Program of Studies

Our curriculum serves a range of academic abilities. We offer 15 AP courses and 23 Honors sections as well as support for students who benefit from extra help with coursework. Technology, a powerful tool for learning, is integrated into courses across the curriculum. Each classroom has a SMART Board or JTouch screen, and teachers use iPads and Apple TV to enhance teaching. The Director of the Copley Library is current with 21st century research options and serves as a valuable resource to faculty and students. A faculty committee monitors the school’s curriculum and encourages the incorporation of current, sound practice.

The Arts: Music, Theater, and Visual Arts

Canterbury offers an exceptionally strong program in the fine arts. The Canterbury Chorale and Varsity Voices perform concerts in the chapel, in the choral classroom, at school meetings, and for special events; Modern Jazz/R&B Combo, Rock Band and Concert Jazz Band perform in a variety of concerts and engage in impromptu jam sessions; and the Orchestra, Classical Chamber Ensemble, and students taking private music lessons give recitals. Vocal students meet in the L. Michael Sheehy ’56 Choral Classroom while the MIDI-lab, instrumental classrooms, a recording studio, and practice rooms round out the Stephen ’43 and Lacy Hume Music Center.

Theater students present two major productions each year in Maguire Auditorium. The fall play and the spring musical always discover new talent in our community. Technical theater is equally important. By opening night, students run the show.

The Visual Arts Department sponsors exhibitions of work by students and professional artists in the Edward J. Duffy Family Art Gallery throughout the year. A wonderful facility, the gallery and its adjacent studios are flooded with natural light. A juried art show takes place each February with work contributed by students in the art classes. The Steele Hall Dining Room and hallways of Hume Hall also provide a venue for displays of student art, and fall and spring Parents’ Weekends feature student art shows. The School’s Fine Arts Calendar informs the community of events in music, theater, and the visual arts.


We believe in the value of the athletic experience in our students’ education. The pursuit of excellence is at the heart of our program, but developing and strengthening the values of sportsmanship, accountability, leadership, perseverance, and development are major goals. Our program will increase a student’s sense of confidence and self-discipline as well as instill an awareness and respect for lifelong fitness and wellness. We believe that daily physical activity is important not only for improving health but also for helping our students perform better in the classroom.

Our athletic tradition is a strong and proud one, best witnessed by the effort, character and spirit Canterbury teams display. The Saints have won both individual and team New England and Western New England Championships over the years and have hosted many championship events as well as annual tournaments. Competitions are usually held on Wednesdays and Saturdays with practices on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Our competitive teams are the foundation of our program. Third and Fourth Formers participate in three seasons--fall, winter, and spring--of athletics. Fifth and Sixth Formers may choose to participate in an alternate activity for one season. These options are: media arts, music, robotics, Model UN, theater, managing a team, and strength and conditioning. Provided consent of the Athletic Director, students may opt to participate in a sport off campus that Canterbury does not offer to fulfill the athletic requirement.

Canterbury offers 18 sports and sponsors approximately 40 teams that reflect level of ability and experience. Boys may play interscholastic sports in the following: football, soccer, cross-country, water polo, basketball, swimming & diving, ice hockey, wrestling, squash, baseball, golf, lacrosse, track & field, tennis, and crew. Girls may play interscholastic sports in the following: field hockey, soccer, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, swimming & diving, ice hockey, squash, golf, lacrosse, track & field, wrestling, tennis, softball, and crew.

Canterbury’s outdoor athletic facilities include five grass playing fields, one synthetic turf field, one baseball diamond, one softball diamond, and eight tennis courts. Our crew team rows on nearby Lake Lillinonah, and 20 ergs are available on campus for workouts. The golf teams play at Lake Waramaug Country Club. Indoor facilities include an ice rink, four basketball courts, five international size squash courts, an eight-lane 25-yard competitive swim and dive pool, a 60’ x 40’ wrestling room, a weight room complete with state of the art strength equipment along with 4 new ellipticals, 3 stationary bikes, 3 treadmills and 2 spinning bikes, and a fully staffed training room.

Community Service

Canterbury believes strongly that our students should have an awareness of the importance of committing themselves to returning the good fortune in their lives to those in need. We seek to instill a sense of responsibility for and dedication to a lifetime of volunteer service. Students choose from a myriad of community service projects including visiting elders in a nursing home and mentoring at local schools. Students are encouraged to see the need for service worldwide but also within the community in which we live and participate. Students are active in New Milford Social Services through donations to the food bank, participating in Sibling Shopping, and helping with childcare during weekend retreats. Additional community service activities have included Coaches Against Cancer, Special Olympics Flag Football, Oxfam, Hockey Skates for the Veterans, Penguin Plunge, and American Red Cross Blood Drives. Canterbury cultivated a great relationship with Special Olympics Connecticut and is happy to host events on campus and send volunteers to events statewide. Our faculty members are active volunteers and enjoy working alongside the students.

During March break, faculty members accompany students to Nicaragua and serve at the Fabretto Children’s Foundation helping with projects and interacting with the local students. We also have run service trips to Costa Rica to assist with saving sea turtles and to Puerto Rico to work in an animal shelter. Each summer, a group of students and teachers spend a week at Lourdes, France, assisting pilgrims. Within the United States, students have completed service projects in Appalachia and Camden, New Jersey.

Canterbury’s clubs, organizations, and athletic teams support current and new causes annually. Students are urged to share local organizations from their home areas with our community and create events to support their cause. Notably, every year brings change and new organizations to campus and students are able to create opportunities based on their interests and concerns.

School Life

Canterbury’s energetic students lead busy lives but still find time for extracurricular activities. We offer the following clubs and organizations: Admission Ambassadors, Cantuarian (Yearbook), Community Service, Drama, Peer Counseling, Model UN, Chicken Keepers, Student Activities Committee, Student Government, The Tabard (School newspaper), and Women of Canterbury.

For our boarders, life revolves around the dorms—a place to relax and do homework, develop close friendships, and enjoy impromptu social times and good talks with dormmates and faculty residents.

Third and Fourth Formers participate in the Work Program at such jobs as working in the dining hall, helping in the library, or sorting mail.

Beyond a required theology course each semester and attendance at Sunday Mass, students practice their faith and attend to their spiritual lives as they choose. Form retreats and shared prayer provide opportunities for spiritual growth. Pizza and Prayer, a dinner gathering to accommodate both boarding and day student schedules, is a discussion-level event in which students socialize and engage in conversation centering on spiritual topics. Participants also host special events to honor holy seasons such as Stations of the Cross and Reconciliation Services during Lent and student Sacristans act as leaders in Campus Ministry events.

Weekend Activities

Canterbury weekends provide an exciting and fun selection of activities for boarders and day students alike. The Student Life Office plans activities such as dances, comedian/hypnotists, game shows, community events, professional sports games, and other off-campus excursions. Saturday night trips to the movies and Sunday afternoon outings to the mall are predictably popular.

On any given weekend, students and faculty chaperones might be heading to New York City for a musical, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or taking a trip to Six Flags New England in Massachusetts. Dotted with state parks, scenic roads for biking, and quaint villages, the surrounding countryside is a wonderful area for exploring. Day students often invite borders to their homes for the weekend or for holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving or Easter.

Course of Study

Canterbury’s academic year consists of two semesters, the first ending in December and the second concluding in May. Each semester, students take five major core courses and one or more minor courses. Although courses for Third and Fourth Formers are mostly prescribed, they may, in some cases, choose from among electives. Fifth and Sixth Formers have more flexibility in course selections. Most major courses require five hours of class work and five hours of homework per week. Honors sections and Advanced Placement courses require more. Minor courses involve two or three meetings and two hours of homework per week. Most courses, including art, are major courses. Minor courses are mostly theology. All underform students are expected to take a minimum of 5 1/2 credits each year. Sixth Form students are expected to take a minimum of five credits each year.

Academic Contacts

Questions about academic matters should be directed to one of the following:

The Donovan Center for Learning:

Questions about College Counseling matters should be directed to one of the following:

Graduation Requirements

English - 4 credits
Mathematics - 3 credits
Science - 2 credits (in laboratory science)
Foreign Language - 3 credits (attaining level three in at least one foreign language)
History - 3 credits (including United States History)
Fine Arts - 1 credit
Additional courses - 4 credits

Canterbury students enroll in a half credit theology course each year. Total credits required for graduation: 20

To be eligible for a diploma, Sixth Formers must be enrolled in classes on campus in the fall and spring semesters. Sixth Formers who fail a one-credit course or two ½ credit courses will not receive a diploma. Sixth Formers who fail two ½ credit courses in the fall semester may not return to campus for the spring semester. Sixth Formers must choose an English course each semester.

