Upper School

Completing A
Transformational Journey

During their four years in the Upper School, students experience academic rigor balanced with a healthy dose of athletics, arts, leadership, service opportunities, and spiritual training.  Mentored by teachers who instruct with skill and compassion, students find their voices and form lasting relationships with their peers as they complete a transformational journey—one that not only prepares them for success in college and career, but also enables them to grow in faith, confidence, and self-knowledge, ready to impact their world as the Christian leaders of tomorrow.

Amanda McIlwain

Upper School Director

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Employed at Dunham since
2000
Undergraduate Degree
Louisiana State University, 1999
Masters Degree
Doctorate Degree
Certifications
Apple Teacher, 2016
Awards or Additional Certificates
Coaching/Club Responsibilities
Registrar Director of Institute of Leadership
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Amanda McIlwain
Upper School Director
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Honors Courses

As a college preparatory school, all courses at Dunham are taught with the level of rigor to prepare students for the collegiate environment. Honors courses are also available in most subject areas for students who desire to be in a more challenging environment than the traditional college preparatory classroom setting. Success in an honors course demands a commitment to challenging work, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to embrace independent, critical thinking, and challenge.

Advanced Placement

We offer 25 Advanced Placement courses for students who are ready to tackle the challenge of college-level work. Each rigorous course culminates with a comprehensive exam in May. Strong performance on these exams may result in college credit for that subject. Created by the College Board, the AP program is recognized far and wide as a standard of excellence in education.

Dual Enrollment

Through a partnership with Louisiana State University, our Dual Enrollment program allows Upper School students to earn college credits through courses taught at Dunham. The content of these courses is rigorous and follows a curriculum governed by the colleges and universities granting credit. We currently offer seven dual enrollment classes. Through a combination of Dual Enrollment and AP courses, our 2018 graduates earned 647 college credit hours during high school, representing nearly $600,000 in college tuition savings.

Explore the Upper School Curriculum

English

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Dunham’s English department aims to produce graduates who can understand, appreciate, and respond to all types of literary works from a Christian worldview. Students become accomplished in the many facets of the English language through extensive grammar instruction, varied writing opportunities, and extensive literary analysis. Our students read, analyze, discuss, and respond to all sorts of writings from the canon of Western classical literature as well as non-western literature and thought. Through the use of the Harkness method and other classroom discussion techniques, students develop their critical reasoning and rhetorical skills as they discuss literary works from varied genres. Students are expected to research and write well-organized and articulate arguments that define and defend a position on literary pieces as well as local and global issues.

Upper School course offerings in English include:

ESL I, II
English I - Ancient to Medieval Literature
English I Honors - Ancient to Medieval Literature
English II - British Literature
English II Honors - British Literature
English III - American Literature
English III Honors - American Literature
English IV - Modern World Literature
AP English Language and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition

Mathematics

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Graduates of Dunham’s mathematics department understand math as an expression of God’s order and wonder.  Students experience and work with mathematical concepts through a hands-on approach. Through the use of inquiry-based teaching styles, students ask questions and draw conclusions about mathematical concepts and practices. Through the use of a wide variety of technologies, students practice newly discovered skills with the goal of mastery in mathematical procedures. Students ultimately come to understand that the ability to reason, compute, and communicate mathematically are all highly valuable and useful skills. Through this approach, Dunham students are numerically literate, learn to think critically through problem solving, and apply math to real-life situations.

Upper School mathematics courses include:

Algebra I
Algebra I Honors
Algebra IA
Algebra IA Honors
Algebra IB
Algebra IB Honors
Algebra II
Algebra II Honors
Geometry
Geometry Honors
Precalculus
Precalculus Honors
Pre-AP Precalculus
Calculus Honors
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Statistics

History & Global Studies

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Dunham’s history department aims to produce graduates who see history as the story of God’s providence for us.  Students become geographically literate and able to write and speak about history critically and eloquently.  Through the use of primary source documents, the department aims to provide a platform from which history is learned and understood.  All history courses are designed to create an environment where students will not only recall historical facts, but also discuss historical and contextual significance.  Through the lens of a Christian worldview, students construct a complete historical understanding of the world through a spiraled approach to both Western and non-Western cultures.  Through this approach to studying history, Dunham students can begin to understand their place in a truly global future.

