Happy summer and welcome back to the 2016-2017 school year here at The Gilbert School. I want to not only reach out to all of our returning families but I also welcome all our new families, whether first-time families here, coming from neighboring towns, returning to Gilbert, or coming from faraway lands. “The Gilbert Way” is about ensuring a broad educational experience that includes a rigorous academic curriculum, extracurricular programs for a variety of student interests, and a safe and interconnected community where we take care of each other.
The 2015-16 school year brought tremendous excitement to Gilbert. As the very proud and honored Principal here, I have witnessed the great history and fine tradition that Mr W.L. Gilbert brought to our community, seen first hand the dedicated faculty and staff who work diligently to bring out the best in all students and I have met so many incredibly supportive parents and community members who appreciate the astonishing growth that TGS has seen in the past few years. Along with that, I have become inspired by a student body that yearns for the opportunity to grow and soar in all of their greatness.
Last year our students, parents, faculty and administrative team were rewarded with the most notable of all academic recognitions (a silver medal from US NEWS and WORLD REPORT recognizing Gilbert as one of the 10% best rated schools in America) and it highest ranking ever of 37th in CT. This recognition is due to Dr. Serio, the WL Gilbert School Corporation and WL Gilbert Trust as well as the staff and parents working together for the benefit of EVERY student. With the support of a everyone last year was educationally remarkable. This year will be even better!
Combine this great news with the addition of...our new courses in grades 9–12; a revamped reading, writing, science, and math focus in grades 7–8; the infusion of Robotics and STEM as extracurricular programs; and an improved and tightened curriculum to meet the Common Core standards of excellence. The educational program at The Gilbert School is quickly becoming one of the most talked about schools in CT.
Above all, we will continue to teach lessons that are interconnected and relevant to everything we do so that every student leaves Gilbert prepared for life’s lessons. And it is these lessons of interconnectedness that lead me to focus on the words of Abraham Lincoln (according to a popular legend), who may have written this to his son’s headmaster in 1857. The words still hold true for us today. We are all(as parents, educators, and community members) teaching lessons for life, rather than just lessons in a subject, to each member of the Gilbert student body.
My son will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, that all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel, there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a
dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend.
It will take time, but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found.
Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning; steer him away from envy, if you can.
Teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books...but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon.
Teach him to listen to all men, but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad.
Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness.
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders, but never to put a price on his heart and soul.
Treat him gently, but do not coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient; let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in humankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son!
President Lincoln would be proud of the lessons that are being taught and formed here every day. I applaud our faculty and staff for incorporating these lessons in all we do. Many years ago the national philosophy shifted educationally from the belief that “we teach kids” to “we teach subjects.” No longer do we think that way here at The Gilbert School—WE TEACH KIDS and everyone is better for it.
What am I most proud of at Gilbert is the interconnectedness that is clearly on display between departments, students and faculty, and the community at large. Both the W.L. Gilbert Trust and the W.L. Gilbert School Corp are incredible advocates for everything that happens here. We are at a place of growth transformation with the curricular program, the renewed focus on rigor and accountability, the infusion of our international program, and so many other wonderful things.
I encourage you to visit and to see for yourself what the buzz is all about. WE are open from 8-2 in the summer M-TH and of course our doors are always open during the school year. Please call upon myself or Mrs. Sojka, Associate Principal for anything you and your children need.
With warmest wishes for a spectacular school year,
Alan J. Strauss, Principal