Clark High School Curriculum
Clark's Montessori High School's curriculum is constantly evolving as teachers respond to their developing knowledge of Maria Montessori's principles, the needs of students, and the dictates of national and state education standards. However, some aspects of the curriculum are fixed as the foundation upon which further innovative ideas can be supported.
Clark’s endorsed high school diploma includes several requirements:
- Earning additional math, science and social studies credits through senior year
- Completing 200 hours of community service throughout high school (plus 36 hours per year in grades 7-8)
- Completing all field studies (eight in high school)
High School Course Guide
Our High School Course Guide includes more detail about the opportunities and resources available to CPS high school students. Students and their families are encouraged to use the High School Course Guide to plan their educational pathway. The guide includes course descriptions, information about early college credit and alternative credit programs, and more. Graduation requirements, grade reporting, report cards and other policies and procedures are also included in the guide.
Honors-level Core Courses
All core courses are taught at the honors level, with four years of English, math, science and social studies required. English and social studies have overlapping content, giving students a deeper learning experience.
Intersession Field Studies
Twice a year the regular curriculum stops for Intersession, when students participate in two-week, full-immersion studies. Each fall there is a mandatory Intersession based on grade level, and each spring, students choose from a list of offerings. These field studies can involve travel to other countries, other cities, or just other locations in Cincinnati; but at the very least, they include day trips or one overnight.
Learning through Service
Clark students also expand their knowledge of the world and their own self-confidence by participating in mandatory community service. They may volunteer for any non-profit organization they choose, getting as much (or more) from this experience than they give. Students learn first-hand about the problems faced by those who are less powerful in our society (becoming better citizens in the process); they also build life and career skills and gain a sense of their place in the community when their actions have a positive impact on others.
Community Meeting Time and Team building
Advisory meets once a week, every week, for one hour. During this time, Advisors not only provide students with important information, they also build community among students by leading "group initiatives." These initiatives are team-building activities that knit the students closer together and help them appreciate each other’s talents.
Ability to Choose Courses
There are certain courses that all Clark high school students have to take, but students also have a fair amount of choice. Students choose two elective courses per semester in grades 9-10 and three elective courses per semester in grades 11-12.
There are seven bells a day, but we operate on a block schedule two days a week, which essentially doubles the length of each class. The block schedule allows students to spend more time learning certain concepts or working on projects.
Clark offers an array of performing and visual arts electives, including Jazz Band, Printmaking, Steel Drum Band, Sculpture and Photography courses.
All teachers are available after school to help students. They have regularly scheduled "help nights" but can also arrange to meet with students on other afternoons, as well.
Post-secondary Enrollment option
Students can earn college and high school graduation credit by successfully completing college courses. This option is available to students in grades 9-12 who have at least a 3.0 GPA in the subject they want to study.