Upper School Curriculum

Discimus Agere Agendo – we learn to do by doing – through creative engagement, meaningful participation, and reasoned argumentation, Newman students practice the skills needed to become effective participants in the global community.
We believe that mastery of the core disciplines combined with rigorous development of critical thinking skills is fundamental to the education of informed, versatile, and creative citizens. Accordingly, the Newman classroom supports risk taking and is a place where precise content knowledge is pursued not merely for its own sake but, just as important, in the service of collaborative and productive intellectual endeavors.

Newman offers opportunities for students to challenge themselves beyond the standard course offerings in all disciplines. Nearly all regular courses are complemented by AP or Honors-level classes, and students may calibrate the rigor of their academic experience according to their interests. This flexibility allows each student to choose the right course level for their particular aptitude and skill set in each discipline in order to maximize learning.

Newman currently offers 16 AP courses across all disciplines, and students may also choose to take an AP exam even if they are enrolled in a standard level course. Depending on a graduate’s chosen college, strong performance on AP exams may result in college credit. Students may begin taking AP-level classes as early as sophomore year at Newman.

List of 7 items.

  • Arts

    We believe that the arts are a universal language that is essential to the development of the whole child. We believe that every student is an artist and the mission of the arts department is to foster the artist within each student. The arts develop creative thinking and self-expression. Through exploration of the arts, Newman students develop a broad and deep understanding of the world around them, greater engagement with ideas, and a well-rounded educational experience. We want all Newman students to make connections between arts and life.

    • 2-D Design & the Printed Image
    • 3-D Art and Design
    • Acting
    • Art History
    • Art History Honors
    • Band
    • Band + Chorus
    • Ceramics – Beg.
    • Ceramics – Int./Adv.
    • Chorus
    • Dance – Beg.
    • Dance – Int./Adv.
    • Drawing and Painting
    • Film Production
    • Film Production Practicum
    • Intro to Film Production
    • Introduction to the Studio Arts
    • Monologue and Scene Study
    • Photography
    • Photojournalism
    • Print Media Design
    • Survey
    • Tech Theater – Beg.
    • Tech Theater – Int./Adv.
    • AP Studio Art: Drawing and 2-D Design
  • English

    The Newman English Department offers students a rigorous and academically challenging college preparatory curriculum. Teachers ask, and teach students to ask, increasingly complex questions about literature, and help students discover the knowledge and wisdom preserved in texts. Students learn to articulate their ideas in clear, authentic prose, and learn how to support those ideas using cogent reasoning and textual evidence.  In an environment where students and teachers alike are encouraged to take risks, we foster self-confidence, independence, and responsibility.

    English I
    English II
    English II Honors
    English III
    English III Honors
    English IV
    English IV Honors
    Public Speaking
    Creative Writing – Poetry
  • History

    Isidore Newman’s History Department is integrated across grades 5-12. Our offerings have two main goals. The first is to help each student learn how to organize and present cogent arguments both in writing and in speaking. Our second goal is to give our students a lasting familiarity with some of the key information about the past, information that we feel an informed American citizen needs to have in today’s world. We pursue the first goal by having our students do a great deal of writing. The expectations of writing assignments become more advanced each year, always incorporating what students learned in earlier years. Students in the sixth grade, for example, focus on writing good paragraphs with clear topic sentences, while tenth grade students are expected to write multi-page essays with clear and well-supported arguments. We pursue our second goal in a series of courses whose content is in large measure determined by external factors such as state requirements. Within those limits, we include content that will allow each student to develop a greater appreciation for the complexities of the historical record and the richness of the global community.

    • Government & Economic Systems
    • World History
    • AP World History
    • U.S. History
    • AP U.S. History
    • Global Studies: Africa
    • Global Studies: China/Japan
    • Global Studies: European Union
    • Global Studies: Latin America
    • Global Studies: Middle East
    Topical Electives
    • AP Economics
    • AP U.S. Government
    • U.S. Conflicts: America at War
    • The Ongoing Struggle for Social Justice
    • Katrina: Ruin, Rage, and Recovery
  • Mathematics

    The primary goal of the Mathematics Department is to provide Newman students with a solid foundation in mathematics for college. In addition to preparing students academically, we attempt to instill in them a mathematical curiosity, a love of learning, and a respect for mathematics as a discipline inherently worthy of study, not simply as a method of problem solving. We consider the ability to compute correctly, to use current technology, and to perform algebraic manipulations as necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for success in future academic endeavors. Therefore, we emphasize the understanding of concepts, the appreciation of mathematical systems, and the development of sound reasoning in order to enhance the ability of our students to apply mathematics to the real world situations as well as to other areas of study.

