In our upper school division, our students thrive in an environment that promotes authentic learning. We offer many special programs that help support and extend knowledge beyond the classroom through meaningful projects.
Beginning in 7th grade, students lease a laptop from the school each year and can check out iPads to use in the classroom. Students are taught to collaborate seamlessly using web-based tools, think critically to solve real-world problems, and communicate with peers, parents, and the community. Students are taught and given opportunities to be good digital citizens and safe, responsible technology users in our school community and globally.
The Independent Study Capstone Project is an elective option for juniors and seniors who wish to pursue research and development in an approved area of inquiry. Students can elect to spend one or two semesters in their chosen field. Using various resources such as reading material, free online courses, internships, and more, students learn about their chosen topic and design an original product related to it. Along with weekly writing assignments, students share their findings and original product in a culminating thesis and a formal presentation at the end of the term. Past projects have focused on business, entrepreneurship, nutrition, art, filmmaking, medical research, physics, computer science, genetic testing, and more.
In the upper school, students form clubs based on their current interests and time commitments each year. Clubs meet each week at a designated time during the school day and each has a faculty sponsor. Clubs have either a service or competitive component.
2023 Clubs include:
Blue Gator Creators
Power of Women
Examples of previous clubs include:
4-H, Acts of Random Kindness (ARK), Chess Club, Ascension Press Club, Bass Fishing Team, Beta Club, Blue Gator Crochet Club, Cajun Prairie Restoration Club, Culinary Club, Cupcake Club, Debate Club, Drama / Improv Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Film Club, Go Green, International Club, Meditation Club, Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, National Honor Society, Outdoor Experience Club, Pep Band, Pro-Life Club, Quiz Bowl, SADD, SAGE/ Students Advocating for Gender Equality, Science Olympiad, Social Gaming Club, Spanish Club, Wyldlife/Young Life, and Young America.
All upper school students have the option to perform in the fall and spring upper school productions, whether it be a drama or a musical production. Many of our upper school students also take part in local community theater productions.
Prefects are junior and senior leaders who commit highly to the school's values and ideals. They oversee the work in their particular area and manage the underclassmen involved therein. Their job emphasizes servant leadership and the overall enhancement of Ascension's mission statement. Peers and faculty members elect Prefects.
The Prefect Positions include Lead Prefect, Spiritual Life Prefect, Publicity Prefect, Academic Prefect, Community Service Prefect, Student Life Prefect, Arts Appreciation Prefect, and Athletic Support Prefect.
Each year there are eight class leaders per grade level. Class leaders collaborate on assigned student activities and serve on committees with corresponding Prefects. Peers and faculty members elect class leaders.
Service opportunities exist through classroom programs, grade-level projects, campus-wide service days, and the community service leadership positions, including the Community Service Prefect and Community Service Class Leaders. Students also initiate individual projects in response to specific community needs.
To fulfill the school’s graduation requirements, beginning in 9th grade, students must complete 60 hours of community service with at least 30 hours for community endeavors not affiliated with Ascension. A minimum of 15 hours per year is required on the Sugar Mill Pond Campus.
Each grade level, 9-12, is assigned a non-profit organization in the community that they will serve in a small group with their classmates during the school day once per quarter. This aims to build meaningful, impacting relationships between our students and local service organizations within our community.
Each class is assigned the following organizations:
Freshmen - St. Joseph’s Diner
Sophomores - Camelot of Broussard
Juniors - Project Front Yard
Seniors - Habitat for Humanity
8th-grade students will participate in a service preview day during their Spring semester in which they will get a chance to learn about each one of these organizations and begin to build enthusiasm for serving with them.
The Christian Education curriculum is augmented through our campus’s Chapel program. With our services following The Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, chapel services occur three times per week, and celebrations of the Holy Eucharist occur every other week. Chapel is the school’s community time to gather to hear and meditate on the Holy Scriptures and offer prayers and praise to God as people of faith. Students are encouraged to participate in prayer and song regardless of their faith traditions. All students are encouraged to participate in student-led service projects and our traditional Lenten mission projects each year.
All upper school students can participate in the following athletic programs: Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Dance Team, Football, Golf, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Volleyball. Students are encouraged to participate in multiple sports throughout the year, and coaches work with each student to make practice schedules work around each other if any overlap occurs.
Study tours are a distinctive feature of an Ascension education and another way students actively engage with the curriculum, build community, and develop life skills. Trips are optional, and the cost varies based on the destination and length of the trip. These age-appropriate trips provide opportunities for students to practice personal responsibility and good behavior accompanied by their teachers.
Examples of previous upper school study tours:
8th grade: Five-day American History study tour of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts
9th grade: Two-day canoe trip to Okatoma, Mississippi
10th grade: Three-day outdoor adventure trip near Fort Payne, Alabama
11th grade: Four-day college tour to visit eight colleges and universities across the South. These trips happen in the fall and spring semesters.
The Episcopal Church of the Ascension School (Ascension Episcopal School) admits qualified students without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin. We are an inclusive community.