The Nursery to eighth grade advantage
By not having a high school, Gordon keeps the focus exclusively on younger students. Our one hundred years of experience with this model has reinforced that it best serves the educational, social and emotional needs of children.
At Gordon children are allowed to be children, in the best possible sense, until they graduate from eighth grade. During these critical eleven years, Gordon students take more risks, try more activities, and grow into confident, empathic, and engaged leaders.
The scale of the school allows for continuity throughout the academic program. Transitions between grades, and divisions, are handled with great care and communication, creating a path for each child where they are supported by the adult community and challenged in age-appropriate ways.
The nursery to eighth grade structure allows Gordon to connect children across age levels, promoting a schoolwide sense of community, and making key social skills like empathy and kindness part of the day-to-day experience. Every year, each second, third and fourth grader is paired up with a younger student for a variety of activities from September to June. In Middle School, the four grades come together regularly through electives, assemblies, and extracurricular activities such as athletics, music and theater.
The Middle School students are Gordon’s oldest students, and their experience recognizes that fact. In student government, on-campus service learning, and in mixed-grade projects, Middle School students discover many ways to be a leader.
Without high school students on campus, Gordon’s Middle School students take more risks, try more activities, and acquire new interests and skills. Students work alongside a wide range of peers every day, and after school athletics and theater are open to all. By the time Gordon students graduate from eighth grade, they are self-assured individuals who have the confidence required to make full use of their academic skills in the years ahead.