The Upper School is committed to nurturing and challenging its students in a safe, diverse environment and to inspire them to commit themselves to excellence in preparation for college and the world beyond. The traditional college preparatory curriculum in the Upper School includes courses in English, mathematics, sciences, social studies, modern language, art, computer science, drama, music, and physical education. The following Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered: Art History, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Spanish, Psychology, United States History, World History, Computer Science Principles, Calculus AB and BC, Biology, Physics, and Music Theory. Students are selected for AP classes on the basis of their interests and teacher recommendations. WCDS also offers a variety of elective courses. Graduation requirements consist of 24 units, distributed as follows: English (4); a semester of composition each year (2); mathematics (3); laboratory science (3); social studies (3); modern language (3); arts (1); physical education (1); and four credits of electives. Each semester course earns one-half credit, and a full year course earns one credit. All classes meet 50 minutes each day on a 38-week traditional semester system. A complete list of course offerings and the weighted ten-point grading scale WCDS uses are provided in the following links: Course Offerings, Weighted Grading Scale.
Sustaining a wide variety of student interests, WCDS students may choose from a variety of clubs and organizations: Student Government Association, Quiz Bowl, Art Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, Journalism/Yearbook, History Movie Club, Key Club, and Drama Club. Through these clubs and other activities, students serve the school, the community, and beyond. Past projects range from providing necessary supplies to displaced hurricane victims, supplying local animal shelters with food and bedding materials, donating collected books to the local public library and The Boys and Girls Club, volunteering on weekends to both a local soup kitchen and to Habitat for Humanity, to supporting the Autism Society of North Carolina with participants for the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism. In addition to fostering community involvement, WCDS students receive such extensive exposure and support in the arts, the humanities, STEM, and others, their accomplishments extend beyond their school.
Seven interscholastic sports are offered to girls and eight for boys. In five of the past six years, WCDS has finished in the top five schools statewide vying for the Wells Fargo Cup and winning the cup in 2016 and 2017.
Faculty Awards and Accomplishments
WCDS boasts an esteemed faculty which includes graduates from universities including: Duke University, Boston College, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington, Gettysburg College, East Carolina University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Appalachian State University, University of Texas, Clark University, North Carolina State University, Meredith College, University of Florida, Salem College, University of Memphis, Brigham Young University, Winthrop College, Barton College, and Mt. Olive University. In addition, some teachers have received certification from the Professional Board of Teaching Standards in specific content and developmental areas.
WCDS faculty are lifelong learners; therefore, professional development courses are a continuing part of their lives. Advanced Placement courses, vertical curriculum alignment, Junior Great Books workshops are just a few of the professional development courses some faculty members have completed. Many have also presented professional development sessions at the local, state, and national levels. In addition to sharing their expertise with students, WCDS faculty members share their knowledge with the educational community and beyond. Their accomplishments have resulted in such distinctions as being featured in the CNN International Teacher Spotlight, honored with local, regional, and state Teacher of the Year awards, granted fellowships for summer study by the National Symposium for Teaching Asian Studies through Columbia University, Fulbright-Hays Group Study Award, Turkish Cultural Foundation’s Teacher Fellowship, and local, regional and state teaching and coaching awards. At the university and college level, many WCDS teachers have taught and led graduate programs in professional development for science and education programs at schools such as University of Pennsylvania, East Carolina University, and others. Upper School faculty are also published authors of books, professional publications, and symposium presentations. Many have studied abroad in various countries: France, England, Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Belize, People’s Republic of China, Japan, and Turkey. Our well-traveled faculty provide students a world view so important in 21st-century student readiness.