The Advisor System

Each student has a faculty advisor who is a key link between the School and the family. The boarding student’s advisor often lives in his or her dormitory; the day student’s advisor often teaches or coaches the student. In addition to providing guidance on academic matters, advisors offer personal support and encouragement. The faculty advisor receives correspondence from teachers, coaches, activities advisors, and dorm parents about a student’s performance. The Donovan Center for Learning also tracks the academic progress of the students. Advisors receive all official reports that parents receive.

Supervised Study & Extra Help

All boarding students observe quiet time for studying in the dormitories Sunday through Friday evenings. Dormitory faculty and student proctors monitor the evening study period; many faculty are available for extra help during this time. An additional time for extra help is during the conference period four mornings a week. Of course, students may arrange for extra help with teachers at times that are mutually convenient. Some students are assigned to daytime study hall during their free periods each progress period. New Third and Fourth Formers in honors courses are not scheduled in daytime study hall for the first progress period. In subsequent progress periods, students are assigned to daytime study hall at the discretion of the Donovan Center for Learning.

Advanced Placement and Honors Courses

The Donovan Center for Learning reserves the right, when and where appropriate, to move students into or out of honors or Advanced Placement sections. Predictors of success in Advanced Placement courses or honors sections depend upon numerous factors, including the result of placement examinations, grades previously earned, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendations.

The following courses culminate with Advanced Placement exams:

Honors American Literature (Language and Composition), AP English Literature, AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP World History, AP United States History, AP European History, AP Macroeconomics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C, AP Psychology, AP Art (2-D Design & 3-D Design), AP French Language, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature.

Honors or AP sections are available in English (4 years), Mathematics (4 years), History (3 years), Science (4 years) and Language (2 years).

Independent Study

Fifth and Sixth Formers at Canterbury have the option of taking independent study courses in English, foreign language, history, science, computer science, mathematics, theology, and the fine arts. Students wishing to undertake an independent study must have a good academic record. The topic of the independent study must be outside the established curriculum. They should obtain a faculty advisor and work with that advisor to develop and present a detailed study plan to the Associate Head of School for Academics well before the independent study begins. To earn independent study credit, a student is expected to complete the equivalent work associated with a minor or major course.

The Sixth Form Project

A few Sixth Formers undertake off-campus projects after March Break. Such projects must be planned in detail with a faculty advisor and the Sixth Form Project Advisor and approved by the Project Committee. Postgraduates may not undertake a Sixth Form Project. Sixth Formers involved in an off-campus project must have been accepted to a college. Those interested in a Sixth Form Project should obtain a copy of the guidelines and procedures from the Sixth Form Project Advisor by early January.

Academic Policies & Procedures

All Canterbury students must carry a standard load of courses consisting of the equivalent of five majors and one minor. Each student’s course of study is determined by the Donovan Center for Learning in consultation with the student, his or her faculty advisor, and relevant faculty. The Academic Counselors try to accommodate course requests, but placement in specific sections and in elective courses depends on numerous factors, including the result of placement examinations, grades previously earned, grade level, departmental prerequisites, special permissions, and scheduling and staffing limitations.

Students may drop or add courses for a specified period of time at the beginning of each semester. A student may drop a course after the sanctioned drop/add period only if the teacher and/or the Donovan Center for Learning deem it necessary. Any full-year course dropped after the close of the first semester is designated as a withdrawal on the transcript.

International students or students with diagnosed learning differences may occasionally carry a lighter load. Students who find taking 5 ½ credits too challenging may carry fewer credits after such a decision is reached by the Associate Head of School for Academics in consultation with the student, the student’s parents, the advisor, and appropriate faculty members. Students who take a reduced load should do so only temporarily. See the section on Honor Roll for the criteria for these students to attain honor roll status.

Because true education is based on the spirit of honest inquiry, Canterbury expects its students to adhere to a high standard of academic integrity. In the classroom, students are expected to submit only their own work. Forms of academic dishonesty include passing off someone else’s work as one’s own, copying someone else’s homework, allowing someone to copy one’s homework, using crib notes during a test or quiz, receiving answers during a test or quiz, and plagiarism, which is the use of another person’s words, ideas, images, organization, thought or facts without citing the source.

A student could violate standards of academic honesty in exercises not limited to but including quizzes, homework, tests, projects, papers, speeches, and semester exams. Violations result in grade and disciplinary consequences. Dismissal is a possibility for blatant or repeated academic dishonesty. All students receive and sign a copy of Canterbury’s Honor Code which defines forms of academic dishonesty and delineates the consequences of academic dishonesty.

Canterbury uses a standard percentage-based system as a basis for grading. The School reports percentages for each course on semester progress reports and letter grades on report cards and transcripts. Letter grades are posted on the transcript. Only semester grades and year-end grades appear on the student’s official transcript. The percentage grades and the letter equivalents are as follows:

96-100 A+ 4.3

The official average is the GPA recorded on the transcript. It is arrived at by translating the percentage grade for each course to a letter grade and averaging the corresponding equivalent points. The GPA is adjusted for honors and advanced placement courses.

The following GPAs are used as criteria in naming students to Honor Roll status:

Honors: 3.3-3.6
High Honors: 3.7-3.9
Highest Honors: 4.0 and above

Students must carry at least 5 credits and pass all courses to attain Honor Roll status. We make exceptions for the 5 credits requirement for those students with documented learning differences. To gain Honor Roll status, these students must earn a GPA that is 0.1 higher for each half credit they fall below 5 credit hours. The Associate Head of School for Academics must approve a non-standard load.

Fifth and Sixth Form honors students are eligible for membership in the Canterbury Honor Society. Fifth Formers with a Highest Honors cumulative GPA are eligible at the end of the first semester of their Fifth Form year. Sixth Formers with High Honors averages who were not inducted in their Fifth Form year may be inducted in their Sixth Form year. Members must be enrolled in a rigorous academic program which includes honors and AP classes in a diverse course of study. Candidates must demonstrate academic integrity and consistent engagement as a positive contributor to the academic culture of the School.

Canterbury School will issue two progress reports and one report card in the first semester and three progress reports and two report cards in the second. Faculty include written evaluations of all students in all courses with each progress report. Advisors write reports on their advisees in January and June.

Special events which provide opportunities for parents to speak with faculty and administrators include the fall and spring Parents’ Weekends.

Parents should feel free to contact the Director of the Donovan Center for Learning, the Academic Counselors, or the student’s advisor at any time about academic matters.

Faculty uses the following schedule to assign any period test, project, or in-class assignment which takes longer than 20 minutes:

Monday – English and Math
Tuesday – History and Science
Wednesday – Math and Language
Thursday – Science and Language
Friday – History and English

A student who has multiple period tests scheduled for the same day may be excused from the last test assigned if he/she brings this to the attention of the teacher as soon as the test is announced. Tests assigned on the designated testing days have priority. The third test will be made up on another day.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students: Canterbury School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid programs, or athletic and other School programs.

Course Offerings

Computer Science

Chair: Robert Roffe

At Canterbury, we view technology and its uses as an integral part of student life, in and out of the classroom. We want our students to become independent computer users who understand the appropriate uses of technology and are comfortable using technology to communicate and collaborate safely and effectively.



In this course, students will learn basic programming skills and concepts using Python. The course is designed for students with little or no programming skills. Completion of one year of Algebra is required.


This course builds on the subject matter from Intro to Computer Programming and will give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of programming by working on a series of hands-on projects. The project will include the chance to work with a 3D printer, various robotic/maker platforms and focus on honing the student’s programming and problem solving skills.

Prerequisite: Intro to Computer Programming.


This course is a hands-on, experiential class where students will have the opportunity to get their hands dirty by deconstructing, constructing, and repurposing materials in the pursuit of developing problem solving skills in a fun, non-traditional format.


