Grade 9 (Freshman)

During the first few days of a backpacking trip in the wilderness, you will need to acquire new skills like using a map and compass, pitching your tent, and hiking several miles with what feels like a very heavy pack. Your freshman year at Williamsburg is a very similar experience, especially if it is your first year at Williamsburg Academy. You will need to learn how to use new technology systems, complete new types of assignments, and the weight of your mentors’ and peers’ expectations will weigh heavily upon your shoulders.

9 grade online high school student doing homework

Freshman classes sharpen students’ study skills and build their confidence.

Acquiring new backpacking skills makes it possible for you to stand atop pristine mountain peaks and feel accomplishment, inner confidence, and a sense of peace. The same is true of acquiring new skills your freshman year at Williamsburg: if you work hard in your courses, and trust your mentors and the process, you will become a more knowledgeable, skilled, and confident person.

We have designed the freshman year to help you acquire the skills and attributes you need to lead your high school education. In Personal Leadership A, you will clarify your personal mission, learn to manage your time and tasks, and learn to use technology to achieve your goals. In Personal Leadership B, you will learn to manage your energy and establish an exercise routine for your high school years, which will be an important part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle as an online student. In your first high school math and science courses, you will establish the habit of studying for each of these courses for at least one hour each school day, and getting help from mentors and tutors when you get stuck. Your freshman language arts course, Writing and Rhetoric A/B, is designed to help you gain the skills you need to communicate clearly and persuasively, a skill that will pay off in high school, college, and life. Finally, you will take two electives and a fine arts course of your choosing (we recommend you take the High School Study Skills elective during the summer before you begin your freshman year). You will not take a social studies course because you will be so busy with all of these courses already described.

This chart details the courses you should take your freshman year.

Course Name CreditsSemesterDelivery Method
HS Math 1 A/B*1.0 (0.5 per semester)Fall & WinterLive, Self-paced
Earth Science A/B or Astronomy A/B1.0 (0.5 per semester)Fall & WinterLive, Self-paced
Writing & Rhetoric A/B (LA 9)1.0 (0.5 per semester)Fall & WinterLive
Personal Leadership A/B1.0 (0.5 per semester)Fall & WinterLive
Elevation or Independent PE0.5 creditFall & Winter (recommend taking in Fall because Personal Leadership B has a fitness component and is taken in Winter)Self-paced
Any Fine Arts course0.5 creditFall & WinterSelf-paced
High School Study Skills or any other Electives1.0 creditPre-freshman Summer, Fall, or WinterSelf-paced

*In Fall 2017, we are updating our math courses. The following chart describes what freshmen should do if they have already completed Algebra 1:

Taken in 2016 Take in 2017 2018 2019 2020
Pre-alg HS Math 1 HS Math 2 HS Math 3 Precalculus
Alg 1 Geometry HS Math 3 Precalculus
Geometry HS Math 3 Precalculus
Alg 2 Precalculus