Tell Me About…
the Upper School at Blake
At Blake, Upper School students are given the support and freedom to choose their course of study and are encouraged to exercise their growing social and academic maturity. The choices and resources allow a variety of students to thrive at Blake - the scholar, the artist and the athlete can all achieve success.
The Upper School offers curricular options across all disciplines and enrichment experiences such as accelerated classes, College in the Schools classes, and independent senior projects. Advanced Placement work is offered in 14 subjects, and students may choose from a wide range of electives. For example, there are 18 different classes in social studies and 13 electives in visual arts.
Small Classes Yield Large Benefits
Our small classes allow for in-depth teacher/student partnerships in which every student is more actively involved. In addition, our strong student support system - including grade deans, advisors and counselors - ensures that every student is well-known and provided with individual guidance. Faculty become involved in the lives of their students and support them both in and out of the classroom, often chaperoning trips or coaching academic and athletic teams.
A True Commitment To The Arts
The visual and performing arts and the art of communication are integral to the Upper School program. Students select the courses that interest them most, such as band, choir, jazz ensembles, new media, ceramics, photography, drama and debate. They are encouraged to explore various avenues of expression. Newly renovated facilities include a black box theater as well as expanded art studios and choral and band spaces.
During the senior year, every student gives a speech before the entire Upper School community. Regarded as a senior highlight, and long a tradition at Blake, the speech offers students a chance to express personal insights and conclusions drawn from their unique experiences. Blake's Senior Program allows students to develop an independent study program for the final quarter of senior year. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students may choose to explore potential career options, do community service, travel to experience new cultures and practice languages, or explore artistic endeavors.
Highly Competitive Yet Inclusive Athletics
Athletics are an important component of the Upper School, as sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership are some of the valuable skills a Blake graduate learns. Blake's no-cut policy ensures every student has a chance to participate in a quality athletic experience regardless of level of ability. Most Upper School students participate on at least one Blake team, and many are three-season athletes.
Expanding Horizons Beyond The Classroom
A wide variety of co-curricular activities provide options for involvement, leadership and service. Formal student government and judiciary committees also afford students a way to work on behalf of their peers. Activity options include the literary arts magazine, Quiz Bowl, Knowledge Bowl, debate team, Science Bowl, math team, the Justice League, The Gay-Straight Alliance, robotics club, yearbook, school newspaper and the Model United Nations. Students may also create new clubs that reflect their individual interests.
College Bound For Success
For more than a century, Blake students have matriculated to a wide variety of colleges and universities. Our nationally recognized college counseling staff works toward the best match for every student. During junior year, students participate in conference groups to explore specific college options. Topics include understanding college requirements, preparing a list of colleges for consideration, and assessing how well a college "fits" the student. During senior year, options are refined and applications are completed with the help of the college counselors. Our recent alumni survey reveals the vast majority of our students considered themselves extremely well prepared for their next step after Blake.
Blake Upper School At A Glance
- Upper School includes grades nine through 12.
- Instructional classes are small, averaging 15 students, with an average graduating class of 125.
- Blake's Upper School is a 1-to-1 high school, with laptops assigned to every student.
- Upper School students attend the Northrop campus, near the cultural and business heart of Minneapolis.
Blake is proud of its unique and beautiful Upper School campus, with its 110-year history, warm environment, wireless technology, Foucault pendulum and so much more.
From the Upper School Director, reprints from the Link