At the upper school level, the individual student remains the focus of the learning environment, as teachers work to provide a supportive educational process that encourages students to take ever-increasing risks and responsibility for their choices, effort, and achievement.
Instructors invest themselves in mentoring relationships with students so each student is known, appreciated, and personally encourage to excel. Coursework and learning experiences are designed to communicate the relevance of Scripture while encouraging students to live lives of authentic faith.
Part of Christ Presbyterian Academy’s mission is to challenge every student’s academic ability and motivate each student in his/her pursuit of academic excellence. Our students have diverse ability levels, and CPA offers college-preparatory courses as well as Honors and Advanced Placement courses to meet these needs. The student-placement process will identify and address the specific academic needs of the individual student.
The following are strong indicators that a student will be successful in the specific course levels:
College-Preparatory Level (CP)
- Can handle college-preparatory curriculum
- Can understand the major concepts of the content
- Is motivated to complete tasks
- Is prepared to do outside reading
- Can begin to move towards a higher level of critical-thinking skills
Honors Level (H)
- Is self-directed and self-motivated
- Can handle higher-level critical thinking
- Can handle several outside projects
- Can handle a faster pace for mastery
- Tests, grades and homework will be at a more detailed level
Advanced-Placement Level (AP)
- Is more responsible for individual academic achievement/progress
- Mature and highly motivated
- Can grasp concepts through independent study
- Able to synthesize understanding of content with new and varied approach
- Can handle a quicker, in-depth pace
- Enrollment in an Honors course requires an average grade of at least 88 in the preceding year, review of standardized test scores, and/or recommendation of the previous year’s instructor.
The AP courses offered at CPA include: Computer Science Principles, English Language, English Literature, Capstone Seminar, Spanish Language, Latin, Calculus AB and BC, Probability and Statistics, Physics C: Mechanics, Chemistry II, Biology II, Studio Art, Psychology, US Government, US History, and European History. AP fees will be paid in advance at registration. All students enrolled in an AP course take the AP test. AP courses are more difficult than college prep or honors courses and are designed to prepare students for the AP exams given in May. Upon passing the AP exam, as determined by individual colleges and universities, students may receive college credit. Due to the amount of work involved in AP courses, it is recommended that students should also take a study hall.
Students with a C- or below in an AP course will be required to take the regular course final exam in addition to the AP exam.
Bible: 3 credits
1 in 9th, 1 in any combination in 10th or 11th, 1 in 12th.
English: 4 credits
Math: 4 credits
Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and one additional math course beyond Algebra II.
Science: 3 credits
1 of these 3 credits must be Biology and 1 must be a physical science.
Social Studies: 3 credits
0.5 in U. S. Government, 0.5 Economics, 1 in U. S. History, 1 in World History or European History.
World Language: 2 credits
Both credits must be in the same language. 2 credits are required in upper school.
Arts: 1 credit
Any combination of Art, Music, Dance, Theatre, or Media Arts classes.
Physical Education: 1 credit
1 credit of Fitness or Dance
Electives: 3.0 credits
TOTAL: 24 units
Any upper school courses taken in the eighth grade year (such as Algebra I or Foreign Language) will be listed on the upper school transcript; however, the grades earned in these courses will not be included in the cumulative upper school grade point average or in the class rank. Eighth-grade credits will not count towards the graduation requirements.
All students must take six courses per semester.
Any student who receives a D or lower for the second semester grade in English, Algebra I, or the first year of world language is required to attend summer school in order to improve his or her grade since the fundamental grasp of the subject is considered insufficient to proceed. A student is not eligible for summer school if the course semester average is less than 50; the course must be completely retaken. All summer school courses must be approved prior to enrollment.
During the pre-registration process, students should make every effort to select courses that best meet their needs and interests.
Student requests are used to construct the master schedule and determine the courses offered.
Students will receive a copy of their schedule during the summer. They will have two weeks to make necessary changes by contacting the Assistant Head of Upper School--Academics, Amy Calhoun, at (615) 301-3527.
After the drop/add period, minimal schedule changes will be made if a teacher indicates a student has been inappropriately placed. Course changes will not be reflected on the transcript if they are made during the first quarter of the semester. After the first quarter of the semester, a WP or WF will be indicated on the transcript.
