Honors Courses at Episcopal

Are you not only a high achieving student, but someone who just as motivated by the desire to learn as by grades? Do you find yourself doing more than what is required, simply because you are curious, or intrigued, or challenged? Are you well-organized, and self-motivated? If so, you sound like a good candidate for one or more Honors courses at Episcopal!

In a school filled with bright, highly motivated, conscientious and high-achieving students, Episcopal’s Honors courses are for those select students with a little more drive, a little more determination, and a little more insight and academic interest. Honors classes at Episcopal usually require a little bit more work than do standard classes, but more importantly, they require a different kind of work, a different kind of thinking. Honors teachers at ESJ rarely lead their students along an academic path; rather, they point out the path, give some guidelines, and expect their students to explore, discover, synthesize, and then to ask more questions about the implications and extensions of what they have just learned! High grades are “necessary but not sufficient” for Honors level academic work at Episcopal. Here, Honors classes are designed for inspired, exceptional students who learn quickly, have sincere intellectual curiosity, and achieve at a high level.

Teachers give very careful consideration each year to placement recommendations for each student. Recommendations to Honors classes are based upon a combination of student achievement, personal responsibility and initiative, intellectual curiosity, and developmental maturity. At Episcopal we do not have Honors “tracks,” because we know that students grow and change from year to year. Each year, placement recommendations are shared and discussed with the student and with his/her advisor and parents so that, together, we can arrive at the optimal level of challenge for each student. We work very hard to constantly evaluate and adjust for individual students’ varying trajectories and particular academic strengths and interests.


Advanced Placement Classes

Episcopal currently offers 23 Advanced Placement classes for the very best of the best. A.P. courses are driven by national, standardized exams (typically 3-4 hours each) which are administered in May; A.P. art students prepare portfolios of their work. All A.P. classes at Episcopal are taught by experienced instructors who have excellent track records in preparing their students for A.P. exams. Each year, 85% of our A.P. students earn “passing scores” (3, 4, or 5) on these exams which represent first-year college level work.