Grades 6-12 comprise Millennium Charter Academy Upper School. Students in grades 6-8 enter the logic, or dialectic, stage of the classical trivium, and high school students enter the rhetoric stage. The Core Knowledge Sequence continues to spiral through grade 8. In grades 9-12, teacher-designed courses follow the classical model. Sixth grade is an exciting transition year in which students change classes every period and receive a locker and a laptop. Students in grades 6-8 spend four periods a day in core courses, one period in a rotation of lunch, study and physical activity, and two periods in exploratory courses. MCA offers students in these grade levels over 60 exploratory courses (2021-2022 year) from which to choose. Most of these courses run quarterly, giving students the option of as many as eight explorations in a year. To prepare students for the deep thinking encouraged in high school, seventh graders take a quarter-long course in logic, and eighth graders a quarter-long course in philosophy. In the middle grades, students participate in several different clubs and competitions, including science fair, Mock Trial, Envirothon, and others, depending on student and teacher interest. This is also the time for beginning athletic competitions and a round of social events. The Presidential Leadership Council plans several social events during the school year.
Millennium Charter Academy opened it doors to high school students in 2014. High school students enjoy their own wing of the building with a two-story glass atrium as a gathering space. In high school, students find a challenge in robust academics. Our high school meets all North Carolina state standards and graduation requirements and adds a few requirements germane to a classical curriculum, (Link to graduation requirements document). Students take English, history, mathematics and science all four years. Elective courses for high school students are offered in three clusters: humanities, sciences, and entrepreneurship.
High school operates on a traditional seven-period day, which allows for integration of subjects. The seventh period is an options period in which students may sign up for a wide offering of clubs and competitions.
Features of high school:
Student government is a vibrant aspect of MCA high school. Each class elects officers and also representatives for six different councils: governing council, aesthetics council, athletic council, student life council, literary council, and honor council. The goal is for students to take leadership and responsibility for their school.
The Millennium Colloquium. At least twice a year for three or more days, students step away from the prescribed curriculum to study a topic as an entire high school. A colloquium may consist of guest lectures, seminars, readings, and active learning through doing. Some recent seminar topics have been “Technology and Human Flourishing”, “What is Worth Your Commitment?”, “First Principles”, and “Freedom.”
Senior Capstone. As a culmination of their classical education, each senior develops a thesis, writes an argument, and defends their thesis orally in front of a panel and an audience. All that we teach in grades K-12 leads to this important exercise in thinking well, writing well, and speaking well from a well-trained mind and character. It is the end for which we all strive and the beginning of life beyond school.