The Girls' School of Austin Viewbook 2016

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To create confident and courageous girls, begin with curiosity.

A NOTE FROM LISA SCHMITT, HEAD OF SCHOOL Our small, thriving school attracts creative and dedicated educators and families who appreciate the intellectual life and its pursuits. As Head of School, I enjoy encouraging their collaboration and seeing our students thrive as young scientists, writers, problemsolvers, and artists. Every student gets in the game from the beginning; there are no sidelines. Their contributions to class discussions, presentations, and projects begin in kindergarten, and they rise to the ever-changing academic and leadership opportunities that unfold as they progress to eighth grade. A playful, inquisitive spirit complements our academic culture. Every student learns to play a musical instrument and develops a body of visual art in our acclaimed fine arts program. In our playground you will find fairy villages, flower beds, and gardens — all created and maintained by our students. And when our students aren’t tending to projects on campus, they can be found learning from and serving the community that surrounds them. One of the greatest outcomes of our campus culture is a strong sisterhood. Girls support each other in achieving personal bests and develop confidence and courage surrounded by their enthusiastic community of teachers, peers, and parents. When our students graduate, they enter high school as confident young women, ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. We look forward to introducing you personally to our campus and community. Lisa Schmitt

OUR MISSION The Girls’ School of Austin provides an academically challenging education for girls in a community that fosters creative learning and personal excellence. Our mission is to develop confident young women who lead intellectually vibrant and fulfilling lives.

WE BELIEVE... ...curiosity, creativity, diversity, and a willingness to take risks advance intellectual growth. ...a well-rounded education provides the foundation for scholarly and personal pursuits. ...service to others and self-awareness are essential to the learning experience.

OUR COMMUNITY... respectful, inclusive, and supportive. ...celebrates the efforts and achievements of hardworking students. ...thrives under the guidance of dedicated, inspiring teachers.

A BALANCED EDUCATION To experience what sets apart The Girls’ School of Austin from its peers, walk around our campus and see how our environment and curriculum is attuned to girls’ learning styles. Our faculty cultivates both quiet individual study and small group collaboration in indoor and outdoor classrooms. The campus serves as a source of inspiration and instruction for sustainable living. There is opportunity for vigorous activity, singular focus, and community engagement. To learn more about the GSA curriculum, download our curriculum guide from our website:

A campus that teaches sustainability and more.

ADVANTAGE: GIRLS Beginning in kindergarten, students benefit from the all-girl environment and collaborative culture fostered by The Girls’ School of Austin faculty. Rising through lower and middle schools, girls learn to try on all roles in the classroom, on campus and in the community – whether that’s math whiz, novelist, scientist, or class clown — and they enter high school with greater confidence in STEM and fine arts subjects. Here are some ways that the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools describes the girls’ school advantage: •

48% of girls’ school alumnae rate themselves great at math versus 37% for girls in coed schools.

Three times as many alumnae of single-sex schools plan to become engineers.

Women graduates of single-sex schools spend more time studying or doing homework, talking with teachers outside of class, tutoring peers and studying with others.

BEYOND THE BOOKS In addition to promoting student excellence in core subjects of mathematics, science and humanities, GSA encourages accomplishment and competence in the visual arts, social emotional intelligence, music (strings or piano) and physical activity. Every GSA student also studies Spanish beginning in kindergarten. Each semester our students participate in many extracurricular activities offered after school to provide rich opportunities for learning 21st century skills, honing a craft, or discovering a new passion. Activities may include: • • • • •

Robotics Tumbling Podcasting Running Tennis

• • • • •

Chamber Orchestra Portfolio Art Triathlon Training Creative Writing Conservation Club

Academically challenging education for girls in a community that fosters creative learning and personal excellence.

WHERE HER JOURNEY BEGINS: LOWER SCHOOL AT GSA Girls enter kindergarten socially and mentally well-equipped to learn. Compared to boys of the same age, kindergarten girls are more ready to engage in typical academic pursuits—listening to a teacher or a peer, focusing for extended periods of time, learning to read and write. Our school also encourages plenty of time for play, creativity, and the curious pursuit of imagination. One of our familiar expressions is “Austin is our classroom.” Beginning in kindergarten, field-trips in and around Austin provide many opportunities for connecting with nature and culture. A typical week in lower school might include: •

Perfecting a Spanish folk song

Building miniature worlds at recess

Beginning a service learning project

Learning about world cultures

Mastering a piece of music

Writing a modern day fairytale

Creating a superhero

Launching a rocket

Watching a chrysalis hatch in an outdoor classroom

HER SECOND STORY: MIDDLE SCHOOL AT GSA Upon completing fourth grade, students rise to GSA Middle School, located primarily on the second story of Duncan Hall. This literal and symbolic transition begins a new chapter of student life as teachers promote more independence and responsibility. •

Our students’ original works have received nearly 100 National and Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards since 2009.

Students travel an average of 3,000 miles in middle school on field trips near and far.

Middle school students have the opportunity to graduate with up to two high school credits in Spanish.

Graduates leave GSA with one or more high school math credits.

Every year, each grade produces a theatrical production. Students take on all the roles from acting and set design to directing.

Our high school placement services help families find a high school where their daughters will continue to grow and thrive.


CURIOUS, CONFIDENT AND COURAGEOUS TEACHING Our highly educated and dedicated teachers are well versed in the developmental and social needs of girls. Each year they further their professional development through a range of programs, among them: •

SEL 201

The National SEED Project

ISAS New Teacher Institute

Wilderness First Aid


Columbia Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project

The NAIS People of Color Conference

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics regional conference

BEYOND GSA GSA alumnae report that they feel confident and prepared for high school. After their years at GSA, our graduates have a wide range of choices for high school. Recent graduates have matriculated at many highly respected public, private, and magnet schools including: •

The Academy for Global Studies (AGS) at Austin High School

The Griffin School

The International Baccalaureate Program at Anderson High School

The Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) at LBJ High School

McCallum Fine Arts Academy

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Where will the Girls’ School take your daughter?

ADMISSIONS Attending an Open House is the first step in our application process. Parents have an opportunity to visit classes, tour the school, and attend a question and answer session. Upcoming open house dates are published on our website,, or you can call the office to schedule a tour. All materials, including student and parent interviews and shadow days must be completed by February 1 in order for the application to be considered for the first round of admission decisions. Applications submitted after February 1 are considered on a space-available basis. The Girls’ School of Austin seeks to provide a superior education to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds, and it offers financial assistance to families demonstrating need. The Girls’ School of Austin does not discriminate in the administration of any of its policies or programs, including admission and financial aid, on the basis of race, color, nationality, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. THE GIRLS’ SCHOOL OF AUSTIN 2007 MCCALL ROAD AUSTIN, TEXAS 78703 512.478.7827 WWW.THEGIRLSSCHOOL.ORG The Girls’ School of Austin is a member of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools.

OUR MISSION The Girls’ School of Austin provides an academically challenging education for girls in a community that fosters creative learning and personal excellence. Our mission is to develop confident young women who lead intellectually vibrant and fulfilling lives.