Academics

Academics at GPS

Where Learning is Limitless

Meeting her where she is; taking her wherever she dreams.

Although all schools offer core classes and some electives, at GPS our curriculum is thoughtfully designed to optimize outcomes for girls. We know girls learn more intentionally when teachers reach across disciplines and incorporate what students are experiencing in other classes. Hear from teachers and students about our unique GPS experience.

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  • + STEM & Computer Science

    STEM studies begin in Middle School, instilling in young girls the belief that they are highly capable in the areas of robotics, computer science, technology, and more. No wonder recent GPS grads go on to obtain degrees in STEM fields at 5 times the national average!

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  • + Science

    Through hands-on experiences and connections to organizations in our community, girls learn that science offers a plethora of opportunities for her to discover and understand not only the world around her but how she fits within it.

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  • + Math

    Beginning in Middle School, GPS teachers instill in students a growth mindset to combat the notion that girls are somehow genetically inferior in math. By allowing her to work with her peers and use creative ways to solve problems, teachers establish a sense of agency in her mathematical pursuits while helping her realize her potential. 

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  • + English

    Perhaps one of the most foundational components of a girls education is her ability to communicate. From writing an email to composing a thesis, effectively expressing her ideas is crucial to her success in life. Through literature and language, our English teachers help girls understand that reading and understanding a text and writing clearly and persuasively are necessary tools for any life pursuit.

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  • + World Languages

    Helping a girl pursue a love of language opens her to the world around her and all it has to offer. GPS students can learn not only to read and speak French, Spanish, and Latin but also how those languages fit into the history of our world and the cultural experiences around us.

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  • + History & Social Science

    Going beyond the textbook, GPS teachers help girls understand the history of our country and the world while creating in them a sense of agency that they, too, are not only an integral part of history but also the future.

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  • + Fine & Performing Arts

    Creativity knows no limits at GPS, which is why the arts are required for Middle School students and Upper School students are encouraged to pursue visual and performing arts. Teachers work to foster in each girl a sense that she’s an artist on whatever level that works for her. 

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  • + PE & Athletics

    Key to a girl’s success in life is her ability to work with others, push herself to try new things, and learn to lead. Physical education and athletics at GPS help a girl realize that she has the ability to overcome adversity, push through challenges, and be in control of her body and its amazing potential. 
Girls Preparatory School is rooted in a century-strong tradition of excellence but also in a belief that began with our three founders: that no one should place limits on what a girl can achieve. In an environment that fosters curiosity and challenges girls to safely take risks, each GPS girl is encouraged to take classes outside her definition of self. 

She’s not only an athlete but also a girl who excels at sports and in science and art. She’s not just a dancer but a student who leads her classmates confidently in student government. Through shared school experiences, unique traditions, and a culture of caring and service, each GPS girl finds her place in a unique community where she can thrive. 

At GPS, each girl is...

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  • + Supported

    Because girls are highly relational, faculty are dedicated to building relationships with each girl while nurturing her passions and interests. Experiential learning provides opportunities to tap into students’ interests and girls’ preference for working in community.
  • + Encouraged

    Our program is designed to inspire each girl, sparking her intellectual curiosity, encouraging her to own her learning journey and confidently embrace her strengths, beliefs, and passions, and preparing her to meaningfully contribute to the world around her.
  • + Challenged

    At GPS, we prepare each girl to be a lifelong learner and challenge her to believe in her ability to accomplish anything she wants. Instead of saying "I can’t," she learns to reframe her mindset to "I can’t yet!" Her Middle School experience instills in her the ability to manage her time wisely, self-advocate, and think independently. In the Upper School, she is encouraged to pursue her passions, chart her own academic path, and continue to grow her executive skills. As a result, GPS students are well-prepared for college! 

Our Graduates

From saving the oceans to creating a robotic car for a disabled child, our alumnae never cease to amaze us. To read stories about our incredible GPS alumnae, please see our alumnae profiles.

