Academics

In a world of change, how do we prepare Hilltoppers for their lives beyond Worcester Academy? Our academic approach creates life-long learners, who thrive in an environment designed to give them every tool they need. We call it "Portrait of a Learner" and it encompasses all of these critical skills.

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Our teachers are learners too! From seminars on the latest AP Bio lab protocols to blended learning best practices, our faculty is on top of its game. Learn more about how our faculty are innovating in the classroom.

List of 6 items.

  • Communication Skills

    Communicating effectively in every discipline is critical to future success. So whether it's a critical analysis, a scientific reference, or a creative exercise, our students learn how to get their point across.
    "Writing is the linchpin. In order to write effectively you have to know your content, make decisions about what to include and exclude, recognize connections, and then be able to explain those connections. You can have it all in your head, but if you can’t express it, that’s a problem. Critical thinking, persuasive communication – these are the skills that carry you on."

    KIRK UPTON
    History & Social Sciences Faculty Member
  • Creative and Critical Thinking

    We ask questions constantly! Using the techniques of Socratic Seminar and collaborative workshop, we approach the traditional disciplines of literature, science, history, and more through a creative and questioning lens. We look at old problems in new ways: 
    • How about asking our Studio Art class to illustrate our Poetry class's biographical poems?
    • Let's turn the school newspaper into an ongoing blog.  
    • How can we fine-tune the weight distribution on our 3D-printed wind turbine?
    We never stop searching for creative ways to express our findings.
     “To succeed in a 21st Century world, our students need to be open to new approaches, willing to share their ideas, and be able to look at new problems in different ways." 

    BARBARA AHALT
    Associate Head of School
  • Intellectual Curiosity

    Our low student-teacher ratio creates an environment where Hilltoppers can pursue their passions.
    • When we find a middle schooler who dismantles and reassembles computers at home for fun, we make the Upper School Robotics Team available to that student.
    • When we see a gifted student writer with a great handle on technology, we take her lead and add a blogging feature to the school newspaper.
     
    “I know I’m only in the 8th grade, but I’m pretty sure I want to do something with robotics in college. The open environment at WA is really great for me because I can just go around campus and talk to any of the teachers that I want.”

    ARYAN MAYOR
    Grade 8
  • Collaboration

    Walk into any classroom on the Hilltop and you’ll see the activity and feel the energy. Our students don’t just sit quietly listening to lectures. Every Hilltopper is part of the process, engaging as both team leaders and members. We workshop, peer edit, build, and create together!
    • Essay workshops in English, History, Economics, and even Algebra
    • Honors English and Biology get together to discuss this question: Would Shakespeare’s text have changed if he had knowledge of modern genetics?
    • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) class makes a ping pong ball dispenser for our Kellner Student Center.

    “We’re sending these kids into a world where the professional workplace is increasingly collaborative,” Dana concludes. "I mean, think about it: Every professional writer is subject to the editing process. Every scientific endeavor is subject to peer review. Every work project is evaluated by others as it progresses.  Exposing our students to collaboration early and often acclimates them all to the environments they’ll encounter moving forward to university and beyond.”

    DANA HUFF
    English Department Chair
  • Cultural Competency

    Hand-in-hand with creative inquiry is exposure to real world application. Whether it’s heading off to Italy with our Summer Abroad Program, teaching what you've learned to students of need right here in Worcester, or simply learning what your classmates from 23 other countries across the globe think, we'll prepare you for a world class future.
     
    "More than anything, WA has helped me find myself as a person. Sometimes the environment here can be daunting as teachers challenge us to relate what we're learning to the broader world, but ultimately, that's going to help all of us know who we are and what we think as we move into college."

    MACKENZI TURGEON '17
    Matriculating to Columbia University
  • Global Connection

    We live in a global, digital, interconnected world, and we prepare our students for that world. Through thoughtful and innovative practices, our faculty transform that fast-paced, global communication highway from four lanes down to one. We make the global local by turning community experiences and basic lesson plans into impactful awareness of the world beyond.
     
    “I think our teachers are very good at incorporating global events into the curriculum. For example, in my AP European History class we talk about Brexit. We study for the AP exam, but it’s far more than just preparing for a test. WA prepares us to be competent citizens in a global society”.

    YIXUN (DANIEL) WANG 
    '17
    Matriculating to Johns Hopkins University

Middle School Academic Departments

Upper School Academic Departments

Contact Us

81 Providence Street
Worcester, MA 01604
Phone: 508-459-5841
Fax: 508-752-2382
admission@worcesteracademy.org