Open Gates is Worcester Academy's coordinated approach to experiential learning. It integrates real-world experiences with the school’s curriculum. It takes our students out beyond the campus and the classroom, and brings guests and real-word dimensions in, reinforcing the relevance of the academic experience, as well as our connections with the various communities in which we learn and live.
In short, Open Gates is one of the core ways that Worcester Academy delivers on its mission "to instill in students the desire to learn throughout life, to engage passionately with the world around them, and to be honorable persons of strong and resourceful character." By embracing the Open Gates philosophy, we live our key values of honor, respect, community, personal growth, and challenge.
There are three primary types of activities encompassed by the Open Gates philosophy:
Off-Campus Learning takes students out “into the field” where they can put classroom learning into context. Off-campus learning can include day excursions that take advantage of the rich resources in Worcester and surrounding communities, as well as longer excursions farther afield.
The Bernon Family Community Service Program involves students, faculty, and staff in a wide variety of service projects throughout Worcester and surrounding communities. As an urban institution, we have both much to gain from and much to contribute to our community. As such, community service is an important part of each student’s education. Each Worcester Academy student completes a minimum of 60 hours of community service prior to graduation.
The Open Gates Lecture Series brings to campus speakers with a diverse set of real-world experiences and expertise related to a particular theme. These lectures are open to students, parents, and the broader community.