General Information About High School

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High School Schedule

The tables below show a typical high school student's schedule using a block-based system.

High School Daily Schedule

TimeClass or Activity
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.See the next table
8:35 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.Block 1
9:55 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.Block 2
11:35 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.Lunch
12:10 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.Block 3
1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.Break
1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.Block 4

What Happens from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.?

MonAdvisory plansFlex: clubs, tutoring, etc.
TueAdvisory meetsAdvisory
WedPLCFlex and assemblies
ThuAdvisory meetsAdvisory
FriPLCFlex: clubs, tutorung, etc.

Schedule Changes

Please select courses carefully! Since returning students have opportunities in the spring to select and adjust their course requests, in August students must remain in their assigned courses for the first two days of the school year. This allows counselors to focus on assisting students who are new to SAS. Following this two–day moratorium, students who have a schedule problem are allowed to meet with a counselor and request changes. The add/drop period ends after the eighth school day. All requests must be for educationally sound reasons and approved by a counselor. Requests for changes must move a student from a larger section of a course to a smaller one. Students are also required to speak with their parents about proposed changes. At the beginning of the second semester, except for newly arriving students, no schedule changes can be made on the first day back in January. The add/drop period for second semester courses concludes on the fifth day of the semester.

Seniors must list their courses for the entire senior year when they apply to colleges. Should a change in a second semester course be made, colleges must be notified of the change. Should it appear that a student is choosing an easier load in the final semester, it can reduce the chances of admission. Seniors are advised to select their courses carefully for the entire school year and plan to remain in them. The student handbook has a full explanation of SAS drop/add policies.

Graduation Requirements

Note: The minimum credits listed below are the absolute minimum number required to earn an SAS diploma. Completing the minimum credits may not be sufficient for admission to university. Focus should be on the “Recommended” column, which are the recommended grades for college admission.

Required CoursesMinimum CreditsRecommended
Science2.03.0 – 4.0
Social Studies**2.03.0 – 4.0
Language (level requirement)***Intermediate***3.0 – 4.0
Visual/Performing Arts1.01.0
Physical Education1.5
Health Education0.5
Catalyst project (begins with Class of 2018)0.5
Minimum Total Credits24.0


Students must participate in an Interim Semester course each year they are at SAS—one of which must be a service course. One Interim service course (0.25 credit) is required.

*Math: All students must earn two Math credits, one of which must be at the level of Geometry or higher.

**Social Studies: US citizens (not dual citizens) are required to earn one credit in US History.

***Language: Two years of study of the same foreign language (e.g., Chinese, French, or Spanish at the Novice, Intermediate level) or an equivalent proficiency in another language is required.

Advisory and House System

Our advisory program was established in 2015. In 2016, we rolled out our three advisory houses: Andor, Aquila, and Ethon.

Advisory and house seek to ensure that every student is known, cared for and guided; make our big school feel small; support students with solving real-world problems; strengthen students’ sense of identity and belonging; and recognize students’ individual learning experiences and talents.

Each advisory is composed of 10 to 12 students in the same grade who are assigned to a faculty advisor during their first year at SAS. In most cases, students will stay with the same advisor until they leave SAS. Advisory groups meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Each advisory is also assigned to a house that includes approximately ten advisories per grade level. Houses are student–led and house representatives from each grade level form the student government. These students serve as an important voice of the student body, and their duties include but are not limited to organizing house assemblies, all-school pep rallies, spirit activities, and student forums with faculty and administration.

Advisory and house focus on improving students’ interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, their cultural competence and their character. These meetings are structured around the content and behaviors needed to:
  1. best ensure the social/emotional health of all students;
  2. improve academic success; and
  3. prepare students for the inevitability of change in their lives, including the transitions to high school, college, and adulthood.

The advisory program strives to create an atmosphere of trust where students feel safe to discuss a wide range of academic and personal matters in a setting that helps to balance the rigorous academic demands of the SAS experience.

The SAS Catalyst Project

Catalyst is a culminating experience where students apply their academic knowledge to real situations that are personally applicable to them. This entails using different skills than are sometimes required in regular academic courses at SAS.

