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What to Expect Freshman Year

Opportunities for academic growth and development are what freshman year is all about. You will have choices to make and those choices will only grow as you broaden your base of knowledge and deepen your interest in particular subjects. With the guidance of your faculty advisor, you’ll think ahead and sketch out a four-year plan.

Placement Tests, Requirements, and Choices to Make

Ninth graders and other first-year students have certain requirements laid out for them. You’ll take placement tests in math and language (Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish) that will help determine which classes you can jump into. All students take English all four years, so you will take English 1. You will probably take Biology. You may take a geometry class or Algebra I. Otherwise, you will choose classes in history, world languages, the arts, and athletics.

Academic Challenge

The level of challenge you set for yourself is up to you. (For example, if you take Global Civilizations as your freshman year history course, you may be able to take AP World History as a sophomore.) You can set yourself on a path to take math senior year that is so advanced it’s beyond AP Calculus (i.e., linear algebra and multivariable calculus). No matter how difficult a path you choose, you will have openings later on to explore the electives that Madeira teachers create around their scholarly passions. 

Sample Schedule

Activity Credits

When you enter Madeira as a freshman, you must earn 12 trimesters of activity credit – at least 8 of which must be athletic/activity credits – by the time you graduate. This is where your options explode. 

An Array of Activities

Starred (*) items on the following list can be taken for academic or activity credit. 

  • Madeira Glee or Sweet Ti A Capella Group* 
  • Chamber Orchestra* 
  • Film Production
  • Madeira Dancers and Madeira Select
  • Fall Play
  • Winter Musical
  • Technical Theater
  • Fitness Classes such as karate, Pilates, fitness, tennis, and swimming for conditioning
  • Varsity and JV interscholastic team sports including cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, squash, swimming and diving, lacrosse, softball, and track and field
  • Riding