Independent study classes are for motivated students who want to learn more about technology and receive recognition for their efforts, but do not want to be held within the constraints of a traditional class. Independent study classes are not given a grade or figured into the GPA, but if a unit is completed within the allotted time, the Registrar will award recognition on the student’s transcript stating the student completed the unit for enrichment credit and that the student either completed the unit or completed the unit with honors. Any earned credits will be reflected on the transcript.


Chair: Lindsay Mulhern

The members of the English Department strive to develop in each student the reading, writing and speaking skills needed to meet the demands of a college curriculum. Novels, plays, short stories, and poems expose students to a rich variety of classic and contemporary world literature and encourage an appreciation for literature of other cultures and both genders. Participating in Canterbury’s Writing Program, all students practice revision techniques to produce polished essays in different modes, including the narrative, the descriptive, and the analytic. Teachers include technology such as ibooks and Google apps to enhance student learning.

In the Fifth Form year, American Literature classes engage in systematic preparation for the SAT I exam. Sixth Formers, except students in AP Literature, select two semester-long English courses. The fall course prepares students for the SAT I exam in October. Each of these fall English classes studies a Shakespeare comedy which is produced by the drama department in November.

Annual Nelson Hume Speech Contest
During the second semester, all Third, Fourth, and Fifth Form English students deliver a speech in English class. Teachers choose outstanding student speakers to present their speeches in morning school meeting. After a faculty panel judges these speeches, one student in each of the three Forms receives an award. A grand prize is also awarded.



Studying a variety of short stories, plays, novels, and poems, students look at the ways authors use literary tools to tell moving stories. Readings may include The Old Man and the Sea, The Lord of the Flies, The Penelopiad and A Raisin in the Sun. Students learn to write effective sentences and paragraphs and have the opportunity to practice writing the above-mentioned essay modes. The study of grammar includes instruction on avoiding the more common writing problems.

Honors section available.


This course helps students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the fundamentals begun in Form III English with particular instruction on how different literary works operate within the context of their distinct genres. Reading may include The House on Mango Street, Macbeth, Fahrenheit 451, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. The writing curriculum gives students the opportunity to focus on writing organized paragraphs and extended essays while practicing the various essay modes of the English Department writing curriculum.

Honors section available.


This course surveys major trends, writers, and themes of American Literature. Examples of some of the themes include “Utopia and Dystopia in American Literature” and “Self-Creation in American Literature.” As part of their participation in the Writing Program, student writing emphasizes the analytical essay. In the honors section, instruction focuses on the analytical and writing skills needed to succeed on the Advanced Placement Exam in English Language and Composition. Students enrolled in the honors section of this course are required to take the AP Exam in English Language in May. All sections review for the SAT I in May.

Honors section available.


This course seeks to help students read, write, and think more carefully and deliberately. As readers, they focus on authors’ use of language to elicit responses from their readers. As writers, they strive to write consciously rather than as an afterthought, seeking to communicate ideas more effectively. By improving their reading and writing skills, the students learn to think more clearly and precisely. In addition, they have developed their vocabulary by focusing on bases, prefixes, and suffixes and combinations of those particles in words. The course prepares the student to take the AP English Literature and Composition examination in May.


Sixth Form elective course are available to Fifth Form students if space allows.


The natural world has been represented, imagined, and “constructed” in numerous literary works since the first written word. Authors, essayists, and poets have portrayed nature to be, among other things, the teacher, victim, antagonist, and testing place of humankind. This course will examine a variety of works and compare some of the portrayals. The main focus of the course will be on the development of close reading and precise writing skills. The reading list, a mix of classic and contemporary writings, will include works by Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods), Ernest Hemingway (In Our Time), and Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It).


This semester course focuses on the literature of the British Romantic Period, approximately 1810-1840, with special emphasis on the poetry of Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats. Students read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and an extensive collection of poems. The course also traces the logical extension of literary structures and themes into the American Romantic Movement that followed using works by authors such as Poe, Whittier, and Longfellow.


In this fall semester honors elective, students will participate in a complex study of race in America by reading selections from the following authors: K.J. Williams, Richards Wright, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Barack Obama. We will round out our study in race in America by viewing two documentaries, ESPN’s The Fab Five and Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke. Students will be expected to write daily and our emphasis will be on the personal narrative and using theory to do close readings of the texts.


Designed for students interested in further development of exposition, this course focuses on three aspects of the writing process: observation, expression, and revision. Students write daily; most classes use a workshop format.


A century ago leisure time was limited, and life on the farm and in the factory was hard. Over time, the labor movement, the industrial revolution, and the technology revolution have allowed more time for sports and pastimes. As more people watched and participated in leisure time activities, a body of literature inspired by these activities emerged. Our games have given us a rich variety of real and fictional characters as well as a window into the hearts and souls of towns, regions, and nations. Students in this course read works including Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, A Sense Of Where You Are by John McPhee, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, The Legend Of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield, Cinderella Man by Jeremy Schapp, and Hockey Sur Glace by Peter LaSalle.


This course will explore Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, and sonnets. Through reading, writing, and active discussion, students will appreciate the universal themes and wonderful language of his works. Readings will include Hamlet, King Lear, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and others.

Fine Arts

Chair: Kim Tester

The Fine Arts Department provides students with courses leading to aesthetic literacy and an appreciation of the arts. Our many offerings give students an opportunity to make “art” through music, theater, and the visual arts. Emphasis is on understanding aesthetic principles and placing the arts in an historical and cultural context. Fine Arts courses have workload expectations similar to other academic areas. The department schedules a fall and spring “Fine Arts Field Trip Day.” Students fulfill course requirements while visiting museums, galleries, instrumental performances, participating in recording sessions, or on-campus workshops. Fees depend upon the destination. For the serious Fine Arts student, the department offers portfolio direction and preparation in each area, a varied curriculum, exposure to many media, and independent study opportunities. Teachers guide students through the curriculum so that students are well prepared to succeed in the AP Studio Art and AP Music Theory courses.


Director of Visual Arts: Kim Tester
Visual Arts course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit.
* Indicates course fee applied.




This course is for the serious art student whose prior work exhibits advanced technical and conceptual understanding in a variety of artistic media. Students work in drawing, painting, photography, collage, and mixed media. The fall semester focuses on projects relating to color, design, composition, and various drawing and design problems. The spring semester focuses on the development of a theme or concentration. AP Portfolios are submitted in May. For Sixth Formers only.



This course is for the serious art student whose prior work exhibits advanced technical competence and conceptual understanding of drawing, painting and sculpture. The fall semester focuses on projects relating to color, design, composition, and various spatial design problems. The spring semester focuses on the development of a theme or concentration. AP Portfolios are submitted in May.

For Sixth Formers only.



These courses build on the same techniques and media learned in the introductory courses. The advanced courses emphasize a more conceptual approach and development of personal style. Students also use this course to help them prepare a portfolio for college entrance or to enhance their college application.


This course introduces the studio experience through the exploration of in-depth design concepts, terminology, and various media. Projects include drawing, painting, printmaking, and 2D and 3D Design. The course is strongly suggested as a prerequisite for further work in studio art.

For Third Formers.


Students study the expression of visual thought through drawing. Areas covered include contour drawing, still life, portrait, perspective drawing, and experimental techniques. Students use pastels, charcoal, ink, pencils, markers and other medium. Students will be assigned projects that utilize images from everyday surroundings and their imagination to form unique compositions.


This course investigates various ways to create functional and sculptural objects with clay. Hand building techniques include pinch, slab, and coils.

For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This course provides students with an introduction to various experimental and traditional printing processes and their relationship to composition and color. Among the types of prints that may be covered include the use of digital imagery, monotype, linoleum, wood block, collagraph, and screen print. Assignments may include a T-Shirt logo design, postcard project, and a large-scale transportation design using various textures including tires from large machinery.


The aims of this course are for students to learn the controls of their DSLR camera (Minimum 6 megapixels), the principles of composition, design, color, lighting and exposure, software manipulation to improve images (Adobe Photoshop), and photo management (Flickr). Additional work is devoted to the creation of a personal style and proficiency in communicating an idea, theme, or emotion. Students must own a recently purchased DSLR camera with the “kit” lens supplied.


This course will focus on the contributions of the “giants of photography,” those men and women who have influenced the direction of this art form. Students will research the lives, artistic influences, and contributions of these photographers and present their findings to their classmates. In addition, students will hone their picture-taking skills by emulating the styles of these photographers, who include, but are not limited to: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Richard Avedon, Robert Capa, Vivian Maier, Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, Sebastio Selgado, and Edward Weston. Students will also be required to print their images in order to amass a body of work.

