Skip To Main Content

Upper School

The Pace Academy Upper School is a place of connections. Over the past six decades, we've grown in size and stature, but one element remains fixed—the relationships between our talented, nurturing faculty and our students.

With approximately 120 students in a grade and class sizes that average 13, the Pace Upper School is a place where students know their teachers as professionals and as people. Developing this connection is the core of what we do.

Students are challenged and grow in a supportive setting. Our faculty inculcates in students both the joy of learning and the worthiness of intellectual excellence. Pace graduates often return to campus describing how well prepared they were for their college academic careers, but mostly they come back to visit with their former teachers and spend time with people they consider mentors and friends.

Pace is a place that presents numerous opportunities for each student. More than 85 percent of our students participate in athletics; we stage three outstanding theater productions annually; our chorus, vocal ensembles, band and orchestra are second-to-none; and through the Isdell Center for Global Leadership, students pursue their passions with the help of our supremely talented faculty and our global and community partners.

Our students are involved in the life of their school and in the world around them. They want to succeed—but they want to do so while making a difference. We think that’s the measure of a true education.


Michael Gannon
Head of Upper School




Academic rigor is the name of the game in the Pace Upper School—and while we set the bar high, we provide the support students need to exceed expectations.

Students may choose to follow a path toward Advanced Placement in one department while taking less rigorous courses in another. These individual choices, guided by caring and knowledgeable deans in consultation with parents, speak to students’ interests and talents. Elective courses offer opportunities for additional exploration, ensuring students find their place in the classroom and beyond.

Our faculty are the heart of the Upper School academic program, and they have the freedom to create challenging courses that unfailingly prepare students for college, for their roles in a civil society and for the challenges of a global community.

Graduation Requirements

Pace requires 46 total units for its diploma—42 of which must be academic, four of which may be satisfied with academic or non-academic electives. In addition, students must satisfy a non-unit physical education requirement (either by participation on an interscholastic athletic team or a personal fitness course) as well as a non-unit requirement for 40 hours of community engagement.

The curriculum is planned for maximum benefit to each student and not merely for the satisfaction of minimum requirements. A normal schedule consists of six classes per semester. The student’s dean and the Head of the Upper School must approve variation from this norm. A unit is one semester of study in a course.

Support and Resources

At Pace, we believe that the key to a successful education is the appropriate balance of challenge and support; we set the bar high, and then help students jump over it.

Our faculty and staff provide multiple layers of support to assist students in navigating the social, emotional and academic challenges they may face in high school. Our goal is for every child to have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.