Academics Overview


At GALS, students and teachers learn together, move together, and laugh together.

The GALS Academic Philosophy focuses on a rigorous classroom experience for all students using evidence-based and standards-aligned curricula. In our classrooms, students do the majority of the reading, writing, speaking, and thinking to build their collaborative and academic skills. Teachers use explicit instruction and gradual release to teach students new skills and then monitor their growth to provide personalized support. Teachers intentionally work with students so that they are comfortable to be themselves, ask questions, and take academic risks. Our classrooms are student-centered and equity-based, creating spaces where all students can have access to their academics.

And, of course, our students move! Whether it’s purposefully infused into the lesson to help with memory, or a short brain boost, movement is used to keep students engaged in their learning. Movement is offered in service of learning and to stimulate engagement and intellectual capacity. We create spaces that are active rather than sedentary and encourage students to build awareness for their own needs – if a student feels sleepy in class, getting water and changing positions (standing rather than sitting) can refresh a student’s ability to learn.

In addition to our Core Academic Courses and School Model Courses below, GALS Denver offers Middle School students Interventions and Accelerators in order to address the just right needs of each student, and High School electives, to allow students to explore their interests and deepen their understanding and skills in areas of need. 

Core and Elective Courses 

All Core Classes are vertically aligned using Common Core Standards.  Teachers identify common core standards for each quarter, and these drive instruction and assessment of student learning.  (Elective courses may vary per semester)


Middle School Courses
High School Courses

English Language Arts (ELA)

6th grade ELA 

7th grade ELA

8th grade ELA

English Language Development (for Multi-Language Learners)


Play Writing

Thunder Magazine

ThinkCERCA Writing

Reading Intervention

GT/HGT ELA Exploratory

Literary Foundations

English 9 

English 10

English 11

AP Language and Composition

AP Literature and Composition


Creative Writing 


6th grade Math 

7th grade Math 

7th grade Honors Math 

8th grade Math

8th grade Honors Math 

Algebra I 



Math Intervention

Math Acceleration

Business Lab

Algebra Bridge 

Algebra I 


Algebra II


AP Calculus (dual enrollment with CCD)


Financial Literacy 


6th grade Science 

7th grade Science

8th grade Science 


STEAM Exploration


Earth Science 






Advanced STEAM 

Survival & Sustainability 

Social Studies 

6th grade Social Studies 

7th grade Social Studies

8th grade Social Studies


GT/HGT Social Exploratory


World History

US History 

World Geography 

Power & Privilege 


Elements & Principles of Studio Arts

Intro to Music Studies*

GALS Choir* 

Improvisational Theatre

*teacher dependent

Studio Arts 

Advanced Studio Arts 

Improvisational Theatre: Long Form

Improvisational Theatre: Short Form

Acting 1-3

Acting: Competitive Performance

Honors Acting 


Musical Theatre Production

World Language

Intro to Spanish Language

Conversational Spanish

Spanish I

Spanish II

Spanish III

Pre-AP Spanish

AP Spanish Language and Culture



GALS Series 


GALS Action 

Senior Seminar


GALS School Model Core Courses


Students and staff engage four days a week in a morning movement offering, in order to jumpstart the brain by jumpstarting the body!  Movement is organized into modules, which are designed to help students understand how they respond to different types of physical activity.  Over the course of year, students engage in running, yoga, dance, circuit training, and team sports, with opportunities for both differentiated choice and unity as a student body.. We also connect with outside sources to provide exposure to cycling, climbing and more.

Through Movement class, students begin to understand what they need to feel energized, healthy, focused, and challenged. We provide opportunities for students to see growth over time, and expand their understanding of their own capabilities. 

Read more about our movement-based model here.

GALS Series & GALS Action

GALS Series (MS) and GALS Action (HS) are key components of the GALS School Model, and consist of deep and research based courses in social, emotional, and relational learning that parallel the adolescent development of students.  

The GALS Series/Action has proven to be a key factor to improving our students’ interactions with one another; maintaining a culture of kindness, support and respect; and providing students with coping skills and opportunities to form healthy relationships which will help lead them on a path to a healthy decision making.

The GALS Series/Action curriculum provides GALS students with the tools needed to become more aware of their individual and community identity, the skills to navigate through challenges and decisions successfully, and empowerment to drive them. 

The GALS Series curriculum at GALS Middle School encompasses 6 units: Mindfulness, Wellness, Voice, Relationships, Goals/Intentions and Identity, and classes focus on the continued development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills utilizing grade level, Common Core standards.  In these units, outcomes are grade level normed and build on previous learning.  

  • In Mindfulness, students explore: Asking for Help, Motivation and Intention, Emotional Literacy, and Emotional Expression.
  • In Wellness, students explore: Mind-Body Connection, Healthy Choices, Neuroscience, and Health Sexuality. 
  • In Goals/Intentions, students explore: Learning Styles, Habits, Executive Functioning, SMART Goals, and Future Self.  
  • In Relationships, students explore: Centrality of Relationships, Discernment, Boundaries and Consent, Conflict in Relationships, Feedback.
  • In Voice, students explore: Personal Expression, Fluency, Verbal skills, Listening.  
  • In Identity, students explore: Position and Privilege, Media and Social Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion, and Core Values. 

The GALS Series course uses a series of practices to build these skills together.  These include circle protocols, journal writing, meditation and mindfulness practices, and role plays.  

GALS continues to explore the success of GALS Series through our partnership with CU Denver’s Evaluation Center, where we annually administer an efficacy survey where our middle school students tell us: 

  • 96% of our students believe they will graduate from high school,
  • 92% believe they will go to college,
  • 92% of students say they work hard in school 
  • 88% say they are a good science student,
  • 82% say they are a good math student,
  • 86% say they are a good reading student, 
  • 85% believe they are smart
  • 83% say movement in the classroom improves their ability to focus and learn
  • 73% say morning movement helps them feel physically healthy

GALS Action for GALS High School partnered with Re/Scripted, a feminist consulting firm, to flesh out elements of the high school curriculum. The High School GALS Action courses allow students to grow from their understanding of self and recognize how they can impact change in the world.  

Throughout their high school experience, students build self-confidence through the lens of agency and self-efficacy. We work with students to develop a sense that they have the skills and permission to change the world – through advocating for their passions, their values, and their basic needs in a relationship. At the GALS high school, students explore how they construct, use their voice, shape their futures, and create equitable change in the world. 

In addition, our Senior Seminar and Capstone Project, required of all students, empowers students to explore  their personal interests and passions and align this to potential career and post-secondary educational options. GALS Action courses develop skills that students can practice in all aspects of their lives.

Our high schoolers tell us: 

  • 98% of our students believe they will graduate from high school
  • 88% believe they will go to college
  • 92% of students say they work hard in school 
  • 98% of students believe their teachers think they are smart 
  • 83% say they are a good science student
  • 82% say they are a good math student
  • 82% say they are a good reading student
  • 92% believe they are smart
  • 81% say morning movement helps them feel physically healthy
Interested in learning more?