Prerequisite: Digital Photography.


Through experimentation and related exercises, students learn about painting as a medium of visual expression. Basic studies include drawing, color theory, and composition. Students explore a variety of subject matter from direct observation as well as from their imagination. Materials may include watercolor, acrylic, and collage.


This course explores the processes of modeling, carving, construction, and assemblage in wood, paper, plaster, wire, and found materials. Students begin with projects that help them visualize the transition from two to three-dimensional design. Assignments progress into sculpture-in-the-round or free standing works.


This introductory course concentrates on giving students a broad view of architecture in both the technical and creative sense. Drawing assignments may include freehand drawing, an imaginative proposal project that combines various drawing types, a community park design, and the design and development of a residence. For the final project students design a set of plans (floor, elevation and site plans) and build a scale model.


Director of Music: David Overthrow
Director of Choral Studies: Sarah Armstrong
Music course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit.



Varsity Voices is Canterbury’s high-level vocal acapella ensemble, specializing in contemporary and popular music. Explore tight vocal harmonies, complex rhythms, and advanced vocal techniques in this challenging and fast-paced environment. Varsity Voices is an auditioned ensemble for all voice types and students who have experience in vocal percussion/beat boxing. This ensemble will perform regularly both on and off campus.


The Contemporary Jazz-R&B Combo is a select group of instrumentalists who perform music in many styles of modern jazz including blues, funk, fusion, swing and Latin. Students learn about playing in a rhythm section, improvising, and interpretation of style. Students of any instrument in Intermediate to Advanced level may audition. This group gives five performances throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to learn jazz improvisation, as well as techniques for playing jazz in a small group setting. The group will play music in the styles of popular music, rock & roll, and jazz. By audition.


This course offers students a new understanding of how music functions. Students are introduced to a systematic approach to the learning of theory and composition in rock, pop, and other modern music idioms. Exploration of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic principles, standard popular music song forms, analysis of published works, and arranging considerations will all be topics covered. Students will also develop ear-training skills through performance and dictation study of melodies, rhythms and harmonic progressions. After completing this course students will be able to write short original musical compositions as well as identify, by ear, common rhythmic harmonic and melodic musical phrases. Department approval required.


As a gateway to songwriting, and ideal for the musical novice, this course is an engaging, hands-on music theory course that incorporates reading, writing, and hearing the elements of music. By the end of this course, students will be able to read notation, understand scales, intervals, and chords, write a melody and play it on a piano keyboard, and utilize proper music terminology.


Computer Music I is a one semester course in which students learn the basics of music technology, MIDI sequencing, audio production, and other computer music skills while exploring the capability of the digital audio music software, GarageBand. Students will learn about musical form and composition while using, through the use of MIDI instruments, loops, audio recording, effects, and other computer music techniques to create and edit original music compositions. Students will also explore audio/video integration. By the end of this course students will have created several pieces of original music as well as have a thorough understanding of GarageBand Software.


Computer Music II is a one semester course in which students work with the Logic Pro X Apple software, studying elements of production design such as creative considerations in composition and song form as well as the arrangement tools in Logic that help build and shape a song. Students will also learn Logic's mixing tools and study advanced mixing techniques, such as setting up software instruments with multiple outputs, sidechaining, and mix automation. This course provides many critical listening examples, interactive activities, and "power user" tips and tricks for Logic Pro that illustrate the extensive capabilities of this dynamic music production software. By the end of this course students will have created several original songs while having a firm understanding of Apple Loops, Software Instruments and Digital Audio recording. Prerequisite: Computer Music I.


Songwriting provides musicians and creative writers with the basic tools to express themselves through original songs. Basics of harmony, lyric writing, melody and song form are discussed in a fun, supportive setting. Knowledge of a chordal instrument (guitar, piano, ukelele, etc.) is helpful but not required. Prerequisite: Music Literacy or Department approval.


Canterbury Chorale is the place where anyone can find their singing voice. This choir emphasizes the healthy habits of ensemble singing through a variety of genres and styles. Canterbury Chorale is open to all students, without audition, and performs at various concerts and special events throughout the school year.


Chapel Choir is designed for members of the community who want to be part of an ensemble, contribute to Sunday Mass, and express their spirituality through music. This course will meet one evening a week and Sunday mornings to prepare weekly hymns, communion meditations, and parts of the Mass. Members of the ensemble will also have the opportunity to lead the congregation in song as hymn leaders and cantors.


This band is open to all instruments. Students with little experience such as late beginning to intermediate levels are welcome. All that is required is the desire to improve as well as work towards a common goal with others. Students will play music in the styles of popular music, rock & roll, and jazz.


The Canterbury Orchestra will perform various selections from an expanded repertoire including styles of music ranging from symphonic to contemporary pop selections. The material will be chosen based on the ability of the group as a whole. Students will be expected to participate in all rehearsals and performances of the Orchestra.

Prerequisite: This is not a class in instrumental instruction. Students must have played an orchestral instrument (woodwind, brass, or string) and have the basic knowledge thereof. This instrument must be available to the student for full time use. Private lessons are encouraged but not necessary, as long as the student can perform the music assigned. By audition.


Classical Chamber is made up of small groups of two to four players, and rehearses and performs selections from the standard chamber music repertoire and contemporary pop selections. The material is chosen based on the ability and instrumentation of each group. This is an excellent opportunity for students to be exposed to material that is often not studied on the pre-college level. Each student will be expected to participate in all rehearsals and performances of the ensemble.
Prerequisite: These ensembles are for more advanced students, and are not classes in instrumental instruction. Students are expected to have an instrument available for full time use. Private lessons are encouraged but not necessary, as long as the student can perform the music assigned. By audition.


The Rock Band is a select group of students who will perform music in a variety of subgenres of rock & roll music. Students will learn the stylistic elements of a variety of rock styles and focus on both rhythm section playing and creating solos while performing at several concerts throughout the year. This course is open to guitarists, bassists, drummers, vocalists, keyboard players (pianists), percussionists, saxophone and trumpet players. If you are interested in rock music this is the group for you. Students must have a background of at least intermediate level on their instrument. By audition.


In this course students are introduced to various rock guitar styles while learning lead and rhythm guitar parts to many songs in the rock genre. The focus of the class will be on learning chord shapes and scale types used in classic through modern rock as well as studying the styles of some of the greats of rock guitar. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to play a repertoire of classic and modern rock songs. This is a great course for students who have some experience in playing the guitar and appreciate rock music. Prerequisite: Intro to Guitar or department approval.


Students will have the opportunity to explore music through the medium of guitar playing. Students will have hands-on work in every class and may work independently on occasion. Topics include chord shapes, strumming patterns, rhythm guitar playing, playing in a group, and the use of a capo. Students will also learn to read chord charts and tablature. This course is ideal for any student who is interested in learning how to play the guitar. For students who do not own a guitar they can rent one or use guitars in the classrooms for practice.


This course is for the student with little or no prior instruction in playing the piano. Students will learn keyboard basics through introductions to piano orientation, simple improvisation, technique and reading music. Students will learn to play solos and duets representing a wide variety of musical styles.


Introduction to Voice is a study of efficient vocal production and performance. Beginning exercises for breath management, extending the vocal range, increasing vocal resonance and volume, and singing in an expressive manner are introduced. Vocal exercises and solos are performed to demonstrate these skills.


Private instruction is offered on guitar, bass, piano, voice, drums, sax, trumpet, clarinet, violin, and cello. All private instructors are experienced musicians in the fields of music education and performance. Private lessons meet once a week and can count towards fulfilling the Fine Arts credit requirement. This is a great opportunity for any student who wishes to learn an instrument or excel on an instrument they have experience in playing. A fee is charged for private instruction.


Theater Director: Madeline Dreeke
Technical Theater Director: Robin Dreeke
Theater course credits count toward fulfilling the Fine Arts credit.



This course is a hands-on approach to gaining a broad base of performance knowledge and experience. Students study acting techniques, directing theory, and technical values. The course is appropriate for experienced or beginning theater students.


