Dear TGS Families:
Next week marks our annual Interim Week (though juniors have already left for Utah due to the dates of the Shakespearian Festival). Therefore, it’s timely to answer the question: Why do we do Interim Week?
First, the concept of Interim Week aligns with that of our mission:
The Gregory School, as a diverse learning community, challenges and supports students to achieve excellence in character, scholarship, leadership, and innovation, and prepares them to make a positive impact in the world through pursuing their passions, appreciating and creating beauty, and solving problems.
Our core values are character, scholarship, leadership, and innovation. As a member of our English faculty, Michael Mann described, “Our core values, as outlined in our mission, are designed to provide students with rich, cross-curricular learning experiences. Students collaborate and engage in authentic problem-posing and problem-solving activities. They make connections, ask probing questions, use creative and critical thinking skills, use research strategies, and create and share original products. These experiences push students out of the normal “comfort zone” of a traditional school schedule and challenge them to think differently, harder, smarter, and more creatively.”
Thus, community and experientially-based learning designed by our faculty for interim week reinforces these goals in different settings and through grade-level community building activities. Interim week is an integral part of student curriculum at TGS and contributes, as well, to their portfolio of experiences in their college admissions process.
Second, Interim Week allows us to suspend our more typical academic week with the least disruption to our weekly academic classes. Because we believe in customizing student schedules, our students do not move in neat, chronological steps through our curriculum. An upper school math teacher could have a variety of grade levels represented in an Algebra or Geometry class. As such, pulling grades out to do these experiential activities separately throughout the first semester could disrupt our academic program for an extended time because teachers would likely not have a “whole” class for weeks.
And finally, we fully support and value the power of students gaining valuable learning experiences across an array of professional areas. Our senior internship requirement is an example of this belief. We are finding (and we are encouraging) students exploring internship placements at an earlier stage in their upper school career. To illustrate the value of those opportunities, I encourage you to read Allen El’s account of his summer experience at Boy’s State and Boys Nation. As you’ll see, the impact can be far-reaching and inform the myriad of choices and decisions students have upon completing their education at The Gregory School. We are proud that we were represented so well by Allen as he interacted with national leaders in Washington D.C. last summer.
Thank you for your support of this vital part of our Gregory School Difference. I look forward to seeing many of you at next week’s State of the School presentation on Wednesday evening, in the theater.
Enjoy the rain!
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.Dr. Julie Sherrill