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Doane Stuart

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Upper School

Commitment, Preparation and Success

Upper School students appreciate our intellectually rigorous academic programs; our large variety of courses and extracurricular activities; our challenging public service offerings and mentoring by a caring teacher. Our graduates regularly report back on their excellent preparation for college. Students also have access to many opportunities outside the classroom: our signature exploratory learning expeditions, community service program, senior internship week, courses at area colleges, and much more.

As a result, our students are among the most productive in the Capital Region. They graduate with their own passions, their own intellectual curiosities, their own confidence —and a worldview that prepares them to make the most of the challenge and the journey to come.

Ignite, Innovate, Inspire:  Exploratory Expeditions

This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide students with immersive, project-based learning experiences that foster critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

The Ignite, Innovate, Inspire program represents a bold step forward in education, offering students in grades 9 through 12 the opportunity to engage in hands-on exploration and discovery across a variety of disciplines. From delving into the captivating realms of food science and health to harnessing the power of artistic expression for social change, each course is designed to inspire curiosity, spark creativity, and instill a lifelong love of learning.  Doane Stuart’s I(3) program is unique to the Capital District and is a signature program for the Upper School.

Highlights of the 2024 program include:

               9th & 10th Grade:  Students choose from options – 

    • Food for Thought: This project-based week is tailored to engage students in hands-on activities exploring the captivating realms of food science and health. Highlights include a half-day trip to the Honest Weight co-op, where students will be focusing on healthy shopping habits, and discussions on food deserts. Students will also embark on a full-day excursion to The Hancock Shaker Village to explore farming and medicinal herbs.  Noteworthy are special lectures by Food Scientist, Dr. Ryan Elias, and Yannev Benno, Doane Stuart Trustee and Manager of Cafe Milano in Washington, D.C.. By week‘s end, students will emerge with a deeper understanding of food science, enhanced culinary skills, and a heightened awareness of their culinary heritage.


    • Art of Social Change: Harnessing the power of artistic expression, this immersive, project-based week is designed to engage students in activities exploring the interplay between music, art, literature, and history. Students will engage in creative activities, historical research on the impact of art on society, and group discussions guided by our faculty. Visits to Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum and the Bethel Woods Museum site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival will foster an appreciation for the interconnectedness of these disciplines as students explore how various forms of art can advocate for social change.  Collaborative teams will create pieces in the medium of their choice that reflect the social change they wish to see in the world today.


      11th Grade:  New York City Gentrification Expedition Students will have the unique opportunity to travel to New York City to do a deep dive into the phenomenon of Gentrification and its far-reaching effects.  New York City, with its rich history of immigration, provides an ideal backdrop for students to trace the footsteps of those who arrived in the U.S., be it a century ago or just yesterday.  They will explore the neighborhoods shaped by the U.S. Immigration Policy and meet with NYC Councilman Yusef Salaam in his Harlam District 9 regarding civics and governance as tools for addressing urban gentrification. They will also meet with developers in Coney Island to assess both sides of the argument. Through direct engagement with the community, student inquiry, classroom sessions, and collaborative design, we aim to address the challenges associated with gentrification and urban development in NYC effectively. This hands-on experience will provide valuable insights into the historical and contemporary issues facing these communities.


      12th Grade:  Senior Work Experience A unique opportunity for seniors to explore their passions and gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields.  It prepares them for a successful transition into their chosen career paths, instills a sense of responsibility and work ethic, and fosters an enduring appreciation for community engagement through placements with local organizations including veterinarians, engineers, police departments, computer programmers, schools, physical therapists, radio stations, and aviators, among others.

Doane Stuart’s tradition of community service is one of the foundations of the school, reflecting our commitment to the values of the work and care for others, both in and beyond the classroom. Students and faculty engage throughout the year in reading and conversation about community service experiences. Community service helps our students to understand more about the world around them, and more about themselves and their place in the world.

Our hope is that our students will develop a habit of service to others that will become a permanent part of their lives. Finding time for community service can be a challenge for all of us, particularly for students who are trying to balance extracurricular activities with a rigorous academic schedule. As part of our effort to ensure that the community service program remains a central and meaningful part of each student’s experience in the Upper School, we make available many service opportunities on campus, and provide information about off-campus options.

All seniors participate in a Senior Internship Experience, providing them with a unique chance to gain real-world exposure to their potential career paths. This four-day placement is a crucial component of their academic development, aiming to prepare them for a successful transition into the next phase of their lives.

The Senior Internship Experience is more than just a placement; it is an opportunity for our students to prepare for a successful transition into their chosen career paths. It instills a sense of responsibility and work ethic, and fosters a lasting appreciation for community engagement. We aim to create a strong connection between the school and the local community, encouraging collaboration with businesses, non-profit organizations, and public institutions.

Before the internship placement, our students receive training on workplace etiquette and professional communication. During the placement students actively participate in the day-to-day operations, projects, and tasks of their host organizations, gaining hands-on experience that will significantly contribute to their personal and professional growth. Upon completing their internships, students return to the school, armed with newfound knowledge and experiences.

To culminate their internships, students prepare presentations to share their experiences, detailing what they learned, the challenges faced, and the accomplishments achieved. This process not only allows them to reflect on their journey but also provides valuable insights for their peers, creating a rich and collaborative learning environment.

Colleges are seeking students who have challenged themselves – and Doane Stuart students show this with rigorous, unique classes not found elsewhere (Advanced Cell Biology, Dystopian Narratives, The American Civil War – to cite a few examples).

Our college list is evidence that our students are admitted to a wide variety of selective colleges all over the United States. 

Upper School Course of Studies