Global Education and Sustainability

At WCDS, we believe that developing scholarly, ethical, empathic, and open-minded students is at the core of a college-preparatory curriculum. A profound understanding of the communities and the world around us is essential to our students' growth as future leaders and change agents. From our three-language education model to our commitment to enabling every student to travel abroad at least once during their WCDS experience, students have endless opportunities to explore different cultures and develop an understanding of global issues. Our award-winning faculty weaves intercultural competencies and global citizenship awareness across all subjects and all levels of the curriculum so that upon graduation, students feel prepared to take on the multitude of challenges that will face them and their generation.

Sustainability and a commitment to environmental awareness are also at the forefront of our education through partnerships with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Shenandoah National Park. In the upper school, almost 100% of students take AP or dual-enrollment Environmental Science.

Key Facts:

  • 100% of students will travel abroad upon graduation
  • Students are required to take at least two years of Latin and two years of a modern language for graduation
  • Early education students learn English, German, and Spanish simultaneously
  • Trip offerings include: England, France, Italy, Argentina, Netherlands, Hungary, and Spain
  • All students are required to take Spanish in Grades 1 through 8
  • Host school to international students from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America

International Exchange and Student Programs

  • Various international trips include the 7th/8th grade trip to England and Upper School trips to Italy, Spain, Argentina, Netherlands, and Hungary
  • Strong pedigree for high school exchange scholarships, such as the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program to Germany
  • WCDS has hosted international students from 20 countries: Spain, Japan, France, Rwanda, Turkey, China, Mexico, Benin, Egypt, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, Venezuela, Ireland, Haiti, Guatemala, India, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Russia
  • Model United Nations program

Language Offerings

  • Spanish (starting in PK through 12th grade, available through AP level)
  • Latin (starting in 7th grade, available through AP level)
  • Ancient Greek (available for Upper School students)
  • German language activities for PK and K students
  • Conversational Mandarin Chinese as an upper school elective

Cross-Cultural Connections

  • Global literature focus throughout the curriculum, focusing on cultural epics of all continents
  • A 6th grade course devoted to World Geography and Cultures
  • The 7th grade period in British History
  • All-school International Day celebration to celebrate global diversity in our community
  • National Geography Bee
  • U.S. Foreign Policy course for Upper School students

Addressing Global and Environmental Issues

Giving Back

  • Lower and Middle School focus on local and regional ecosystems and aquatic systems
  • Award-winning Envirothon team
  • Partnership with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and George Mason University to prepare students for academic and professional careers in wildlife conservation
  • Service projects and toy collection campaigns for children in the developing world

More Information of Each Division: