Academics            Lower School             Middle School            Upper School


English Language Arts

Our English Language Arts program has been created with your scholar in mind: it contains the English Language Arts content they need to learn, the tools to help them learn, and tasks to strengthen the critical thinking skills that prepare them for high school and beyond.

Students will explore compelling themes through reading, writing, discussions, performances, and research. They will closely read short stories, novels, poems, historical texts, and articles. They’ll also view and interpret films, plays, and audio texts while comparing them to their related print versions. With frequent opportunities to write creatively and analytically throughout the program, students will develop fluency, research skills, and an understanding of how to craft their writing based on audience and purpose. Through collaborative discussions, presentations, performances, and debates with their peers, they will deepen their understanding of the texts they’ve read and viewed and learn how to convey their ideas with clarity and voice.

With high school right around the corner, now is the time for students to challenge themselves to develop skills and habits they need to be successful throughout their academic career. Our program provides them with meaningful and engaging activities built on the rigorous standards that lead to high school, college, and career success. This program will help them advance their reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening skills, all while helping them build confidence in their ability to succeed academically.

Mathematics (6th Grade)

Our 6th Grade Mathematics Program at DNA Prep Academy is designed to deepen students’ understanding of math concepts, emphasizing critical skills and strategies to solve problems in multiple ways. This approach fosters life-long habits of mind such as perseverance, creative thinking, and the ability to express and defend reasoning. Our curriculum connects lessons and projects to everyday life, building “math esteem” which is crucial for every student.

In 6th grade, students transition to more complex math concepts, focusing on ratios, rates, division of fractions, expressions, equations, geometry, and statistics. They engage in real-world applications and problem-solving activities that enhance their critical thinking and analytical skills. Projects and collaborative learning experiences make math meaningful and engaging.


Understand Ratio Concepts and Use Ratio Reasoning to Solve Problems

    • Develop a conceptual understanding of ratios and proportional relationships.
    • Use ratio language to describe a relationship between two quantities.
    • Solve real-world problems involving ratios and rates.

Apply and Extend Previous Understandings of Multiplication and Division to Divide Fractions by Fractions

    • Interpret and compute quotients of fractions.
    • Solve word problems involving the division of fractions by fractions using visual models and equations.

Compute Fluently with Multi-Digit Numbers and Find Common Factors and Multiples

    • Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and decimals to hundredths.
    • Understand and use the greatest common factor and least common multiple.

Apply and Extend Previous Understandings of Arithmetic to Algebraic Expressions

    • Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.
    • Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.

Reason About and Solve One-Variable Equations and Inequalities

    • Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question.
    • Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving real-world or mathematical problems.

Represent and Analyze Quantitative Relationships Between Dependent and Independent Variables

    • Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another.
    • Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables.

Solve Real-World and Mathematical Problems Involving Area, Surface Area, and Volume

    • Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, and special quadrilaterals.
    • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving surface area of three-dimensional figures.

Develop Understanding of Statistical Variability

    • Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data.
    • Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution.

Summarize and Describe Distributions

    • Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
    • Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.

Projects and Applications

Students will engage in projects such as:

    • Ratio and Proportion Projects:Exploring recipes, scaling drawings, and map reading.
    • Fraction Division:Real-world applications involving cooking and construction.
    • Geometry:Designing blueprints for simple structures and calculating materials needed.
    • Statistics:Conducting surveys, collecting data, and analyzing results to make informed decisions.

Our 6th Grade Mathematics Program not only enhances mathematical skills but also builds confidence and a positive attitude towards math. By connecting mathematical concepts to real-life scenarios, students are more engaged and motivated to learn, ensuring a strong foundation for future academic success.

Mathematics (7th Grade)
Creating a 7th-grade math curriculum for a prep school involves structuring a comprehensive program that challenges students and prepares them for higher-level mathematics. Here’s a detailed outline of a typical 7th-grade math curriculum, incorporating key concepts and skills.
1. Number Sense and Operations

Integers and Rational Numbers:

    • Understanding and performing operations with integers
    • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing rational numbers

Proportions and Ratios:

    • Understanding ratios and proportions
    • Solving proportion problems
    • Percentages:
      • Converting between fractions, decimals, and percentages
      • Solving problems involving percentage increase and decrease
2. Algebra

Expressions and Equations:

    • Simplifying algebraic expressions
    • Solving linear equations and inequalities
    • Understanding and applying the distributive property

Functions and Graphing:

    • Introducing the concept of a function
    • Plotting points and graphing linear functions
    • Understanding slope and y-intercept
3. Geometry

