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Academic Overview

Welcome, New Students!

We are excited to welcome you to our community! Our faculty look forward to meeting you when the 2024-2025 academic year begins in August. To prepare for the upcoming school year, we are working to ensure all new students are registered for the appropriate courses.

Course Requests can be viewed within the School Portal. You are welcome to contact our Director of Academic Affairs, Ms. McNair Johnson, and our academic department chairs with any questions or concerns about course enrollment for the 2024-2025 school year.

Academic Resources & Information

Course Requests can be viewed within the School Portal. If you need assistance accessing the portal, please contact either Ms. Megan Markovic in our Admission Office or Mr. Van Kussrow in our Academic Office.


  • You should login to the portal using the same credentials you used to submit your student’s online application.

New Students

  • If you have logged into the portal, please use the same e-mail address and password that you have used previously.
  • If you have not logged into the portal, you will need to set up your credentials (called a “Blackbaud ID”) by following the links in an invitation email that you will receive from Asheville School. If the school does not have an e-mail address for you, please have a parent contact our Admission Office to provide us with an email address we can use for you.
    • Note: Students cannot have the same email address as a parent.
  • New students will receive their Asheville School e-mail addresses once they arrive on campus in August.

Returning Students

  • Please login to the portal using your Asheville School student e-mail address.

Blackbaud ID Instructions

  • CLICK HERE to view a detailed guide with instructions for setting up your portal login using Blackbaud ID.

Upon logging on, look under the “My Day” menu and select “Course Requests.” Some requests have already been added for you; others will be added as you complete our online placement tests and provide us with some additional information.

  • Please do not add course requests yourself within the portal. Instead, you should email our academic department chairs with any academic preferences or requests that you would like the school to consider.
  • Student schedules and specific class assignments will not be available until much later in the summer months.

Standard Course Enrollment

Typically, every student is enrolled in five core academic courses: an English course, a history course, a science course, a math course, and a world language course — either Spanish or French.

Although our academic year is divided into trimesters, almost all core academic courses are year-long (1 credit) offerings. Some courses are designed as single-trimester (1/3 credit) electives, generally for students who have already completed the core requirements in a department.

You can review our standard course progression and course offerings by grade level below:

Course Placements
Additional details about departmental course placements can be viewed in the following accordion panels. We do ask that incoming students take the necessary time in the beginning of the summer to complete the appropriate online departmental assessments.

The Academic Office requests that assessments be completed by June 30.

English Course Placement

English courses are determined by grade level and those course requests have already been added as requirements to the course schedule.

  • Third Form: World Literature
  • Fourth Form: European Literature
  • Fifth Form: American Literature | American Literature (Advanced)
  • Sixth Form: American Literature | American Literature (Advanced)

Should you have any questions about English course placements, please contact our English Department Chair, Ms. Chris O’Steen.

History Course Placement

History courses are determined by grade level and those course requests have already been added as requirements to the course schedule.

  • Third Form: World Cultures
  • Fourth Form: Western Civilization
  • Fifth Form: American History | American History (Advanced)
  • Sixth Form: American History | American History (Advanced)

Should you have any questions about History course placements, please contact our History Department Chair, Mr. Carl Boland.

Summer Reading Requirements

Summer reading requirements are based upon your English and history course placements. Summer reading assignments can be found here.

Required Incoming 11th & 12th Grade Humanities Course Placement Consideration

All incoming 11th and 12th grade students must to complete THIS FORM to indicate whether they want to be considered for the “Advanced” level of “American Literature” and/or “American History.”


Placement into our math curriculum is based on each student’s prior experience and mastery of the fundamental components of that discipline. All students are expected to complete a math course at least one level above Algebra II or Quantitative Reasoning II to fulfill our graduation requirement in the Math department.

Required Math Assessment for All Incoming Students

To help us ensure that you will be placed at the appropriate level, we require all of our new students to complete the following online math assessment:

  • All students should complete an online math placement assessment.
  • The test will take approximately 60 minutes (you can take up to 90 minutes).
  • Plan to complete the test in ONE SITTING; you can’t save and finish it later.
  • Calculators are allowed for this test, but no other resources are allowed.
  • CLICK HERE to access the Math Assessment.

