Exemplary Programs

Wakefield High School is home to two exemplary programs that are unique in the Arlington County School System.  Every student that graduates from Wakefield will participate in at least one of our exemplary programs, AP Network or Senior Project.  Students who choose to may complete both exemplary programs.

Successfully Completed Senior Project
Successfully Completed Senior Project

Senior Project

Senior Project brings real life, performance-based learning into the classroom.  Since 1997, Wakefield students have been focusing on a subject of their choice, learning through in depth, long term exploration.  With the help of a Senior Project teacher and an advisor, students plan, execute and present the results of their learning.  The project, which includes both research and field experience, reflects approximately 150 hours of work. Past topics have included  – each student’s creativity and curiosity guides their choice of study.

AP Network

Rigor - Students in the library
AP Capstone Research students study in the library 2018

In 2006, the College Board recognized Wakefield as one of three high schools in the United States worthy of its Inspiration Award, for its “exemplary work in improving the academic environment and helping students achieve the promise of higher education…despite the social, cultural, and economic barriers that stand in the way of their students”. Then, in June 2007, Newsweek magazine profiled Doris Jackson, Wakefield’s then-principal, in an article entitled, “The Principal Principle,” for her stewardship of “the nationally acclaimed revitalization of her mostly minority high school.” Since that time, the steady growth and increasing diversity of the AP Network has consistently earned Wakefield top regional rankings in The Washington Post’s Challenge Index, a measure of the degree to which high schools both encourage and support their students’ success in AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.