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Academics

Academics

In addition to our six arts areas, students at Perpich Arts High School engage in rigorous academic offerings.

The school provides a college preparatory program with academic courses in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages. We regularly graduate 100 percent of our students and an average of 85 percent of them make plans to go on to post-secondary education every year, winning $3-$4 million in scholarships annually.

Perpich Arts High School offers AP and College in the Schools classes for students. In addition, qualified students may also participate in PSEO options. Our students win honors ranging from National Merit Scholarship recognition to national Scholastic Arts & Writing awards. Keep reading to learn more about the academic subjects and educational opportunities offered at Perpich.

Teaching Through the Arts

At Perpich, arts classes are not electives nor do arts activities stay in one spot on the daily schedule. The arts infuse our classwork throughout the day. Arts are academic and academics are art.

In Analysis and Criticism, a writing-intensive course in the English Department, students watch foreign films and write weekly analytical papers about them. The course uses the art form of cinema as a basis for learning to write discerningly and to reflect on cultures that are not our own.

The Materials Science course allows interested students to explore the properties and applications of a variety of chemicals and substances used in both media and visual arts.

Art can even be found through the door of the Calculus classroom where one project is to use calculus equations to create 3D paper art projects. World Languages naturally employ the arts and cultures of the countries where Spanish and French are spoken.

Our Shakespeare course isn’t merely a class to read the Bard, but requires students to get up from their desks to play in acting spaces using actors’ vocabulary, the acting process, and theatrical performance strategies to experience Shakespeare on a deeper level.

History, too, uses cinema, literature, and music to examine and understand the United States’ past. Museum Studies and Art History are courses that meet social studies requirements.

Please glance through the course catalog to find many other examples of how our faculty teach in and through the arts.

Holding class outdoors
ENGLISH

Our courses are college preparatory and we regularly review our curriculum to ensure that it meets and exceeds state standards in language arts and communication. Through high expectations, all students are given the opportunity to develop a strong foundation of skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in classrooms that are largely discussion-based.

Throughout the rich variety of offerings—including American and world literature, film studies and mass media, writing and speech—art is both the subject of and means of study. The English curriculum reflects a commitment to diversity of perspectives and prepares students to participate knowledgeably in a complex, multicultural world. Academic writing, media literacy, public speaking, and creative writing in a variety of genres are also mainstays of our program. Opportunities for seniors to engage in college-level work within the high school classroom includes College in the Schools (CIS) Communications and AP English Literature and Composition.

 

Mathematics

The mathematics program acknowledges diverse learning styles and is a college preparatory program. Classes offered include:

  • Advanced Algebra
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Statistics and Probability
  • AP Calculus
  • Individualized Test-Prep

All mathematics courses employ the most current technology and aim to help students become mathematically fluent, flexible thinkers, and problem solvers while giving them the tools for whatever future paths they may choose.

Science

Through critical analysis of standard conceptions (and often misconceptions) about how the universe and the environment work, students learn to see connections among science disciplines and between science and the arts. Guided by an interdisciplinary focus, students explore the range and history of our scientific understanding as a species.

Courses offered include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Materials Science
  • Physics

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

Social studies classes are designed with two primary aims: developing students’ awareness and interaction with society around them, and providing opportunities to show the relevance of social studies processes to their lives in the arts.

Social studies courses offered include:

  • Sociology
  • Contemporary World Issues
  • Urban Geography
  • Advanced American Studies
  • 20th Century World History
  • Art History
  • Collision Course

Research is central to all social studies classes. In each class, students complete at least one major research project in the interest of developing student confidence and literacy.

WORLD LANGUAGES

The world languages program offers Spanish and French. Given the successful completion of coursework at another school or institution, students enter the next appropriate level of study when they arrive at Perpich. Students in levels 4 and 5 earn high school and University of Minnesota college credit through College in the Schools (CIS). Language courses build proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening through cultural content. In addition to typical language activities, students experience enriched interdisciplinary projects that connect language to art and other academic areas. Opportunities for travel abroad are offered annually.

SUMMER PROGRAMS

Help us create the best summer programming ever! We are currently looking for input from those interested in summer programs to determine what kind of quality programming would be most interesting and useful. Please take our survey to help us do so.

Arts High School

Plan your Visit

Are you thinking Perpich Arts High School might be the place for you? It’s a big decision, we know. We would welcome a visit from you to learn more! Check our schedule for Information Sessions or contact Admissions to plan a shadow day.

“Perpich is the best school for me because it provides a diverse student population, artistic environment and academic opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else in the state.”

Erika Beal, Literary Arts Student from Plymouth

“My teachers encourage me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to always strive to better my art, never settling for good enough.”

Regan Dockery, Theater Student from Sartell

"Perpich is providing me with the opportunity to develop my art, and fulfill a potential which I might never have on my own. I decided to come to Perpich because I was an ugly duckling, and I’m glad I did because now I’m flying with the swans."

Naftalia Rose, Literary Arts Student from Crystal

"For 17 years I’d carried the bulk of my children’s education myself. Sending the two oldest away to Perpich was a huge step of faith and I have not been disappointed. The teachers, in particular, have been fabulous!"

Merri Mickelson, Parent

"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of, as you said, doing meaningful work that I love."

Andrew Edman, ‘05, Visual Arts

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