The Upper SchoolStudents in grades 9-12 are challenged to be their best selves inside and outside of the classroom. A rich academic curriculum and extracurricular opportunities prepare them to be leaders ready to make their own futures.
Senior ExhibitionEach senior completes a year-long research project. Students must identify an expert to serve as a mentor for their individual research that culminates in a formal paper and presentation.
WinterimEach year students participate in a week-long learning opportunity choosing from experiences that offer academic and/or cultural enrichment, service work, wilderness immersion, or participate in an internship. Many Winterim experiences include domestic and international travel.
Community ServiceThe commitment to community service becomes a formalized program in the Upper School with each student having an annual service hour requirement. Seniors complete their Heathwood experience with an annual effort to rebuild homes on John's Island just days before they graduate.
Inspiring Passions and preparing Foundations for college
Time and time again, young alumni will stop by campus to visit and tell us all of the wonderful things that they are doing—we’ll hear stories of the various courses they’re taking or jobs that they’re embarking upon, and it always gives us a sense of satisfaction. Even more gratifying is when they tell us how well prepared they are for their current undertakings because of their experience in the Upper School at Heathwood. This, after all, is the goal of our academic program: to inspire our students to explore their academic passions and to provide them with the tools and habits that they need to excel.
Our academic program has three key elements that distinguish it from other programs:
- A challenging and supportive educational experience that provides an excellent foundation for college.
- Occasions for deep analysis and scholarship—for not simply absorbing knowledge but also contributing to it.
- Opportunities for exploring new interests and passions.
We provide these elements through a careful sequencing of core classes, a rich selection of electives and AP courses, an outstanding faculty (the most honored independent school faculty in the state), and a number of signature programs, most notably our Senior Exhibition capstone research project (modeled after a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation process) and our Winterim program, an immersive, experiential learning program that transforms the world into our classroom.
In addition to the strength of our program and people, small class sizes, advisory and college counselling programs allow each student to gain a facility with working with adults and the support that they need to be successful. Small class sizes, for example, allow our writing teachers to give ample writing assignments, offer substantive feedback and spend time conferencing with students—perhaps that’s why so many of our graduates share with us the many positive comments they receive about their writing. Our small size likewise allows each member of our honors science research program to have a designated teacher mentor to guide him or her through the research process. From course selection to college selection, Heathwood students have a community of adults who know them and who support them all along the way.
The Upper School is the last stage of development as we partner with families in building futures for our students. Upper School students take on the primary ownership of this part of the journey as they develop their scholarship, their passions, and their leadership skills that will place them in the driver’s seat of the road that will be their future.
Upper School Head & Assistant Head of School
B.A. Salisbury University
M.A. Bowling Green State University
Ph.D. University of South Carolina
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