Upper School Curriculum

The Ranney Upper School curriculum is designed to engage each student in their own educational journey and to provide opportunities for appropriately increased challenge during their four years. Our ultimate goal is to create a foundation upon which students will graduate from Ranney with the ability to succeed in college and beyond. We acknowledge that academics are just one piece of a comprehensive independent school education, and actively seek opportunities to develop character, emotional intelligence, global awareness and a strong understanding of identity and community.
Freshman and sophomore students pursue a prescribed program to ensure they are confident and capable in reading, writing, mathematics, creativity, critical analysis, research, organization and study skills. The junior and senior years provide more flexible curricular choices in which students are able to demonstrate mastery of these skills through elective courses in areas of academic and creative interest.
Relationships are the heart of Ranney School and serve as the basis upon which excellence occurs. Our faculty is dedicated to providing an engaging learning environment with multiple styles of instruction and assessment in order to ensure the success of all of our students. Upper school students are encouraged to do their personal best by leading their educational journey with guidance from faculty. Such interaction is assured by Ranney’s small classes and teaching philosophy. A detailed description of courses offered each year can be found in the curriculum guide (2016-17 guide at right).
The Upper School years are critical for students. This is a time of social, emotional and physical development, in which the transition from adolescence to adulthood takes place. By helping students develop personal responsibility, empathy, independence, leadership skills, courage, self-knowledge, self-advocacy, healthy decision-making and a healthy lifestyle, our experienced and caring teachers and advisors guide students as they transition happily into adulthood and set positive examples for students in all three divisions to emulate. Successfully making this transition is key to one of the most challenging and important tasks students must address in Upper School – the selection of a post-secondary institution that is an appropriate match for their interests, aptitudes, talents and goals. Our College Guidance Office is unsurpassed in helping students and their parents navigate the college application and selection process. 

By the completion of their senior year at Ranney School, students feel empowered and self-confident, have established strong and healthy relationships within the community, have acquired knowledge that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, and are ready to share their talents and dreams with the greater world. At Commencement, as parents proudly watch their children walk down the aisle, they can truly appreciate the value of a distinguished Ranney education. 

Teaching Principles

Ranney’s Upper School faculty members are skilled educators both in and out of the classroom. Demonstrating a clear commitment to their students, our teachers exhibit the qualities of fairness and respect, while providing the empathy and support so important to young adults. Their enthusiasm for teaching and for learning is contagious, providing the motivation and encouragement students to excel – and excel they do.

The Upper School faculty maintains the highest expectations, helping students develop organizational and academic skills and behavioral standards. And as mentors, they provide guidance by serving as academic advisors as well as coaches and club and activity advisors. In Upper School the teaching program focuses on balancing academics and extracurricular interests, good citizenship, and developing the habits of a lifelong learner.

Believing that a strong academic program engages students through inspiration and achievement, the curriculum focuses on critical, analytical and logistical thinking; creative and imaginative thought; problem solving; oral and written communication; research; cultural and digital literacy; the acquisition of comprehensive knowledge and subject specific proficiency; physical fitness; teamwork and an open-minded pursuit of diverse points of view.

Throughout the social and emotional changes of adolescence and young adulthood, Upper School encourages personal responsibility, empathy, independence, leadership, courage, self-knowledge, self-advocacy, healthy decision making and a healthy lifestyle. Guided by our inspiring and nurturing teachers, our students learn to shine in Upper School, enthusiastically tackle the college admission process, and then go on to prestigious post-secondary schools that match their interests, aptitudes, talents and goals.

Internship Program

When working with high school students and helping to guide families through the college selection process, we have heard countless testimonials from students and parents alike regarding the benefits of experiential learning opportunities, such as summer internships. The administration and several Ranney parents assembled the Upper School's first group of 12 rising senior interns, all of which were in the medical profession. Due to the success of this program and the gracious support of our Ranney families, dozens of students in grades ten, eleven and twelve take advantage of these hands-on learning experiences in the fields of medicine, business, finance, law, education and many more. Student comments ranged from, "This was the best part of my summer!" to, "I can't believe I was able to watch a live surgery!" It is clear that these experiences are valuable and rewarding.

Each summer, we offer internships for our students in the following fields, and we are always looking for new opportunities: finance, government, engineering, business, entrepreneurship, law and medicine. The success of last summer's program stemmed from the many members of the Ranney community from all divisions who volunteered to host one of these budding professionals. A special thank you to our Ranney families who were able to offer so many rich and diverse internship opportunities to our students. This is your chance be a part of the growing program.

If you or someone you know would be interested in hosting one or more interns this summer, please complete the brief form The Upper School is excited to build this program and connect our Ranney students with adults who have found success in their chosen careers. It is our hope that the partnerships formed through this program will continue to build and grow for years to come.

Advising Program

Our unique Advisory Program pairs each student with a single teacher for the course of each school year. In Upper School, advisors meet daily in homeroom, bi-weekly in Extended Advisory periods and at other times, as needed with the same group of 10-12 students. Advisors guide and monitor each student’s academic and social progress. Advisors maintain regular contact with parents through email and phone and also formally meet with parents during regularly scheduled academic conferences, providing feedback and assistance as students progress. The advisor/advisee relationship is a critical component of the support system provided during the Upper School years and one of the many ways in which Ranney School personalizes the academic experience.

Graduation Requirements/Grading

Major Credit Courses  -  Credit
English  -  4
History  -  3
Mathematics  -  3
Science (at least two labs)  -  3
Foreign Language  -  3
Fine Arts  -  1
Electives  -  varies
Total  -  21

Other Courses Credits

Physical Education/Health  -  4

Grading in Upper School

% (Interpretation)
97-100 (Outstanding)

90-92 (Excellent)

83-86 (Good)

73-76 (Satisfactory)

67-69 (Unsatisfactory)

0-64 (Failing - no credit)

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
Our mission is to nurture intellectual curiosity and confidence to inspire students to lead honorably, think creatively, and contribute meaningfully to society. Learn more.