School Model Overview
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! Movement is offered in service of learning and. to stimulate engagement and intellectual capacity. Teachers embed movement into their lesson plans and units throughout the year to deliver, support and enhance content; as well as infusing daily opportunities for students to be active in the classroom. Cognitive development, classroom culture, and student wellness are promoted in this model. A student's overall experience as a learner is enhanced through the habitual and creative use of movement.
Positive Gender Focus
In the design of the school, GALS Denver created an environment where girls have the opportunity to know themselves well, take up space, own their power, and use their voice. Our curriculum and culture put them front and center with the potential to learn and practice the skills that will serve them in being their most authentic selves in the world.
All-girls schools are more relevant today than ever. An all-girls school experience is demanding, exciting, and life-changing.
- 83% of girls' school graduates see themselves as better prepared for college than female counterparts from co-educational high schools
- 91% of graduates say attending a girls' school helped them focus on academics and encouraged them to test their intellectual limits
- 90% of girls' school graduates belong to a community organization such as a charitable, civic, or educational group or arts association
- 80% of girls from girls' schools hold leadership positions after high school
~ Fordham Urban Law Journal & National Coalition of Girls' Schools
Inputs to this component of our model are many. GALS creates space in classes and clubs where students can take authentic leadership roles and utilize skills. GALS has several signature events that highlight our commitment to feminist action and equitable opportunities such as International Women’s Day, Thunder Wars, GALympics, GALS Futures Ceremony, Black History and Latin X Celebrations. GALS has affinity groups for students that include the Black Queens Alliance, LatinX, and Rainbow society. Various clubs are offered throughout and after school, and students are always encouraged to begin their own with the support of faculty.
Each GALS student participates in GALS Series and GALS Action as a core curricular course. 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.
Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at GALS
Since our founding of the GALS Middle School in 2010, diversity, inclusion, and access have been critical core values. We believe the best education occurs in a school made up of students, teachers, and families drawn from many different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, and sexual orientations. GALS Denver seeks to create a school where students and adults are welcomed and supported, and where their faces, voices, and experiences are reflected and valued. We believe that the work of inclusion is a responsibility held by all and done for all, person to person.