At GUS, children become academically ready to meet the challenges of their wildest dreams, and wise enough to follow them.
English Language Arts
A love of language arts starts early here. Our kindergarten program is devoted to the multiple strands of reading acquisition, from phonemic awareness to comprehension. As students move up through the grades, they are deeply engaged as they read, write, create, and orate. Fifth graders embark on a comprehensive research project in which they sharpen their critical thinking skills, organize and cite sources, interview experts, write, and present. Prior to graduating, our eighth graders impart the wisdom they have gained as they deliver their impassioned “This I Believe” speeches at Evening with the Graduates to their parents, teachers, and school community.
Of all that is unique about GUS, our mathematics program might top the list. Our proprietary math curriculum, which draws from the latest research and ideas from the top mathematics schools in the world, affords students deep comprehension—from concepts to procedures, from concrete to abstract. We start in kindergarten teaching a strong understanding of the language of mathematics. Then we build to a complete mastery of sophisticated topics using models, manipulatives, and current technology (including a library of 150 “flipped classroom” instructional videos created by GUS faculty). It comes as no surprise that our students go on to be placed in honors math in some of the most competitive high schools.
Our "And, Not Or" philosophy is the very DNA of our school, as demonstrated by our hands-on science program. There is plenty of experiential learning happening in our classrooms every day. And, whether they are conducting botany experiments in the greenhouse or engrossed in ecology research along our trails, students at GUS are learning in living laboratories. Sixth graders might be engineering and programming robots to simulate NASA’s Mars rovers. Eighth graders could be conducting advanced experiments in electroplating or fractional distillation in our laboratory. Students leave our school with strong scientific writing skills, complex laboratory experience, and confidence in their ability to find solutions to advanced problems. GUS also has ties with MIT. Third graders go to the MIT Edgerton Center to learn about electricity; eighth graders go to the LEGO ® Robotics program. Our upper school Coding Club learns to program with Scratch, supported by the MIT Media Center.
Our social studies curriculum exemplifies how our interdisciplinary approach to learning deepens students’ understanding of all subjects. For example, our seventh grade students explore the theme “ The Individual: Who Am I?” While studying anthropology, sociology, psychology, and metacognition, they become more reflective and analytical in their writing, asking such questions as “What events in the world have helped to shape me as an individual?” and “How do family, class, and cultural identity in Roman society compare to my own?” Studying early civilizations in sixth grade, students mummify fruit in social studies class, construct clay canopic jars in art, and consider the number systems of the Mayans and Egyptians in math class.
¿Habla Español? Our kindergarteners do. Spanish language and Hispanic culture are integral to our curriculum, culminating in the eighth grade service trip to a Latin American orphanage. On these trips, our students use their acquired language skills to immerse themselves in the Spanish-speaking culture while working alongside families from Honduras or the Dominican Republic, expanding their sense of place and purpose on a global scale. Latin is added to the program in sixth grade. Students study grammar and vocabulary while learning the origins of English and the romance languages. Excellent SAT scores and advanced language placement later in life are just an added benefit of our Foreign Language program.