Upper School History and Global Studies courses include:

American Government
Economics
US History
World Civilizations
World Civilizations Honors
World History
World History Honors
AP European History
AP US History
AP US Government and Politics

Science & STEM

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Dunham’s science program aims to produce graduates who see the world as God’s creation and equipped to understand the scientific workings of the world as we understand them from a Christian world-view.  Students become literate in the areas of earth, space, and natural sciences with specific and in-depth examination in the areas of chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering. Through an experiential approach, the department teaches scientific thinking and reasoning by using the tools of science in the classroom every day.  All science courses are designed to place emphasis on the scientific method of discovery and its application to real-world problems. Through this approach to studying science, Dunham graduates are prepared to practice science in any setting and able to apply their knowledge in both college and career.

Upper School science courses include:

Anatomy & Physiology
Biology
Biology Honors
Physical Science
Physical Science Honors
Chemistry
Chemistry Honors
Intro to Engineering
Physical Science
Physical Science Honors
Physics
Physics Honors
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Physics C

Religion

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The Bible department stands at the heart of the educational mission of our school as we strive to educate the mind and the heart for Christ. Dunham’s Bible department aims to produce graduates who see the world and events that transpire in it with God as the divine creator and ultimate authority. Dunham students will become Biblically literate through the study of both the Old and New Testaments.  As an interdenominational school, Bible at Dunham is taught from a perspective of unity, emphasizing what we share in Christ, and not what separates us denominationally.  All Bible classes are designed to create an environment where students can explore Biblical truth and discuss its application in the world today.  Through this approach, the student is encouraged to reason through scripture and develop their worldview in a safe environment.  As in all humanities classes at Dunham, the Harkness method of instruction is used to facilitate discussion in class, ensuring that all students’ voices are heard as students probe scripture.

Upper School courses include:

Religion I
Religion II
Religion III
Religion IV

World Languages

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Dunham’s World Language Department aims to produce graduates who have attained proficiency in a second language. Through a graduated approach to an immersion classroom setting, students experience and practice a variety of communications skills daily.  Specific emphasis is placed on vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.  Students also become culturally literate in their chosen language in order to recognize and appreciate a cultural worldview that is different from their own. Through this approach, we believe Dunham students gain broader education and are better prepared for the collegiate and global work environments.

World Language offerings include:

AP Chinese
French I
French II
French II Honors
French III Honors
French IV Honors
Pre-AP French III Honors
Pre-AP French IV Honors
AP French
Latin I
Latin II
Latin III Honors
Latin IV Honors
Pre-AP Latin
AP Latin
Spanish I
Spanish II
Spanish II Honors
Spanish III Honors Dual Enrollment*
Spanish IV Honors
Spanish V Honors
Pre-AP Spanish III Honors
Pre-AP Spanish IV Honors
AP Spanish Language

*Upon successful completion of these courses, students may be eligible to receive up to 8 hours college credit for LSU 1101 and 1102 (Spanish).

Fine Arts

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The Dunham Fine Arts Department aims to produce graduates who can understand, appreciate, and respond to all types of fine art from a Christian worldview. By exploring the history of art and the varying disciplines within the fine arts arena (art, band, choir, dance, or theatre), students gain a richer and fuller educational experience.  Through technical instruction, daily practice, and performances and competitions, students refine their skills in their chosen area of interest.  The department seeks to provide opportunities for students to collaborate and create art in its many forms that can be shared with not only the Dunham community, but also with the greater community.

Upper School arts courses include:

Art I, II, III, IV
Choir I
Choir II Honors
Dance I
Dance II Honors
Jazz Band
Percussion
Silver Pep Band
Theatre I
Theatre II Honors
AP Studio Art: Drawing & Painting
AP Studio Art: 2D Design
AP Studio Art: 3D Design

Dual Enrollment

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Upon the successful completion of Dual Enrollment courses, students may be eligible to receive the equivalent credit hours at most accredited colleges and universities.

Dual Enrollment courses include:

Math 1021 (College Algebra); 3 credit hours
Math 1022 (College Trigonometry); 3 credit hours
Math 1431 (Business Calculus); 3 credit hours
Spanish 1101 (Elementary Spanish I); 4 credit hours
Spanish 1102 (Elementary Spanish 1I); 4 credit hours
Engineering 1050 (Intro to Engineering); 4 credit hours

Electives

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Upper School elective courses include:

Computer Literacy
Computer Science I
Creative Writing
Health
Intro to Engineering
Leadership
Logic and Test Prep
Speech I, II
Study Skills
Physical Education
Psychology
Publications
AP Computer Science A
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Macroeconomics
AP Microeconomics
AP Psychology

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