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 three tracks for X-Term, based on class levels.
  • 9th grade: The freshmen focus on developing self-awareness, leadership skills, and class unity through separate freshman-only cohorts.

  • 10th- 12th grades: Students pursue interests that fall outside the regular curriculum in faculty-led cohorts. These theme-based projects are defined and managed by students, allowing them to move to another level of personal responsibility and academic curiosity.

  • 11th-12th grades: Juniors and seniors 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.

More Information

List of 2 items.

  • Cohort Information

    Participation in the cohort groups is open to 10’s – 12’s. Cohorts can culminate in week-long trips, as well as projects that remain in town or go on overnight field trips. Seniors 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. 
  • Senior Independent Projects

    Seniors can join cohorts as well as have the additional option of pursuing an independent project. These independent projects can include unpaid internships, community service, or academic/artistic projects. Please keep in mind that with more freedom, there is more responsibility. Seniors will plan out their year under the guidance of a faculty mentor once their project is approved. They will be responsible for keeping a log of all their time, and for turning in progress reports to their faculty mentor throughout the year.

Contact Us

List of 1 members.

  • 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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