Basic Geometric Figures:

    • Identifying and classifying angles, triangles, and quadrilaterals
    • Understanding congruence and similarity

Coordinate Geometry:

    • Plotting points on the coordinate plane
    • Solving problems involving distance and midpoint


    • Performing and describing transformations (translations, rotations, reflections, and dilations)
4. Measurement

Perimeter, Area, and Volume:

    • Calculating the perimeter and area of various shapes
    • Understanding the properties and formulas for area of rectangles, triangles, and circles
    • Calculating the volume of prisms and cylinders
5. Data Analysis and Probability


    • Collecting, organizing, and interpreting data
    • Understanding measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode) and range


    • Understanding and calculating simple probabilities
    • Performing experiments and predicting outcomes
6. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

Word Problems:

    • Applying mathematical concepts to solve real-world problems
    • Enhancing problem-solving strategies and critical thinking skills

Math Projects:

    • Engaging in projects that require the application of multiple math skills
    • Encouraging collaborative problem solving and presentation of findings
Instructional Strategies
    • Interactive Lessons: Incorporate hands-on activities, games, and technology to engage students.
    • Differentiated Instruction: Provide varying levels of challenge and support to meet diverse learning needs.
    • Assessment: Use formative and summative assessments to monitor progress and guide instruction.
    • Homework and Practice: Assign regular homework to reinforce skills and concepts taught in class.
    • Textbooks: Use a comprehensive textbook that covers all necessary topics and offers practice problems.
    • Online Tools: Utilize educational websites and online tools for interactive learning and practice.
    • Manipulatives: Incorporate physical tools such as algebra tiles, geometric shapes, and graphing calculators.
Extracurricular Enrichment
    • Math Clubs: Encourage participation in math clubs and competitions to foster a love for mathematics.
    • Field Trips: Organize visits to science and math museums or participate in STEM events.
By adhering to this curriculum structure, 7th-grade students in a prep school will develop a solid foundation in mathematics, preparing them for the challenges of higher-level math courses.
Mathematics (8th Grade)
Designing an 8th-grade Algebra curriculum for a prep school involves ensuring that students grasp fundamental algebraic concepts while being challenged to apply their knowledge in various contexts. Here’s a comprehensive outline for an 8th-grade
Algebra curriculum:
1. Foundations of Algebra

Variables and Expressions:

  • Understanding variables, constants, and algebraic expressions
  • Translating verbal expressions into algebraic expressions

Order of Operations:

  • Applying the order of operations (PEMDAS) to evaluate expressions
  • Properties of Numbers:
    • Exploring properties of operations (commutative, associative, distributive)
2. Solving Equations and Inequalities

Linear Equations:

  • Solving one-step, two-step, and multi-step linear equations
  • Solving equations with variables on both sides
  • Understanding and solving absolute value equations


  • Solving and graphing linear inequalities
  • Understanding compound inequalities and solving systems of inequalities
3. Functions and Graphing

Understanding Functions:

  • Defining a function and using function notation
  • Evaluating functions and understanding domain and range
  • Linear Functions:
    • Graphing linear functions using tables, intercepts, and slope-intercept form
    • Exploring the concept of slope and y-intercept
    • Writing equations of lines in various forms (slope-intercept, point-slope, standard)
    • Systems of Linear Equations:
      • Solving systems of linear equations by graphing, substitution, and elimination
4. Polynomials and Factoring


  • Identifying and performing operations with polynomials (addition, subtraction, multiplication)
      • Understanding degrees and terms of polynomials


  • Factoring out the greatest common factor (GCF)
  • Factoring trinomials and special products (difference of squares, perfect square trinomials)
5. Rational Expressions and Equations

Simplifying Rational Expressions:

  • Simplifying and performing operations with rational expressions

Solving Rational Equations:

  • Solving equations involving rational expressions
6. Radicals and Exponents


  • Applying the laws of exponents (product rule, quotient rule, power rule)
  • Working with scientific notation


  • Simplifying square roots and other radicals
  • Performing operations with radical expressions
  • Solving equations involving radicals
7. Quadratic Equations

Understanding Quadratics:

  • Exploring the standard form of a quadratic equation
  • Graphing quadratic functions and understanding parabolas

Solving Quadratic Equations:

  • Solving by factoring, completing the square, and using the quadratic formula
8. Data Analysis and Probability (Optional)


  • Understanding mean, median, mode, and range
  • Interpreting data and constructing graphs (histograms, box plots)


