The AACS Upper School challenges students to reach their potential as scholars, artists, athletes, and, most importantly, as followers of Christ.
As scholars, students learn to think critically, solve problems, communicate, and collaborate as they discover and appreciate their God-given gifts and talents. A wide variety of courses are offered, from introductory through AP and honors, to help students explore, discover, learn, and understand the world around them.
As artists, students enjoy a wide range of music, theatre, visual art, and media arts opportunities. AACS has six choirs, five instrumental groups, a fall play and a spring musical, and much more to choose from and enjoy. We believe that students should use their artistic gifts to serve others, and we offer multiple opportunities for them to do so.
AACS athletes learn the ideals of sportsmanship and lessons of character. Coaches care deeply about their player’s growth; physically, intellectually, and spiritually. Endurance, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence are taught and modeled.
AACS Upper School students are each on their own faith journey, learning what it means to live a Christ-centered life. Faculty are hired not only because they are masters in their field, but also because their lives exemplify biblical wisdom and love. Biblical values and a biblical worldview perspective are integrated into everything we do at AACS. Bible class, chapel, mentor groups, and retreats are also a time when all students can grow in their faith and prepare for life after high school.
To see a full list of our course offerings, please see our Course Catalog(s). Please review the 2019-20 Textbook and Resource List for the current resource materials needed.
- English / Language Arts
- Foreign Language
- Social Studies
- Mathematics & Science
- Technology & Engineering
- Choral and Instrumental Music
- Theater Arts
- Visual Arts
- Media Arts
Upper School Bible courses begin with establishing an understanding of “worldview,” then frames within this a Biblical worldview approach to school and life. This is followed by an overview of major themes in the Old and New Testament interwoven with church history, then major doctrines, and finally apologetics. We seek to create Godly men and women through deepening their inquiry into and knowledge of Scripture and Christian doctrine.
The language arts are a gift from God that allow us to create, experience, and share truth and beauty for his glory. Upper School English courses invite students to learn how language and literature are used to delight and to persuade. Through the study of American, European, and world literatures, students follow the development of western thought and literary traditions, and explore the significance of storytelling across cultures and time periods. Course offerings range from grammar and reading workshops to AP courses, and include electives like Creative Writing and Speech. Core English courses equip students to read deeply, write clearly, and think well. Students analyze a wide variety of texts, engage with the ideas and arguments of authors, and identify and explore the use of literary elements. In addition, they learn how to understand and structure scholarly arguments, and how to partake in mature conversations about literature and ideas. Reading, writing, and discussion sharpen students' insight into the human condition, and equip them to understand their current cultural context and critique it in the light of truth. In this way, the study of language and literature equips students to understand God's world and act redemptively in it.
The Foreign Language department challenges students to view different cultures through the Biblical Worldview lens. In addition to learning the grammar and vocabulary concepts necessary for successful communication, foreign language students are taught to understand and celebrate the cultural differences among image-bearers here in the US and around the world. Each year, students have the opportunity to travel to a foreign country where they can practice their language skills and experience, first-hand, a culture different from their own.
Through the study of math and science, students learn to think critically and creatively and to work collaboratively; problem-solving skills are paramount. Our teachers include math and science majors, most with advanced degrees, along with MSDE-certified veterans of public and private schools. We also have several STEM career veterans who have conveyed their collective decades of experience in science, engineering, the military, and the corporate world into their second careers in our classrooms, bringing with them their insights and passion for math and science and how this knowledge is used beyond the academic walls. Sixteen math courses are offered, from Algebra 1 Concepts to AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics. Students also choose from 11 science classes including three Honors and three AP classes.
AACS Upper School has two fully equipped computer labs, an engineering lab, and mobile computer carts. Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, all Upper School students will also be provided with a Chromebook for use in classrooms and for homework. We offer a variety of technology courses, from foundations of technology, to engineering, graphic design and several programming courses, and graphic design. We also have an award-winning Robotics team.
Choirs: Whether rehearsing a composition tirelessly in class, serenading an elderly resident in a local nursing home, or traveling domestically or around the world, students are challenged in each situation to rise above the cultural expectations for high school students and to represent themselves as true ambassadors for their Savior and King. The talented choirs at AACS receive outstanding vocal training and many opportunities to perform and travel.
Instrumental Music: Students can grow and develop their musical talents within our five different instrumental groups. Students get to work with the best musicians in the area during sectionals and clinics, and they can serve the school community by playing during concerts and performances, at athletic games, in the pit for the spring musical, or as a part of the Chapel Band.
The Theatre Arts program allows students to grow their talents and explore their world by using their bodies, voices, and imaginations. Students form lasting relationships with each other and with the numerous faculty members from multiple disciplines who invest their time in the Theatre Arts program.
In addition to our mainstage fall play and spring musical, we have numerous theatrical events throughout the year. Students may also choose from a variety of theatre courses.
AACS exposes students to both classical and cutting edge aspects of the visual arts. Students learn painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and graphic design in both the studio and digital art classrooms. Additionally, student artists design the school yearbook, decorate school facilities for special events, create props and sets for theatre productions, and design graphics for publications and the web.
Students can engage with media arts in a variety of ways. We offer an introductory course in media technologies. Students also have opportunities to make and edit films and videos. Additionally, many students are a part of the “Tech Team” where they get hands-on experience with live sound control, theatrical lighting design, installation, and operation, and projection control. Tech Team members serve the school by helping to run weekly Chapel services and school assemblies, and they also are integral to helping our theatrical productions and concerts run smoothly.
More than 70% of AACS students participate in sports. The success of our program is fueled by an outstanding coaching staff, one that cares deeply about its players’ growth: physically, intellectually and spiritually. Many of our coaches are also teachers, allowing AACS students to benefit from their relationships with faculty in the classroom as well as on the field, creating well-rounded connections with their teachers and coaches. See our athletics website for more information.
AACS offers access to college courses (beyond the 11 courses offered in our AP program) for qualified seniors at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). Standard college courses (3 credit hour courses) are offered at several AACC campuses through their Early College Access Program (ECAP).
An online option for dual credit online college courses is also available through Sevenstar’s program with several Christian colleges and universities. These post-secondary institutions offer courses in English, History, Math, and Science, as well as Biblical Studies, Business, Communications, Computer Science, Education, Ministry, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and other Electives. Criteria for Sevenstar’s college options vary by course and college. As with Sevenstar’s high school courses, AACS will facilitate the registration and oversight of these courses. For more information, see the AACS course catalog.