High School (Grades 9-12)
At Minnehaha Academy we see the light that shines in you.
High school students are welcomed into a community of life-long learners where curiosity is encouraged in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the arts.
Guided by a strong academic foundation, you will have the opportunity to explore your passions, gifts, and faith alongside teachers who see and value your potential.
At Minnehaha Academy, supportive faculty, coaches, and mentors will join you and your peers on your path to becoming the next generation of thought leaders and change makers.
College admissions are more competitive than ever. The ability to take a variety of STEM courses at the AP level combined with sending experiments to the International Space Station was a unique way to show that I was more than just one of the many well-rounded applicants applying to top universities."
Hazen, Harvard student
Minnehaha is ranked as one of the best private schools in the state. The classes you take will propel you forward into new learning. You can earn college credit in AP courses, conduct research in our state-of-the-art STEM labs, take to the stage or pick up a paint brush in our Fine Arts programs, and design a science experiment that will travel to the International Space Station.
Our expert teachers are passionate about their subject areas and their courses are interesting and engaging. They will get to know you as a person and a student, and provide you with opportunities inside and outside the classroom so you can develop your gifts.
Course Options – Minnehaha students have the opportunity to chose from a variety of core courses, as well as a number of Advanced Placement and honors courses.
Authentic Learning – In high school, you will engage in coursework that has real-life implications. In our International Space Station Program, students create experiments that are designed to provide data for working scientists. In English, the craft of non-fiction writing and argumentation takes on new importance when students meet with legislators to present concerns detailed in their studies.
Innovation & Creativity – Academic challenges require creativity and innovation. Whether designing 3-D models for printing, participating in a Shark Tank style classroom challenge, or studying the migration of monarch butterflies, you will be encouraged to take academic risks.
Here at Minnehaha, we know that science teaches the basic principles of our physical and biological world and their influence on – and application to – our everyday lives. The integration of science, engineering, and mathematics with technology (STEM) teaches students independent and innovative ways to solve problems and utilizes the skills that they are learning in other areas of study. These skills are required in order for today’s students to become tomorrow’s global leaders.
“I’ve undergone an immense amount of personal growth with the understanding that the objective of research (and space travel) applies to me as well: curiosity and exploration are essential to finding one’s place in the vast and opportunity-rich world.”
Applied Research & Engineering Student
Sending Experiments to Space
The Applied Research and Engineering class creates, from concept to completion, two experiments to send to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Minnehaha Academy is the only school in the Midwest to offer this program (we are one of four schools in the entire nation to offer this program), and ISS students meet weekly with mentors, who are professional engineers, geneticists, and computer programmers as well as two Minnehaha Academy science teachers. Students are also invited to conduct parts of their research in the laboratories of their mentors at the University of Minnesota.
“Minnehaha’s Applied Engineering & Research program offers students two valuable opportunities rarely offered at the High School level,” commented mentor Tom Holman. “Students learn engineering processes and procedures including how to define, design, test and debug complex electrical and mechanical devices. These skills include creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, as well as communication and collaboration.”
“Before taking ISS, I had no idea what I wanted to do in college or what field of study really ‘clicked’ with me. ISS ignited my desire for engineering."
Andrew Johnson, ISS student project leader
A World of Opportunity
Students are encouraged to explore a variety of STEM disciplines at Minnehaha.
Science offerings include independent research, physiology, environmental science, and physics, as well as Advanced Placement and Honors science courses. Students participate in problem- and project-based learning as they apply their skills in real world settings. Lab performance, projects and collaborative group work are significant factors in student evaluation in the science courses, which incorporate skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Technology is integrated into the fabric of most every course at Minnehaha and students learn how to use it with integrity and as a tool to enhance learning. Students may take computer science and graphic design courses. These courses teach students to be creators of technology, not just consumers.
Students study Engineering most notably through our unique Applied Research & Engineering course where they are introduced to the process of engineering design and are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills as they engage in authentic scientific research.
Strength in Mathematics is gained in courses that engage students using a variety of instructional strategies including interactive instructor and student presentations, hands-on projects and labs, individual and group work, and video presentations. Advanced Placement courses are available for students to earn college credit.
The arts are thriving at Minnehaha – and so are our artists. Students have opportunities to excel in choral groups, bands, orchestra, and theatre. Our extensive visual arts program includes drawing and painting, graphic design, photography, film, sculpture, and ceramics.
Minnehaha’s Fine Arts program has long been celebrated for its excellence. Performing groups involve students at every age and experience level. The school calendar is filled with concerts and theatre events throughout the year. More than half of our students take part in these programs. Minnehaha Academy also arranges national and international touring experiences for students.
Being part of Fine Arts at Minnehaha is not just about fostering talent. It’s about experiencing art, enjoying art, and developing an appreciation for art that will last a lifetime. Students gain from the instruction and inspiration of highly trained and skilled faculty. The curriculum is designed to foster self-worth and creative expression as it integrates faith and learning.
Whether you’re a high school athlete or an artist, or both, you have a place at Minnehaha Academy. You will find that athletics, arts and clubs are a great way to build friendships and follow your passions. Minnehaha offers a supportive and encouraging environment, so you can try something new anytime. And you don’t have to choose—our students do all three—athletics, arts, and clubs, and have a great time doing it!
Clubs and Activities
Every high school student is involved in some sort of after school activity, club, sport, or organization. Most students, in fact, are committed to several. We’re proud to offer an array of options as wide and diverse as much larger schools.
Learning about leadership isn’t enough at Minnehaha Academy. We ensure our students have opportunities to practice leadership in practical situations and groups that will directly translate to the student’s next steps beyond our school. Students in grades 10-12 who desire to study leadership in-depth can enroll in our Leadership Institute. Learn about the Leadership Institute →
The advisory program provides each student with an adult from whom he or she can seek guidance, support, and help in the areas of academics, spiritual growth, and personal issues. The program also assigns every student to a peer group – averaging 11 people – by grade level and single gender. Groups stay together throughout the students’ high school career.
The intern program provides an opportunity for students to develop leadership skills in a wide variety of areas, such as athletics, chapel, community service, publicity, and more. The intern program consists of students who are selected by the Dean of Students and other faculty members.
Minnehaha Academy's high school follows a year long, seven-period modified block schedule. The modified block schedule promotes diverse teaching strategies such as sustained discussion, question and answer sessions, reflections, simulations, rehearsals, laboratory experiments, group projects, and cooperative learning. In addition, while the schedule maintains three class meetings per week, the schedule enables students to focus more on their individual classes each day as they only need to prepare for, at most, four classes per block day.
Distinctly Christian Environment
At Minnehaha you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to be yourself, develop ideas, and grow into your best self. As you explore faith, you can ask tough questions and engage in discussions in and out of the classroom with teachers, coaches, mentors and friends who will be there to support and encourage you. Our weekly chapel services feature guest speakers, student performers and thought-provoking messages.