Student actors, by rehearsing and performing in the fall play, practice techniques unique to the Shakespeare production. Speaking verse, analyzing character, understanding relationships between characters, vocal projection and body expression are all part of the course. Discipline, teamwork and responsibility are all basic requirements. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. This counts as either minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.


Student actors, by rehearsing and performing in the spring musical, practice performance techniques unique to musical productions. Singing, dancing and the art of performance in this genre are part of the course. Discipline, teamwork and responsibility are all basic requirements. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. Counts as either minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.


Students will learn technical preparation of set building, lighting, and sound execution for drama productions and will be well prepared to handle all operations on their own at showtime. Students become familiar with the proper use of tools for set building, gain an understanding of set design as it applies to Canterbury’s theater space and learn the basics of stage maintenance, lighting, and sound needs for the actors. Two performances on the Canterbury stage for audiences culminate the course. This course counts as either a minor (.25) or major (.5) credit, depending on time commitment. By audition.


Chair: Jeffrey Johnson

The History Department endeavors to promote in students an appreciation for historical knowledge, the interpretive skills necessary to make sense of it, and the compassion to become active world citizens ready and willing to make a difference. While each course presents core knowledge in critical subjects necessary for students to develop a better understanding of the world in which they live, the courses further aim to promote historical study as a hugely creative endeavor which calls students to ask questions, demand substance, think interpretively and develop an open mind. Students are expected to develop research skills appropriate to their level.

The department incorporates new classroom technologies into creative power point presentations, class debates, mock trials and historical simulations in an effort to stimulate innovative thinking, group collaboration, and other 21st century skills. Student work includes analysis and interpretation supported by historical information. Where applicable, courses are related to current events in areas such as economics, politics, foreign affairs, and environmental issues.



Foundations of Civilization is offered primarily to Third Formers with the purpose of establishing the basis for historical study. The course is designed not only to cover the content of emerging civilizations, but also to introduce and develop organizational, analytical, research, and writing skills. The course begins with an exploration of the history of ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, China, Africa, and India as well as the “classical” civilizations of Greece and Rome. Students then focus their studies on the formation of empires in Russia, East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East before discussing the European Middle Ages and the formation of early modern Europe. Students complete a number of writing assignments including a short research paper.


Modern European History is offered primarily to Fourth Formers. The course builds on the "Foundations of Civilization" studied during the Third Form year by exploring several important turning points in European history and assessing their impact on modern civilization. Topics include the Renaissance & Reformation, the Age of Exploration, the Scientific Revolution & Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, the two World Wars and the Cold War. Emphasis is given to the continued instruction and the practice and development of essential skills needed for the study of history including reading comprehension, analyzing primary source documents, outlining historical arguments and applying an open mind to the study of historical issues. In addition to continuing their development of historical thinking and writing through independent assignments, students work collaboratively throughout the year on a series of “mini-projects” designed to develop specific research skills using a variety of library resources.


Honors Modern European History is offered primarily to Fourth Formers. The course uses a thematic approach to explore European history from the Renaissance to the fall of the Soviet Union and to assess the role of historical themes such as culture, religion, geography, technology, economics, war, and ideology in shaping modern western civilization. Students broaden their understanding of critical events by reading and analyzing a variety of source materials, thinking interpretively, and writing persuasively. Students are encouraged to "think 360" by exploring topics from a variety of perspectives and engaging in experiential learning through extended debates and simulations before casting judgment on a variety of historical issues. In addition to continuing their development of historical thinking and writing through independent assignments, students work collaboratively throughout the year on a series of “mini-projects” designed to develop specific research skills leading to a small research project in the spring semester.


AP World History is primarily for Fourth Formers. The course builds an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. This understanding is advanced through the acquisition of selective factual knowledge, the application of appropriate analytical skills, and the integration of small research tasks into the class curriculum. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks, their causes and consequences, and comparisons among major societies. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP World History exam in May and complete a short research paper.


United States History is offered primarily to Fifth Formers. The course is presented chronologically from European arrival to the post World War II era with an emphasis on acquiring core knowledge and interpreting the meaning of the essential events and issues that make up the American heritage. Students continue to develop the essential skills needed to think and write like a historian by applying active reading strategies and engaging in student-centered enrichment activities designed to promote analysis of controversial issues. Each chapter is supplemented with primary source documents from the Stanford Reader series designed to develop skills in critical reading, source analysis, and interpretive thinking. Along the way, students continue to develop their persuasive writing and research skills by completing an independent research project during the second semester. Required for graduation.


Honors United States History is offered primarily to Fifth Formers. This course is structured around this central question: what does it mean to be an American? By this, we mean to search our history from the colonial period to the post-World War II era to discover the beliefs, character traits and institutions which make America unique. Content is presented thematically by focusing on the role of citizenship, the role of the west, and connecting past to present in an effort to understand the consistencies and the contradictions in the American Dream. Students engage in experiential learning in the classroom through extended simulations, trials, and debates to promote historical thinking by analyzing controversial issues through a variety of perspectives before casting judgment as an historian. Students learn strategies for critical thinking, persuasive writing, and research which culminate in an interpretive project during the spring semester.


AP United States History prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses. Students learn to assess historical materials, weigh evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship, arrive at conclusions based on informed judgment, and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in an essay format. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP United States History exam in May and to write a research paper.


AP European History introduces students to cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world. The course provides context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of the AP program in European History are to develop an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European History, an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and an ability to express historical understanding in writing. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP European History exam in May.


The AP course in macroeconomics gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Macroeconomics exam in May.


This course introduces students to the historical origins of anti-Semitism and surveys German history from the twentieth century to World War II. Emphasis is placed on the political and social developments which elevated the persecution of Jews to official government policy and almost succeeded in the total extermination of Jews from Europe. Through independent reading and research, students will further hone their ability to read and write analytically. A short research paper is required.


This course will compare and contrast a variety of political, social and intellectual revolutions that have profoundly shaped the modern world. Besides examining the dramatic events surrounding the respective French, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Revolutions, an analysis of other transformational episodes in history will be studied, including the Industrial and Digital Revolutions. The human agents of major change that we will look at include Lenin, Mao, Ayatollah Khomeini, Martin Luther King, Malala Yousafzai, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jackie Robinson. The continued fallout of both the Orange Revolution and the recent “Arab Spring” will be the focus of a current events component to this class.


This course covers fundamental economic concepts in microeconomics and macroeconomics and examines how the global economy operates. The course allows the students to study, analyze, and dissect trends in American business as well as the growing issues in the current economy. Other concepts covered are the issues of allocating resources in markets where goods and services are bought and sold, and how this process affects supply and demand curves. All students are required to research, examine, and present a current events topic of their choice.


This course is designed to help students understand the history and structure of the American government. The class begins with a study of the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the three branches of government. The course then moves on to such topics as state and local government, the responsibility of the government in domestic affairs, and U.S. foreign policy throughout the years. Through the examination of American government, students will be better equipped to make informed decisions as citizens. A short research paper is required. Prerequisite: United States History.


This is an honors level sixth form elective course designed to explore the decades of change in the United States of America since World War II. Students examine the political, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural forces that have defined America in the post-World War II era. The course promotes experiential learning through a variety of student-centered activities including mock trials, congressional debates, “situation room” simulations and re-run elections designed to foster engagement in the issues and an appreciation for the significance of past events. Students continue to develop the skills of interpretation, research, and writing needed to draw relevant meaning from past events. The goal of the course is to instill an appreciation for the study of history, to promote open mindedness, and to encourage a sense of civic responsibility.


Students in this course will study contemporary world events involving political, social, cultural, and economic issues. Emphasis is placed on world events and the prevailing trends and leaders who are influencing current affairs. Students regularly examine periodicals and evaluate the opinions of reputable commentators reflecting on present day developments. The course challenges students to further refine their ability to read analytically and write a persuasive historical argument. A short research paper is required.


Chair: Keiko Mathewson

The Language Department strives to instill in each student a love for the language and cultures studied and the satisfaction derived from the relative mastery of a second language. We aim to develop in the student the ability to read with understanding and to speak and write correctly and effectively. We teach structures in context through storytelling and immersing the student in the language during the class period. Emphasis is placed on comprehensible input and we expand on this by further presenting the language to the students through expanded reading, speaking, writing, conversation and group work. Finally, we encourage the students to study language at the college level and to experience those languages and cultures first-hand through chaperoned trips and exchange programs.

