Academics
Curriculum Guide

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Extradepartmental

Woodberry offers several elective classes that fall outside the established academic departments. Though each of these courses is unique, all generally offer students the opportunity to dig deeper into a unique subject or topic.
  • Extradepartmental Electives_ ECLIPSE: (Regular) Fall Winter Spring

    Engineered Collaborative Lessons in Problem Solving Essentials

    (Required for all students entering class of 2025; open to other students as space permits)
    This class aims to give each Woodberry boy the skills he needs to analyze a problem, understand the various paths towards a solution, chart his course towards getting there, tap into the strengths and skills of those around him to add to his success, and realize his product. Students will be taught in small groups by subject matter experts as they rotate through three different course modules: computational logic, project management, and project prototyping. The course will culminate in a two week group project in which the students will need to utilize the technical and behavioral skills discussed during the course to be successful. 



  • Extradeparmental Electives_Design and Editing for Literary/Arts Publications

    Design and Editing for Literary/Arts Publications is a course designed to teach the fundamentals of magazine production to new editors appointed to the editorial staff of The Talon. All new editors will be introduced to the basic principles of design (e.g. proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast) and the use of typography in desktop publishing with Adobe Creative Cloud with an emphasis on Photoshop and InDesign. Editors will help solicit works of art and literary content for the magazine and will assist in managing review boards to select works for publication. Through review sessions, new editors will be taught how to use artistic criteria to evaluate digital and film photography, graphic art, and other artistic works through composition and visual storytelling. New editors will shadow and collaborate with senior editors to learn the art of literary evaluation and the editing of poetry and prose with authors. This is a trimester course in which editors re-enroll and continue to work on more complex individual and collaborative projects. Permission of the instructor required. No prerequisite.
  • Extradeparmental Electives_Design and Editing for Literary/Arts Publications (Honors)

    Honors Design and Editing for Literary/Arts Publications is a production course designed to support senior editors appointed to return in leadership roles for The Talon. A returning editor’s primary responsibility is collaborating with staff on the editing, design, and production of the fall and spring magazines. The division of duties is negotiated by the senior editors themselves. Returning editors will familiarize new staff with the basic principles of design (e.g. proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast) and the use of typography in desktop publishing with Adobe Creative Cloud with an emphasis on Photoshop and InDesign. Editors will be responsible for overseeing new staff members to solicit works of art and literary content for the magazine and will manage review boards to select works for publication. In review sessions, these editors will model how to use artistic criteria to evaluate digital and film photography, graphic art, and other artistic works through composition and visual storytelling. Editors continue their study of the art of literary evaluation and the editing of poetry and prose. This is a trimester course in which editors re-enroll and continue to work on more complex individual and collaborative projects. Permission of the instructor required. Prerequisite: One full year of Design and Editing for Literary/Arts Publications or an equivalent course.
  • Extradepartmental Electives: Introduction to Engineering Design

    This course will only be offered in fall trimester, available to sophomores and juniors, requirement: ECLIPSE (if student arrived in 3rd form) 
     
    This trimester-long course allows students the opportunity to have a taste of what being a design engineer is really like. This largely project-based experiential course introduces the spectrum from aesthetics to performance in design decision making, before leading students through a series of design cycles mimicking the processes typically encountered in engineering industry using industry-standard tools. Individual and group projects will teach computer-aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software by walking students through the creation of a radio-controlled airplane design and conceptualisation of a deployable bridge for humanitarian applications, culminating in a competitive physical testing process to find out how much weight each 3D printed bridge design holds before destruction. This course is perfectly suited to students looking to turn design thinking and curiosity into a future career.


  • Extradepartmental Electives_Engineering Design

    This year-long course is for seniors.  Prerequisite: permission of the instructor

    This project-driven class will challenge students to solve problems across the fields of mechanical, electrical, computer, and aerospace engineering. From designing planes to optimizing race car strategies, students will gain hands-on experience while working as a team to meet project goals utilizing a variety of state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The course instructor brings substantial performance engineering and project development experience to the creation of new projects each year, and student success is driven by the processes they undertake in developing these projects in addition to the project outcome. 
     


  • Extradepartmental Electives_Journalism

    Journalism introduces students to the fundamental skills needed for print, video, and multimedia journalism, with a focus on writing and television broadcasting. Additional units may explore podcasting, opinion writing, and short-form videos. Class time is spent developing the toolkit needed to produce written and video stories, with a few periods set aside for lecture and discussion on key topics. 

    The first trimester is spent learning the basics of written and video storytelling. The stories students write get progressively longer and more complex as they grow more comfortable with identifying storylines and interviewing subjects. By the end of the fall students will be contributing stories to a weekly show focused on campus news, especially Woodberry sports. They will also have chances to learn production and anchoring during the winter and spring trimesters.  

    The course is designed to be taken as a year-long elective. If students are only able to take the class for two trimesters, they may do so after consultation with the teacher. During most periods, especially after the first marking period, students will work with the Advanced Journalism students on the production of a weekly sports news show or on production of The Oracle.
    The class is open to old boy fourth, fifth and sixth formers, and new boy fifth formers. The course is perfect for students who are interested in taking a more active role at WFSPN or The Oracle.

    Journalism and advanced journalism will be taught next year by Mr. Dan Callahan, the incoming director of communications. Mr. Callahan taught journalism and advised the student newspaper at his prior school. Mr. Callahan will work with Mr. Geiger to help set the course enrollment, which will be capped at 15 students. 


  • Extradepartmental Electives_ Advanced Journalism

    Advanced Journalism operates at a high level and fast pace. Students must be strong writers and able to quickly learn video production and editing skills if they are not already familiar with them. Students must be able to take ownership of their work, meet deadlines without constant supervision, and operate independently. 

    A requirement of Advanced Journalism is the ability and willingness to mentor and teach students in the first-year journalism course. Students must improve on the skills they learned in Journalism while also sharing what they have learned with students in the first-year course. 

    Advanced Journalism, working with the Journalism class, produces a regular broadcast of a Woodberry-focused television show. Students in the course will write scripts, serve as anchors, operate cameras and production equipment, and report/prepare stories for the broadcast. Students in both classes also write and edit content for The Oracle on a regular basis. 

    Prerequisite: Open to fifth and sixth formers who have completed Journalism with a B+ or higher and demonstrated a willingness and ability to teach younger students. In rare cases a student may enter the course without taking Journalism if he receives permission from the instructor. This permission will be based on extensive, prior extracurricular experience with WFSPN or The Oracle, as well as teacher recommendations, if requested. 

    Journalism and advanced journalism will be taught next year by Mr. Dan Callahan, the incoming director of communications. Mr. Callahan taught journalism and advised the student newspaper at his prior school. Mr. Callahan will work with Mr. Geiger to help set the course enrollment, which will be capped at 15 students. 



Our Faculty

  • Photo of Dan  Callahan
    Mr. Dan Callahan
    Communications, Extradepartmental
    Director of Strategic Communications
    (540) 672-6717
    Connecticut College - BA
    University of Kansas School of Law - JD
    2023
    Bio
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.