Academic Dean's Office

Welcome to the Upper School Academic Dean's Office. We are here to assist Upper School students and families with the following information and requests:

Academic Planning

Scheduling and Curriculum Guide

This information can be found online by logging into the student's Edline account and going to his or her class page. The contents section has a copy of the Upper School curriculum guide. This complete guide is available only for rising 8th through 12th grade students and parents. Parents may find general course information for Upper School classes on the department curriculum pages.

Course Weighting for GPA

A.P. Honors E.P. C.P.
A 5.04.8 4.44.3
B 4.0 3.8 3.4 3.3
C 3.0 2.8 2.4 2.3
D 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
F 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

A.P. - Advanced Placement
H.P. - Honors Enriched Prep
E.P. - Enriched Prep
C.P. - College Prep

Grade Point Average - GPA

All students should keep in mind that all semester grades earned in grades 9-12 become a part of the permanent high school record that is used by college admissions officers, employers, and others. Students should work to assure that this record reflects their best efforts. Grade point averages are computed using semester grades. Two separate GPAs are computed for grades 9-12: a Comprehensive GPA and a Core GPA. Grade point averages are computed to two decimal places.

The Comprehensive GPA is based on semester grades earned in all credited subjects graded A-F. Beginning with the class of 2018, only coursework completed at Woodward will be included in this GPA.

The Core GPA is based on semester grades beginning with the fall term of the ninth grade and is cumulative for grades 9-12.

Courses from the disciplines of mathematics, science, English, social studies, computer science, world languages, comparative religion, and advanced placement coursework in any other discipline is considered in the computation. The Upper School uses the Core GPA for determining academic probation, honors at graduation, study hall exemption, and National Honor Society eligibility. Beginning with the class of 2018, only coursework completed at Woodward will be included in this GPA. Both the Comprehensive GPA and the Core GPA are printed on the student’s official transcript and are provided to colleges, universities, and other institutions. Colleges, however, have their own methods of assessing student transcripts and of computing high school GPAs. Because of Woodward's selective admissions policy, the high overall achievement of the student body, and the competitive performance of our students, the Academy does not release class rank information to persons, agencies, or colleges outside the Woodward community.

The NCAA and the HOPE/ZELL MILLER Scholarship programs refigure GPAs based on their own set of standards.

Eagle Roll & Eagle Awards

Based on the Comprehensive GPA, students achieving the designated grade point average (with no grade lower than D) are placed on the Eagle Roll at the end of the fall semester. Eagle Honor Roll Awards are given to students who earn a cumulative grade point average for the current school year of 4.0 (Gold) or 3.5 (Silver) on a scale of 5.0 with no grade lower than D.

The Upper School Administrative Assistant averages the columnar Comprehensive GPAs from the first and second semesters. The final date(s) for accepting spring semester grades for honor roll consideration will be established by the Upper School administration.

Exam Exemption for Spring Semester – Grades 9-12

Based on the GPA used to calculate Eagle Honor Roll, students in GRADES 9, 10, and 11 will be eligible for exemption from spring semester exams if the student meets the following criteria:

  1. The student has no grade lower than D for any semester grade.
  2. A GPA of 3.5 or higher for the current academic year on grades earned by the date established by the Upper School administration prior to spring semester exams.
  3. Grades for spring semester exam exemptions are determined by teachers on the date set by the Upper School Administration prior to spring semester exams. While a student may meet the initial requirements for exam exemption for the spring semester based on items 1 and 2 above, students may exempt only those spring semester exams in which they have earned a grade of A or B for the spring semester which includes grades through the last class day prior to exam review day.
  4. While Woodward expects absent students to make up all work, following the guidelines of one-day absent, one-day to make up work, first semester, teachers can also see the student’s mastery of the work through student accomplishment on the final exam. No matter what a student’s Eagle Roll status is, should these absences continue into second semester, upon missing the eleventh (11th) class in any subject, the Attendance Review Board, led by the Dean of Students and including the Academic Dean, can require the student to sit for the final exam in that subject in order to show mastery of the material. Students in AP courses with eleven absences, in addition to taking the AP exam, may be required to sit it for a course exam to be given at a time either during underclassmen exam week or, for seniors, a time set by the teacher that does not interfere with preparation for the AP testing.

