Students develop a critical understanding and openness to the world that prepares them to be principled and productive citizens in our global society.
La Scuola d’Italia’s High School follows a rigorous Italian and American bilingual curriculum that encourages student to think critically and challenges them to contribute to the open exchange of ideas. Although the traditional Italian curriculum is typically completed over five years, La Scuola’s students complete the curriculum, plus two additional academic courses – U.S. History and English Literature – in just four years. The Liceo offers a single curriculum without tracks or tiers. All students complete the same challenging sequence of courses (12 courses concurrently) and all courses are taught at an advanced level. Students read Virgil and Ovid in Latin; Dante and Pirandello in their original Italian; and Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Virginia Woolf in Middle, Elizabethan, and Modern English respectively. Each student studies math up to and including calculus, in addition to three years of physics. Students attend school 35 hours per week and complete homework assignments designed to reinforce central principles and processes introduced in class.
From the beginning of ninth grade to the time of graduation, historical time periods and themes are designed to coincide wherever possible with the other subjects of study. In their philosophy and natural science classes, they study the history of ideas, as well as their application – they see Galileo as a scientist, a philosopher, and a historical figure. Such curricular intersections are intended to help student recognize and understand the interconnectedness of the subjects they study.
State Exam (Esame di Stato)
At the end of the fourth year of Liceo (12th grade) students take the Italian Ministry of Education State Exam, (Esame di Stato) a credit-bearing credential recognized by universities in the United States and European Union. This exam is administered by a State Examination Commission appointed by the Italian Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Commission that administers this test is comprised of three teachers and a head of school sent from Rome in addition to three members of the Liceo faculty. The exam includes a six-hour math test, a six-hour written exam in Italian, a three-hour multidisciplinary test, and an hour-long oral exam, which includes a presentation of a thesis in Italian. Students who pass the exam are awarded a diploma, which permits them to continue their studies at any college or university in the U.S. or European Union.
When La Scuola students continue their studies – in the U.S. or abroad – it is with the confidence that the broad knowledge and language skills they have acquired will help them succeed in all their future endeavors.