinois Wesleyan University

* By permission of the department ** Open to students in tenth through twelfth grades



Dance Faculty Mary Rotella Director of Dance B.F.A., Stephens College 24

Janie Wallace B.F.A., Illinois Wesleyan University

Dance “Our dance program provides talented students the opportunity to grow both technically and artistically, as well as to prepare them—should they choose—to study dance at the college level.”

Mary Rotella Director of Dance

How do we teach? The dance program is designed to both prepare the serious-minded dance student for a B.F.A. college program and to inspire the less-experienced dancer who wants classes and performance opportunities in a nurturing and high quality program. We offer three levels of technique classes in which students study ballet, modern, theatre jazz, and tap. World dance is also offered in the Technique II and III classes. The dancers explore dance improvisation and choreography and learn about the history of dance through special projects. With New York so close, we have the privilege of bringing exceptional guest teachers and choreographers to our campus on a regular basis. Humanities Art, Dance, Drama, and Music are half-semester courses required for all ninth graders.

Dance Courses Dance Technique I-B Dance Technique I-A* Dance Technique II* Dance Technique III* * By permission of the department

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit

Health & Physical Education “Our program provides opportunities that promote a lifelong healthy lifestyle.”

Kevin Versen Director of Athletics and Physical Education

How do we teach? The Department of Health and Physical Education gives students opportunities for learning through the scientific study of human wellness and movement, as well as through the practical application of athletics, exercises, and activities. Students who enter The Masters School in the ninth grade take Health as part of the Freshman Seminar and then in the eleventh grade to meet the graduation requirement. Physical education is required each year, and students may fulfill this requirement by participating in P.E. classes, competing on an athletic team, or joining certain other after school co-curricular activities (e.g. Pilates, Yoga, or Fitness Training).

Athletic Credit Requirement: Students must participate on an interscholastic

team three out of six seasons of their ninth and tenth grades; at least one of these seasons must be during freshman year. Athletic Credit Requirement sports satisfy the Physical Education requirement.

Yearlong Courses Freshman Seminar (required for all ninth graders) Health 11 (required during junior year) Physical Education Fall/Winter/Spring Interscholastic Sports

Health & Physical Education Faculty Kevin Versen Director of Athletics and Physical Education B.A., Lynchburg College Chris Frost Upper School Head B.A., Williams College M.A.L.S., Wesleyan University Priscilla Hindley ’66 Dean of Students B.A., Franconia College M.A., Fordham University Francisco Martin National Institute of Physical Education, Madrid, Spain Fencing Academy, Paris, France Mikelle Sacco B.S. and M.S., Springfield College Kenneth Verral Athletic Trainer B.A., Quinnipiac College M.S., Life College Timothy Weir Associate Dean of Students Director of Residential Life B.A., Montclair State University


I n t e r n at i o n a l S t u d e n t E x p e r i e n c e

International Club and International Field Trips

International Student Experience

International Club,

From its earliest days, The Masters School has enrolled students from all over the world. Currently, international students come from twenty-three countries and represent fifteen percent of the student body. They join their United States counterparts who come from seventeen states. International students are quickly integrated into the community and are regularly found among our student leaders,

international and American

winning athletes, accomplished artists, and leading scholars.

As members of the

students share the rich diversity of cultures represented at The Masters School. The Club meets on a regular basis with the International Student Advisor to share experiences of attending school in a foreign country; they also plan on-campus activities and trips to New York City. 26

In the fall, all new international students spend several days visiting the historic sites

English as a Second Language (ESL) The ESL program is open to international students learning English as a second language. Those entering the program must already have mastery of English at an intermediate level. The program prepares students for and supports them through the rigors of mainstream coursework by teaching skills and covering material that will accelerate their English language learning. The objective is for students to develop the skills and confidence to express themselves effectively in English, and thereby acquire the means to become fully engaged in all aspects of community life at The Masters School. The ESL student’s level of English proficiency is monitored regularly through standardized testing and teacher assessment. As English language skills improve, the ESL student becomes eligible for regular English classes. All ESL students are expected to be mainstreamed in English by senior year.

of Washington, D.C., and become better acquainted with the government of their host country. The highlight of each year is the

ESL courses offered in English Literature and Composition Advanced Literature and Composition Language Arts II and Language Arts III

International Club Dinner, when members prepare their favorite native dishes for the school community.

For a complete course listing and in-depth course descriptions, please visit

The Masters School 49 Clinton Avenue Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522

Phone: 914-479-6420 Fax: 914-693-7295

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy: The Masters School admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of color, national, or ethnic origin, sexual preference, or gender identity in administration of its admission policies, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other schooladministered programs.

Design: PopKitchen Co. Photography: Tom Kates, Bob Falcetti, Peter Finger, Dorothy Handelman, Anne Marie Leone, Rawn Fulton, Robert Cornigans, RenĂŠe Bennett, and The Masters School community Printing: Panoramic Group

the masters school | 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 | | 914.479.6420

Masters School Upper School Academic Program  

Overview of the academic program at The Masters School. Masters capitalizes on the Harkness method of teaching that requires students to tak...

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