Based on an understanding of the adolescent brain and with the knowledge that learning occurs best in the context of an inclusive and connected community, our curriculum is grounded in a rigorous college preparatory framework. We are multidisciplinary and innovative, giving students the ability to ask the hard questions, and the tools to answer them. We are technologically sophisticated, but we recognize the limitations of technology. We teach critical thinking, cultural competency, and empathy because this is the foundation of true learning.
We love play and humor and art, because we know that they make us human. We also know that a deep grasp of concepts is what helps us to navigate an ever-changing world. We are deeply humanistic, treating every student with profound respect and care. We provide students with the intellectual, social, and ethical foundations necessary to thrive in our changing times, no matter their individual path.
All of our courses are college preparatory and our graduation requirements meet or exceed those needed to get into the very best colleges and universities in the country. Our students must complete a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that includes both required and elective courses in humanities, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), world languages, and the arts. Other elements of our program, including Exploratory Courses, Intersession, Physical Education, and Health & Wellness, allow students to broaden and deepen their educational experiences.
Below is our Curriculum-at-a-Glance, which shows the progression of courses, both required and elective, from 9th to 12th grades. All courses listed are not available each year. For an in-depth description of a course, select a department from the "department picker." A list of courses and their descriptions will display.
English: 4 credits
History: 3 credits including World History and US History
Mathematics: 3 credits including Geometry and Algebra II
Science: 3 credits including 2 lab credits
World Languages: Completion of level 3
Arts: 2 credits, at least one of which must be a Foundation Arts course
Exploratory courses: 2 per semester (including 9th and 10th grade, Health & Wellness and PE and 11th and 12th grade College Counseling)
Physical Education/Sports: 2 semester-long PE Exploratory courses (taken in 9th and 10th grade)
Health & Wellness: 2 semester-long courses (taken in 9th and 10th grade); participation in workshops each year
Wednesdays are generally early release days, with classes ending at 2:15 pm. Some Wednesday afternoons are utilized for special programming, workshops, etc.
Community Meeting and Advisory
Community Meeting is before lunch on Wednesdays and leads into Advisory, a small group meeting that functions like a home-away-from-home during the school day. A mixed-grade-level group of about 11-12 students + one staffulty advisor, Advisory helps students develop a sense of self and balance in their lives.
To see the breadth and depth of our course offerings, and to read specific descriptions of each course, please select the department below. You will be taken to a detail page that shows the current courses offered in that discipline.
85% have advanced degrees, average class size is 16, and teachers carry a student load of 45-60 per day
Breadth & Depth
With over 85 courses to choose from, students have the option to pursue both breadth and depth in our curriculum from an array of many interesting core academic and elective courses
Students seeking to challenge themselves may pursue a variety of our most rigorous courses with a selection of 30+ Honors, Advanced Studies (AS) & APs to choose from
With an average class size of 16, our students are known, seen, and supported
A 12-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio ensures that our teachers really get to know your student
...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.
Sonoma Academy 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. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.