Dear TGS Families:
We are very excited to be rolling out our Friday Exploration schedule next week and welcome students who are attending in person to campus every day for the remainder of the school year! As a reminder, the rest of the semester will see our academic block schedule playing out Monday through Thursday, Day 1 and Day 2, with a special Friday Exploration or some other modified activity (especially in the US as they prepare for AP exams and finals in May) each week. The next two Fridays will consist of a “pure” Friday Exploration schedule for every grade level.
For those who are newer members of our school community, Friday Explorations provide the opportunity for students to sign up for courses that allow them to explore a subject more deeply or in a new direction, augment their learning, or try something entirely new. The program was created intentionally with a number of goals in mind, including ensuring that our 6 Cs (Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Community, and Compassion) are integrated throughout a student’s time at TGS.
Friday Explorations also give teachers the opportunity to apply their own pedagogical 6 Cs to varied learning approaches that are often difficult to employ during the regular instructional week. For instance, the flexibility of the Friday schedules allows for interdisciplinary projects, guest speakers, extended labs and field study and off-campus excursions. Fridays are also utilized to meet other aspects of our school mission: leadership, service and wellness.
And finally, Friday Explorations encourage student agency by providing a platform whereby students can recommend, plan and even collaborate with faculty on ideas that are unique and specialized based on their interests and talents. For instance, a few years ago, students in Mrs. Young’s Upper School English class became enamored with J.D. Sallinger’s work and asked if they could explore more of his writing through a series of Friday Explorations. Mrs. Young happily obliged and a cohort of students examined his literature pieces in more depth.
Friday Exploration days begin at 8:50 am and conclude at 3:30 pm, just like a regular school day, and the days are treated like other school days in terms of attendance. In-person students are expected to be on campus on Fridays. Students will sign up for their Explorations on Monday.
Remote students have options for remote or in-person Explorations. Remote students choosing to attend Explorations in person must commit to a full Friday of in-person learning and return a signed COVID waiver to Zeskind Hall before April 23. If your remote-learning student chooses to do Friday Explorations in person, please complete this online form by noon on April 21.
Thank you for your continued patience as we’ve navigated ambiguity and the unknown for the past 12 months! It feels like a breath of fresh air to be returning to a more familiar routine, and we look forward to reporting out more news about the Friday Explorations in future messages.
Best wishes for what looks to be a beautiful April weekend ahead,
Julie A. Sherrill, Ph.D.
Head of School
"The Gregory School is a place that is transforming learning and transforming students' lives. Gregory students lead institutions; they found movements; they invent technology; they run cities. Students leave TGS with a sense of agency; they believe they can change the world for the better and it is our aim to ensure we give them the knowledge, skills, experiences and confidence to do so."