Upper School FAQs

Upper School FAQs

Academic Questions

What does a “typical” 9th grade student take at Nobles?

Students in Class IV take English IV, History of the Human Community and are placed in the appropriate levels of math, language and biology. In addition, 9th graders choose at least one additional course: a second language or visual or performing arts class (and often times two of the three).

How are students placed in courses?

All new students submit prior schoolwork in math, language and science and then meet with Nobles teachers to determine the appropriate course placement. Returning student placement is based upon student performance in class during the school year. This placement process happens in the spring of each year.

Can I take multiple courses in a single academic discipline?

Yes, but there are some limitations. In 9th and 10th grades the “doubling up” usually happens only in language, but in 11th and 12th grades it can happen in almost any discipline as long as the implications are thought through beforehand.

How much homework will I have?

Upper School teachers aim for 40-45 minutes per subject per assignment. Of course when there are tests to take and papers to write there is often additional time required.

Will I have any free time?

Yes! Students have free periods throughout the day that they use to study and get homework done. Ninth graders must attend a study hall during those free periods to begin to build good habits.

How challenging is the work at Nobles?

Students come to Nobles to be challenged academically and we have a long and proud history of very high academic standards. Rest assured that if you are admitted to Nobles we firmly believe you will be able to handle these challenges and do well.

What are the teachers like?

Nobles teachers really enjoy working with high school students in the classroom and also are involved with students as coaches, directors of plays, leaders of trips, mentors of student groups and much more. The teachers’ classroom expertise is unquestioned and they really enjoy working with students in multiple areas of school life.

What is the most important thing Nobles graduates learn as they prepare for college?

Our ongoing research about the college academic experiences of our graduates (updated most recently in 2010) points to their overwhelming satisfaction with their academic preparation for college, particularly in the areas of study skills, time management, written and verbal communication, and mathematical analysis.

Student Life Questions

What am I required to do in the Nobles Afternoon Program?

Nobles 9th and 10th graders need to do three seasons of afternoon program, and two of those seasons must be physical. Students in 11th and 12th grades are required to do two seasons, one of which must be physical. Click here to learn about Nobles Afternoon program.

Where does community service fit at Nobles?

Service to others is integral to the culture of Nobles and happens in every area of school life. That said, students fulfill their 80-hour community service requirement in myriad ways—through our afternoon program, on a Nobles trip, with an independent service project or other non-Nobles related service activity.

I know every student has an advisor. How are they assigned?

In a student’s first year they are assigned an advisor who will see them every day, usually a classroom teacher. At the end of the each subsequent year students are allowed to indicate their top choices and we do our best to accommodate those requests.

How do I get academic help or personal support at Nobles?

A student’s classroom teacher is the first stop towards getting extra help. And this is quite common at Nobles. We also have peer tutors, and the Academic Support Center and Learning Center available should students need ongoing help. For personal support, Nobles students turn first to their advisor and then can access Nobles counselors or members of the Peer Help Program.

How does Assembly work?

Four mornings each week the day begins with an all school Assembly, and every other Wednesday Long Assembly lasts an hour with significant speakers or performances from inside or outside of the school. Students take a great deal of responsibility for making Assembly an interesting and engaging experience for the whole community.

How can I go on a Nobles trip or study away for a semester?

Nobles students apply for trips or to study away during the fall semester. Click here to learn more. Financial aid is available to support all students for these important experiences.

Is it hard to maintain friendships from my old school and neighborhood?

The answer to this depends entirely on you and your friends. Many students at Nobles stay very engaged with their non-Nobles friends while simultaneously making new friends at Nobles.

How does the school relay information to parents?

Grades and comments go home four times each year (October, December, March and June). Parents receive monthly online newsletters and weekly email reminders of upcoming Nobles events and activities. Parents can access the password-protected “parents” section of www.nobles.edu to customize their web calendar to the activities of their child.