Our Mission and Vision
Our mission is to teach our students to think creatively, act responsibly, and build community.
GPS combines the strengths of its founding schools, with a common vision that our students will be kind, creative, compassionate, life-long learners inspired to take shared guardianship of the planet and create a better world. GPS is an International Baccalaureate World School within a Christian environment that seeks to encourage students’ personal development and academic achievement with the goal of becoming thoughtful leaders in society and the world.
All research has shown that students learn best when they are happy at their schools. GPS firmly endorses this concept and promotes through the Tribes Program this sense of well-being. The Tribes program, with its engaging inclusion activities, draws the school community closer together and gives each member a sense of belonging. The Tribes Program also teaches students how to function effectively as members of a cooperative group through the four agreements. These are mutual respect, attentive listening, the right to participate/pass, and appreciations with no put-downs of others or self.
CREATING INTERNATIONAL MINDEDNESS – The aim of our program is to develop young people who have an international perspective that has prepared them to take their place in a world of diversity. Students come to realize the importance of evaluating the global impact of their actions. They gain this understanding through relating their learning and actions to the school’s learner profile in which they are taught to be inquirers who are reflective, open-minded, knowledgeable, deep thinkers, risk-takers, and effective communicators. They are encouraged at the same time to be caring, balanced, and principled members of the world community. Our whole school communicates these attributes in our daily interactions.
SKILLS – In a world in which all sorts of data is at our fingertips, the ability to memorize facts has lost its value. The need to think dynamically and critically has replaced rote learning of information. To be successful in this new data-rich environment, students need to be able to access, organize, evaluate, and effectively communicate information and ideas. GPS’s IB approach develops the students’ thinking, social, communication, self-management, and research skills, which are all transferrable to all aspects of life both within and outside of school.
CONCEPTS – GPS focuses on the following concepts to help children view and make sense of the world: form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility, and reflection. By studying information through these lenses, students are able to structure and make sense of the world they live in. Teachers design units that are based on upon globally significant issues and concepts that guide students to a deeper understanding of the way the world works.
INQUIRY – Students learn best when they look for answers to their own questions. GPS’s units of study all begin with students developing questions that will guide them in their research. Throughout their stay here, GPS students are taught to develop more and more sophisticated questions to drive their lines of inquiry.
ACTION – At GPS it is not enough to simply know something. GPS students must make use of what they have learned in a meaningful way. If they learn about sustainability, they are asked to take measures in their own lives or homes that support creating a more sustainable world.
THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION - Honoring the culture and traditions of the First Presbyterian Preparatory School, on whose grounds GPS is located, the spiritual connection plays an important role with many of the families that attend the school. Bible studies is offered as an elective for Lower School students and students attend monthly chapel.