Students in grade 9, 10, and 11 who do not meet the GPA requirement of 3.5 for exemption from all spring semester exams may, at the discretion of the individual teacher, be exempt from the spring semester exam for a specific course. Only those students, who have earned a grade of A or higher for the entire spring semester (which includes grades through the last class day prior to the exam review day), are eligible for individual exemption.

Senior students have the privilege of exempting spring semester exams if the student has a spring semester average of C or higher in each of his or her courses unless exams are mandated by the Dean of Students as part of an attendance review. Seniors will be required to take spring semester exams in courses where their spring semester grade falls below a C average as calculated on the date established by the Upper School Administration prior to spring semester senior exams.

Note: Any student who is exempt from one or more spring semester exams may elect to take one or more exams. In addition, students in Advanced Placement classes may elect to take a spring semester exam in the advanced placement course. Students who are exempt from exams but choose to return to campus to take a final exam must take the exam in school uniform and must be in school uniform for all exam tutorials.

Honors at Graduation

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be the Summa Cum Laude students who have the highest GPA in their core courses in grades 9-12. All graduation honors are based on grades earned using the Core GPA and, beginning in 2018, from courses earned at Woodward Academy.

Graduation with Honors

To graduate with honors, students must meet two criteria:

1. A student must earn a minimum GPA (based on the Core GPA) in grades 9-12 in courses from the disciplines of math, science, English, social studies, computer science, comparative religions, world language, or advanced placement (AP) coursework in another discipline.

2. A student must take the requisite number of Honors College Prep or AP courses from these disciplines or AP coursework in another department, beginning with the fall semester of the junior year and ending with the fall semester of the senior year.No semester grade can be lower than D. Spring semester grades in the senior year are not included.

Minimum semesters of Honors/AP Courses, Grade 11 Fall Semester through Grade 12 Fall Semester Minimum Grade Point
Average for Grades
Summa Cum Laude 11 semesters (5.5 units) 4.10
Magna Cum Laude 8 semesters (4 units) 3.80
Cum Laude 5 semesters (2.5 units) 3.50
NOTE: 2 Semesters =
3 quarters = 1 unit

A newly enrolled senior must take three (3) semesters of Honors Courses fall semester to be graduated Cum, or four (4) semesters of Honors Courses fall semester to be graduated Magna. The appropriate GPA still applies.

Class Drop Policy

A great deal of care is taken by the Upper School to ensure that students are adequately advised by their counselors and classroom teachers each spring regarding course selections for the following school year. Therefore, course selections made by students and approved by parents and the Office of the Academic Dean are considered binding.

Students may initiate a course Drop Request no later than the end of the second week of Fall Semester (for Fall Semester electives and year-long courses) or the end of the second week of the Spring Semester (for Spring Semester electives). If the student wishes to drop a course after the second week of the semester, he or she must apply in writing to drop a course and meet with the Academic Dean and Grade Counselor who will consult with the teacher and department chair. Department chair approval is required. Changes are possible due to extraordinary circumstances. Faculty, however, may suggest a course Drop Recommendation at any point in the semester.

Students may request an academic status (Honors College Prep, Enriched College Prep, College Prep) change no later than the end of the first week after the completion of the first grading period in each semester. The Academic Dean will determine if the request is appropriate. Faculty may initiate an academic status change at any point in the semester.

Standardized Testing


Woodward administers the PSAT/NMSQT in October to all students in grades 9-11. The test is used for practice for the SAT and level placement in the Upper School. Juniors compete in the NMSQT and related programs with their score on this test. The Academy registers all students for the test. While PSAT now offers a 9th and 10th grade version of the test, the College Counseling and Academic Dean’s offices believe there is value for 9th and 10th graders to experience the actual test in preparation for their junior year.

