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Upper Update

Principal Matters

Updated: December 5, 2019

Principal Matters

The end of fall semester always brings with it a mixture of emotions.  In the midst of students eagerly anticipating breaks from school, family holiday traditions, and travel plans, students are also faced with the harsh reality of taking final exams.  And on top of it all, exams in the Upper School are a big deal.  Exams are cumulative, and they account for one-third of the final semester grade.

As a reminder, students will have one exam per day starting on Friday, December 13 through Friday, December 20.  Students take one exam per day according to the following schedule: World Language on Friday, December 13; Math on Monday; English on Tuesday; Science on Wednesday; Social Studies on Thursday; and Computer Science and conflict or make up exams on Friday, December 20.  A student taking two science courses, for example, might take one science exam on Wednesday and the other science exam on Friday.  Friday, December 20 is reserved for Computer Science and exam conflicts or make-ups, but students with no exams to take on Friday are not required to come to school on December 20.

As a parent, your support and guidance during exam week can help ease the stress and anxiety surrounding exams.  Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Research clearly demonstrates that getting plenty of sleep and interspersing exercise and study breaks into study sessions greatly improves exam performance.  Talk with your child about their “exam week strategy.”  Having a plan going into exam week and sticking to that plan is a formula for success.   In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”  Plan to study early and often instead of cramming the night before, and take full advantage of the abundant opportunities for tutorial.  Finally, make sure your child has a good breakfast before heading off to school for exams.  Taking the time to prepare a hot breakfast for your child and pausing to eat breakfast with him or her will go a long way in sending your child to school in a positive mindset.   

We know that exam week can be a stressful time, but taking time to prepare a strategy and to manage time will surely be rewarded.  Thank you for a wonderful fall semester, and let’s work together to make sure that our students finish strong!

Best regards,

Dr. Jonathan Merrill
Upper School Principal

News & Bulletin

Updated: December 5, 2019

Fall Semester Exam Schedule

Please see information for the Upper School's fall semester exam schedule here.  Included are times for MARTA and Woodward buses.

Sibling Admissions Applications

We are now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year! We want to make sure siblings of current Woodward students have primary consideration for openings, so we encourage parents to visit the Admissions Getting Started page to apply today. If you have family, friends, or neighbors interested in applying their children, you can send a letter of recommendation to to improve their chances for acceptance. Thank you for entrusting Woodward with the education of your child, and we look forward to helping your family and friends share the Woodward experience!

2020-21 Tuition

The following tuition rates will be in effect for the 2020-2021 academic year. Click here for President Gulley's tuition letter from November 23, 2019. The re-enrollment deposit of $3,500 will be applied toward the tuition fee:


2020-2021 tuition paid
in full by June 15, 2020

2020-2021 tuition paid with eight-month payment plan in monthly installments from June 2020-January 2021*







Grades 1-6



Grades 7-12



Transition Program



*Families may choose to pay the full tuition by June 15 or select the eight-month payment plan, which begins in June 2020 and ends in January 2021, and requires that payments are made by automatic draft. Full tuition, less the $3,500 re-enrollment deposit, is divided over eight months. The monthly installment amount includes $60 per month for the Tuition Refund Plan, which is required when participating in the payment plan. 

GMA Heritage Prize Fund for Juniors

Any current juniors who are interested in attending a Service Academy such as West Point, the Naval Academy, or the Air Force should see  this flyer.  Prize money is available to attend summer programs! Check the Junior Class Power School page for more information about the GMA Heritage Prize Fund.  Applications open December 1st for the Service Academy Summer Programs.   

Global Service Trip Summer 2020

This summer students have a new opportunity to travel to Vietnam and engage in service, cultural immersion, and global ethical citizenship. Please follow this link for more information and contact David Roth ( or Ronda Zents ( with any questions. 

Taggart's Drivers Ed Class

Taggart's will offer Drivers Ed classes on campus during this school year. Please see this letter for complete information.

Student Day Planner

Parents may purchase a student day planner for their Upper School student in the Campus Store or download a copy here.

Interfaith Initiatives

Greetings Woodward Academy Community,

October was a busy month for our Chaplain’s Council interfaith student leaders. We spent the month sharing about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Diwali throughout our campus, as we hosted assemblies and made announcements.

In November, we will continue to share about the beautiful traditions on our campus. In addition to honoring our veterans and giving thanks with our families this month, students will also share about special celebrations in their religions throughout campus. This month, our Muslim student leaders will lead us in a deeper appreciation of the Prophet Muhammad on Mawlid. We will also continue preparations for our upcoming interfaith immersion trip and join together in an interfaith prayer service focused on giving thanks. 

This month, our students will participate in the following religious observances:

  • November 1 (Christianity) - All Saints Day is the day to honor saints throughout the ages.
  • November 9 (Islam) - Mawlid al-Nabi is the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims mark this occasion with fasting, parades, special worship, or dedicating more time to read the Qur’an.
  • November 12 (Sikhism) - The birth date of Guru Nanak Dev Ji celebrates the founder of the Sikh faith and the first Ten Gurus, born in 1469.
  • November 24 (Sikhism) - This date commemorates the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth of the Ten Sikh Gurus. He is remembered not only for his defence of the Sikh Faith, but also for willingly giving up his life for religious liberty for all faiths.

Please feel free to visit our Interfaith Initiatives page to see the times of all interfaith prayer opportunities or to share a prayer request.


Chaplain K
Rev. Katie O. Kilpatrick
Academy Chaplain
Woodward Academy

Tropical Ecology Field Study Summer 2020

The dates for the summer school course Tropical Ecology Field Study in Costa Rica have been set for June 15-June 25, 2020.  This course is taught by Chery Gibson (former member of the Woodward Academy Faculty and Science Department Chair), Elaine Carroll (former biology instructor), and Mark Wainwright (author and naturalist from Costa Rica). For 11 days, students travel throughout Costa Rica exploring and learning about some of the richest ecosystems on earth, some of the fascinating Costa Rican history and culture that surrounds them, and often, the connection between the two. 

The ecosystems to be explored include lowland Caribbean rain forest, highland cloud forest, coastal Pacific rain forest, mangroves, and even caves.  During the course, the students participate in a reforestation project and as well as activities on an organic sustainable farm.  We take every opportunity to get a "taste" of Costa Rica - from its food (literally), its scenery, its everyday life, its music and dance, and its ocean.  Join us this summer.

For more information please contact Elaine Carroll at

Check Out the Parent Community Website!

Have you had a chance to connect with other Upper School parents? There are many exciting upcoming activities that will offer you a chance to meet other parents, connect with faculty and support our students. Whether you’re looking to volunteer or wondering when the next Parent Community event is, you can now find it all on the Parent Community website. Please be sure to check it regularly for upcoming opportunities to contribute or volunteer. You also can follow us on Facebook @WAParentCommunity. 

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