Our Programs
    • Upper School at WFS

Upper School: Grades 9 through 12

The upper school at Friends engages students in an unsurpassed high school academic program, including the International Baccalaureate (IB). As we guide students in developing their talents and passions, we also continue to encourage a process of discovery, in and outside of the classroom. Students are able to participate broadly if they choose—and can take on multiple leadership roles—in competitive athletics, performing arts, and clubs and committees, from Robotics and Science Olympiad to Random Acts of Kindness to Eco Club.

With guidance from their advisors, students are encouraged to take a comprehensive program of courses. Juniors and seniors may choose to take IB-level classes, or pursue the full IB diploma. Students may choose to complement their studies with courses offered through the Malone Schools Online Network

College Guidance
As part of helping high school students to define what they value and to reach their full potential, we offer highly individualized, professional college guidance.
1:1 Laptop Program
The structure of our 1:1 laptop program ensures that all students have the same computer hardware and software, which is both reflective of our mission as a Quaker school and practical in enabling students and teachers to collaborate more effectively. 

Options and Opportunity
There are many ways WFS high schoolers can broaden their learning, follow their interests, and participate in leadership opportunities, from Clubs & Committees to the academic pursuits listed below. 

List of 9 items.

  • IB Diploma

    In 2002, Wilmington Friends became the first school in Delaware authorized to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). The IB is recognized as among the highest standards--indeed, it is often considered the highest standard--for college preparatory education.
    The IB provides a curriculum structure and access to an internationally recognized standard of excellence, which strengthen our overall school program to the benefit of every student. The IB emphasizes high academic standards, global perspective, informed and engaged citizenship, respect for others, and the active application of classroom experience--all undertaken through a process-oriented, teacher-guided, multiple assessment approach--making it a natural fit with the program and philosophy at Wilmington Friends.
    Students have the option of participating in the IB Diploma Programme in their junior and senior years, or of earning certificates in individual IB courses. The Diploma Programme combines IB course work and exams in six academic areas; a signature course called Theory of Knowledge, which brings together issues studied across academic disciplines (e.g. logic, aesthetics); an extended essay project; and a requirement for participation in community service and activities such as sports, the arts, and civic and school organizations.

    For specific information on the program requirements, please see IB Program Components; for answers to frequently asked questions, including how colleges view the IB program and whether the program is a good fit, please see IB FAQ. For a list of colleges where Friends IB Diploma students have enrolled, see IB Diploma Student Colleges.
  • Service

    Rooted in the history and practice of Quaker humanitarian service, students must complete at least 50 hours of community service some time during their upper school years as a requirement for graduation. It is an opportunity for students to implement personal values through service to others. This service may be performed during unscheduled periods of the school day, after school, on weekends, during school vacations, or in the summer. It must be steady involvement in one activity with one sponsor agency performed outside of the Wilmington Friends School community.
  • Social Innovators with U Penn and Schoolyard Ventures

    Wilmington Friends is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy and Schoolyard Ventures, an organization that develops university-level, real-world learning opportunities for ambitious high school students, to offer The Social Innovators Program for students in grades 10 and 11. The 12-week virtual program allows students to learn about social entrepreneurship and experience it first-hand, while earning a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Penn. Wilmington Friends  is one of only two dozen schools worldwide invited to participate in this unique initiative.
    During the program, students learn how to launch ventures of their own that create value and a positive impact on society. Students learn in small online classes and through engaging interviews and case studies with young entrepreneurs, with personalized one-on-one guidance and support along the way. Because students choose their own projects, each student's experience in the program is unique. Learn more about the program here.
  • AppleCore (Student-Run Tech Support)

    A distinctive feature of the Friends technology program⏤and, in particular, the 1:1 laptop program⏤is the student-led tech support group, AppleCore. Maintaining over 1,000 devices would be a monumental task without the student leaders involved in the program; and the students gain valuable, practical technology training and experience. Students in AppleCore provide tech support for students, faculty, and staff. No prior tech support experience is necessary. Students are taught troubleshooting techniques and are given access to AppleCore support documentation.
  • Science Fellows

    The Science Department offers the opportunity for 11th and 12th-grade students to further their laboratory skills by assisting in the science classrooms. During their free periods, students report to their designated science faculty advisor 2-3 times a week. Lab assistants receive training including how to take inventory, make solutions, prepare labs, and care for living things. Responsibilities include laboratory and demonstration preparation, garden work, lab and classroom cleanup, filing and other minor clerical work. 
  • School Year Abroad

    In 2007, Wilmington Friends School became a member of School Year Abroad (SYA), a consortium of independent schools across the country with a commitment to global education. SYA was founded in 1964 “to help young Americans become full-fledged citizens of the world.” The goal of the program is to give American students⏤high school juniors and seniors⏤the benefits of living in another country, with an emphasis on cultural understanding, language fluency, and consistent high-level preparation for university study. Students live with host families, and study at SYA schools both in English and in the language of the host country. Member schools have additional opportunities for students to participate in summer programs and for faculty members to teach and learn abroad.
  • Senior Exploration

    In May of their senior year, the Senior Exploration provides students with a chance to integrate and apply skills and knowledge in an authentic, in-depth experience. Using a personal question as a guide, students are encouraged to find an experience that will require them to reflect on their own growth while at WFS. Students may explore any of the following: career options, service, immersion in a different culture, an old passion, or a new interest. Students work with a mentor/expert, document the experience through guided journals and photographic evidence, and present to family, peers, and faculty.
  • QUEST Term Service/Leadership Experience

    The Quaker Center for Understanding, Engagement and Stewardship (QUEST) supports programs that express and build upon the distinctive strengths of Quaker education: teaching students to develop a global understanding of problems and questions they encounter; giving them the skills, motivation and sense of responsibility to engage those questions in thought and in action; and helping them to grow as stewards and leaders, capable and willing to work toward positive change. Toward that end, the center’s QUEST Term Service/Leadership Experience engages students in an experiential learning model to increase their understanding of global issues as well as strategies to mitigate the impact of these challenges. During the summers preceding their 10th, 11th, and 12th grade years, students may elect to travel to domestic or international destinations to engage in global issues and leadership.

    Previous service learning trips have included travel to the Dominican Republic, El Paso, TX and South Africa. In June 2023, WFS will head to the Dominican Republic to work with the Dominican Dream foundation to provide literacy activities to young children in the Puerta Plata area.
  • QUEST Scholars Program

    The QUEST Scholars program provides Wilmington Friends School students with significant service learning opportunities that combine academic studies with experiential learning. Students design a question and service learning that explores answers to that question. The program starts in the spring of 9th grade.

    QUEST Scholar requirements
    • A journal of reflections on all activities
    • At least 150 hours of service, starting with at least 30 hours the summer before tenth grade (50 hours minimum per year)
    • A presentation on the experience in the senior year

    All WFS upper school students in ninth grade are eligible for participation in the QUEST Scholars program. In applying for participation, each potential QUEST Scholar completes an interest form and then develops a program proposal. In doing so, the student works with the appropriate adults (in school and in the broader community) to develop a plan to meet the requirements of the particular QUEST Scholar program. The proposal is reviewed and approved by the members of the Upper School Service Committee.

    With the completion of the proposed program, the Scholar provides the Service Committee with evidence of engagement in the elements of the Scholar’s chosen plan. Scholars who have completed the program are recognized during Final Assembly.
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Statement of Nondiscrimination as to Student Enrollment
Wilmington Friends School admits students of any race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of these schools. Wilmington Friends School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, national and ethnic origin in administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.