Upper Division

Welcome to the Avenues Upper Division, grades 6 through 12. The Upper Division extends the developmental learning of the Early Learning Center and Lower Division and offers unique capstone opportunities that make Avenues a singular educational experience for talented students.

The Upper Division is where the basics of a strong education are enriched by an approach that places the student at the center of scholarly and experiential exploration. First and foremost, Avenues is dedicated to exceptional educational standards.

As you consider applying to Avenues, please keep in mind four important and defining aspects of our educational offering:

1. Our mission is to graduate every student prepared for a life far more global than that of prior generations. That means proficiency in a foreign language, feet-on-the-ground exposure to multiple cultures and knowledge of not only the world’s history but of its most likely future issues. Avenues is known for its language studies, for its highly integrated study-abroad programs and for a World Course developed by Ivy League scholars.

2. We believe early excellence in a particular area is an important part of success in life. It teaches perseverance and builds confidence; and even if that interest is not a lifelong pursuit, the lessons of mastery in one area are transferable to another. Starting in the middle grades and continuing at the high school level, Avenues works with all students to help them discover and develop their particular passions, allowing students to pursue their areas of interest, supported by faculty coaching and a superb technology infrastructure.

3. Just as we devote enormous time and attention to preparing students for entrance into great colleges and universities, those higher education institutions want to know and understand our graduates. What is special about these students? What have they learned and experienced that will add something different to a college or university? In this light, your applications from Avenues to colleges and universities will be viewed as something new and different, highlighting students and families with the spirit of innovation and exploration that is highly regarded on college campuses.

4. Because our vision is for “one school with 20 campuses,” Avenues will continue to grow through the years. This growth will be guided by the experience and insights of our students; if you become a part of our community, you will be able to shape the culture, curriculum and community of our future campuses. Few students have such an opportunity; your tenure here will be a life-shaping time.

Should you choose to apply, we look forward to getting to know you. We hope this site helps you get to know us better.

TODD SHY
Head of the Upper Division

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Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

October 11, 2018

The Big App: Here Is New York

by Yumi Nakanishi, Technology Integrator


Last spring, the entire 8th grade participated in an interdisciplinary project called the Big App: Here is New York. Through this project, each student created and published an app that highlighted communities in New York City.  

October 5, 2018

Where Are We and How Do We Get There?

by Spencer Baron, Upper Division Chinese Teacher


Learning to ask and answer directional questions is viewed by some as the most important skill needed to survive abroad. If you lose your way, you need to understand someone when they give you an answer more complex than a finger pointing in a general direction. If applied in context, learning these skills can prove to be quite fun.  

October 3, 2018

Building Dream Classrooms

by Laura Montague, 2nd Grade Teacher


This fall, the 2nd graders in the Jellyfish and Manta Ray classes are building the classroom of their dreams.  

September 28, 2018

Game Design During Fifth Term

by Ron Widelec, Upper Division History Teacher


This past spring, nine students, including a visitor from our new campus in São Paulo, Brazil, signed up to spend a month learning about game design. This course was part of Fifth Term, a period of four weeks during which upper grades students complete group and individual projects on subjects that spark their passion.  

September 20, 2018

HIP Unbound: A Report from Columbia’s Innovative Teaching Summer Institute

by Brady Smith, High Intensity Practice (HIP) Thinking Instructor


At Avenues, we have a tendency to think of high-intensity practice as belonging solely to the HIP Thinking program. However, shifting from HIP Thinking to Face Your Fears made it clear to me how essential the methods we’ve developed in the HIP program can be to helping students quickly develop competency in discipline-based skills as well.  


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