Students will not be allowed to drop a year-long course at the end of the first semester unless they have failed or are in danger of failing the class.
Class rank will be determined on a 4.0 GPA scale at the end of first semester senior year. The quality points for an Honors course is augmented by an additional 0.5 and an Advanced Placement course is augmented by an additional 1.0.
CPA releases specific rank only for the valedictorian and salutatorian students; all others are ranked in quartiles, and this information is held for in-house purposes only.
Only courses taken at CPA are used to determine class rank. Students must attend CPA their entire junior and senior years to be considered for valedictorian or salutatorian.
Biblical worldview: what does it mean?
The Bible faculty guides both a student's Scriptural foundation of faith and a student's relationship to God. Each course focuses on pursuing Biblical truths, applying Biblical worldview in everyday life, and understanding the Christian faith as an outward expression of God's grace, love, and righteousness to all humanity. Vertically aligned, the curriculum is designed to engage the whole person, the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional implications of God's word.
From grade 9 to grade 12, students are provided opportunities for growth in their own walks of faith via discipleship training, service learning, and critical engagement with faculty.
The English faculty engages the hearts and minds of students in the pursuit of meaning through literature, art, discourse, composition, and cultural/historical context...all through the lens of a Biblical worldview. Curricular priorities include cultivating a genuine love of reading, exercising analytical skills (the ability to analyze works of art, fiction, poetry, etc.), engaging different perspectives, synthesizing one's own understanding of complex themes via introspection and composition, and more. Teachers work to help students make connections in their subject matter to their own lives and the world in which they live, a process of self-discovery and broader application.
World Language instructors seek to teach language thoroughly and instill an appreciation for the practicality, beauty and order of language while developing a love of other cultures and making connections with others for the glory of God.
These studies provide opportunities for students to explore destinations, encounter cultures, meet and understand people, and transform others by connecting through language and living Christ.
Mathematics in the upper school blends challenging subject matter with ample teacher-student instruction time, application of math principles in daily life, innovative illustration techniques, unique tools for student-engagement, and an overall atmosphere for questions and reinforcement of principles. Instructors are gifted in their fields, experts in Algebra, Calculus, Finite Math, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Statistics. Understanding that math can take time, practice, and patient instruction, the department provides additional resources and time to ensure student engagement.
As part of the "whole child" approach to education, CPA's physical education curriculum spans throughout grade 12. Both athletes and non-athletes alike are given the tools and perspective to live a healthy, balanced life. From Fitness classes to Dance classes, instructors stretch students' abilities and build endurance. Students are challenged to set and achieve new goals as they learn that both diligence and perseverance are necessary for holistic wellness. Mental clarity and strength begins with physical education.
The Science faculty guides students through their understanding of and appreciation for the world around us, its composition, how it behaves, how it reacts, and how it is evolving; God's intricate creation that we as Christians revel in and steward. An academic discipline often forced out of religious dialogue, science is at the foundation of technological progress, industrial innovation, and global citizenship.
CPA believes that God is the author of all science, and that no living organism or chemical element exists outside of His dominion, therefore, making scientific exploration an act of worship and reverence to the ultimate Scientist.
Instructors posit that God built this world. He infused it with complexity and depth for which to study, because He appreciates beauty, meaning, and intricacy.
Whether studying economics, U.S. history, or government, the social studies curriculum is an in-depth exploration of the governing systems, ethical order, and bodies of thought that society has developed throughout time. History encompasses the broader Biblical themes of human depravity and also the quest for justice, civility, and freedom.
All studies allow students access to both the narratives of history in our country and around the world, cultural context of war and peace, and also significant themes of the human plight- themes we see in the past and present. Classes are fueled by group discussion, student engagement, and cross-curricular lessons involving literature, science, and psychology. And discussions are not without analysis of current events and cultural dialogues.
This curriculum includes both the hard skills of computer science proficiency, coding, languages, gaming, digital products, etc., and the added elements of digital citizenship and responsible use. Students are equipped to create and design their own products, learning to innovate as the leaders and thinkers of our digital age: produce, test, fail, troubleshoot, repeat.
Instructors help students see the beauty and complexity of technology and also the need for responsible digital citizenship.