A World Ahead: Pioneering Academics

Every student has a story, and Western Reserve Academy unlocks the passions and narratives of its Pioneers through its distinctive academic program. Our curriculum surpasses the common with a commitment to creativity, innovation and opportunity. At the heart of our curricular approach is an enduring commitment to preparing our students for their next great steps in an ever-changing world full of promiseā€¦ a world ahead.

2020-21 Course Descriptions

Academic Departments
Foundational knowledge and advanced level courses combine to deliver a high school experience that helps our students soar. Our college preparatory commitment unites Reserve's varied curricular departments including:


United by a Pioneering ethos, a trio of self-directed study option - Compass, GPS (Guided Projects of Significance) and MAP (Making, Asking/Articulating, Producing/Performing), ask every Pioneer to pursue a passion or unlock a new opportunity on the path to wellness and an expanded worldview. ISD also includes courses that invite every student to explore the abundant opportunities inside our Wang Innovation Center, including Learning to Make, with its focus on critical thinking, entrepreneurship, communication and collaboration.

Courses include diverse opportunities to explore, write and analyze, from Detective Fiction: A Hard-Boiled Study of Sleuthing and Storytelling to Is There Life on Mars? Speculative Fiction as Social Critique. Shakespeare, rhetoric, African American identity, postcolonial literature and film, queer theory, ethics and classism are just several of a multitude of themes and explorations that are offered under this most creative curricular construct.

Environmental art and wheel throwing are among the visual arts offered alongside dance, symphonic winds, acting for the stage and much more. Theater and technology arts round our offerings, along with studies in Artificial Intelligence, textiles, engineering and fabrication, and how to start a business.

The research project is reimagined as a podcast in junior year U.S. History, just one of the many new angles on learning about history, citizenship, strife, culture and all the compelling, divisive and important facets of our country and world. Art History can be found in this department, as well as courses in international relations, the space race and philosophy.

Introductory and College Level courses in Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and Statistics provide opportunities at every level and dovetail with offerings in web development, computer programming and computer science with an emphasis on problem solving and innovation.

Latin remains in the curriculum as homage to Lux et Veritas ("Light and Truth," our guiding principle), joined by French, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish and supplemented by electives including Ancient Greek, German and Arabic.

Cancer Immunology and Pathobiology are among the stimulating science topics that contribute to WRA's ranking as Ohio's #1 best high school for STEM. Multiple courses in chemistry and physics, and ecological sustainability, robotics and astronomy invite every Pioneer to explore our world's infinite questions and infinite possibilities.

Spotlight Programs
These programs exist as a complement to the daily curriculum. They may take place on a Friday evening, Saturday morning or throughout the school year as Pioneers come together to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.


ECHOs are the equivalent of college electives.

Seminars and Service

Tackling topics of relevance and affecting change.


Exchange programs, service and study abroad take our students around the globe, including recent destinations like China, Guatemala, France and Italy.

Every one of our students has a success story to tell. We can't wait to tell yours.

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