Academic Program


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One Program.  Two Diplomas.  The IB.  Multiple Testing Options. 

High School (Grades 9 – 12) learning opportunities are designed to prepare students for university and other adult endeavors that depend upon academic understandings and skills.  Beginning in grade nine, academic performance has a direct impact on earning a SCIS diploma. (See graduation requirements below.)  SCIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and also by the International Baccalaureate.  The High School program culminates with students earning two diplomas:

  1. A SCIS Diploma, which is viewed the same as graduating from a High School in the United States of America.
  2. An IB Diploma, which is accepted around the world as one of the most prestigious diplomas any high school student can have AND is usually accepted for college credit.

Preparation for the IB

Grades 9 and 10 focus is on challenging conceptual understandings and honing ways of thinking and skills specific to each academic discipline (e.g. approaching an investigation as a scientist or as a historian, or describing a situation using literary devices or mathematics).   By the end of grade 10, students should have a solid foundation of knowledge across the six domains of our academic program.  As such students are expected (1: World Languages) to understand of literary elements and have the ability to analyze a literary work and conduct research in at least one language, (2: Social Science) to have a general world overview of cultural and physical geography, of factors that underpin historical significance, and of basic economic principles, (3: Science) to know the basic underpinnings of physics, chemistry, and biology, and can conduct a scientific investigation based on their own hypothesis, (4: Mathematics) to use algebra, principle of Euclidian geometry and basic trigonometry for mathematical modeling and problem solving as well as to have a conceptual understanding of functions, probability and statistics, (5: The Arts) to have the ability to perform in at least one art form, and (6: Physical Education) to have an active commitment to personal health and fitness.

The IB Diploma Program

Grades 11 and 12 build on the foundations formed in grades 9 and 10, with a focus on deep conceptual understandings, content knowledge, and accomplished use of skills. Course offerings are based upon a combination of sustainability and interest and may differ by campus.  In Grade 11 and Grade 12, all students must take at least one course in each of the following, Mathematics, Science, Individuals and Societies, and two courses in Modern World Languages, one of which must be a literature based course.  A sixth course, based on student selection, is also required.  Students are encouraged to select the sixth course based on keen interest or future academic pursuits. Visual Arts or other courses that build skills in using a design cycle are highly recommended.  All students must also take the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course as well as complete and present a senior portfolio/project. Students are expected to engage in Creative, Service, and Action (CAS). (See campus handbooks for more information.)


The PSAT is administered to all students in grade 10.  The SAT is given on site all six times every year (the maximum number allowed).  The ACT is given on site twice per year.  AP Testing is also available on site to those who express interest.  Finally, the IB DP tests are administered on site in May every year for Grade 12 students.

Course Catalog

For more information about each school’s specific academic program, course catalogs can be found here:

Diplomas and Graduation Requirements

Earning the SCIS Diploma is based on successful completion of a minimum 25 course credits during a 4 year program of study.  Credits must include the following.

  • 4 credits Language Arts
  • 3 credits Mathematics
  • 3 credits Social Science
  • 3 credits World Languages (Other than English)
  • 3 credits Science
  • 2 credits Fine/Performing Arts
  • 2 credits Physical Education
  • 5 credits Electives

Students also must complete and present a non-credit bearing, graduation portfolio/senior project as part of graduation requirements.

Successful completion of a course is based on evaluation of performance tasks, tests and exams as is appropriate for the nature of the course (e.g. a physical education course will have different evaluation tasks than a Language Arts course).  

Typically, SCIS students earn between 28 and 31 credits, through successful completion of four (4) credits in each of the core subjects, i.e. Mathematics, Social Sciences, Science and World Languages, as well as the four (4) required credits of Language Arts.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the SCIS Diploma, students also sit the full complement of exams for an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma; thus in grades 11 and 12 courses are designed as two-year courses of study and course content and assessment incorporate the requirements of the IB Diploma syllabi. Earning an IB Diploma is based primarily upon course examinations taken in May of the grade 12 year as well as completion of an Extended Essay, the Creative, Service and Action (CAS) requirements and the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) course.  See the IB Diploma Program page for more information about the IB DP.