Upper School 7-12

Program Overview

Trinity offers a college-preparatory curriculum. Emphasis is not only on teaching content, but also on developing lifelong learners who are adept at reading, writing, and reasoning. Advanced Placement or honors courses are offered in many departments.

Teaching methods in the Upper School incorporate oral presentations, drama, papers, speeches, debates, worldview discussion, and guided research with the goal of synthesizing ideas (leading to the composition and defense of the senior thesis).

Every student in Grades 7 - 12 receives an ASUS Transformer Book T100 tablet to use in classrooms and at home. A large percentage of the Upper School curriculum will be in an e-book format.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements for the Class of 2017 and Beyond

English 4 credits
Social Studies14 credits
Foreign Language3 credits in one language, or 2 credits in two languages
Fine Arts2
2 credits
Mathematics34 credits
4 credits
Christian Studies1 credit for each year at Trinity
Physical Education2 credits
Electives2 credits (other than PE electives)
Chapel.25 credit for each year at Trinity
.25 credit for each year at Trinity

1World History 2, U.S. History, and Government required
2Arts & Aesthetics required; to be completed in sophomore year by all students
3Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 required
4Biology/Honors Biology and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry required

Academic Schedule

Students in Grades 7 - 12 have a total of eight class periods taught on a modified block schedule. Four class periods meet on alternate days for 80 minutes each, followed by a 40-minute student seminar period. On Wednesdays, in addition to four shortened class periods, time is allotted for spiritual development through weekly chapel services or periodic meetings in advisory groups (small single-gender groups of peers facilitated by a faculty member) to supplement the chapel program.

Additional Graduation Requirements

Senior Capstone Thesis

Seniors are required to compose a 15 - 20 page comprehensive worldview thesis that culminates in a summative oral defense before a formal panel of faculty and administrators.

Community Service

Beginning freshman year, all Upper School students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service each calendar year in order to graduate (160 total hours for four years).

What do students say?

Trinity congratulates senior Sam Powers on receiving the Jefferson Scholarship award. Sam is the first recipient of this award in Trinity's history.

4,000 schools, both national and international, are eligible to nominate students in their schools. Sam was one of three finalists named from the 50 nominating schools in the Northern Virginia region. Sam and the rest of the 120 finalists spent five days on campus at the University of Virginia, where they underwent rigorous testing, completed written assignments, attended formal dinners, and completed interviews. 36 of those 120 students were offered full-ride scholarships to the University of Virginia, which includes the following: room and board, textbooks, a personal stipend, and a study abroad program.

Sam believes that Trinity prepared him very well for this opportunity. Everyone was extraordinarily impressed that all Trinity students complete a senior thesis, and that Sam was able to articulate topics of faith in such a compelling way. Sam attributes his scholarship award to one conversation he had during lunch with one of his judges on how faith intersects with his career goals for the future concerning genetic research.

"I feel so blessed that God has brought me through this path of staying at Trinity for high school and allowed me to go to this competition representing Him and this school and come out with a new opportunity to show His love to all those around me in a place of higher education."

To learn more about the Upper School's technology and e-curriculum, click here.

Fine Arts in the Upper School

  • The yearlong Arts & Aesthetics serves as the foundational course in the fine arts program. It provides a biblical basis for the arts and an understanding of the Christian approach to the concept of beauty and art created to the glory of God.
  • Studio art classes explore two- and three-dimensional art and graphic design at several levels, including portfolio preparation for college study.
  • Instrumental and choral ensembles are open by audition; students regularly perform for the school and community.
  • Theater arts classes are open to all students; fall and spring drama or musical productions are staged with open auditions for the entire Upper School student body.

Library/Media Center

A comprehensive library/media collection is housed in two distinct centers on campus. For the Upper School, the collection offers hard-copy texts, electronic resources, a periodicals collection, and audio-visual materials.

  • Nearly 2,500 print titles are available to use in the center or to check out for use at home or in class.
  • For research, 12 computer stations provide access to the Internet, the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog), and online databases.
  • Trinity subscribes to JSTOR, an electronic journal storage project that provides full-text access to complete runs of back issues of scholarly journal titles.
  • A full-time librarian assists students and teachers with research and the use of the materials.
  • While the collection intentionally supports the Christian worldview, it contains a broad selection of titles meant to expose students to the variety of ideas they will encounter in college and in life.

"I liked learning during school because my teachers made me feel like it was something good, and something to be proud of spending my time doing. Trinity’s curriculum was the foundation I think I needed to move on to perhaps more varied and erudite studies.”

Becca Kobayashi '08, Kenyon College '12

In April, The Washington Post listed Trinity Christian School in the top 4% of America's Most Challenging High Schools,...

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