Cutting-Edge Curriculum. Competitive-Edge Results.

In the Upper School, the benefits of CFA’s unique teacher-student relationships reveal themselves in students capable of independent learning and exceptional achievement. Advanced academics include Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

  • 80% of graduates are accepted to their first choice college.
  • On average, seniors take 3 AP courses and garnered numerous National AP Scholar distinctions.
  • 95% of students in grades 10-12 take at least one AP course prior to graduation.
  • Over 92% score a 3, 4, or 5 on the national AP exams (NC average = 56%).

In addition to honing scholastic skills and credentials, arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities allow Upper School students to explore individual interests and develop unique talents. On our university-like campus,

  • 80% of students will join at least one of our athletic teams.
  • 90% will play an instrument, sing, or act on stage with their schoolmates.
  • All students have the advantage of flex scheduling 2 days per week, allowing additional help sessions, club meetings, project-based work, and peer collaboration.

Students benefit from a caring campus community that produces confident, accomplished scholars equipped and ready to succeed in any endeavors they pursue. Central to that experience is our exceptional college planning program.


Student Life

The Student Government Association (SGA) of Cape Fear Academy is the student organization that serves the Upper School student population by advocating student concerns to faculty and administration, coordinating social events, and facilitating new and existing clubs and organizations. The SGA relies heavily upon energetic and invested student representatives who are elected annually from the student body. The elected representatives can serve on the Executive Board, as class officers, our as House captains or vice captains.

Class Cup is a friendly competition between Upper School  classes that allows students from each grade to compete against one another in a variety of intellectual and athletic contests. Contests from previous years include: Flag Football, Trivia, March Madness and Poker tournaments. Points are also earned by classes whose members excel in service to the community and involvement in school and beyond. The winning class is one that earns the most points in a given school year, claiming the title “Class Cup Winner,” and of course, bragging rights.

Surf Club
Beach clean-ups, enter ESA contests, surf together on Saturdays, Outer Banks trip.
Green Club
Beach clean-ups, growing food in the CFA Greenhouse, sponsoring environmentally-themed documentaries, participating in eco-friendly community volunteering, and promoting recycling initiatives are just a few of the experiences had with the CFA Green Club. We are also working toward competing in this year’s North Carolina Envirothon competition.
Diversity Club
The CFA Diversity Club seeks to generate awareness and promote acceptance of different ways of life and – through doing so – create a greater sense of unity within our student body, our local community, and our global society. Among other things, The Diversity Club looks to celebrate and sponsor the following events during the school year: Latino Festival, Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, and the National Day of Silence.
Book and Vinyl Club
Meet a few times in the year to discuss a common book and enjoy music played on old-fashioned vinyl.
Math Team
Compete in regional competitions at various levels and national written contests.
International Experience
28 Students traveled to Germany, France, Italy and Austria this summer. We have taken groups to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China in the past.
The Judiciary Council is a panel of 7 US students selected by their peers to handle possible honor and disciplinary infractions referred to them by the US Director or the Dean of Students. This group gives the members a leadership role in the admin process, and the students who appear in front of council get to present their perspective to their peers. It is completely student run with an advisor who does not vote on recommendations or membership.

  • US Back-To-School Dance
  • Fall Festival
  • Holly Ball
  • Spirit Week
  • The Fear
  • Homecoming Parade and Pep Rally
  • Homecoming Game
  • Star Search
  • Jr./Sr. Prom

The Hurricane newspaper is produced quarterly by a staff of Upper School students.  Led by Publications teacher, Mrs. Jan Reid, this group has won numerous recognitions at the NC Scholastic Media Awards. READ FULL STORY

High Tide, the literary magazine produced by Upper School students, features original works of prose, poetry, and art crafted by Upper School students. CFA faculty members Emily Fancy and Maureen Vanscoy serve as the advisors for this publication.


Curriculum & Highlights

2018-2019 Course Booklet

Please note:  some of these course offerings could change from year to year.

College­ Prep, Honors, and Advanced Placement courses allow students to choose the level of challenge they seek in a particular discipline. While all Upper School courses emphasize critical thinking as well as oral and written communication, AP and Honors courses push students to an even greater level of achievement through college ­level coursework. Our consistently outstanding AP test scores are one of the many important outcomes of our mission of discovering and developing academic potential in each student.

At CFA, we recognize the importance of preparing our students for a dynamic, complex, and rapidly changing world. Our curriculum offers a number of opportunities for students to analyze global issues, explore perspectives that differ from their own, and consider what elements shape their worldview. Small, student­-centered global education classes demand thorough research, encourage thoughtful debate, and ultimately produce in our students a deep understanding of the world.

The Global Ambassadors Program aims to provide global experiences for our students that are both educational and/or have a significant language component. As the Program continues to develop over the next 5 years, we hope to offer more students unique opportunities to travel and learn abroad with peers and highly dedicated faculty.

Our 1:1 laptop program in grades 6­-12 ensures students have a laptop for use in every class every day. With the constant change in technology, we aim to keep up as much as possible; however, technology is used when it is best practice. With consistent laptop access, students become proficient in various applications which allows them to focus on the content and subject matter.

The Upper School Summer Internship Program provides an opportunity for outstanding CFA students to learn, explore, and prepare them for their future through diverse intern career opportunities within an authentic work environment. Students get involved not only with CFA companies, but also with the Wilmington community as a whole. The students progress through stages of an application process, interview with the employer, and finally can be awarded an intern position for the summer.

All Upper School students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 9 hours of service per semester.  Students can complete these hours independently as well as within their Advisory. At CFA, we believe that service not only makes a difference in the lives of others, but it also allows our students to solve problems, teaches our students to empathize, and strengthens our community.  From beach sweeps and soup kitchens to nonprofit races and the Special Olympics, our students are active in the Greater Wilmington area and happy to help.