Overview: This course is designed to help freshman understand themselves as individuals, understand their role in a global community, and make informed choices related to their health, interaction with others, and daily responsibilities. Freshmen Foundations meets four periods per week over the course of the trimester. In class, students are engaged in activities to help enhance their academic strategies, which include time management, organization, presentational development, study habits and note taking. In addition, the Grade 9 class completes the online Brainology program, which helps students develop Growth Mindset thinking. Through this program students learn about brain functioning and engage in lessons that explore challenges, setbacks, resiliency and personal growth. Finally, we also attend a seminar that displays the social norms of gender identity. A guest speaker comes to the WMA campus to help with gender identity awareness.
Overview: This required series of courses has been developed by the College Counselor to aid our students in researching and selecting the colleges or universities that will best meet their needs and to assist them in the process of application.
Sophomore Seminar - Sophomore Seminar classes are offered by the College Counselors during the spring trimester. These classes will focus on a variety of topics including the importance of self-reflection in the college process; strategies for developing a strong personal statement; and an introduction to Naviance, WMA’s college counseling software. This course has been designed to help our students find educational opportunities – primarily programs of study in postsecondary institutions – that are consistent with the their occupational interests. All sophomores are administered the Self-Directed Search Assessment.
Junior Seminar - These classes meet during the winter trimester. Students meet in a small group setting with a College Counselor and are provided an in-depth exploration of the college admission process. Students will learn how to research and identify colleges that are a good “match,” how to navigate Naviance and a college website, how to complete the Common Application, brainstorm essay topics and work on the development of an effective personal statement. Students will create a Common Application account as part of the class.
Senior Seminar - By the fall of senior year, our focus turns to one-on-one meetings with our students. A number of required classes are offered to review the Common Application, to instruct students how to “link” their Common Application and Naviance accounts (a necessary step for the submission of their online applications), to understand the various application options (Early Decision, Early Action and Priority) and to address other important topics. Seniors will also have the opportunity to meet with college admission officers who visit our campus each fall.
The WMA Writing Center is a place where students receive help with any type of writing. After training, the tutors work with all Academy students to improve English and history essays, presentations, lab reports, college essays – anything involving writing. Students may ask for help at all stages of the writing process from brainstorming and organizing through polishing and publishing. Tutors are available for half-hour sessions and informal advising.
The Writing Center takes place during evening study hall in the dining hall on weekdays, and in the library on Sunday nights.
Writing Center and Math Peer Tutors are available during evening study hours, Monday through Thursday. These student volunteers, who receive training and guidance from the English and Math Departments, serve as a valuable resource for students needing help with their work in these areas.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the student tutors will share an online whiteboard with you so you can work together on solving problems.
Students who have experienced academic difficulty in a subject area are assigned to the Directed Study program. These students are required to receive additional help from a teacher in the area where they are experiencing difficulty. The student and teacher engage in a written contract that specifically identifies the reasons the teacher assigned directed study and states the weekly expectations that students must accomplish in order to fulfill the contract. Although these contracts are not designed to be punitive, students who do not fulfill their contract on a weekly basis may receive a weekend detention for doing so.
The WMA Academic Services department has been in existence for close to 30 years. The Academic Services teachers are well-trained, experienced, learning specialists with lengthy tenure at WMA who know the needs of their students and the needs of the school well. Each is a highly committed and motivated professional, determined to help students maximize their academic strengths. An integral part of that mission is instilling a sense of self-confidence and self-efficacy, as well as self-advocacy skills in each student as they adjust to the demands of a competitive independent school and prepare them for the challenges of college.