Columbia Secondary is a selective, public, college preparatory school with a focus on science, math, and engineering. Its program of study provides a challenging academic experience that prepares its students for selective colleges; for careers in science, math, and engineering; and for a life of civic engagement and ethical responsibility. We train students to be socially and politically conscious, to be aware of their responsibility to their communities and the world, and to be dedicated to a life of creation and discovery in service of humanity.
Columbia Secondary immerses its students in science and math as a way of seeing and making sense of the world. Learning experiences focus on the active exploration of major concepts, ideas, and theories that respond to life’s big questions. Students are exposed to the history of these ideas; the struggles and controversies necessary for their development; the kinds of questions and problems that are key to the discovery process; and the special role of effort and creativity. Students model and engage in their own explorations so that they may experience the excitement, beauty, and difficulty of discovery. Students become cognizant of the limits of knowledge and become sensitive to the dangers of over-reliance on science and technology. Students learn to explore new questions, to ponder the significance of new scientific discoveries, and to use scientific knowledge and critical thinking in their own life decision-making.
Effective instruction depends largely on setting clear and high expectations, promoting an inclusive and participatory classroom culture, and motivating students to become independent learners. Instruction at Columbia Secondary is Socratic in spirit, with discussions, debates, guided inquiry, and carefully led lectures that focus on key questions, concepts, and theories. Students have extensive opportunities to engage in research, solve real-world problems, and learn experientially through internships and community service.
We expect our students to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of personal and academic excellence in a school environment that is challenging and that supports intellectual risk taking and creativity.
A Passion for Science and Reason
Our students will share a commitment to a scientific worldview and use science and reason to seek understanding of the world around them. Students will be immersed in science as a way of seeing the world and will develop an appreciation for the beauty and wonder of science.
Strength in Diversity
Our school embraces human diversity in all its forms. We believe that learning is enhanced by the multiplicity of perspectives and experiences that stem from a diverse community. The lives of all members of our community are enriched by actively sharing and learning from the experiences and cultures of people who are different from our own.