Outside The Classroom
Waynflete’s rigorous and thoughtful curriculum creates engaged citizens and caring participants in their community.
Within our small, supportive, and diverse classes, students learn to be deep listeners and effective leaders. They challenge themselves and each other to meet the current moment and they commit to making a difference. And then they go out into their community and do just that.
Whether on a school-sponsored trip to immerse themselves in the language and culture of another country or a school service project to help tend a community garden, Waynflete students are learning what the wider world can offer—and what they can offer the world.
Upper School students begin each school year with our signature four-day experiential learning program, Outdoor Experience. Students spend the week in small groups on either a Maine wilderness expedition or an urban service project. Whether they summit a pristine mountain peak or pitch in at a local soup kitchen, they learn so much about each other and themselves.
Waynflete students are well known for demonstrating a strong sense of civic responsibility and finding constructive ways to help their communities. As part of our commitment to creating “caring participants in the world,” Waynflete students participate in regular service projects with their advising group and juniors and seniors must fulfill an additional community service requirement each year.
The Perspective Project
If students could speak directly with local and world leaders, what would they want to know about the critical issues facing our world? The Waynflete Perspective Project, a student-led initiative, seeks those answers. Upper School students hold fascinating discussions with White House officials, state and national policy leaders, LGBTQ+ advocates, military officers, U. S. Senators, best-selling authors, humanitarians, environmentalists, and more.
Waynflete students are keenly aware of the challenges their generation will face around the world and eager to contribute thoughtful solutions. The Waynflete Model U.N. team engages with big issues to gain a better understanding of the government and organizational mechanisms available to address them—and offers lively debate and constructive connections with other high school students in Maine.
Waynflete Dialogue Project
The way we articulate our disagreements can bridge those differences or further divide us. Are we trying to understand? Or trying to persuade? Waynflete Upper School students actively practice productive dialogue throughout the school year across a range of challenging topics, learning to be open-minded and deep listeners, to share their own perspectives in a productive way, and to facilitate discussion among others—a skill they hone during the New England Identity Summit each spring.
New England Youth Identity Summit
NEYIS connects students and educators across New England in order to challenge ideas and perspectives and create meaningful change. As Waynflete is one of the founders of this incredible gathering, Upper School students have the opportunity to lead panel discussions, suggest and attend workshops, and meet other students from the region that share their commitment to community during this can’t-miss event.
As an SStS coalition school, Waynflete can offer Upper School students a life-changing opportunity to learn the principles of ethical leadership from inspiring nonprofit leaders during field studies in the U.S. and across the globe. Waynflete students have worked on food insecurity in Kenya and Peru, explored educational initiatives in Lakota communities in South Dakota and remote villages in Nepal, and more.
Upper School Activities
Active Community Engagement (ACE)
The world needs students who are prepared to act and become involved in community work—in local organizations and on campus. This student-led group sponsors a breakfast shift at Preble Street on Saturdays once a month and helps out with Furniture Friends, bake sales, and cookouts for local service organizations. We will support specific projects students want to start and invite guest speakers to share how they are working to make Portland and the world a better place. The name of this activity might change but the activity will stay the same.
Bring Change To Mind (formerly HOPE Club)
The Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) club is on a mission to normalize conversations about mental health. We want to build awareness, understanding, and empathy in order to reduce stigma and discrimination. We hope to grow our culture of compassion here at school by educating ourselves and supporting one another. We plan to host fun awareness events and activities throughout the year to keep the conversation going! Everybody has mental health, and anyone can join BC2M, no matter your knowledge or experience with mental health advocacy.
Build Cool Stuff
Come expand your concepts of what is possible. The engineering lab has lots of tools and equipment to allow you to create a range of amazing projects. Let your creativity drive design. Learn to use 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, and a number of other tools. Make your projects come to life using Arduinos, sensors, and motors, or simply craft elegant and useful objects.
This club will help you to learn more about the world of economics and finance. We will discuss national and global economic issues and explore investing in stocks through the Stock Market Game. Docuseries, documentaries, articles, and films picked by members will help enrich our perspectives on particular topics. There will be opportunities to participate in a number of competitions: Life$marts, Titan Challenge, etc. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary.
In this international competition, we design and build industrial-size robots to compete with and against 4000 teams from 26 different countries. The Outliers robotics team has been one of the most successful teams in New England, winning eleven events in the past five years. Come learn how to design, build, and program these cutting edge robots that use machine learning and vision processing. We also need students who are interested in project management, social media, and community engagement. This is the most hands-on, real world experience you can find in high school. While it is a commitment, you can earn community service hours and possibly receive a sports waiver. Come to the engineering lab to learn more about robotics during activity period or every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.