For Spanish language students, we offer a cultural exchange with the San Cayetano School in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Mallorca is an island in the Mediterranean, part of the Balearic island chain. Canterbury students host Spanish students for six weeks and then Canterbury student hosts spend six weeks in Spain living with their host family. Canterbury students attend classes, participate in Spanish family life and travel while they are in Spain. They improve their language skills and deepen their cultural understanding while forging lifelong bonds with their Spanish host student and family. Canterbury students are reevaluated upon return from the program and many are able to advance a course level.

In Latin, the students develop reading fluency. With continual exposure to vocabulary, forms, and grammatical structures within a text, we reinforce the students’ understanding of these topics. We teach the Latin language and topics in Roman culture in context, with a view to enrich the students' experience of each author covered.

Note: In addition to fulfilling the three-year language requirement, students may elect to take a second language. In doing so, they must commit to study that language for at least two years. Sixth Formers may not enroll in a first-year language.

The Donovan Center for Learning may waive some or all of the three-year language requirement for students with diagnosed language or learning differences. Students for whom English is a second language are expected to meet all of the School’s distribution requirements with the exception of foreign language.



In French 1 the students acquire useful, high frequency vocabulary. By the end of the first year, the students are able to express themselves in the present and past tenses. Thematic vocabulary includes family, home, school schedule, sports, clothes, colors, numbers, dates, and life at Canterbury. Text: Raconte-moi encore! Student Text, and mini novels Pirates Français des Caraïbes and Pauvre Anne.


By the end of Level 2 the students are studying the basics of the subjunctive mood. Students in French 2 master the past tenses the imparfait and the passé composé. Thematic topics of vocabulary include talking on the phone and sending texts, personal relationships, life at home and at Canterbury, going on a date, fashion, shopping, school life. Text: Raconte moi encore! Student Text, and mini novels Le Voyage perdu and Où est passé Martin?


In French 3 the students round out their study of French grammar, continue the mastery of the past tenses and future, conditional and subjunctive. An emphasis on oral and more advanced written communication also continues at this level. We use video clips to expose the students to native speakers. Text: Look I'm really talking! and mini novel Les Yeux de Carmen. Honors section available.


In French 4 the students refine their grammar through a final review of the major grammatical topics and verb tenses. In addition, the students study culture through film, original literature, and music. A series of film shorts supplements the classroom. Text: Une Fois pour Toutes, Prentice Hall, 2009. Honors section available.


Students in the AP Language class prepare for the AP Language and Culture exam. Conducted exclusively in French, the course continues to develop all the language skills. The students also compose and express more complex thoughts and ideas, review grammar, and become familiar with the format of the AP exam. Though the AP exam is the final assessment, this class continues the acquisition of structures and fine-tunes language use and skills. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP French Language exam in May. Text: Imaginez, Vista Higher Learning 2nd Edition, 2012.


In Level 1 the students acquire useful, high frequency vocabulary. By the end of the first year, the students are able to express themselves effectively in the present tense and can recognize the past tenses. Thematic vocabulary includes family, home, school schedule and sports, at the airport, clothes and colors, numbers and dates, and life at Canterbury. Text: ¡Cuéntame Más! Student Text and mini-novels Piratas del Caribe and Robo en la Noche


By the end of Level 2 the students are studying the basics of the subjunctive mood. Students in Spanish 2 master the past tenses, the imperfect and preterit. Thematic topics of vocabulary include talking on the phone and sending texts, personal relationships, life at home and at Canterbury, going on a date, fashion, shopping and school life. Text: ¡Cuéntame mucho! Student Text and mini-novels Los Baker van al Perú, La maldición de la cabeza reducida, and La llorona de Mazátlan.


In Spanish 3 the students complete their study of grammar, focusing on the perfect tenses and the subjunctive. We continue the emphasis on oral and more advanced written communication at this level. Students who have shown a knack and ease with the language may be selected for the honors Spanish 3 class where we begin to focus on Advanced Placement tasks. Text: ¡Cuánto me cuentas!, and mini-novels La Mara Salvatrucha, Rebeldes de Tejas, and La Calaca Alegre or Noche de Oro and La Vampirata. Honors section available.


In Spanish 4 the students refine their grammar through a final, sweeping review of the major grammatical topics and verb tenses. In addition, the students study culture through film, original literature, and music. A series of film shorts supplement the learning. Mini-novels: Felipe Alou: Desde las valles a las montañas, La Guerra Sucia and La Hija Del Sastre. Honors section available.


In this post- AP course, students will cover a variety of topics ranging from deforestation to immigration, racism, and the many challenges that arise with these issues. Through authentic documentaries, articles, and podcasts, students will live the issues facing many Spanish speakers in the United States and in their home countries. With the use of debates, speeches, and persuasive writing, the students will culminate their language experience by covering current topics and being able to speak to the topic in the second language. Department approval required.


Conducted exclusively in Spanish, this course continues to develop language skills. Students will also compose and express more complex thoughts and ideas, review grammar, and become familiar with the format of the AP exam. Though the AP exam is the final assessment, this class continues language acquisition and fine-tunes language use and skills. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Spanish Language exam in May. Text: Galería de arte y vida.


Students in this class read representative prose (short story, novel and essay), poetry, and drama from the Spanish-speaking world. This is a survey course that follows the reading list published by the College Board. The students make connections between the works read and the historical period and regions in which they were written. Students develop a deeper understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Spanish Literature exam in May. Text: Azulejo: Anthology and guide for the AP Spanish Literature and Culture Course, 2nd Edition.


Students learn the fundamentals of Latin grammar, vocabulary, and syntax as they focus on reading Latin and using conversational Latin. The reading passages are adapted from Plautus to Boethius, through which the students come to understand many facets of the Roman and post-Roman world.


Students expand their learning of basic grammar and vocabulary as they read about Heloise and Abelard, Charlemagne, and Christopher Columbus. Cultural study includes aspects of the use of Latin in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and in early modern life.


Students begin the year by reading excerpts from Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico and selections from Catullus and Cicero. In the second semester, the students read selections from books 1-6 of Vergil's Aeneid and excerpts from Horace's Odes and Ovid's Metamorphoses within the cultural context of the Augustan age. Finally, they will read post-antique era authors, including Erasmus, Petrarch, and John Parke. Honors section available.


Students in Latin 4 will read selections from Vergil's Aeneid, books I-VI, and will study the necessary grammar and syntax as well as versification and figures of speech. Students will take periodic tests on the material and will write essays on the meaning of the poetry and the historical background of the poem.


Chair: Christopher Roberts

Our dynamic mathematics program makes use of iPads and Apple TV to create an interactive experience for students in class. Teachers are able to interact with the textbook and can create and make class notes available to students. Additionally, interactive calculators and course specific apps allow students to focus on problem-solving and the exploration of mathematical principles at the highest levels. By creating an interactive environment, teachers are able to engage students in discussions of multiple approaches to math problems and provide instant feedback. Math becomes more than an exercise in finding the right answer as students learn the richness of mathematical concepts and how they can be used. Students experience the flipped classroom, allowing them to watch informational videos at home and tackle challenging problems in a collaborative class environment. Eligible Fifth and Sixth Formers may continue with advanced studies in courses that include AP Statistics, AP Calculus, Honors Linear Algebra, and Honors Multivariable Calculus.



Basic concepts and properties of elementary algebra are introduced early to prepare students for equation solving. Concepts and skills are introduced algebraically, graphically, numerically, and verbally, often in the same lesson to help students make connections. Frequent and varied skill practice ensures student proficiency and success. Special attention is given to signed numbers, positive and negative exponents, linear equations, factoring, radicals, simultaneous equations, verbal problems, and test-taking strategies.


This full year course regards the properties of right triangles, similar triangles, polygons, and circles. Their geometric properties are treated synthetically with logic and proof, as well as analytically with coordinates and algebra. Multiple formats are supported through mastery including two column and indirect proofs. Students learn to value the need to think logically and present ideas in a clear order. Traditional geometry concepts and deductive reasoning are emphasized throughout, while measurement and applications are integrated to motivate students via real-world connections. Algebra 1 skills are reviewed at point-of-use, ensuring students maintain these skills. Honors section available.


