What is X-Term?

Imagine traversing the Sahara Desert on a camel, tracing footsteps of soldiers who fought and died on the Gettysburg battlefield or investing in fly-by-night stocks as part of a day-trading contest.

Those were just a few of the diverse experiences of past X-Terms, an experiential learning opportunity held in conjunction with St. Catherine’s.

The goal is for Upper School students to pursue and develop intellectual passions, some academic, some not, and to share them with each other while opening up the classroom beyond the traditional four walls.

X-Term provides opportunities for students to collaborate, set common goals and bond. It furthers our mission of instilling the critical skills students need to succeed in the 21st century, including empathy, problem solving, resourcefulness, intellectual creativity, and collaboration.
There are two tracks for X-Term, based on class levels.
  • 9th - 11th grades: Students pursue interests that fall outside the regular curriculum in faculty-led cohorts. These theme-based projects are developed and managed by students in collaboration with faculty, allowing students to practice personal responsibility and academic curiosity.
  • 11th grade: Juniors have the option to pursue independent projects, or to take leadership roles in trips and cohorts. Independent projects include community service, internships, and academic or artistic endeavors under the sponsorship of a faculty member, or school-approved outside mentor. These projects will require a rigorous application process. Approval will be based on a proven track record of interest in the chosen field, in addition to a record of excelling in long term projects and independent work.

More Information

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  • Cohort Information

    Participation in the cohort groups is open to 9’s – 11’s. Cohorts can culminate in week-long trips, as well as projects that remain in town or go on overnight field trips. Juniors that participate in a cohort will be expected to take a leadership role that is appropriate to the project, as well as to the student’s strengths. The cohorts will plan out the year as a group, with the faculty sponsor as a guide.
  • Junior Independent Projects

    Juniors can join cohorts as well as have the additional option of pursuing an independent project. These independent projects may include unpaid internships, community service, or academic/artistic projects. Please keep in mind that with more freedom, there is more responsibility. The rigorous application process will require two faculty recommendations and an interview with the Director of X-term. Once the application is approved by an administrative panel, Juniors will plan out their year under the guidance of a faculty mentor and the Director of X-term. They will be responsible for keeping a log of all their time, and for turning in progress reports throughout the year.

X-Term Downloads

Contact Us

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Elsa Woodaman

    Elsa Woodaman 

    Upper School Teacher of French, Spanish, and English; Director of X-Term
    (804) 282-3185 x4344
    University of Virginia - BA
    Georgetown University - MS
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