Co-Curriculum is an essential part of Madeira’s mission of launching women who will change the world and a graduation requirement. 10th graders are required to complete the Serving Others Placement, the 11th grade are required to complete the Effecting a Change Placement, and the 12th graders are required to complete the Pursuing a Passion Placement. Madeira’s Co-Curriculum Program provides opportunities for progressive degrees of independence and is designed to respond to the needs of students at each level of their development.
The Co-Curriculum Office works individually with students helping them identify their skills, interests, and passions, while also collaborating with them to identify appropriate placements where they will challenge themselves and grow as independent young women. In addition to providing logistical support, the Co-Curriculum Office oversees a curriculum designed to help students reflect upon their experiences and individual growth. Students are assessed on various assignments, projects, and a capstone experience, and receive a letter grade based on these assessments.
1 Mod, Required for 10th Graders
Service is one of the pillars of Madeira’s founding and is the foundation for sophomore Co-Curriculum. Service takes students outside their comfort zones, into unfamiliar and challenging environments. These encounters broaden their understanding of local and global problems that will take a new generation of leaders to solve.
In their first off-campus internship experience, students will explore their connection to their local community and the concepts of social responsibility and civic engagement. For each placement, students are divided into teams and given the task to identify a challenge their placement faces and to develop a useful tool to addresses that challenge.
Students are assessed on their ability to work as a member of a team, think creatively about problems, develop workable solutions, and persuasively present their ideas.
1 Mod, Required for 11th Graders
Junior Co-Curriculum is closely integrated with the U.S. History course.
In the first part of the U.S. History course, called the American Revolution and the Constitution, students will develop a working knowledge of how the U.S. government functions and what role Capitol Hill plays. One of the four mods of U.S. History is called the PREP module, during which students work with the Co-Curriculum Office to develop the skills necessary to thrive in a congressional office and with their history teacher to practice the oral and written skills, awareness of current events, and the research skills necessary for completing the Co-Curriculum Capstone Project.
During their internship on Capitol Hill, students will submit a variety of assignments to the Co-Curriculum Office that will help them reflect upon their experience and to begin to prepare for the final research paper in U.S. History. Students will identify a national policy issue, for instance public education or veteran’s affairs. This policy will be the focus of their Co-Curriculum capstone project, the research-based culmination of your internship experience, as well as the final research project in U.S. History. In addition to their daily duties as congressional interns, the Co-Curriculum Capstone project gives girls the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom – quantitative and analytical reasoning skills, oral and written communication skills, and research and tech skills – to effect change.
1 Mod, Required for 12th Graders
The Senior Co-Curriculum experience, by allowing students to participate with an internship of their choosing, is an opportunity to pursue a passion or area of interest and to check their ideal vision against reality.
Throughout their internships, students will submit reflections and various research assignments based on their experiences.
Students will be challenged to investigate the internship’s industry or field of study, focusing on the trends and issues facing the field and the opportunities that exist within it as a career path. Additionally, students consider the ways that they might be a leader in the field or industry, reflecting on how their placement site is meeting its goals and thinking of the ways it might improve.
Seniors are eligible to apply for an internship outside of the immediate Washington, DC area.
Mr. Sharp taught at Madeira from 1995 to 2000 and returned in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English from Connecticut College and a master's degree in International Politics from The George Washington University. Before becoming Director of Co-Curriculum, he served as head of the History Department, was assistant academic dean and taught history.