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Non-Departmental Courses

Freshman Foundations

Credits: .5

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.

Study Hall/Study Skills

Credits: 0

Overview: All grade 9 students and all new grade 10 students are enrolled in Study Hall/Study Skills for the first marking period (roughly 5 weeks). Study Hall/ Study Skills provides some structure to the academic day, reinforcing skills needed for students to organize papers and schoolwork, update a daily/weekly planner for work, start homework or study for assessments. Proctors are present to help students remain organized and to answer any questions they may have.

College Counseling Seminars

Credits: 0

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.

Global Thesis Capstone Project (Global Scholars)

Credits:

Level: Advanced, open to grades 10 and above

Overview: The Global Thesis Capstone Project offers students an opportunity to select a topic of significant global concern – either inspired by their travels or personal interest – and engage in scholarly debate on such topic through deep research, consideration and contemplation. Students will formulate a thesis and either defend a position, posit a new theory, formulate a call to action, or provide a solution to a problem. Students are expected to meet weekly meetings with a faculty advisor; complete of a minimum of 30 hours of research; create of 15-20 page documented research paper; and make a public presentation in the Shenkman Trading Center at the conclusion of the project. This is a two-trimester program. Students may choose to begin in the spring, with final presentations scheduled for early winter. Or, they may choose to begin in the winter term, with final presentations in the spring.

Prerequisite: A one-page proposal must be sent to the Dean of Curriculum for approval