If it’s true that “school is what you make of it” – then this is an open invitation for students to make even more if it.
Our students are presented with all kinds of opportunities where they can find community that is centered on common interests, build lasting friendships, and serve, play and pray together. We make a point to support co-curricular activities, often built and led by students, that go beyond the expected rhythms of school so that every student can connect more deeply in ways that have meaning and importance to them. We view these opportunities as extensions of formal teaching that enrich the overall school experience.
In a year of getting acclimated to a school schedule and new routines around learning, opportunities to infuse parents into the process creates excitement for our youngest learners.
Field trips with parent chaperones, and separate Dads & Donuts events for sons and daughters, are special occasions that our Kindergartners cherish. They get to participate in activities they see other Lower School students engaging in as well, including chapel, school-sponsored service projects, and a community impact day. Parents also get into the act through classroom volunteering, Dad Lab, Warrior prayer, mom’s prayer groups, and school-wide events, all of which work to knit Kindergartners – and their families – into the fabric of the larger WC community and foster belonging.
This six-year stretch of schooling presents more pre-planned opportunities than at any other time at WC.
Students will get to experience a mother/daughter or father/son trip to Marmon Valley and the Over & Out campout; build community through Friendship Girls, Connection Groups, Speech Meet or Fun Run; and serve through chapel, community impact day, and a slate of service projects. Unique, grade-based experiences also emerge along the way, including a Seder Feast (third graders) and Space Camp Study Tour (sixth graders).
Collectively, these opportunities are about experiential learning that help to build knowledge, shape character, and forge meaningful friendships – all in preparation for what’s next in the Upper School.
For seventh- and eighth-grade students who have transitioned from the Lower School to the Upper School, there are a handful of experiences that transition alongside them, bringing comfort and familiarity. These include chapel, service projects, and community impact day. For new students just joining WC, these will become recurring events woven into the fabric of their WC experience.
New opportunities await students who desire to connect outside the classroom and with shared interests. These include Connection Groups, Yearbook Club, Ski Club, Battle Over Books, Rube Goldberg, and the Retreat. Grade-specific adventures including the Freedom Study Tour (seventh grade) and Washington, D.C. Study Tour (eight grade) provide experiential learning opportunities that are sure to make a memorable impression on students during their early Upper School years.
Upper School students seeking opportunities beyond the arts, athletics, or their academics will have no shortage of ways to get involved at WC. Consider this list: Chapel. Fall Event. Gala. Community Impact Day. Internship Academy. Beyond the Classroom study tours. Service projects. Broadcasting and Wake Up WC. Leadership Team.
These are just some of the recurring events outside of the variety of student-led clubs that also exist.
However, the two opportunities that “bookend” the Upper School experience from beginning to end are Houses and the Senior Capstone trip to the Dominican Republic. As freshmen, students are assigned to a House, which is a way to shrink the school into intentionally smaller communities for fellowship. Student-led and faculty-advised, each House works to foster spiritual growth and relationship building across all four years and all four grades. It’s a place to get to know others and to be known. The Senior Capstone is a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic where students have the opportunity to engage their heart for service, grow in their faith, and minister to others. It is the culmination of their years of spiritual development and service experiences that are put into practice in a life-changing way – for them and those they get to serve.
Involvement outside the classroom in arts, athletics, clubs, service, and leadership is a priority at WC.
Community worship is a vital part of the WC experience. Over 100 chapel services are conducted on all the campuses combined.
In the Lower School, activities focus on fostering relationships between parent-child, student-student, parent-parent, and parent-teacher.
As a place that fosters innovation and rewards initiative, students are encouraged to share ideas and to lead where they are.