Mission and Philosophy

Wye River is an independent, college preparatory school serving bright students with learning differences. We provide an individualized and supportive high school education in a low-stress, yet challenging academic environment. Diagnostic information, observation and parent input serve as the basis for understanding each student's unique learning style. Our program ensures a well-rounded experience including athletics and the arts, offered within a daily structure that is responsive to the needs of teenagers.

We are committed to affecting lifelong change in the lives of our students, many of whom have struggled in traditional settings. Our belief in the power of each student's unique talents, skills, interests and goals is our guiding force. Students who learn differently discover through innovation, develop with rigor, and celebrate their strengths at Wye River Upper School while preparing for success in college, career and life.

We Change Lives
Wye River is a place where students’ lives are changed. Here, often for the first time, students find a place where they can belong and be appreciated for all of their gifts and uniqueness, and it makes all the difference--socially, emotionally, and academically. The growth we see over the course of four years is remarkable. This means everything to our students and the people who care for them.

We Serve Exceptional Students
Wye River students are intelligent, creative individuals with the ability to grasp challenging material and to develop essential lifelong skills, especially when taught in ways that recognize their unique needs and learning styles. We are continually amazed by what our students can do and the many talents they offer.

Our Educators Empower
We believe our role as educators is to support student growth while promoting independence. We want to see our students take pride in themselves and maintain a strong sense of responsibility for applying their efforts to learn and evolve. Students and their individual needs are at center stage here. Our teachers and administrators have a strong sense of duty to help each student reach his or her potential, and will do whatever it takes to achieve that result.

We Offer the Right Program
We understand the physical and emotional needs of the typical teenager and have created a structured but customized program to meet those needs. Our Curricular Philosophy incorporates 90 minutes of morning physical fitness, fine and performing arts, and community service, in addition to core content required by the State of Maryland.

Our students gain knowledge and skills that they can apply for the rest of their lives through an inquiry-driven, multi-sensory, multi-modal pedagogy. To support this approach, project-based learning, outcome-based goals, and frequent, applied experiences outside of the classroom highlight the Wye River program as well as an extensive use of technology. Our curriculum must reflect our pedagogy, while assuring comprehensive preparation for our students’ postsecondary studies. We want our students to be committed to lifelong learning and have the organizational and academic tools to do so.

Our Families Matter
Family support is crucial to a child’s success. When families are involved, learning becomes more important to students, and they have a higher level of investment and interest. We continuously seek ways to engage family members in effective, supportive roles.

We Embrace Diversity
Diversity among students and staff is invaluable. Our student population is diverse not only in learning styles, but in race, creed and socioeconomic background. Diversity promotes understanding, sensitivity and openness, all of which contribute to the empathetic, accepting environment in which Wye River students learn.

Our Community is Strong
Building a strong community is everyone’s responsibility here. School staff, students and family must collaborate to make Wye River a safe, respectful and positive environment in order to foster the social, mental, and physical well-being of our teenagers. Each adult and student should feel a sense of belonging and be committed to create a nurturing Wye River culture.

We Are Stewards of the Environment
We believe that we are all stewards of our environment. As a teaching community, we have a unique opportunity to model and practice exemplary habits of environmental stewardship. With input from the entire Wye River family, our permanent campus is a teaching tool for staff, students and guests and our curriculum reflects a commitment to preserving the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Wye River Upper School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, employment policies, financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.