Graduation Distinction in Sustainability

Available beginning with the Class of 2021
Woodward Academy embraces a broad approach to sustainability, dedicating ourselves to thoughtful use of energy resources and teaching our students to be good stewards of the earth. Woodward’s Distinction in Sustainability provides an accelerated path for students who are passionate about the environment and protecting our natural resources to make real, meaningful change in our world. After applying in the fall of the 10th grade year, students who earn this distinction will be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to affect change by completing specific coursework, an immersive experience, and a capstone project with a focus on sustainability in environmental literacy, service learning, or community engagement.

Course options include: Environmental Science, Tropical Ecology (includes travel to Costa Rica), Practical Leadership, Meteorology, Astronomy, AP Government & Politics, Independent Scientific Research (partnering with university scientists)

Learn more about Sustainability at Woodward

Distinction in Sustainability Requirements (A-D)

A. Apply for the program for the program in the fall of 10th grade for admission at the beginning of January in the 10th grade and meet with the Sustainability Coordinator as requested. New to Woodward 11th grade students must immediately apply to the program upon enrolling.

B. Complete Outside Reading and a Capstone Project.

  1. Each semester beginning January of 10th grade year and through December of 12th grade year, read three current event articles related to sustainability (articles approved by the Sustainability Coordinator) and complete reflection journal entries.
  2. Completed by 2nd week of January during senior year, the capstone project will be approved by the Sustainability and will include a defense before panel of outside experts and faculty.

C. Complete three of the following five options. Please meet with the sustainability coordinator to make sure activities are approved.

  1. Complete four field trips by December of the senior year from the approved list and complete reflection journal entries.
    Single-Stream Recycling Center; E-cycling/Scrap Metal Facility; Paper recycling-manufacturing facility; Habitat for Humanity Restore or Lifecycle Building Center; Atlanta Food Bank; Beltline Tour; Water Treatment Facility; Land Management Facility; Serenbe; Chattahoochee Nature Center; Individual Homestead or Farm; Atlanta Regional Commission; Southface Energy Institute; Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
  2. Complete twenty hours of service learning for a minimum of two years and complete reflection journal entries.
    Atlanta Food Bank; Community Garden; Habitat Build or similar hands-on build or restoration; Green Apple Day of Service; Earth Week; Trees Atlanta; Education—other WA schools, Boys & Girls Club, work with alumni in environmental field; Special Topic Week Awareness (such as Water Day, Environmental Education); Ray C. Anderson foundation or similar organizations like USGBC, Southface.
  3. Attend or participate in two conferences or special events or serve on a committee and complete reflection journal entries.
    Green School Conference; Sc3: The Student Climate & Conservation Congress; MARC Committee; Sponsor event at WA, for example the Green School Alliance w/ Sc3; Eco-Schools; arrange special event or series for WA – for example, Art challenge during Experience the Arts Day (could be part of capstone project), video series (like a Public Service Announcement), art installation, cook-off.
  4. Participate actively for a minimum of two years in one or more of these campus groups: Environmental Awareness Club, Outdoors Club, WA Serves/SLB, 5 Points, STEM.
  5. Experience one immersive trip with a sustainability focus: Zambia or Costa Rica. Other experiences as approved by the Sustainability Coordinator.

D. Complete ten semesters of the following courses while maintaining a B average or higher*. The course options where chosen with the intention of promoting responsible and intentional decision making and behavior with regards to the natural, human and economic environments. 

Option of semester courses:  Each course counts for one semester (some limits apply; not all courses are offered every year).

  1. Literary Explorations 1
  2. Literary Explorations 2
  3. Multicultural Literature
  4. US Political Economy and Critical Choices 1
  5. US Political Economy and Critical Choices 2 
  6. Topics in Multicultural, Ethics, and Diversity Studies
  7. The American West
  8. Meteorology
  9. Astronomy
  10. Tropical Ecology
  11. Ethical Dilemmas and Decision Making 1 or 2 (maximum of 2 semesters)
  12. Practical Leadership (maximum of 1 semester)
  13. Physical Fitness for Life or Physical Fitness for Sports (maximum of 1 semester)
  14. Photography (maximum of 1 semester)
  15. Debate (maximum of 1 semester)
  16. Robotics (maximum of 1 semester)
  17. Advanced Robotics (maximum of 1 semester)

Option of year-long courses: Each course counts as two semesters (some limits apply).

  1. Environmental Science or AP Environmental Science* REQUIRED for distinction. 
  2. Statistics
  3. US Government/Economics
  4. AP Government and Politics
  5. AP Microeconomics
  6. Botany
  7. AP Biology
  8. ISR
  9. World Language (maximum 2 semesters)
  10. AP Computer Science Principals
  11. AP Computer Science.

NOTE: *While the course work for item D can be completed by the end of the eighth semester in the Upper School, the B average GPA will be calculated at the end of semester seven.

Learn more about Sustainability at Woodward