  • Calculating simple probabilities and understanding probability concepts
Instructional Strategies
  • Interactive Lessons: Use technology, manipulatives, and real-world applications to engage students.
  • Differentiated Instruction: Tailor lessons to meet diverse learning needs and provide various levels of challenge.
  • Assessment: Implement formative and summative assessments to monitor progress and inform instruction.
  • Homework and Practice: Assign regular homework to reinforce skills and concepts taught in class.
  • Textbooks: Utilize a comprehensive algebra textbook that covers all necessary topics and provides ample practice problems.
  • Online Tools: Leverage educational websites and online platforms for interactive learning and extra practice.
  • Manipulatives: Incorporate physical tools such as algebra tiles, graphing calculators, and software for graphing and solving equations.
Extracurricular Enrichment
  • Math Clubs: Encourage participation in math clubs and competitions to foster a love for algebra and mathematics.
  • Field Trips: Organize visits to math and science museums or participate in STEM events to enhance real-world connections.
By following this curriculum, 8th-grade students in a prep school will build a strong foundation in algebra, preparing them for higher-level math courses and developing their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Science (6th Grade)

Our 6th Grade Science Program at DNA Prep Academy aims to ignite curiosity and foster a deep understanding of scientific principles. Emphasizing inquiry-based learning, our curriculum encourages students to ask questions, conduct experiments, and develop critical thinking skills. By connecting scientific concepts to everyday life, we aim to build “science esteem,” instilling confidence and a lifelong love for science in our students.

In 6th grade, students delve into a variety of scientific disciplines, including Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Environmental Science. Through hands-on activities, experiments, and projects, students explore the natural world and develop a strong foundation in scientific knowledge and methods.


Earth Science: Understanding Earth’s Systems

    • Explore the Earth’s structure, including the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
    • Investigate the processes that shape the Earth, such as plate tectonics, erosion, and weathering.
    • Study natural resources and their management.

Life Science: Exploring Living Organisms

    • Examine the characteristics and classification of living organisms.
    • Understand cell structure and function, including the differences between plant and animal cells.
    • Explore ecosystems, food webs, and the interdependence of organisms.

Physical Science: Matter and Energy

    • Investigate the properties and states of matter.
    • Explore the principles of energy, including potential and kinetic energy.
    • Study the basics of force and motion, including Newton’s laws of motion.

Environmental Science: Human Impact and Sustainability

    • Understand the impact of human activities on the environment.
    • Explore renewable and non-renewable resources.
    • Study conservation practices and sustainable living.

Projects and Applications

Students will engage in projects such as:

    • Earth Science Projects: Creating models of the Earth’s layers, simulating volcanic eruptions, and mapping tectonic plate movements.
    • Life Science Projects: Growing plants to study photosynthesis, dissecting flowers to understand reproduction, and creating food web diagrams.
    • Physical Science Projects: Building simple machines, experimenting with chemical reactions, and creating energy transformation diagrams.
    • Environmental Science Projects: Conducting water quality tests, creating recycling programs, and developing conservation plans.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Our 6th grade science curriculum emphasizes inquiry-based learning, encouraging students to:

  • Ask Questions and Define Problems
    • Formulate relevant, testable questions about the natural world.
    • Define problems that can be solved through scientific investigation.
  • Plan and Conduct Investigations
    • Design and carry out experiments to test hypotheses.
    • Collect, analyze, and interpret data using appropriate tools and techniques.
  • Develop and Use Models
    • Create models to represent and explain scientific phenomena.
    • Use models to predict outcomes and test hypotheses.
  • Analyze and Interpret Data
    • Use graphical representations to analyze data.
    • Draw evidence-based conclusions from experimental results.
  • Construct Explanations and Design Solutions
    • Construct logical explanations based on evidence.
    • Design solutions to problems using scientific principles.

Emphasis on Real-World Connections

By connecting scientific concepts to real-world scenarios, students are more engaged and motivated to learn. Examples include:

    • Environmental Stewardship: Understanding the impact of pollution on local ecosystems and developing action plans to address these issues.
    • Health and Biology: Studying how nutrition affects the body and designing healthy eating plans.
    • Physics in Action: Exploring how forces and motion apply to everyday activities like sports and transportation.

Our 6th Grade Science Program not only enhances scientific skills but also builds confidence and a positive attitude towards science. By fostering a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to learning, we ensure that students develop a strong foundation for future academic success in science and beyond.

