Welcome to the Upper School

The Head-Royce Upper School provides a challenging and stimulating liberal arts curriculum that inspires each of our 350 students to develop a lifelong love of learning. As Head of the Upper School, I believe that our school is unique, not just because of our history and facilities, but because of something vital that develops in the relationships between teachers and students. We seek to build close faculty and student relationships that grow from our mission to inspire academic excellence, promote diversity, and encourage constructive global citizenship.

At Head-Royce, we encourage students to appreciate diverse ideas, to become engaged participants in their community, and to develop into thoughtful, caring, and enthusiastic citizens of the world. Courses are designed to provide learning opportunities in which students develop critical thinking skills, take intellectual risks, work in collaborative settings, engage in creative and imaginative learning, and practice ethical decision making. I often hear of high school described as a journey but I like to think of it as a quest. At Head-Royce students discover a sense of purpose beyond themselves, with moments of gratitude for what they have and continual growth from unexpected challenges.

Our Academic Program

Our challenging Upper School offers a strong college preparatory program with a variety of activities to supplement the academic curriculum and prepare students for college and beyond. In the Upper School’s academic program, all students take four years of English and at least three years each of math, history, science, and a world language (French, Spanish, Latin, Mandarin Chinese).

• 16 AP courses in subjects ranging from Biology to Studio Art.

• Outdoor education trips that include camping, sea kayaking,river rafting, and a high ropes course.

• Students can get involved with the award-winning debate team,the student newspaper, and yearbook.

• A wide range of student-initiated and organized clubs are available including Democracy Matters, Asia Club, Black Student Union, Fine Arts Dance Ensemble (FADE), and the Jane Austen Club.

• Work-study jobs on campus include office support, tutoring, and lower school teaching assistance.

Student Leadership Opportunities

To foster an atmosphere of self-governance, Upper School students may apply to serve one-year posts on several faculty/student committees in areas such as curriculum, global citizenship, diversity, STEM, and student life. Additionally, senior prefects serve as mentors to freshman homerooms and peer facilitators lead family groups (18 upper school students and two faculty members) in monthly discussions of community issues.


Through our premier athletic program, Head-Royce students can play on over 26 interscholastic teams. Our competitive programs have captured more than 50 league championships in the last 19 years. Sports offered include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball. Middle school teams compete in baseball,basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.

Fine and Performing Arts

Students are actively involved in the arts, participating in school musicals and dramatic productions, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Chorus and our select vocal group Colla Voce, as well as photography, graphic design, the video yearbook, and ongoing studio art exhibits. FADE, our intensive, student-run dance program, stages a major production each spring. Our Middle and Upper School musicians travel to music festivals across the country.

Curriculum Overview

Sample Schedule

College Admissions

Carl Thiermann
Upper School Head
(510) 531-1300 x2266

Saya McKenna
Assistant Upper School Head
(510) 531-1300 x2136

Keri Keifer
Assistant to the Upper School Head
(510) 531-1300 x2535

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