Should you have any questions about Math course placements, please contact our Math Department Chair, Mr. Jacob O’Brien.

Third Form

The standard science course for Third Formers is Biology. This course is offered at either the ‘Standard’ level or at the ‘Honors’ level. Honors Biology is appropriate for students with especially strong math and reading skills, and enrollment will be limited to students who have demonstrated those traits.

Fourth Form

Fourth Formers typically take Chemistry as their science course. This is offered at either the ‘Standard’ level or at the ‘Honors’ level. Students who have demonstrated strong abilities in their previous math and science courses are eligible for Honors Chemistry.

Fifth & Sixth Form

Fifth and Sixth Form science placement is dependent upon each student’s previous academic record and their own demonstrated interests and abilities. Our science requirement includes a high school credit in Biology (or an equivalent Life Science), a credit in Chemistry, and a credit in Physics. The first-year components of those courses can be taken either the ‘Standard’ or ‘Honors’ level; the second-year components are offered at the ‘Advanced’ level and are appropriate for students with strong math skills and a passion for science. Rising 11th and 12th grade students should email Mr. Van Kussrow to indicate their preferences for a science course next year.

Elective Courses

Elective courses within the science department are only appropriate for students who have already completed our core academic requirements for science: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Should you have any questions about Science course placements, please contact our Science Department Chair, Ms. Christine Jones.

All Asheville School students are required to complete a World Language through the third level; for example, a student who has earned a credit in French III will have satisfied our graduation requirement.

  • Students for whom English is their second language are exempt from this requirement.

Language Preference for Beginners or Students Interested in Studying a New Language

Asheville School offers courses in Spanish and French. If you have no previous experience in a second language (or if you would like to begin studying a new language), you should complete the following form to indicate your preference. Based on your response, you will then be enrolled either in Spanish I or French I next year.

  • CLICK HERE to access our First Year Language Preference Form.

Assessments for Students Who Have Already Been Studying French or Spanish

If you have previously studied either French or Spanish, you should complete the appropriate language assessment below to provide us with some additional information about your level of mastery in that language. The object of this test is to place you in the level where you are going to have the best chance to succeed.

  • Outside help of any kind is prohibited on this assessment — either from a person, a textbook or dictionary, or from an electronic or online resource.
  • This should take you less than an hour to complete, and it must be completed in one sitting.
  • The assessment is graduated, starting with more basic material and moving to more advanced — please try to complete as much of it as you can.

Should you have any questions about World Language course placements, please contact our World Language Department Chair, Ms. Caroline Fleming.

Most of our students take only the five core courses required each year. However, some students choose to add a sixth course for one or more trimesters. Since our daily schedule is based on a seven-period rotation, even students with six classes per trimester will still have a free period in their schedule.

Third Form

  • Third Form students will take a year-long enrichment course called “Life Skills”; because of that required course, additional elective courses are not available for Third Formers.

Fourth Form

  • Fourth Form students are required take a single trimester course called “This I Believe” as a component of our public speaking requirement. In addition, Fourth Formers are encouraged to take a single trimester elective from within our Fine Arts Department to fulfill that graduation requirement.
  • Please use THIS FORM to indicate your preferences for an Art Elective.

Fifth Form

  • Fifth Form students will take a required single trimester “College Prep” class during the second trimester. This will introduce students to the college admission process and prepare them for college selections and the application process.

Sixth Formers

  • Sixth Form students will take a required single trimester “College Prep” class during the first trimester. This class will be focused on the college application process, providing guidance and support as applications are completed and submitted.

Course Offerings

  • Course offerings, including elective courses, can be viewed here.
Helpful Contacts
The Academic Office
Carl Boland '99
Carl Boland '99

Humanities Department Co-Chair

Caroline Fleming
Caroline Fleming

World Languages Department Chair

Van Kussrow '82
Van Kussrow '82


McNair Johnson
McNair Johnson

Director of Academic Affairs

Christine Jones
Christine Jones

Science Department Chair

Jacob O'Brien
Jacob O'Brien

Math Department Chair

Chris O'Steen
Chris O'Steen

Humanities Department Co-Chair

Helen Plaehn
Helen Plaehn

Director of Experiential Learning