Catalyst is deliberately designed for students of all abilities and interests, and it is customized for all students to experience a successful project process. Further, grading is based on process and not product, so what they choose for their project is less important than how they conduct their work. Beginning with the Class of 2018, the successful completion of the Catalyst project is a graduation requirement. It ensures that every SAS graduate will leave our school having immersed themselves in a personalized, experiential, educational experience that is essential for the their future.

For more information on Catalyst, click here.

Course Selection Instructions

Click the tabs below to learn how to apply for courses.

Before Requesting Courses

After reviewing the information in this guide, use this four-year planning chart to develop a high school plan of study. Make certain that the minimum graduation requirements are fulfilled, but remember they are just that—minimum requirements. College-bound students graduate with significantly more than the minimum credits. Students should enroll a challenging academic program in which they can be successful while also having time to participate in some activities.

How to Request Courses

  • For students who do not plan to return to SAS next year, please complete this process anyway. It will help us plan for new students and can help students think about courses to consider whether at SAS or a different school. Teachers and counselors are happy to answer any questions about this request process or any of the SAS courses.
  • Either parents or students can login to PowerSchool and click the “Class Registration” icon to open the course selection screen. Access to this page is only available during the registration period in spring. Follow the on-screen instructions to select courses for next year.
  • All students must enroll in the correct number of “credit hours.” Students going into ninth or tenth grade must have seven, and students in eleventh or twelfth grade must have between six and seven credits.
  • Click a subject area to see the available courses. The list of available courses is based upon the courses already completed, the prerequisites that have been met, or the recommendations entered by current teachers. New students who recently joined our school and have no SAS course history may appear to be missing a prerequisite. See a counselor so that prerequisite courses can be manually added.
  • PowerSchool disconnects from the server after 15 minutes of no activity. If too long has been spent choosing courses, when clicking submit the login screen will appear instead of a summary. If that happens, login again and re-enter course requests.
  • Once the correct number of credits has been entered, parents agree to the choices and click “Submit”. The course requests will be displayed. Until the request period ends, students or parents can go back and review or change course requests.

Reviewing Graduation Credits

After submitting course requests and a summary of courses has been displayed, students can check graduation progress by clicking the “View Graduation Progress” hyperlink. These charts combine the credits that have been completed, are in-progress this semester, and have been requested for next year. The top graph shows progress at meeting minimum SAS graduation requirements, and the bottom one shows progress toward fulfilling typical college preparatory expectations.

While students don’t need to be concerned if PowerSchool temporarily assigned credits in a different combination than expected (e.g., Dance could be assigned to either PE or Art), each area should be fulfilled once senior courses are entered. If not, stop by the counseling office.

View High School Courses

Click the buttons below to view the courses offered in SAS.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AP Capstone Diploma?

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must successfully complete both AT Seminar and AT Research and Catalyst. In addition, they must earn a score of 3 or higher on both the AP Seminar and AP Research exam, and earn a score of 3 or higher on four additional AP exams of their choosing. Students typically take AT Seminar in their sophomore or junior year, followed by AT Research and Catalyst.

Where can I find an overview of which AP courses are being phased out and which AT courses are being added to the program offerings?

Please click here for an overview of our projected AP and AT course offerings through 2021.

Where can I learn more about the rationale behind the Advanced Studies program?

We offer on our school portal our frequently asked questions to help guide you through any questions you may have about our advanced studies offerings. We also encourage students to bring questions to their high school counselors. They will gladly help provide clarity and are eager to help any family as they plan a course of study with their child.

To whom does the Advanced Placement credit limit apply?

Starting with the Class of 2021 (this year’s ninth grade students), there is a limit on the number of AP course credits a student may earn at SAS. These students may earn up to seven year–long equivalent AP credits during their SAS careers.

How many AP courses will my child be able to take? What does the AP credit limit mean for access to AP exams?

The Class of 2021 will be able to take a maximum of seven total year–long–equivalent credits in AP courses (14 total semesters of AP). This credit limit will allow our students to choose from nearly 40 of our Advanced Studies offerings. We currently offer and will continue to offer over 20 AP courses, an additional 19 Advanced Topic courses, plus our Catalyst course, independent study, and other personalized options.

Up to 7 year-long equivalent AP credits may be earned by students in the graduating classes of 2021 and beyond. However, students will still be able to access up to 14 AP examinations during their SAS career.

