The Thaden Difference
Recruited from all parts of the United States and many parts of the world, our educators bring to our campus a passion for and mastery of the subjects they teach and the ability to educate, inspire, and mentor young people, inside and outside of the classroom. The diverse talents, interests, regional identities, and backgrounds of our faculty create a learning environment that empowers students to think expansively and imaginatively about their potential and the course of their journey in life.
Our core curriculum not only provides students with a broad foundation in the sciences and the humanities but also teaches them how to integrate disciplines and understand their dynamic connections. Our commitment to interdisciplinary problem solving also finds rich expression in our three signature programs — Wheels, Reels, and Meals — where students combine multiple fields of study and engage with community partners in ways that foster a strong sense of civic responsibility. Intensives and other forms of independent study as well as Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses provide further opportunities for students to form and investigate their own questions from many angles.
Please visit our Curriculum Page for a detailed description of the curriculum and graduation requirements.
At Thaden, we approach the middle school years as a time to nurture agile minds and hearts through play, discovery, compassion, and trust. Early adolescents have unique intellectual, social, and emotional needs as they navigate the critically important years between elementary and high school. Designed with a deep understanding of these needs, Thaden’s middle school curriculum ignites students’ curiosity and passion for discovery while building the skills and habits they will need to thrive in our upper school program. We also offer a broad range of co-curricular programs that help younger students build confidence and develop as leaders, artists, and community volunteers.
The middle school curriculum provides a balanced foundation in the traditional disciplines: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, World Languages, and the Arts. Each year, students take an average of five core courses plus an elective. Each course meets three times per week. While emphasizing skills development, our faculty approach each of these subjects in innovative and highly integrated ways that allow students to grapple with challenging questions well beyond the classroom walls. Middle school students also have the opportunity to integrate their studies across the disciplines through each of our three signature programs (Meals, Reels, and Wheels).
The upper school curriculum respects the boundaries of the core academic disciplines so that students learn to distinguish the ways in which scientists, artists, mathematicians, historians, and others create knowledge and understand the world. The program of study in each discipline, however, also intersects across fields so that students may recognize patterns and illuminate big questions.
Thaden requires a minimum of 26 credits for high school graduation, distributed across the curriculum. One credit is equivalent to a year-long course. Students will exceed the minimum requirements by taking additional electives and advanced courses. Many of our courses have distinctive features that set them apart as particularly challenging and comparable to college level work.
At many schools, especially those serving students with an extremely broad range of academic trajectories, goals, and needs, courses that are specifically designed to prepare students for college often carry the Advanced Placement (AP) designation in order to signal their academic rigor. Thaden has not adopted an AP designation because our entire curriculum, as a whole, is quite challenging and designed to prepare students for admission to selective colleges and universities.
Our college counseling program also provides a high level of individual guidance and support as students approach the college applications process.