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Learning through Experience and Exploration

Active, exploratory learning experiences spark curiosity and deep understanding.

We are, of course, proud of our superb record of college placement. 

But the real difference here is not what kids learn, but how they learn. Our Seven Hills Method is designed to foster the skills our graduates will need to excel in 21st-century workplaces. 

Inspired by our Educational Philosophy, our teachers engage students in learning by doing, exploring concepts through direct experience, experimentation, and inquiry. They learn to frame significant questions, to collect relevant data, and debunk unsubstantiated claims. They build strong communication skills and use technology as a tool for data gathering, analysis, and presentation. 

Guided and supported by their teachers, students learn to work together in project teams, to conduct extended investigations of complex, compelling questions, and to present their conclusions, in a variety of media, to audiences large and small. 

Above all, Seven Hills students are compassionate and empathetic young people committed to using their talents to improve the world around them.

Exciting Lessons, engaging teachers

Here is a sampling of a few of our teachers’ favorite projects and units that make learning stimulating and engaging.

Read more about our teachers’ philosophies here.

Cicley Knecht

Lotspeich Lower School Second Grade

“One of my favorite projects in second grade is our autobiography writing project. We start the year focusing on basics like writing complete sentences and then teach lessons focused on adding detail to their writing with bold and vivid descriptors. It is so rewarding to watch the students develop their writing skills and then apply them to create a compelling story about their own lives.”


Sherri Linville

Doherty Lower School Unit II

“A favorite activity in my classroom is our Changemaker project. Given that choice is a powerful motivator, the children select an individual who created change. After researching and creating projects, we learn about a variety of Changemakers, including Henry ‘Box’ Brown, George Washington Carver, Simone Biles, Katherine Johnson, and Muhammad Ali. The students are exposed to a broad range of people who brought change that continues to be felt in today’s world.”


Jacky Kalubi

Middle School World Language & Diversity Coordinator

“My favorite project is the unit on Senegal that we cover in eighth grade. Students learn many things about Africa in general and we break down many stereotypes about the continent. The unit culminates with a sewing project. Students get to make their own boubous (Senegalese tunic). They wear their boubou at an Ataya tea ceremony.”

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Megan Whitt

Middle & Upper School Head Librarian

“One of my favorite projects to do with my students is our screenwriting unit in writing workshop. In groups, students form their own film production companies, write a screenplay, and film their movie. After filming wraps up, we hold a mini film festival and watch each movie as a class. The creativity that flows from this project is out of this world.”

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Brian Wabler

Upper School History

“I enjoy the Tournament of Greatness, a project in which each student takes on the identity of a leader we have studied during the year. They have a tournament-style series of debates in which each student tries to prove that he or she was the greatest leader of all time. This is always fun for the students and spectators and gets the students to consider the different ways in which one can be a good leader.”

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Bryce carlson

Upper School Science

I particularly enjoy our plant growth and artificial selection lab in AP Biology. Over the course of two to three months, students gain experience growing their own plants, observe the power of selective breeding in agriculture, and gain hands-on experience with evolution in action.”

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Students and Parents On Learning at Seven Hills

Peek inside our classrooms, hear from Seven Hills students and parents, and roam our Doherty and Hillsdale campuses through our series of 90-second videos. Our community knows the value of a Seven Hills education. Our Doherty and Lotspeich Lower School parents, and Middle School and Upper School students share their experiences as Seven Hills Stingers.

Watch Videos Here


Everything we do is designed to help each and every student find a path to purpose. We see their education as an opportunity to discover who they are and what they want to do with their lives. That’s why we expose them to a wide array of learning experiences, evolving and adapting our curriculum every year with new research-based approaches.


Our method is designed to bring out the best in each of our students. Based on our portrait of a graduate, we aim to foster in our students the habits of mind that will help them standout in a competitive world. Our students become lifelong learners with the skills necessary to creatively solve problems and think critically to find solutions. They are global citizens, open-minded and collaborative, understanding and appreciating cultures from all over the world. But most importantly, they are hardworking, ethical individuals who are ready and more than capable to lead. Here’s how we do it:

View our entire Seven Hills Method Statement here.

  1. We pose engaging questions that foster students’ passion for learning.
  2. We design complex tasks that build logic, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  3. We structure learning activities that require creativity, independent thought, and innovation.
  4. We focus on content that engages students in compelling global issues.
  5. We design opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
  6. We craft opportunities for skilled and confident communication in a variety of media.
  7. We emphasize the use of technological tools for research, analysis, and communication.

Active learning in Upper school

Our teachers encourage students to take their learning into their own hands and explore opportunities outside the classroom. In the Upper School, students experience these lessons in a variety of ways.

Personal Challenge Project

Upper School Personal Challenge initiative is a unique program that asks students to take their knowledge deeper with current passions, or delve into a new interest. Read more here. 

Experiential Learning Program

Through real-world experiences and active learning, our students think harder, look closer, and read deeper, all while discovering more about themselves and the world around them. Read more here. 

Community Service

When students encounter a range of perspectives, their understanding of the world becomes richer. Read more here.

Signature Programs


Woven throughout our entire curriculum, our Signature Programs represent a distinctive and innovative approach to education that engages and motivates students through unique learning opportunities and experiences. At every age, students are diving deeper in their interests, honing their critical and creative thinking skills, and discovering more about themselves and the world around them.

See Our Signature Programs