There are currently four AT courses after which students may elect to sit the related AP exam. There is close alignment of the content covered in these courses and our DSLOs:
  • AT Environmental Science and Fieldwork (AP Environmental Science exam)
  • AT Computational Physics (AP Physics 1 exam)
  • AT Seminar (AP Seminar exam)
  • AT Research and Catalyst (AP Research exam)
An additional AT course in this category will be offered beginning in the 2019–20 school year. Though the AT Literature course is not aligned to AP English Literature curriculum, the skill-based nature of the exam does not require much (if any) content knowledge, and students may draw from a wide body of literary works in answering questions on the exam.
  • AT Literature (AP English Literature exam)
Furthermore, there are currently four half-credit AP courses. Often, students will take two semesters of AP Government and Politics or two semesters of AP Economics. These students may sit two exams:
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Government and Politics: Comparative
  • AP Government and Politics: US

How can I fulfill my Catalyst Project graduation requirement?

There are three ways that students can fulfill their Catalyst graduation requirement. These paths are described in the following tab. Regardless of the path chosen in completing their requirement, students will:
  • receive explicit instruction and feedback on our desired student learning outcomes (DSLOs);
  • explore, innovate, encounter real-life challenges, learn from occasional failures or setback, devise solutions, and reflect deeply on who they are as learners;
  • learn valuable skills on how to build professional networks and collaborate with mentors;
  • manage time to see a project through from start to finish;
  • feel better prepared to be successful in college, career, and civic life

AP Capstone, Quest and the SAS Catalyst program. How are these different?

Although all three fulfill the Catalyst graduation requirement, there are some significant differences.

The SAS Catalyst Project

The Catalyst Project is a personalized course where students work with teachers who act as guides as students design, plan, and complete interest-based projects. Students focus on producing a meaningful outcome and are encouraged to dive deep into relevant content and knowledge. This course is for everyone—the program is built to inspire and assist students whether they already have a project idea or not. Optionally, the Catalyst Project can be extended into a second semester, or become a “hyper-Catalyst,” because the student’s project requires greater resources and time.

Graduation Requirements:
  • Students earn their graduation requirement through this personalized course (one semester is the minimum requirement).
  • Prerequisite: None. This course is accessible to everyone in their junior or senior year.
  • Note: Optionally, students may extend their Catalyst experience by taking the course for a second semester or by enrolling in a hyper–Catalyst (hyper–Catalyst is by application).

AT Seminar and AT Research and Catalyst (AP Capstone)

AT Seminar and AT Research and Catalyst are both required to complete the AP Capstone. AT Seminar is a year–long, inquiry-driven course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore real–world topics and issues from multiple perspectives. After successfully completing AT Seminar, most of our students enroll in the year–long AT Research and Catalyst. AT Research and Catalyst asks students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest with the expectation of producing both a university level research paper and a meaningful Catalyst Project. As these courses have fully adopted the AP Capstone curriculum, students will be eligible to take the AP Seminar and AP Research exams. (Note: Students who do not wish to enroll in AT Research and Catalyst after AT Seminar would enroll in the SAS Catalyst Project semester–length course to fulfill their Catalyst graduation requirement. In these instances, students would not be eligible for the AP Capstone Diploma.)

Graduation Requirements:
  • Students earn their Catalyst graduation requirement through this year–long AT course.
  • Prerequisite: Students need to successfully complete AT Seminar to complete their Catalyst requirement through AT Research and Catalyst.
  • Note: In addition to fulfilling their Catalyst requirement, students who successfully complete AT Seminar and AT Research and Catalyst are eligible to earn the AP Capstone Diploma.


Quest is a full-year, all-day, immersive program that supports students in pursuing their curiosity and passion. Instead of taking traditional courses, students earn six credits through interdisciplinary projects that are personalized to their interests. The year culminates with a junior or senior project thesis paper, thesis talk, and thesis defense; successful completion of which fulfills the Catalyst graduation requirement. Click here to learn more about Quest.

Graduation Requirements:
  • Students earn their Catalyst graduation requirement through their fully personalized, al-day, year-long participation in the Quest program.
  • Prerequisite: Enrollment to the Quest program via application.
  • Note: Quest is an immersive program; students earn credits by pursuing interdisciplinary projects that are personalized to their interests.