    At each grade level from seventh to twelfth grade there is an accelerated math course in addition to the standard challenging math course. Although our standard high school curriculum is Algebra 2 in 9th grade, followed by Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus, there are ways to vary this course of study somewhat to meet the needs of students with different learning styles and interests.

    • Algebra I
    • Algebra II
    • Geometry
    • Honors Geometry
    • Pre-Calculus
    • Honors Pre-Calculus
    • Intro to Calculus
    • Calculus
    • Honors Calculus
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC Honors
    • AP Statistics
  • Physical Education

    Through the Newman Upper School Physical Education program, students build a foundation of physical fitness knowledge, the skills, and confidence to perform a variety of physical activities and the intrinsic motivation to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle. 

    There are two avenues to pursue Physical Education at Newman. One avenue is through the Athletic program and has an interscholastic sports emphasis. The other avenue is through the Physical Education Department and focuses on building the knowledge, skills, and strategies for incorporating physical activity into a comprehensive, life-long personal health practice.

    Activities in physical education are designed to improve cardiovascular endurance (through running, biking, cross-training, swimming, etc.), muscular strength and endurance (through body weight exercises, weight training, medicine ball work, core development, etc.), flexibility (through static and dynamic exercises), and nutrition. At the beginning of each semester, students in PE classes are tested in core strength, aerobic capacity, flexibility, and agility. The students set personal goals, customize a fitness and nutrition plan, execute the plan, and retest periodically to assess progress and adjust the plan as needed. Customized activities are performed on a daily basis, giving students the feel of having a personal trainer.
  • Science

    The goal of the Isidore Newman Upper School Science Department is the production of graduates who are scientifically literate, understand worldwide scientific issues, and have the technical skills to excel in tomorrow’s workplace. The Science Department strives to stimulate curiosity and the joy of discovery and embraces Newman’s motto, “we learn to do by doing,” in all areas of science.

    In Newman’s Upper School, students are required to take three years of science, including one year of biology, chemistry, and physics. In the ninth grade the Science Department requires biology of all students. In the tenth grade the Science Department typically teaches two levels of chemistry: regular and honors. In the eleventh or twelfth grade, students choose among physics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, or AP Physics C. Students are also strongly encouraged to take a fourth year of science which may include AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, Genetics, or Anatomy and Physiology. Additionally, the Science Department has recently added a several research and design elective classes which emphasize engineering, statistics, and computer programming.

    • Anatomy & Physiology
    • Biology
    • AP Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Honors Chemistry
    • AP Chemistry
    • Organic Chemistry
    • AP Environmental Science
    • Genetics
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Physics 2
    • AP Physics C: Mechanics
  • World Language

    The emphasis of the World Language Department is on developing language proficiency, based on an early start, language choice, and the mastery of listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Also emphasized are the cultures which the languages represent, so that students learn how people who speak another language think and act. French and Spanish are offered beginning in Pre-K, the starting point for Latin is sixth grade and, the starting point for Chinese is ninth grade. In the ninth grade, students are given the opportunity to switch to a different language, but most students continue with the same language. The Upper School requires three consecutive years of the same language for graduation.

    • Chinese I
    • Chinese II
    • Chinese III
    • Chinese IV
    • Chinese IV Honors
    • AP Chinese Language & Culture (directed study)
    • French IV
    • French IV Honors
    • French V
    • French V Honors
    • French VI
    • French VI Honors
    • AP French Language & Culture
    • French Seminar
    • The European Union (fulfills Global Studies requirement)
    • Latin IV
    • Latin V
    • Latin VI
    • AP Latin
    • Spanish IV
    • Spanish IV Honors
    • Spanish V
    • Spanish V Honors
    • Spanish VI
    • Spanish VI Honors
    • AP Spanish Language & Culture
    • Latin American Studies (fulfills Global Studies requirement)

Contact Faculty & Staff

1903 Jefferson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone: 504.899.5641
Fax: 504.896.8597
Open 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
An independent,
non-denominational day
school in New Orleans for
early childhood through 12th grade