The goal of the intermediate algebra course is to introduce and automate the middle-level algebra skills. Practice in the fundamental topics (linear equations, exponents, logarithms, graphs, verbal problems, systems of linear and nonlinear equations, complex numbers, right triangle trigonometry, quadratic equations, and linear and quadratic functions) is provided. Honors section available.


Topics covered in this course include a review of linear functions with related applications, a thorough study of matrices, matrix algebra and applications, and an introduction to the mathematics of finance. This course offers the opportunity to investigate mathematics beyond Algebra 2 and to study topics outside the traditional high school curriculum. This course is calculator intensive and includes an introduction to discrete mathematics.


This course provides an elementary introduction to probability theory and mathematical statistics that emphasize the probabilistic foundations required to understand probability models and statistical methods. Topics include: basic combinatorics, discrete and continuous random variables, probability distributions, mathematical expectation, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and linear regression.


Pre-Calculus prepares students for a college-level Calculus course by extending the student’s knowledge and skills acquired in previous courses. The course begins with a thorough review of selected topics—linear systems, polynomial functions, exponents, logarithms, sequences, series—and continues with an extensive study of trigonometry both as the solution to triangles and as the study of circular functions. At a more rapid pace, the honors section includes the usual topics treated at the beginning of a Calculus course (limits, derivatives, applications of derivatives). Honors section available.


This course covers many of the topics included in a college-level Calculus course. Topics include limits, methods of differentiation, related rates, maximization, Reimann sums, methods of integration, and area. The course is not as rigorous as AP Calculus and will not cover all of the topics on the AP syllabus.


This course closely examines the theory behind and the applications of the derivative. A strong background knowledge of elementary functions and analytic geometry is required. The second half of this course closely examines integral calculus. The course curriculum satisfies the AB syllabus of the AP program. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Calculus exam in May.


This college-level course is for students with a strong interest in mathematics and solid foundation in single variable Calculus. This course introduces and explores differentiation and integration of functions of more than one variable, including partial derivatives, directional derivatives and gradients. This course also investigates max/min problems, Lagrange’s method, double and triple integrals, vector fields, line integrals, Green’s, Gauss’s, and Stokes’s theorems. Enrollment in this year-long course is restricted to students who have successfully completed Advanced Placement Calculus.


This course covers the AP syllabus with specific emphasis in data exploration, experimental design, probability, and statistical inference. AP Statistics is a non-calculus based course which introduces students to methods and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. This course is graphing calculator intensive. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Statistics exam in May.


Chair: Anne Diamond

The Science Department focuses on the excitement of learning about the natural world. Introductory courses provide a solid foundation in analytical thinking, experimentation, and problem solving. Laboratory work and guided inquiry based experiments engage the students with modern science techniques that connect concepts learned in the classroom to practice and application in the lab. Recent technological innovations are used in the classroom and laboratory to reach a wide range of learners and increase student involvement. Applications and current events in science are addressed on a regular basis to connect the material to problem solving in the real world. Traditional laboratory courses in biology, chemistry, and physics are offered at three levels: regular, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP). Numerous advanced science electives are also available for Fifth and Sixth Form students.

* Indicates a lab fee for the course.



This introductory laboratory course explores a molecular approach to the study of living systems by examining evolutionary development, genetic continuity, and biological and ecological diversity. Using actual data from laboratory evidence, the student develops analytic skills consistent with the biological themes of change, diversity, energy, homeostasis and scientific inquiry. In the lab students investigate the molecular and cellular structures of living organisms, proceeding to larger and more inclusive organizational levels. This course provides many of the primary skills and knowledge necessary for success in the study of subsequent science courses. Primarily for Third Formers.


This course includes an in-depth coverage of living systems with extensive laboratory experiences. Students develop analytic skills consistent with the biological themes of change, diversity, energy, homeostasis and scientific inquiry. Students must demonstrate excellent understanding of the molecular and cellular structures of living organisms. In the lab, students investigate the molecular and cellular structures of living organisms, proceeding to larger and more inclusive organizational levels. In inquiry-based laboratory experiments students learn to critically analyze and interpret data. Students are prepared to take the SAT subject test in biology at the end of the school year. Enrollment is determined by the department and the Donovan Center for Learning. Primarily for Third Formers.


Students explore science as a process where new properties emerge at each level in the biological hierarchy. They explore how organisms interact with each other and with the physical environment, energy transfer and transformation, and the correlation of structure and function at all levels of biological organization. Studying cells as an organism’s basic unit, they proceed to studies of the heritable continuity of life in the form of DNA, the feedback mechanisms that regulate biological systems, and evolution as the overarching theme of biology. A strong emphasis on advanced laboratory analysis is critical for understanding the molecular and chemical functions of living organisms and systems. To enroll in this course students must have successfully completed honors biology and honors chemistry. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Biology exam in May. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This introductory laboratory course covers fundamental chemical concepts and helps students develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn about matter, physical and chemical properties and changes, chemical composition and nomenclature, reactions and stoichiometry, energy, modern atomic theory and bonding, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, acids and bases, and equilibrium. The course may be blended and include interactive activities and assignments in both traditional and web-based formats. Students practice collaboration and problem solving in the laboratory as well as at the whiteboards. In weekly laboratories, students observe and explore chemical phenomena in inquiry-based labs. Students keep a laboratory notebook and learn to collect, analyze, interpret, and present experimental data. A balance of traditional low-tech equipment and state-of-the-art probeware is used. Minimum prerequisite: successful completion of one year of Algebra is required. For Fourth and Fifth Formers.


This in-depth laboratory course covers fundamental chemical concepts and helps students develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn about matter, physical and chemical properties and changes, chemical composition and nomenclature, reactions and stoichiometry, energy, modern atomic theory and bonding, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, acids and bases, equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The course is blended and includes interactive activities and assignments in both traditional and web-based formats. Students practice collaboration and problem solving in the laboratory as well as at the whiteboards. In weekly laboratories, students observe and explore chemical phenomena in inquiry-based labs. Students keep a laboratory notebook and learn to collect, analyze, interpret, and present experimental data. A balance of traditional low-tech equipment and state of the art probeware is used. Students are encouraged to take the SAT subject test in chemistry at the end of the school year. Department approval is required. For Fourth and Fifth Formers.


Students perform advanced chemical calculations (using data acquired) during laboratory experimentation. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are developed as students learn about atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, gas laws, and kinetic-molecular theory, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, and thermochemistry. To enroll in this course students must have successfully completed Honors Chemistry and Algebra II. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This is an introductory, laboratory-based course that emphasizes a conceptual understanding of physics. Topics covered include kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, momentum, collisions, energy, electricity and magnetism, heat, sound and light. Numerous real-world applications are explored so that students come away from the course understanding the rules of nature and how things work. In the laboratory, students observe and explore physical phenomena and ultimately design experiments in inquiry-based labs. Experimental design methods, laboratory data analysis techniques and error analysis are covered. A balance of traditional low-tech equipment and state-of-the-art probeware is used to appeal to a wide variety of learners. Minimum prerequisite: Algebra II, concurrently. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


In this college level course, topics are covered in-depth and the material is cumulative. In the first semester, students study kinematics, Newton’s laws, work, energy and power, as well as momentum and collisions. In the second semester they study circular motion and the universal law of gravitation, simple harmonic motion, introductory circuits, mechanical waves and sound. Additional topics may include optics, thermal physics and modern physics. Collaborative work is promoted in problem solving, laboratory experiments, and presentations. In the laboratory, students observe and explore physical phenomena and ultimately design experiments in inquiry-based labs. Experimental methods and techniques of data collection, interpretation and error analysis are covered. A balance of traditional low-tech equipment and state-of-the-art probeware is used. Students are required to take the AP Physics 1 test in May. Prerequisites: honors chemistry, honors pre-calculus, concurrently. Department approval is required. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


In this college level course, topics are covered in-depth and the material is cumulative. In the first semester, students study kinematics, Newton’s laws, work, energy, and power, linear momentum and collisions, circular motion and rotations oscillations and the universal law of gravitation. In the second semester they study electrostatics, conductors and dielectrics, circuits, magnetic fields and electromagnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course. Collaborative work is promoted in problem solving. In the laboratory, students observe and explore physical phenomena and ultimately design experiments in inquiry-based labs. Experimental methods and techniques of data collection interpretation and error analysis are covered. A balance of traditional low-tech equipment and state-of-the-art probeware is used. Students are required to take the AP Physics C Mechanics test and the AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism test in May.