Friends of Founders
Have you ever thought about being a teacher someday? In FoF, students are placed in a Lower School classroom and paired with a faculty mentor to work with individual students and in group settings. This activity meets once per month to check in on each member’s work and share current research and best teaching practices. Upper School volunteers spend one period per week in Lower School classrooms for a year-long commitment and will earn community service hours.
Girls Leadership Training (GLTR)
Waynflete Girls’ Leadership Training (GLTR) is an activity in which we discuss the challenges that those identifying as women face in today’s society. GLTR is a place in which we will educate ourselves on current events and legislation both on a national and local scale regarding women’s rights. In addition, we plan to hold discussions about how these events impact our everyday lives and how we can work both as individuals and as a group to combat some of these issues. This year, one of the many goals of GLTR is to become more involved in the broader community and to emphasize how the intersectionality of women’s experiences must be at the core of all feminist work.
Jewish Education and Culture Club (JECC)
Have you ever wanted to learn about Judaism? Jewish Education and Culture Club is a new activity run by Tobias and Avi. In JECC we will share and explain Jewish culture, traditions, food, and experiences. We will also explore the roots of Anti-Semitism as well as how to spot and combat it. This activity is open to people of ALL religious affiliations and backgrounds. Our aim is to grow understanding of the Jewish community at Waynflete and around the world. We hope to see you there!
Junior Classical League
Interested in learning more about ancient Greece and Rome using a gaming machine from the 1960s? All are welcome as we explore the mythology, archaeology, and culture of the ancient mediterranean world! In addition to gaming with the “certamen machine,” we work on art projects and other thematic submissions to the Maine JCL convention, a statewide gathering that happens in the spring. You need not be in Latin to enjoy the camaraderie of this club!
Ever wanted to learn how to play Mahjong (you know, the game featured in the recent movie “Crazy Rich Asians”)? Here is your chance! Mahjong is a tile-based game that was developed in China during the Qing dynasty and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. It is commonly played by four players and is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation, as well as a degree of chance. No experience or Chinese language is necessary.
We are a team that competes in the local “Pi Cone South” Math League and state-wide competitions. Math meets are held approximately every four weeks until April. We will “practice” during one activity period a week and have an afternoon/evening practice within the week before each meet to focus on the materials of that meet. There will also be laughter, pizza, and team problem-solving.
The yearbook is looking for some students who have a passion and knowledge of photography to take photos on behalf of the yearbook team. This critical role would include time on free periods and (if possible) at some after school activities that include the Waynflete community and beyond. The students would have yearbook activity time to edit, curate, share files and their photos will truly shape the overall design and success of the book. Students may also have the opportunity to have their photography considered for use in Waynflete’s social media channels, website, and marketing materials.
Poetry Out Loud
This activity gives you the opportunity to practice sharing words aloud. If you like poetry and want to practice speaking expressively in front of an audience, this activity is for you. Come build your confidence in a small safe group and join the fun. If you become interested in participating in the official Poetry Out Loud, the national poetry recitation competition, we can prepare for that event during this activity.
Portland Youth Initiative
Portland Youth Initiative is interested in the tangible effects of local political action. We believe that students at Waynflete should be provided with a resource to become informed and engaged in the local issues that affect our everyday lives. Our club recognizes that real political movements begin and end in our own communities, so the goal of the Portland Youth Initiative is to facilitate conversation between the Waynflete student body and a wide variety of politicians and leaders who are engaged in the work of determining what Portland should and will be in the 21st century. PYI offers an opportunity to both learn more about Portland politics and an opportunity to get involved first hand. Whether you’re interested in the workings of local politics or looking for an opportunity to fill in community service hours, we’d love to have you!
PRIDE (Promoting Respect Integrity Diversity & Equality) creates a safe space for students to come together to discuss gender, sexuality, and a host of LGBTQIA+ issues. PRIDE is also a great place for LGBTQIA+ people at Waynflete to meet and get to know one another! Throughout the year, we plan community-wide events to raise awareness and foster inclusivity.
Racial Awareness at Waynflete (RAaW)
RAaW is a secure space for deep conversations about race at Waynflete and in the world. RAaW is not an affinity group; our focus is on awareness, allyship, and action. We will explore lived experience, current events, activism, history, and power structures. We may talk about systemic racism, anti-Blackness, BIPOC identity, joy, allyship, intersectionality, and anything else that comes up. RAaW is student-driven in its mission and its structure—your voice matters! There is no cap on enrollment.
Science Fair Activity
Do you want to dive deeply into a science or engineering project of your own design? In this activity, you will be guided through the development of a science or engineering project which you will present at the Maine State Science Fair in April. Open to students in any grade, no experience necessary—just interest and willingness to commit to a project. There are scholarships and awards to win, but just the experience of doing science research or engineering design can set you up for success if you are interested in studying science in college. The Science Fair will not conflict with the Maine State Science Olympiad, so you can do both, and they are very different types of experiences. See Wendy Curtis if you have questions or want more information!
