As a veteran teacher who has taught all over the country in district, independent, and charter schools, GALS ranks at the top of the list. Yes, the daily movement aspect of GALS absolutely enhances learning in the classroom and overall health and wellness. Yes, the single-gender environment allows girls to learn and grow in a space that helps them open up and be themselves. However, what this school does better than any other can be summarized in one word: relationships. The teachers and leaders at GALS have intentionally created an environment where every girls feels like she belongs, and it is this piece of belonging that is at the core of a great education. Girls discover their true selves at GALS, and the world needs more people who know who they are, know that they matter, and know what matters to them. I am blessed to be a part of GALS.
My oldest when to middle school all three years at GALS and it was truly a place for her to grow through the tough early teens. I now have my second daughter starting in the fall. I ant her to go to GALS because she needs to learn the value of being a woman in today's world. Girls hear so much about how they are inferior and not capable from the world around them. It doesn't matter what you say at home. Its really about their peer group, or even worse the "in-kids" at school and their views. GALS helps girls see how they can themselves can change the world through their own powers!
My two daughters - who are very different from one another - are thriving at and loving GALS. They are being challenged academically and receive ample support and tutoring when they need it. And socially the GALS culture is teaching them keys to navigating healthy interpersonal relationships. With energetic faculty support, one daughter went to the District science fair, the other serves on the Restorative Justice committee of peers - they are, daily, encouraged to be the best at who they are, and to speak with their own strong voices. Case in point: my 8th grader has chosen to continue as a member of the first GALS high school class. I can't say enough good about this school!
I love this school. The energy is contagious. The girls are motivated by inspired teachers to bring their best. My daughter entered in 6th grade as a weak to average to student (and not an athlete). She is now a high honors student. In 8th grade, she is finishing her 9th grade math requirements. She sets high goals for both her academics and athletics. She loves this school and is thrilled they are adding high school. She and I did not look anyplace else.
I am so excited about GALS! I love the feminist philosophy that is driving the school. The academics are excellent, and the movement is really wonderful for our daughter. I could not be happier with this school. And our daughter loves school so much she is actually bummed out on Friday night because she doesn't get to go to school on the weekend. The teachers and staff are all really, really great people. I'm proud to be part of the school.
My daughter is in her second year and loves GALS. The culture is helping her grow into a strong/confident young woman. The school has great teachers and high expectations, but has fun every day with movement/athletics as part of the school day. They mix running, yoga/workouts, dance, and games to keep the girls active and engaged. My daughter looks forward to it, even the runs. Academically, GALS is very strong. They place the students at the right learning level for each class. In class, they mix group projects with individual focus and a fair amount of homework to drive the kids to excel. While they have high expectations and push the students to exceed goals, they have created a fun environment. Students can sit or lie on the floor, if that helps them focus; they snack when needed so they aren't distracted by hunger (healthy snacks only); and the teachers creatively mix games/fun into the lectures to keep the girls engaged. GALS is now a full Middle School, 220 girls, and they are opening the HS next year (2014), starting with 9th and 10th grades. They moved to a great building this year and have all the facilities they need for MS.
We are in our 3rd year at GALS and have two daughters currently enrolled. GALS is an amazing school in so many ways. Academically, my girls have been challenged. They came to GALS from a very high performing elementary school and with high test scores. They have not only maintained those scores at GALS, but they have improved. In her last two years at GALS, my eighth grader's TCAP scores show consistent academic growth well above average. I attribute GALS' academic success in large part to the quality of its teachers - the exceptional teacher is absolutely the rule rather than the exception at GALS. And GALS' approach to educating the whole child has benefitted my girls immensely. GALS exceeds my expectations in terms of the social experience. Middle school has been a smooth transition for both my girls due in large part, I believe, to the school culture at GALS. The girls are encouraged to be themselves and to respect the differences among them. And this culture is incorporated in every aspect of the GALS experience. My girls are confident, excited about learning, and look forward to school each day. I couldn't ask for anything more from a middle school!
We have an 8th grader at GALS. We can't say enough positives with regards to her middle school experience at GALS. She has been encouraged and allowed to grow, mature and learn in an environment that is safe and supportive. GALS has made the middle school years a breeze.
I have been teaching for 13 years and the past three at GALS. I have found a home here. The students and their families are amazing and they truly believe in us and what we do! This year we are working on creating a positive culture for girls by establishing a restorative justice program, refining our hallmark classes on the development of girls, working closely with an incredible team of counselors from Naropa in Boulder to support the social and emotional development of our girls, creating a program that uses movement every day to get girls to honor the mind-body connection, and of course offering rich and rigorous academics that resulted in some of the best growth in the city last year on TCAPS. I stand behind this school, I believe in your daughters, and I am committed to serving them every day.
GALS has been a transformative experience for both of our daughters. The teachers are exceptional and they have addressed each of my children's specific eductional needs, both with advanced exceleration and special education support as needed. The attention to the whole student, addressing intellectual, phsycial, psychological and social needs, couldn't be better. My daughters have become more delightful rather than less during middle school, and they have built confidence rather than lost it. Thank you GALS!