Science (7th Grade)

Our 7th Grade Science Program at DNA Prep Academy is designed to deepen students’ understanding of scientific concepts and principles. By promoting critical thinking, problem-solving, and hands-on learning, our curriculum prepares students for more advanced scientific studies. We aim to inspire curiosity and foster a love for science through engaging lessons and real-world applications.

In 7th grade, students explore advanced topics in Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Environmental Science. Through experiments, projects, and collaborative learning, students gain a comprehensive understanding of scientific phenomena and develop essential skills for scientific inquiry.


Earth Science: Dynamic Earth Processes

    • Study the rock cycle, mineral formation, and the properties of different types of rocks.
    • Understand weather patterns, climate, and the factors influencing them.
    • Explore natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, and their impact on the environment.

Life Science: Genetics and Evolution

    • Investigate the principles of heredity, including the structure and function of DNA.
    • Explore genetic variation and the mechanisms of evolution.
    • Study the theory of natural selection and its evidence in the fossil record.

Physical Science: Chemistry and Physics

    • Understand the structure of atoms, elements, and the periodic table.
    • Explore chemical reactions, compounds, and the conservation of mass.
    • Study the principles of electricity, magnetism, and simple circuits.

Environmental Science: Ecology and Human Impact

    • Examine ecosystems, biomes, and the relationships between organisms and their environment.
    • Investigate human activities and their effects on biodiversity and ecosystems.
    • Study sustainable practices and the importance of conservation.

Projects and Applications

Students will engage in projects such as:

    • Earth Science Projects: Creating detailed rock cycle diagrams, building weather instruments, and simulating natural disaster scenarios.
    • Life Science Projects: Conducting DNA extraction experiments, creating models of genetic inheritance, and investigating evolutionary adaptations.
    • Physical Science Projects: Performing chemical reaction experiments, building simple electric circuits, and exploring the properties of magnets.
    • Environmental Science Projects: Designing eco-friendly community plans, conducting biodiversity surveys, and developing conservation strategies.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Our 7th grade science curriculum emphasizes inquiry-based learning, encouraging students to:

  • Ask Questions and Define Problems
    • Formulate complex, testable questions about scientific phenomena.
    • Define and refine scientific problems for investigation.
  • Plan and Conduct Investigations
    • Design and execute detailed experiments.
    • Utilize advanced tools and techniques to collect and analyze data.
  • Develop and Use Models
    • Create sophisticated models to represent and explain scientific concepts.
    • Use models to predict outcomes and validate hypotheses.
  • Analyze and Interpret Data
    • Employ statistical methods to analyze experimental data.
    • Draw comprehensive, evidence-based conclusions.
  • Construct Explanations and Design Solutions
    • Develop detailed explanations based on scientific evidence.
    • Design innovative solutions to scientific problems.

Emphasis on Real-World Connections

By connecting scientific concepts to real-world scenarios, students are more engaged and motivated to learn. Examples include:

    • Environmental Stewardship: Assessing the impact of pollution on local water sources and developing remediation plans.
    • Genetics and Health: Exploring genetic diseases and the role of genetics in personalized medicine.
    • Physics in Action: Investigating the principles of flight and designing model aircraft.

Our 7th Grade Science Program not only enhances scientific skills but also builds confidence and a positive attitude towards science. By fostering a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to learning, we ensure that students develop a strong foundation for future academic success in science and beyond.

Science (8th Grade)
The DNA Prep Academy 8th grade Integrated Science curriculum focuses on a wide variety of topics, many of which are helpful to athletes. The first section focuses on Forces and Motion and the second section focuses on Energy. Both of these important topics are covered in a way that assists the student-athlete in having more awareness and understanding of the physics behind their sports.The third section, Electricity and Magnetism helps students understand on the most basic level how many modern conveniences and necessities work. The fourth section, Earth-Sun-Moon System, and the fifth section, Solar System and the Universe, help students understand how the world works on a grand scale. Conversely, the sixth section delves into something more personal – Genes and Heredity. In this section, we attempt to not only teach the basic principles of genetics, but also how it could have an impact on their athletic performance. The seventh section, Natural Selection and Change Over Time, discusses how and why animals survive over the course of many years. This naturally leads into the eighth section, History of Earth and how the earth was formed. The ninth section, Waves, discusses how waves work – in particular, how sound waves travel and behave. After this section, the students will engage in the tenth section, Information Technologies, that builds upon their understanding of waves and discusses topics such as the difference between digital signals and analog signals. And finally, the curriculum concludes with the eleventh section, Human Impacts on the Environment, that discusses the ramifications of how people’s behavior and decisions can affect the environment.