Speech, Debate, and Model UN Team
Welcome to Speech, Debate, and MUN! This club is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their public speaking skills, learn more about current events and issues, win more arguments, or travel to (optional) in-person competitions! Competitions will allow you to meet students from around the world and will be varied. You can choose to participate in prepared or unprepared speech events, debates, and/or Maine’s Model UN tournament. We will also compete in international competitions, including the upcoming International Independent School Public Speaking Championship. Be more eloquent in class discussion! Become a more compelling writer and public speaker! Meet students from around the world! Have fun with your peers and coach! Develop nuanced arguments about current events! No experience is necessary; this club is open to all.
Student Government representatives are elected by the student body in each grade level during class elections held at the start of the school year. The group meets in Cathie’s office to discuss the emerging issues in Upper School life, helps organize and run assemblies and special speakers, and plans US events that contribute to the life of the community here at Waynflete such as Spirit Week and the Prom. They are responsible for taking up issues of concern/discussion between students, faculty, and other school divisions and are often involved in interviewing new faculty candidates.
Third Thought Think Tank
This activity will be a working space for students who are involved in any of the Third Thought Initiatives (the Can We? Project, the New England Youth Identity Summit, and the Perspective Project) AND for any student who is interested in exploring, designing, and participating in civic engagement opportunities. We will be working side by side and brainstorming together, as well as following individual and group interests throughout the year.
Waynflete Environmental Action Group (WEAG)
Are you ready to start the new Green Revolution? Come join the Waynflete Environmental Action Group (WEAG) in our efforts to make Waynflete a greener place. We already have several activities planned for this year and are ready to hit the ground running. We are ready to share our ideas as well as take the input from group members into how we can make our community a more environmentally-conscious one. We hope to focus on working hand in hand with the administration as well as planning several activities for the school. Among other things, we are planning on creating exciting assemblies with games and prizes to encourage our community to take part in stewardship. Come join us and be prepared to discuss environmental conservation in and its effects in and out of school. Let’s leave this world better than we found it!
Waynflete Hype Club
Are you ready to GOOOOOOOO?!
Do you find yourself cheering and encouraging others at all times of the day?
Does your voice carry farther than anyone ever expects?
Then come join the Hype Club, and let’s raise the ROOF!
This activity involves brainstorming and implementing fun/active/enthusiastic activities at lunchtime several times a month. We can plan fall, winter and spring festivals and actively encourage others to get up and dance!
Waynflete Literary Magazine
The Waynflete Literary Magazine compiles student and faculty art and writing, publishing issues 4–5 times a year. Members of the literary magazine activity work together to collect submissions and organize and format the magazine. Please further note that anyone can submit to the literary magazine even if they don’t belong to the club. But if you enjoy art and writing, the literary magazine might be the place for you! We are a community of publishers!
Waynflete Nature Club
The Waynflete Nature Club is a student-run organization aimed at bringing together a community of people to share their passion for wildlife and develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world surrounding us. Our goal is to generate excitement both by educating the Waynflete community as well as helping the wider Portland community through community service projects such as nature walks and park clean-ups. Each month will have a central focus including native plant month, Citizen Science month, Environmental Policy month and more.
More info about a monthly plan is linked here.
West End Mentoring Program
The mentoring programs are a long-standing tradition at Waynflete. Each participant is paired with a Reiche School buddy in grades 3–5. Mentors go to Reiche once a week, generally after school on Wednesday afternoons, and spend lunch/recess time with their buddy. In addition, participants spend one afternoon after school each week from November to April participating in activities such as making tie-dye T-shirts, rock-climbing, bowling, ice skating, community service, group games, and a final banquet. While this program requires a substantive commitment of time, it can be a life-changing experience for both mentors and mentees.
Please note that:
1) Students must be vaccinated to be able to go to Reiche and work with Reiche School students.
2) The program is open to athletes as coaches and mentor program staff work closely together to accommodate both schedules
3). The after school sessions will likely be on Mondays from 3–5:30.
Design and create the 2022–23 Waynflete School yearbook and Lower School yearbook. This group takes photos, designs layouts, and creates the pages of the yearbook. No experience is necessary—all skills will be taught, and it’s easy! You will be responsible for the content and design of the yearbook and will learn some graphic design skills in the process. Commitment and strong organizational skills are required as meeting deadlines is very important in yearbook production. Continuation of the yearbook activity can lead to becoming the editor, which is a great leadership role! You will need to have access to a computer.
“Every component of Waynflete’s Upper School program is carefully thought-out to prepare students for success after graduation. We offer a challenging, college-preparatory curriculum that is rooted in a holistic, supportive, student-centered educational experience.”
Waynflete Upper School Director