Upper School

Upper School / Grades  7-9

Pine Cobble’s Upper School combines the intimacy of a small, close-knit school with a wide landscape of ideas and opportunities. We challenge students as mathematicians, scientists, writers, historians and as scholars of Latin, Spanish and the arts. Equally important, we challenge them as individuals, taking each student just enough outside his/her comfort zone that they can feel themselves growing intellectually. The result is a curriculum that is ambitious, rigorous and individualized.

We prepare students exceedingly well and give them confidence in their own abilities. However, Pine Cobble does more than prepare students in specific academic subjects. We also ensure that they have the broad range of skills they need to thrive in all of the years that follow. Students leave Pine Cobble fully ready to be engaged, to work extremely hard, to pursue interests and passions and to play leadership roles in their communities.  Our students graduate knowing how to meet deadlines and produce sophisticated work, how to forge meaningful relationships with faculty and peers and how to take full advantage of the resources around them.

Students also learn the intellectual habits they need to thrive. They learn to think critically, analyze a situation from multiple perspectives, apply logic and scientific reasoning, recognize patterns and trends, advocate for a position and engage in constructive dialogue on a variety of topics. Walk through the hallways of our Upper School, and you will find students wrestling with complex ideas. You will hear stimulating intellectual discourse filling classrooms and hallways — and you will hear that discourse punctuated by great bursts of laughter and fun. You will find students who understand what it is to work hard, to challenge themselves, to find the meaning within information, and to pursue truth.

Upper School students become leaders, in real and concrete ways. They are keenly aware of their importance as role models to the younger children. Advisor groups volunteer in classrooms and/or do service projects with younger classes or with the outside community. Projects such as Pumpkin Day, the Thanksgiving Feast, and Cookie Day give students concrete experience as leaders. Our graduates consistently report that they were exceedingly well-prepared to embrace leadership roles after Pine Cobble. Other highlights of our Upper School curriculum:

  • In mathematics we teach Pre-Algebra through Trigonometry, with students placed in the class that is best suited to his/her strengths.
  • Students study Physical Science, along with  Astronomy and Biology.
  • History includes detailed analysis of United States History, World Cultures, and culminates in Western Civilization. Interdisciplinary units are often taught across the curriculum.
  • Spanish and Latin are offered, and two-thirds of our students take both languages. Younger students (beginners through 6th grade) will take Spanish, which will continue even when they are in the Upper School.
  • The English program emphasizes outstanding reading, writing and oral communication skills; all students present a research topic before the whole school, after a year of study on the subject.
  • Electives give students the chance to pursue their own interests – be it film, art, debate, computer programming classes, or athletics.
  • Academics are customized to student need. Both highly accelerated students and those who need help closing gaps will find that our faculty and administration are dedicated to meeting individual needs and ensuring that students are challenged as individuals, without sacrificing their sense of community and participation.

Hunter Family Scholarships

In addition to generous financial aid based on family need, Pine Cobble School offers several scholarships, including an endowed need-based scholarship, the Hunter Family Scholarship. The Hunter Family Scholarships are endowed by a gift from the estate of Irene M. and James H. Hunter. The Hunter Family Scholarship is open to qualifying new students entering grades 5-9; it covers full tuition (excluding activity fees). It will apply to the tuition for each academic year the student attends Pine Cobble School, as long as the student remains in good standing.   Please contact Amie Bui, Director of Admission, at (413) 458-4680 x 16 or by email at a.bui@pinecobble.org for more information.

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