Minimum prerequisites: Honors Chemistry and Calculus, concurrently. Department approval is required. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


The Advanced Placement Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students are required to take the AP Psychology exam in May.


The science of Biome Ecology classifies Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems into major ecological units that are correlated with regional climate types. The course begins with a basic overview of the principles of ecology. Students study Tropical Rainforests, Tropical Dry Forests, Tropical Savannas, Temperate Grasslands, Mediterranean Scrub Forests, Taiga, and Temperate Rain Forests, Deserts, Deciduous Forests, Tundra, and Rivers and Lakes. Students study the human impact on each of the ecosystems. Students must have successfully completed a course in introductory biology. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This semester lab course introduces basic concepts in the ecology of individual organisms, their populations, and the biological communities in which they live. Emphasis is on terrestrial plant and animal ecology. The historical, evolutionary, and ecological processes determining the distribution of ecosystems, habitats, and species are introduced. Theories of competition, predation, disease, and mutualism help explain the functioning of biological communities. For Third and Fourth Formers.


Students in this course study the anatomy of a diverse selection of animal life. They learn the homologous and analogous structures and functions found in invertebrates and vertebrates. Students investigate structures at the cellular level through microscopes; the study of larger animals involves the dissection of preserved specimens. The course will also include how today’s newer classification system reflects a more phylogenetic arrangement and more consistent evolutionary relationships.
Prerequisite: Biology. For Fourth and Fifth Formers.


This course encourages students to pursue engineering questions and technological solutions that emphasize research and problem solving using mathematical and scientific concepts. Students achieve a more advanced level of skill in engineering design by learning how to conceptualize a problem, develop possible solutions, design and build prototypes or models, and make modifications if necessary. Students will explore engineering design, construction technologies, energy and power technologies including fluid systems, thermal systems, electrical systems, and communication and manufacturing technologies. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This semester course is an introduction to the mysteries of the heavens. Readings in the course explore modern theories of cosmology and the efforts of 20th century astronomers to explore and explain the universe. This course begins with a brief overview of the fundamental physics principles that are central to an understanding of astronomy: forces and motions, the nature of gravity, and light and optics. We continue with an examination of our sun and solar system and move on to a more general study of stellar evolution and galaxy formation. Next, we explore a wide range of exotic astronomical phenomena that the heavens hold--quasars, pulsars, black holes, and supernova--as fascinating as they are bizarre. The study of these objects leads into a discussion of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Finally, we consider the possibility of extraterrestrial life and ponder the question: “Are we alone?” For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This semester course introduces students to the principles and practices found in the field of forensic science, which draws from the biological and physical sciences. The course begins by examining the theories and concepts necessary to effectively examine, analyze, and reconstruct a major crime scene. Specifically, the legal issues related to the search and seizure of physical evidence, crime scene documentation techniques, and basic crime scene reconstruction methods will be studied. Students will also study trace evidence and how it is analyzed, compared, interpreted, and used in criminal investigations. Types of trace evidence to be discussed will include glass, paint, hair, fiber, and fingerprints. Case studies of actual crimes and trials will be discussed to illustrate how the science and techniques may be used in the real world. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


This semester course covers the relation of structure and function at various levels of neuronal integration. Topics include functional neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, sensory and motor systems, centrally programmed behavior, sensory systems, sleep and dreaming, motivation and reward, emotional displays of various types, “higher functions” and the neocortex, and processes in learning and memory. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


Anatomy and Injury instructs the student in the basic structural and functional anatomy of the human body as it relates to the injuries typically treated by a certified athletic trainer. This course is recommended for those interested in majoring in athletic training at the college level. In addition to class instruction and homework assignments, students must complete required observation hours in the training room where they make basic evaluations of injured fellow students. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


Using the Canterbury environs as a case study, students explore forest, field, and pond ecosystems, pollution of air, water and soil, toxic waste, carbon footprints, population growth, and environmental activism. Primary reading sources include the Internet, newspapers, and scholarly journal. Students conduct laboratory studies of water quality and the dominant populations of living organisms on the East Aspetuck River in New Milford. In conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, students collect chemical and biological data and analyze it to determine levels of water quality. For Third and Fourth Formers.


This course examines three major environmental issues facing our planet: freshwater quality, energy resources, and climate change. Ways of combating and improving these issues are addressed as well. Lecture presentations, interactive discussions, and multi-media materials are used to stimulate interest in the studies and to promote academic success. Two full-day trips give students actual hands-on experience. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


In this course students study the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Through investigations of the impact of biology, ecology, and geography the students learn about the complex struggles people face in their struggle to become a modern global society. Students study biomes and resources to better understand the ecological issues of concern in West Africa. Students learn about the life-threatening impacts of human disease, desertification, and population pressures. Also included in the course studies are examinations of the relationship of geographical and ecological issues to political trends and events such as colonialism, civil wars, slavery (past and present), and genocide. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


Co-Chairs: Deacon Frank Bice and Father Tim Valentine

The Theology Department educates young men and women in the Catholic sacramental worldview and tradition in a challenging academic environment. Students discern their relationship with God and their neighbor and consider the moral rights and responsibilities that come with this relationship. The academic program includes an in-depth study of life of Jesus and his mission, Scripture, tradition, Catholic social justice, morality, and world religions. The program informs our school community through active participation in service to others and the liturgical life of the School.



This course introduces students to the concepts of morality and social conscience. Students will use Canterbury’s Five Values as a framework to explore the aspects of the development of character and its influence on decision making as well as our relationship with God, self, and others. For Third Formers.


This course introduces students to various methods of reading sacred Scripture with a primary focus on the Holy Bible. The first semester is devoted to the Jewish Scriptures with a particular emphasis on the concepts of creation, call, and covenant. The second semester focuses on the Christian Scriptures and Jesus Christ. The year ends with an application of Biblical teachings to contemporary social justice issues. For Fourth Formers.


This is an introductory study of past and present world religions. Looking through a chronological lens, students begin with the development of religion as a way to interpret and understand the primitive world. In the first semester, students will study the earliest indigenous traditions as well as Hinduism and Buddhism. In the second semester, students go beyond the eastern traditions and explore the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Added to our historical and doctrinal study is a review of the ethical stance each religion takes on the contemporary issues of peace and justice. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


Grief and Loss is an exploration into the different aspects of grief, death, and life. Students will explore common misinformation about grief, as well as the different types of loss other than death. Other topics covered are different cultural perspectives on death, the survivor’s experience of grief, and different cultural and religious beliefs about life after death. We also explore near-death experience and conclude the course by reading the book The Shack. The goal of the course is to introduce students to loss in a way that is informative and give them tools to help navigate this experience in the future. For Fifth and Sixth Formers.


Ever wondered if God exists? If you have free will? If life has meaning? What makes an action intrinsically right or wrong? What does it mean to be happy? Should you fear death? What is Truth? This introductory course is an opportunity to study philosophy in order to develop your ability to understand and evaluate your own beliefs and values, as well as those of others, so that you can become an open-minded, respectful, thoughtful adult and responsible citizen. In this course, students learn how to inquire into complex problems and begin to formulate a personal philosophy. Students learn effective methods of inquiry, logic, analysis, and criticism while being introduced to philosophical problems. Finally, students learn how to approach these issues from a number of important philosophers, from the ancient Greeks to modern thinkers. For Fifth Formers or Sixth Formers.


Students in this course will explore social justice issues, the foundational principles of Catholic social teaching, and apply their knowledge and faith to their experiential service work by engaging in an ongoing community service project. This course requires students to engage in learning about the organizations and communities they serve, the challenges they face, and issues of social justice on a local, national, and global level. While students engage in their service projects independently, they meet as a group to examine the theological foundations of social justice, discuss readings, current events, and to share reflections on their experiences. The coursework includes assigned readings, a reflection journal, and culminates with a final project presentation or research project. For Fifth Formers or Sixth Formers.


This full-year course combines the study of Scripture, tradition, and cultural issues. From exploring the books of the Old and New Testaments, to studying the works of the Apostolic Fathers and Apologists, the class examines the history of the Church and its mission. The course offers the opportunity to study the lives of the saints and an in depth study of the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas in a context that relates to the students’ experience. For Sixth Formers

2017-18 Academic Guide

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