In addition to athletics, Ad Fontes offers the following student activities:
All students in Grades 7-12 are assigned to one of four houses: Athens, Atlantis, Ilium, and Rome. Each House has a House Head (rising Senior or Junior) who is nominated by their house and is elected by current senior House leaders. The House Heads elect a nominated Assistant House Head to help lead their house. This becomes your family within the larger AFA family. The House leaders work closely with the Dean of Students, Mr. Mathwin, beginning with a summer planning retreat, to create a unified and thriving Upper School culture. The Houses meet weekly for lunch and chapel groups, plan regular fellowship events off campus , and engage in competitions through the year to win points for the House Cup. The competitions include Risk (at the retreat, similar to Capture the Flag), the Archimedes Experience (science project), What’s Cooking (cooking competition), Feriae Artium (fine arts, writing and talent show), Socrates Revenge (AFA knowledge bowl) and House Olympics (athletics).
Annual Student High School Retreat
For the first three days of school, high school students travel together on an overnight retreat to build unity and friendship within the school community, and to reflect on their walk with the Lord. The retreat includes team building challenges, a high ropes course and group games along with evening devotional meetings led by faculty or special guests. On Friday, the 7th and 8th grade students join the retreat to receive their new House shirts, group games, and house competitions including a large scale capture the flag game, Risk. This is a growing, encouraging time for students and faculty. A great way to kick off the school year!
Field Trips and Senior NYC Trip
Students have three scheduled field trips each school year to explore DC landmarks, historical sites, museums, and cultural events, regularly including a Shakespeare theater production. The Seniors take a 3 day trip to New York City each Spring to visit historical and cultural sites, museums, and attend a Broadway show. High school teachers also meet with students for discussions at local coffee shops and restaurants.
Protocol (Etiquette and Ballroom Dancing) and Autumn Ball
Protocol is a high school activity geared to develop social graces and appreciation and enjoyment of arts and culture. Students participate in formal instruction in ballroom dancing and etiquette culminating in the Autumn Ball, where students enjoy an evening with a formal dinner at a local restaurant and a dance. This is a highlight event for the students each year. Many years, students plan an additional student-led Spring Formal with dancing.
Each morning, prior to class, all Upper School students gather on the “bridge” for a time of Scripture reading, prayer, announcements and recognitions for birthdays and accomplishments. On Thursday, students are in their classrooms for a class prayer time.
Weekly Assembly and House Groups
Each Thursday, the Upper School gathers for time of engaging teaching and discussion as a school community. The assembly time is an opportunity to apply the Christian faith to real life issues and to foster skills of debate and discussion. Each House has two house groups (one male and one female) led by a House leader or older student to build relationships, foster discussion, and to support each other in prayer. Assemblies have a few different formats that all include live q&a, including a faculty or guest speaker sharing their life experience; a live discussion with students and faculty on a topic; or a live debate. House groups meet for discussion before or after the speakers depending on the format. Each house has house lunch together following assembly each Thursday.