Developing Students of Life

At DNA Prep we are truly committed to developing students ready to conquer life. With this commitment in mind, we will still provide for the very best daily trainings in the arts and athletics, but our upper school students will now choose majors in technology, entrepreneurship, horticulture/agricultural, or general life studies with minors in their artistic medium or sport-specific focus. With this change our school schedule will now be designed with Fridays as a day to work on Majors, a day of inspiration and internal discovery, and a day to catch-up on studies and meet with professors to have any remaining questions from the week answered.This revolutionary holistic curriculum design will flow through to our elementary-aged students, where Fridays become their innovation day – designed with programs that inspire, pique curiosity, and allow for self-discovery.


Students will choose one Major for the year in the following subjects:



Scholars will be introduced to visual block coding, solving text-based coding problems in JavaScript and Python. Intermediate and advance courses are available for our more experienced students. The coding portion of this major will also provide for an integration of coding for drones and augmented reality – where our students will discover how to use the webcam in their computer or iPad to build interactive experiences that blend the real and virtual world.

Website/App Design

Our Foundational Web Design Course provides strong understanding of the principles of graphic design for the web/screen environment. Our app design course is an intuitive, visual programming course, which allows our Scholars to build fully functional apps for smartphones and tablets.


Scholars are introduced to robotic systems facilitating the initial steps needed for a career in this exciting field. This course will also provide hands-on experience in building and coding their fully functional robot to walk, talk, play games, complete tasks or even compete other classmates’ robots! 

Graphic Design

In this course Scholars explore the basics in graphic design; work on projects that study the main skills needed in design like brainstorming, project development, and time management. Scholars complete major projects that emphasize different skills in graphic design and have practical and professional applications.


Financial Literacy

This course helps Scholars gain the foundational understanding of how to handle their money and to start to build lifelong spending and savings habits that they can carry into the future. Our goal is to utilize these influential elementary and middle school years to provide the tools to make life-long healthy financial decisions.


This course helps scholars develop and refine their networking skills that will be invaluable as adults when searching for employment and to excel in their future chosen profession. Students are taught public speaking, proper use of social media to build a strong network, how to present them in a manner that maximizes benefits of social interaction, and will practice these learned skills in the field with off-campus field trips to local community and civic meetings.

Business Development

This course introduces our Scholars to what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Topics include case studies in business success and failures, how to build a business plan, how to build a marketing plan, lessons in pitching a business and presenting an initial idea, life cycle of a successful business, and corporate responsibility.

Young Entrepreneurship Program

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting program that transforms local middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Through the yearlong program, DNA Scholars have the opportunity to generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch their very own companies. This course is taken in conjunction with the Business Development course


The purpose of DNA Prep Academy’s Agriculture/ Horticulture program is to teach our scholars the science behind and the practical skills of gardening and farming. Scholars learn the importance of soil cultivation for the purpose of growing crops used in animal husbandry, human consumption, and other products that are not eaten. In addition, our Scholars learn skills from professional Horticulturists and gain a profound understanding of the social benefits of sustainable agriculture and the importance of being good stewards of the land. Our scholars will have the opportunity to explore this important world with specific courses in:

    • Environmental Science,
    • Apiary (Bee Farming),
    • Plant-Propagation,
    • Plant Value/Health,
    • Nutrition,
    • Second Semester Young Entrepreneurship Program.
Service Learning and Volunteering

Throughout their time in upper school all of our Scholars will give back to our communities and learn the value of service to others through our volunteer program. But for our scholars participating in our Service Learning and Volunteering major, they will  expand upon these lessons through a yearlong service project, programs that teach ways to affect positive change in their communities, and become empathetic citizens who strive to impact the lives of others.  Some of the additional courses included are:


In this signature cross-age peer program, DNA 7th and 8th grades students serve as mentors to our grades 3-6th grade students. This course provides growth and learning opportunities for both mentors and mentees focusing on building self-esteem, empathy and moral reasoning, intrapersonal communication and conflict resolution skills. Our 7th and 8th grades scholars receive training and are also provided an adult mentor for themselves to serve as a model of mentorship.

Youth Leadership

This course focuses on teaching Scholars to become self-sufficient, engaged global citizens, and to develop their leadership skills taking part in on-campus clubs, student government, local community and civic causes as it relates to youth development, social and restorative justice.  This is an open-ended course based on project-based learning, which is designed to help DNA Scholars to explore issues that matter to them.