PSAT score results will be mailed home during the semester break. Test booklets will be returned to students the first week in January. Going over the test—question by question—is a valuable way for students to improve their scores. Students who have questions about what their score report means should see their grade level counselor or visit:

Contact the Academy's Transition Learning Support Program office for information on nonstandard testing.


Please visit the Upper School College Counseling page about the SAT/ACT.


The Educational Records Bureau Writing Assessment evaluates our students’ writing skills during their 10th grade year in order to allow for any needed remediation during the junior year. Woodward uses each student’s score on the ERB as one indicator of writing skills. The ERB program is a national test which provides a direct measure of writing ability on a six-point analytic scale for topic development, organization, support, sentence structure, word choice, and mechanics. English 2 students will take the ERB in their English class in early January. In March, the school will receive the results from the ERB assessors. In addition to your child’s score on the ERB test, the department will consider each student’s fall PSAT Writing Skills score, the English teacher’s recommendation, and all other writing assignments completed during the first semester to determine which students would most benefit from taking Writers Workshop the junior year. Students who can benefit from Writers Workshop will be informed of this required course in a conference with their present English teacher. Parents of all 10th graders will receive a copy of the scores through the mail early in April.

National Honor Society

Membership in the Randolph W. Thrower Chapter of the National Honor Society is offered by the Faculty Council of the National Honor Society to selected juniors and seniors based on evidence of scholarship, service, character, and leadership. (It is not determined by grade point average alone). Individuals do not request membership but submit, upon request, information to the Faculty Council. Candidates for selection are notified at least one week before the convocation in February. A grade point average of 3.8 based on the Cumulative Core GPA is the minimum scholastic requirement needed for consideration for induction. In addition, the candidate must meet the following four criteria:

Scholarship is reflected in one's GPA and in one's attitude and approach to academic matters.

Leadership, the candidate demonstrates by a positive influence on peers and others both in and outside of school. Additionally, the candidate demonstrates dependability and responsibility. The NHS expects the promotion of school activities and the upholding of school ideals in those deemed leaders.

Service, the candidate shows by loyalty and participation in organizations or projects that benefit others without any direct financial or material compensation. Courtesy, cheerfulness, and a willingness to take on inconspicuous responsibilities are characteristics of a servant-leader.

Character manifests itself in upholding and demonstrating high standards of conduct, morality, ethics, honesty, and reliability. In addition, the candidate demonstrates respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

In making its decision concerning membership selection and continuation of membership, the Faculty Council (which is appointed by the Academic Dean) will consider all the information available concerning the scholarship, leadership, character, and service of potential members. Information from the Academy Discipline Board, Honor Council, Dean of Students, will be part of the committee’s decision. Serious and/or recent violations of the rules and expectations of the Academy and of the community will be important factors in the decision process.

Once selected for membership, National Honor Society members are subject to dismissal from the Society if they do not maintain the standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character that were the basis of their selection. The Faculty Council and National Honor Society Advisor (who is the Academic Dean) shall review the membership when necessary.

Work Permits

Work Permits

In order to be legally employed in Georgia, anyone who has not reached his or her 16th birthday is required by State and Federal laws to have an Employment Certificate for Minors. The state will only issue work permits to those 15 and younger. The steps to obtaining a certificate are listed below:

1. A “Work Permit Data Sheet” must be completed and submitted to the Issuing Officer in the Upper School Counseling Office. Work sheets are available from the Issuing Officer in the Upper School Counseling office.

2. The two part form must be completed in its entirety by the student and employer and submitted to the Issuing Officer. Forms with blank lines or unfilled boxes will not be processed. Also, the student must provide a copy of his or her social security card and birth certificate to the Issuing Officer for verification.

3. The Issuing Officer enters the information into the State database and furnishes the student with an Employment Certificate for Minors.

2018 Dean's Office Frequently Asked Questions

2018 Frequently Asked Questions
  • Summer transcripts
  • Psychological testing
  • Schedule changes

Contact the Dean's Office

Peggy McNash

Peggy McNash

Academic Dean
Kendra Clemons

Kendra Clemons

Accommodations Coordinator
Kechia Minter

Kechia Minter