- The Arts
- Career & Tech Ed
- Social Studies/History
- Special Services
- World Languages
CTE Department Chair - Christopher Affie
Music - Scott Minnerly, and Adam Atkins
Visual Art - Rebecca Billingsly
Drama - Francesca Caruso
Theater Tech - Scott Minnerly
Career and Technical Education Department
Preparing Students for the Real World
The Career and Technical Education Department at The Gilbert School is committed to providing the skills needed to be competitive in today’s global society. As a result of participation in a variety of courses at The Gilbert School 7-12 CTE Program, students will:
Demonstrate interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills needed to function in diverse working environments.
Appreciate the value of the entrepreneurial spirit, both in the small business and in the corporate environment.
Apply the critical-thinking skills needed to function in students’ multiple roles as citizens, consumers, worker, manager, business owners, and director of their economic futures.
Communicate effectively as writers, listeners, and speakers.
Investigate the use of technology in the real world.
Learn to operate tools and machines with safety and skill, manufacturing and carpentry techniques, etc. that can be applied to the real world in real careers.
Operate software for computers that are used in the engineering fields to design and output real drawings that manufacturers, carpenters, part makers, etc. would use to create a real product.
Understand how businesses operate as a consumer, manager, or business owner.
Select and apply technology tools for making personal and business decisions and achieving personal and organizational goals.
Read, interpret and analyze financial statements, and demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for making informed business and personal financial decisions.
The ultimate goal for the student who is an English Language Learner (ELL) is autonomy in the target language (English). ESL support is meant to promote and enhance academic excellence for English Language Learners.
In an increasingly culturally diverse world, The Gilbert School recognizes the need for all educational stakeholders to offer a variety of learning experiences and opportunity designed to ensure successful learning for all students.
In particular, ESL Students' needs are addressed according to the Connecticut State Department of Education Guidelines for English Language Learners.
Students at Levels One, Two or Three are offered mandatory support.
Students at Levels 4 and 5 may experience total immersion into mainstream classes, with optional support and monitoring of their progress.
The process of serving ELLs is on a continuum that begins when the student arrives and ends when they have exited the ELL program by mastering the CAPT tests in Reading and Math and achieving an overall score of Level 4 or 5 in English Language Proficiency as measured by the LAS Links.
Identification of ELLs through a Home Language Survey
English Language Proficiency Oral Assessment (standardized interview)
Placement Test (LAS Links) in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
Following a consultation with the student, ESL teacher, counselors, and mainstream teachers, students are offered classes according to their ability to function in their native country and their overall ability to master academic subjects.
During their first month or so of school students receive:
Newcomer Welcome and Orientation
Targeted, Culturally Sensitive ESL Instruction and support
May include use of native language learning materials/translation
Observation of student in various settings
Building knowledge through academic and social language development
Alignment with CCSS (Common Core State Standards)
Annual Assessment of English Language Proficiency using LAS Links (assessment tool)
Integration of Technology in all subject areas
Formative and summative classroom assessments (ongoing informal assessments)
Sheltered Instruction as needed
Students will be encouraged to participate independently in a global society by using higher-level thinking skills and to compete with native English speakers in mainstream classes and extracurricular activities. These ESL students have the advantage of dual language competency, which will serve them well going forward in all their future endeavors.
In our Vision statement: “The Gilbert School, in partnership with parents and community, will strive to prepare every student for a lifetime of learning by producing an educational experience that fosters intellectual, social, emotional and personal growth in a safe and nurturing environment.”
Middle School English program:
Our middle school program consists of 7th-grade literature and writing rich curriculum which revolves around our 7th-grade literature course and an accompanying Language Arts course. This provides students with a double-block of literacy every day to reinforce the skills necessary to master reading and writing at the middle school level and beyond. Our 8th-grade curriculum builds upon this foundation with an intense focus on the implementation of common core standards in order to aid students to become better readers, writers, and thinkers to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
High School English program:
The English Curriculum is a four-year sequential program required of all students for graduation. English competency grows as students read extensively, listen analytically to others, speak with clarity, and organize their own thoughts through the writing process. Each year is designed to promote growth in the various forms of written and oral expression, as well as shape an appreciation of different genres of literature through careful reading and critical analysis. The studies of vocabulary, grammar, as well as literature are incorporated into the curriculum.
Our program aligns with the common core and extensively prepares students for career readiness, college readiness and above all reinforces 21st-century skills needed in the workplace and for college/university study.
The high school curriculum begins with Freshmen World Literature which builds upon the foundations of literary analysis, literary terminology, formal essay writing, and personal reflection. The Sophomore Early American Literature (American Studies I) and Junior Modern American Literature (American Studies II) courses follow a thematic approach designed to help students appreciate the historical context within literary works all while fine-tuning writing and reading skills and mastering all facets of writing. These two courses are linked with their History department counterparts in order to provide historical, social, and cultural connections within the chosen American Studies themes.
The Senior World Literature course is an examination of the development of the literature starting with ancient Babylonian texts transcending through the Renaissance and culminating with a critical analysis of modern pieces. Students have the opportunity to experience advanced placement offerings in both AP English Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition as well as a developing elective base including drama offerings, interdisciplinary coursework, genre-specific writing courses, and other courses expected to be forthcoming.
The Mathematics Department offers a wide range of course offerings to meet the needs of students at different levels of math ability. Courses range from 7th-grade Mathematics and Pre-Algebra to Advanced Placement Calculus and Statistics.
Courses are structured to prepare students to be critical thinkers in an increasingly competitive society. Courses are also structured to prepare students for assessments such as state tests, the SAT, and AP testing.
Students have opportunities to meet before school, after school, or free periods with teachers and/or tutors to receive extra assistance.
Please see our course offerings with descriptions in the program of studies or email Lauren Bannon at email@example.com for more information about the Mathematics Department.
A shift in the alignment of our science curriculum has begun and the transition will continue over the next couple of years. The current assessment for 10th grade is gone and will not happen next year, and the next generation assessment will move up to the junior year.
What are the new science standards?
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of K–12 science standards that were developed by states, for states. The NGSS identify scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in science that all K–12 students should master to prepare for success in college and 21st-century careers.
Why are they important?
It has been more than 17 years since the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science produced their reports from which most state science standards are based. Since then, there have been major advances in science and our understanding of how students learn science. