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The Gregory School

Difference Students Learn In and Out of the Classroom By Rhonda Bodfield

Interim Week Each semester, the school suspends classes for one week to allow time for each class to participate in leadership retreats, experiential learning and team building. This year, the juniors went to Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, with a trip designed to mesh with their science and English curriculum. Sophomores went to New Mexico. Freshmen went to the Grand Canyon. Even middle school participates. Fifth-graders stayed overnight at the Reid Park Zoo – parents invited – and the sixth grade went on an overnight to Catalina State Park. “It’s important to us that students have an opportunity to learn about the world together,” said Head of School Julie Sherrill. College counseling Few schools have a staff member dedicated entirely to working with students and families through the college admissions process. It starts in middle school,

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asking students to poke about and identify their own curiosities and strengths. Do they want to be veterinarians? That probably means math and science would be useful classes as they progress in school. Families also are encouraged to think through other ways of showing leadership and teamwork skills. “In this day and age, as the college admissions process has become more complex and competitive, a plethora of Advanced Placement classes and high SAT scores will not set you apart any longer,” Sherrill said. “Colleges are looking for wellrounded people who are interested in giving back to the world.” Senior internship All seniors are required to complete a 60-hour senior internship that, ideally, taps into their vision of their future. Those internships can be highly customized. One student, for example, who is interested in biomedical engineering, is working for a local company, designing protocols for medical devices. “We

have the autonomy, we have the scale and we have the talented faculty who are flexible and can deliver a customized education,” Sherrill said. “It’s not about whether you as a teacher love your specific academic subject area and everyone else should, too. It’s thinking through how you can give value to all students, no matter what their interests.” International students About 10 percent of The Gregory School student population comes from other parts of the world, including China, Costa Rica, Germany and Croatia. It’s part of the school’s commitment to a diverse student body. Adding to the international flavor of the school are optional travel opportunities to Italy, France, Costa Rica and more. The Gregory School is the only school in Southern Arizona accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. It is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Biz


The Gregory School has a rich history of embracing the philosophy of educating the whole child. That often means encouraging exploration, which is at the root of the features that make The Gregory School different:

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