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Sustainability Requirements

Graduation Distinction in Sustainability


Distinction in Sustainability Requirements (A-D)

A. Apply for the program no later than November 1 of 10th grade for admission and meet with the Sustainability Coordinator as requested. New to Woodward 11 th grade students must immediately meet with the Coordinator to see if meeting all the requirements is possible based on coursework in grades 9-10. Applicants must have a core GPA of at least 3.3 and turn in a teacher recommendation along with their transcript.

B. Complete Outside Reading and a Capstone Project.

  1. Each semester beginning January of the 10th grade year and through May of the 11th grade year, read three current event articles related to sustainability (articles approved by the Sustainability Coordinator) and complete reflection journal entries.
  2. During fall of senior year, work on Capstone to be completed by the second week of January during senior year. The capstone project will be approved by the Sustainability Coordinator and will include a defense before a panel of outside experts and faculty.

C. Complete three of the following five options:

1. Complete four field trips by December of the senior year from the approved list (or approved by the director) 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.

Students must contact the facility and make arrangements for their visit prior to going.

2. Complete 20 hours of service learning from the approved list (or approved by the director) each year 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;
  • WA Horizon Volunteer;
  • 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, serve on a committee or organize events for WA, and complete reflection journal entries. Some resources for conferences and events are:

  • Green School National Network Events (;
  • Sc3: The Student Climate & Conservation Congress (;
  • Georgia Conservancy (;
  • West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (
  • ECO Action programs (some available only to Youth in NPU-V;

Example committees include the

  • Project Green Schools: National Youth Council (
  • MARC Committee ( ams/model-atlanta-regional-commission-marc/).

Sponsored events at WA could use resources from Eco-Schools (, Trees Atlanta (, several Georgia organizations (, or could be arranged by the student – for example, an Art challenge during Experience the Arts Day (could be part of capstone project), video series (like a Public Service Announcement), art installation, cook-off, Scouting award project, or other creative ideas.

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, STEM Club, 5 Points.

5. Experience one immersive trip with a sustainability focus as approved by the Sustainability Coordinator.

D. Complete ten semesters of the following courses while maintaining a B average or higher.* The course options were 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. Multicultural Literature
  2. Statistics EP
  3. US Political Economy and Critical Choices
  4. Topics in Multicultural, Ethics, and Diversity Studies
  5. Meteorology
  6. Astronomy (EP)
  7. Tropical Ecology Field Study
  8. Ethical Dilemmas and Decision Making 1 or 2 (maximum of 2 semesters)
  9. Physical Fitness for Life, Physical Fitness for Sports or Dance Fitness (maximum of 1 semester)
  10. Any Fine Art (maximum of 1 semester)
  11. Debate (maximum of 1 semester) 
  12. Robotics (maximum of 1 semester)
  13. Advanced Robotics (maximum of 1 semester)
  14. Horizons Service Learning (summer semester offering; maximum of 1 semester)
  15. Global Integrated Science Course (summer semester offering; 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. Human Anatomy and Physiology EP
  3. Statistics CP
  4. US Government/Economics
  5. AP US Government and Politics
  6. AP Microeconomics
  7. AP Macroeconomics
  8. AP Biology
  9. Independent Science Research
  10. Astronomy (CP)
  11. World Language (maximum 2 semesters)
  12. Introduction to Engineering 101
  13. AP Computer Science Principles
  14. 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.