MCA’s high school curriculum has been fully approved by its Board of Directors, the Office of Charter Schools and the State Board of Education; it fulfills all the requirements of the UNC system. Students who take the most rigorous courses offered will be eligible for the highest tier colleges and universities.
MCA’s high school builds on the rich content of the K-8 Core Knowledge curriculum by offering a classical, liberal arts course of study based on the great literature and great ideas of the Western tradition. The time-tested paths of learning are delivered in a contemporary, technology-rich setting with the important skills of logic and rhetoric integrated across the curriculum. Nearly all courses in the high school are taught at honors level and AP courses are also offered. Course offerings are well balanced between the humanities and the sciences, creating a strong foundational knowledge base in all the subject areas. A special feature of the high school curriculum is the careful coordination and integration of English and history throughout the high school years, creating a course in humane letters that explores the course of thought through history. A fine arts survey builds further understanding of the flow of ideas and their expressions throughout history.
High school courses are both Socratic and interactive. While teachers often use traditional lecture, teachers and students also engage in rich discussions centered on the classical texts and primary source materials. Deep and meaningful learning continues to occur when students create writings, speeches or products in which they make what they have learned their own.
The first two years of high school consist of prescribed foundational courses designed to underscore the wholeness and integration of human learning. Beginning in the junior year, students can narrow their focus by selecting from three elective clusters: humanities, STEM, or entrepreneurship.
In the senior year, all students engage in a Senior Capstone project that consists of deepening their skills in research, writing, argumentation, and public speaking, thus integrating and calling into practice all they have learned throughout their high school years. The culminating event of Senior Capstone is a formal oral thesis defense with family and invited guests as an audience.
As an aside from the rigors of the standard curriculum, high school students participate periodically in a colloquium, an event in which they explore topics through seminars and hands-on learning experiences.
Another enrichment to the regular curriculum is a full array of academic competitions such as Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, High School Mathematics Competition, Science Fair, National History Day, several writing and speaking contests, and drama and music competitions.