The high school years are intense and exciting. The High School provides students a place where they are challenged to grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. The social fabric of the student body is close knit. A student is not just a member of his or her class year, but of the student body as a whole. A student would find it hard to be anonymous here, but easy to discover and him or herself.
In addition to a substantial academic workload, students participate in athletics, drama, student council, tech crew and other extracurricular activities. Students are also actively involved in outside activities and organizations, and bring these experiences and connections to their peers here. Students play basketball and soccer together at recess, help with school events, cheer for each other at games and performances and dress up for the Spring Formal and graduation.
Field Trips and Service Projects
Students take a variety of educational and recreational trips around and beyond the DC area. We might visit a museum or the US Congress, a Civil War battlefield, take a hike, go camping, go rock-climbing, go to the beach, go to a ball game, dinner and the theater together.
In 11th grade, the students spend a week at an intentional community that serves handicapped adults. The students work side by side with the residents gardening, cooking and making crafts that are then sold in their store. Most importantly they get to know the residents and discover the humanity in people who on the surface are so different those they know.
In 12th grade, the students travel to Hermit Island, Maine where they join several other Waldorf senior classes for a week-long study of marine biology. They explore tide pools with local experts, conduct labs involving observation of marine life, and join together for evenings of song, poetry, dance and conversation.
Seniors traditionally take a final trip together. Recent trips have been to Kauai, Hawaii, the southwest, and Puerto Rico. These trips are designed to include community service, nature, and cultural experiences. It is also a time for reflection together as a class in the time close to graduation.
Individual classes and the high school have service learning activities around these of food, shelter and the environment. We might spend a day bagging groceries at a food bank of cleaning up a stream. Every student is also required to do community service work independent of school, broadening his or her experience and allowing students to form close relationships to local organizations.
Seminars and Speakers
Students benefit from a broad range of high-caliber speakers who come to the school to provide their own perspectives. Guests have included the South African Ambassador to the U.S. and his wife; Debbie Roffman and others.
Twelfth Grade Year
The 12th grade year is special as the culmination of students' Waldorf education as each moves toward his or her future. There are activities and rites of passage in addition to the Hermit Island and Senior Trip. The senior play, in which all seniors participate, is a capstone of all of the students' prior work in drama, and is a gift to the school community. The Senior Class is partnered with the 1st grade class and will mark the start and end of the school year together, in addition to activities together along the way. Each senior is given a page of hi or her own to design in the school yearbook. Senior projects are presented in the spring. Seniors are invited to prepare music, poetry, or other program offerings for their graduation.