Upper School

Upper School Curriculum

Fayette Academy's Upper School curriculum not only prepares students for success in their post-secondary education but provides students with essential skills to become successful, productive members of society. The Upper School curriculum offers regular, honors, dual enrollment, and Advanced Placement courses. All courses, despite course level, demand consistent work ethic and study habits to be successful. The school day is comprised of seven academic periods, and students are required to take a minimum of six academic classes each year. Honors and Advanced Placement classes require a higher order of thinking and analyzing skills and move at a more rapid pace than non-honors classes. Teacher recommendations, standardized test scores, and class averages are considered in the decision of whether a child should take honors and AP courses. 

Need help walking through course scheduling and college prep. Ms. Taylor is always here to help. Click below to be linked to our school counseling page.

Evaluation of Upper and Middle School student academic performance is expressed by means of letter and number grades. Quarterly, semester and yearly honors rolls for Middle School are Upper School are posted.

Numerically, Honors courses are given an additional weight of five percent (5%), Dual Enrollment courses are given an additional weight of seven and a half percent (7.5%), and Advanced Placement courses are given an additional weight of ten percent (10%). Points are awarded at the conclusion of each semester.

A student’s GPA is determined by translating the numerical grades that are assigned at the end of each semester to grade points according to the chart below and then computing the average of those grade points. Fayette Academy calculates both an unweighted and weighted grade point average for each student.

To calculate unweighted GPA, each Upper School student’s grades are converted to a four-point, cumulative grade scale. To calculate weighted GPA, each Upper School student’s grades are converted to a four-point-five, cumulative grade scale. Honors courses are given an extra weight of .5, Dual Enrollment courses are given an extra weight of 1.0, and AP courses are given an extra weight of 1.5 on the four-point-five scale. All courses taken at Fayette Academy, excluding Teaching Assistants and Study Hall, are used to calculate GPA. The GPA does not include middle school advanced courses (though they will appear on the transcript). The conversion for the four-point-five scale is depicted below.

Students would be prudent to note that the effect of any single semester average on the GPA is strongest in the first year and weakest in the final year; therefore, students should focus on earning the highest possible grades from the moment they join the Upper School.


In the eighth and ninth grades, Fayette Academy starts preparing students for college admissions testing in the spring with the ASPIRE test, which covers math, English, reading comprehension, and science reasoning. The ASPIRE also provides a prediction score for the ACT.

The PSAT is given to 10th and 11th graders in the fall. It is formulated from the SAT and is used to identify juniors who qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The PSAT/NMSQT also provides administrators with an “AP Potential” index. The intent is to increase access to Advanced Placement courses and ensure that no student who has the chance of succeeding is overlooked. “AP Potential” identifies students who are 60 percent likely to get a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test.

All high school students are required to take the ACT or SAT for high school graduation eligibility. The ACT and SAT are college admissions tests which are required by most colleges and universities. Students should determine which standardized test is required by the college of their choice. Students may take the test as many times as they choose. Students can register for these tests online. To register for the ACT, click here. The Fayette Academy CEEB code is 432-143.

All students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are required to pay the examination fee and take the AP exam administered at the end of the year. Each AP exam is based on a five-point scale- a weighted combination of the student’s multiple-choice portion of the exam and the open-ended portion of the exam. The AP score can be used by institutions to determine if credit will be granted for the course taken, or if a student will be allowed to skip the course entirely. A number of colleges and universities grant credit for scores of 3, 4, or 5; however, it is up to the institution to decide whether or not scores will be accepted for credit.

Placement in all AP, Dual Enrollment, and Honors courses is determined by grades, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendation. AP, Dual, and Honors courses are weighted for class ranking. Fayette Academy offers 6 Advanced Placement courses, 2 Dual Enrollment courses, and 11 Honors courses.

Class rank is determined after the 7th semester using cumulative weighted grade point averages. Valedictorian and Salutatorian candidates must have met all honor graduate requirements and must have attended Fayette Academy for three years.

In the case of a tie for Valedictorian and Salutatorian ranks only, the student’s 7th semester grade-point-average will be divided by 24.5 credits to determine rankings. Each student has the opportunity to earn 3.5 credits per semester, making 24.5 credits the number of credits students have had the opportunity to earn by the 7th semester of their high school career. This contingency is in place for determining Valedictorian and Salutatorian rankings only, and will not have any affect only the student’s grade-point-average as depicted on the transcript.

Class of 2019: Students wanting to be honor graduates or compete for the Valedictorian or Salutatorian awards are required to have earned at least two credits in college level courses (i.e., dual enrollment and advanced placement) and five honors credits during their high school careers. Students must also earn a cumulative weighted grade point average of 3.85 for Summa Cum Laude, 3.50 for Magna Cum Laude, and 3.25 for Cum Laude.

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