Browse Our Curriculum

Confidence is a key predictor for success—even more so than intelligence. It’s also an area where many girls struggle. While confidence cannot be taught, it can be cultivated. At GPS, our primary goal is to nurture and grow each girl’s confidence in herself and her abilities.

The Five C's

Creating a culture of confidence

Research shows that confidence surpasses IQ in predicting success. Confident girls are more likely to take risks and advocate for themselves and their beliefs. They are also more likely to own their own learning journey and pursue their passions. 
To create a culture of confidence, we emphasize the 4C's learning framework for 21st-century skills: critical analysis, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Mastery of these skills helps develop confidence, a fifth C, and teaches girls how best to navigate any academic or real-world challenges.

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  • + Critical Analysis

    The majority of students entering sixth grade are concrete thinkers. When challenging girls on an age-appropriate level, they are taught how to recognize multidimensional problems, ask the right questions, stretch their minds to consider new possibilities, and generate solutions based on research and experience.

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  • + Collaboration

    A recent LinkedIn survey listed collaboration as one of the top four life skills valued most by companies today. We facilitate collaboration with girls to help them broaden their horizons and enjoy the rich benefit of learning together. 

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  • + Communication

    Both sharing and listening in all forms of communication (written expression, discussion, nonverbal cues, and technology) are emphasized at GPS. Through classroom discussion, cocurricular activities, and by taking ownership of their school experience (e.g. emailing teachers directly) girls become self-reliant rather than depending on an adult to champion their cause.

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  • + Creativity

    Students who lack the initiative to create and innovate will be vasty unprepared in our ever-changing world. Because creativity is entrenched in everything we do, we encourage students to express original ideas and practice creative problem-solving in every class. More importantly, we emphasize creativity is a learned skill that you practice and cultivate throughout your life.

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  • + Confidence

    Understanding that a girl’s confidence is rooted in feelings of security and belonging, we promote a culture of sisterhood, mentorship, mutual respect, and support. Confidence is also borne from an understanding of self that requires resilience and a growth mindset, and GPS programming and practices are designed to promote these qualities. 
We know girls. We want to see them succeed.
We are fully vested in each girl and what she needs to be great.

The GPS Difference

Why a Girl School Still Matters

When GPS was founded in 1906, three school teachers desired for girls to obtain access to the same educational opportunities afforded their male classmates. When the local school board rejected their pleas for equality, they took the initiative to start their own school to best prepare girls for higher education. While today one can argue that coeducational schools offer a level playing field, we find that not to be true. Girls and boys might be afforded equal access to class selections, but few schools design curriculums to how girls learn best or establish an environment created just for girls. 

Our teachers know girls and how they grow and develop. Our coaches understand the relevance of athletics and how it plays a part in building confidence, leadership skills, perseverance, and healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Every club, every group, every sports team is led by a girl. Our art rooms, dance studios, study spaces, makerspace, classrooms are set up with girls in mind. Our weight room is designed for female athletes. There is an intentionality at GPS, an understanding and appreciation for the power of a girl you won’t find everywhere else. 

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  • + What We Know About Girls

    Research shows that girls mature sooner than boys; their verbal skills are also developed earlier than their male counterparts. They tend to be highly relational and more emotionally and socially perceptive and expressive than boys. When something doesn’t come easily to them, they process failure differently and thereby experience a significant drop in confidence during adolescence.
  • + How Girls Learn Best

    Because of their brain development, girls tend to thrive while working in small groups and form relationships more acutely with their peers and teachers than do boys. Girls work best when face-to-face, so you’ll often find our classroom desks set in a circle with their teacher right alongside students. Teachers also work to help girls make personal connections to what they’re learning, creating a sense of agency and relevance. 
  • + What Girls Need to Thrive

    When girls feel safe, comfortable, and supported in their environment, they can begin to discover their interests, passions, and more clearly define their identity. They often say they feel safe to take risks, to fail and recover, an essential skill for lifelong learning. Therefore teachers encourage a growth mindset and reframe a girl’s mantra from “I’m not good at this” to “I’m not good yet.” This intentional nurturing helps foster the confidence needed to succeed in life.

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