Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the Upper School curriculum distinctively Christian?
- What options are there for Upper School foreign language?
- What is MATLAB?
- What standardized tests will students be prepared for?
Every day begins with a short devotional time. Day to day devotions vary between worship activities, reflections on Scripture, and sharing in small groups.
Throughout their Upper School years, students also participate, three times each week, in a Christian Studies class. During these classes, they read through the majority of the Bible, learn about church history, and consider the history of doctrine from the time of Christ to the present, as captured in two classic statements of the faith. Students also discover with the coherency of the Christian faith within the context of our fallen world.In all of their courses, students are taught by teachers who, in addition to having expertise in their fields, are committed to their Christian faith. Study of literature, history, math, science, language, and the arts occur under the guidance of these teachers. These principles permeate this teaching: the wonder of creation, the continuity of God’s sovereignty through time, and the truth that our creative abilities reflect both God’s artistry and our bearing of His image.
Students rising through our Middle School curriculum continue their Latin studies by taking Advanced Latin II in Grade 9. They then elect to take either Spanish or Mandarin for their remaining three years New students who can demonstrate a strong background in Latin can also elect to join the Advanced Latin class.
The majority of students entering Wilberforce in Grade 9 take a year of introductory Latin. They then switch into Mandarin or Spanish. A student with significant exposure to one of these two modern languages, who also wishes to resume studies in that language in Grades 11 and 12, may take a second year of basic Latin in Grade 10 before rejoining the other students in his or her grade for Spanish II or Mandarin II. Students may also opt to take the other language (which is new to them), and start at at the introductory level in Grade 10.
MATLAB is a computer coding language that enables its users to process and analyze data, model systems, and solve problems. Wilberforce students are prepared to pursue college studies in science, mathematics, and technology.
Standardized testing has become increasingly important in the college admissions process in order to differentiate between students. We do not teach to any tests, but the strong background that we provide our students prepares them to take the following: SAT II Subject Tests (Latin I, Molecular Biology, Math I, Chemistry, Math II, English Literature) and AP Tests (Probability and Statistics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, English Language, English Literature, Latin, European History).
While we seek to be distinctly Christian in our approach to academics and community life, students and families of all beliefs are invited to participate in our community. Students are allowed to respectfully disagree with viewpoints expressed, but they must agree to do so in a manner that does not undermine the culture that we are seeking to create. Their conduct must also be consistent with the goals of our community. As part of their studies, students are also responsible for understanding a Christian worldview, even if they do not personally agree with those views.
- Athletics: How do they fit into a student's life and schedule?
- Extracurriculars: What is the overall vision for students' involvement?
While athletics is not a requirement for students in the Upper School, we do hope to have a high level of participation. Athletics at Wilberforce are designed to focus on sportsmanship and teamwork, as well as growing skill and success in competition. Aimed to encourage student involvement in areas additional to athletics, our program runs only four days per week, with some additional games on Saturdays. Wednesdays are dedicated to non-athletic clubs. With this freedom in their schedule, student athletes need not miss out on other extra-curricular opportunities as can so often happen, nor, in an effort “to do it all,” sacrifice family, social, or study time.
At Wilberforce, there is not a radical division between curricular and extracurricular activities. It is our goal that every student experiences an environment where they are valued and cherished by both the faculty and their peers. Every student is encouraged to do his or her best academically and in extracurricular pursuits. We want every student to try activities that are outside of her or his realm of comfort. We pull together as a unit to overcome obstacles and experience success.
Students are involved in a life that extends beyond the academic day. Athletics appropriate for the vast majority of our students are offered four afternoons every week (with some Saturday competitions.) On Wednesdays, we encourage that every student to participate in a club that allows him or her to pursue areas about which they are passionate or which allow each one to step outside of his or her realm of comfort.
A vibrant social life is an important part of one’s development. Structured dances, trips to athletic and cultural events, and recreational activities all provide welcome social possibilities that add to our Wilberforce community life.