La Scuola d’Italia “Guglielmo Marconi” was founded in 1977 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet the academic needs of Italians living in the New York City area. Thanks to an ever-increasing interest on the part of American families, La Scuola has grown into a unique bilingual English/Italian educational institution, from the Pre-school level through Liceo (grades 9-12), reflecting the best features of the Italian and American educational systems. In addition to being recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education, the school is also chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Therefore our students graduate with a high school diploma that is officially recognized both in the United States and Italy.
The school’s curriculum conforms to the highest criteria mandated by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Education. The curriculum at La Scuola is most rigorous and competitive by international standards and has been expanded to include classes in American History and advanced English Literature. La Scuola’s educational programs are rooted in the best Italian/European and American traditions for internationally oriented studies. These programs offer substantive academic content, provide significant intellectual stimulation, promote personal growth, and encourage students to be open to innovation and new technologies.
Students receive a thorough multicultural and multidisciplinary education, developing the international understanding and openness needed to become productive and ethical participants in the ever more integrated world we live in. The curriculum in two languages is challenging so as to permit students at the end of the Liceo to reach high levels of bilingualism. Further, a variety of opportunities for learning and expression in the fields of art and music complement this rigorous course of study.
It has to be noted that while in Italy the traditional Italian curriculum is taught in five years, La Scuola’s students complete the curriculum, plus the two additional academic courses, in just four years. This makes La Scuola even more demanding and unique. In essence, the Liceo (Upper School) offers a single challenging curriculum without tracks or tiers. All students must complete the same rigorous sequence of courses (12 courses concurrently) and all courses are taught at an advanced level. Students attend school 35 hours per week and have to complete extensive homework assignments.
Every student is required to participate in the Trasversale interdisciplinary project. The administration and faculty select a school-wide theme and students complete thematic and interdisciplinary independent projects that incorporate culture and intellectual thought including, but not limited to, art, performance, poetry, and language.
La Scuola assists students in preparing for college and encourages their career exploration, their development of critical thinking, communication, and cooperative skills as well as their personal growth. Most notably, third and fourth year Liceo students are exposed through high-level extracurricular seminars offered at La Scuola to key concepts and ideas in the areas of management, leadership, and globalization. The emphasis is on the applicability of these ideas and concepts from the real world to a broad range of academic disciplines and career paths.
La Scuola has also developed a program of conversations with leaders and managers from the worlds of business, politics, science, technology, the arts, and nonprofit organizations which exposes students (and parents and faculty) to some of the most interesting realities of today.
Students take part in cultural exchange programs with other schools in Europe. La Scuola incorporates outside intellectual and cultural offerings into its program also through the cooperation with several Italian institutions in New York. For instance, La Scuola’s students often attend lectures at the Istituto di Cultura Italiano.
Units of Study Required
4 years of Italian Language and Literature
4 years of Latin Language and Literature
4 years of English Language and Literature
1 year of Geography
4 years of American History
4 years of European History
3 years of Philosophy
4 years of Law and Economics
4 years of Mathematics
3 years of Physics
4 years of Science
4 years of Technical Drawing and History of Art
4 years of Physical Education
Esame di Stato
At the end of the fourth year of Liceo (12th grade), successful students take the Italian Ministry of Education State Exam, Esame di Stato, a credit-bearing credential recognized by universities across the world. This exam is administered by a State Examination Commission appointed by the Italian Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Commission that administers this test is comprised of three teachers and a head of school sent from Rome in addition to three members of the Liceo faculty. The exam includes a six-hour math test, a six-hour written exam in Italian, a three-hour multidisciplinary test, and an oral presentation of a thesis in Italian. Students who pass the exam are awarded a diploma which permits them to continue their studies in any college or university in the European Union. In recognition of the rigor and strength of the academic program, many US colleges and universities award up to one year of college credit to students who earn a high score on the exam.
The grading system at La Scuola is based on a scale of 1 to 10. In practice most grades range from 4 to 8. Nine is seldom given and 10 is very rare. Grading is overall severe at La Scuola.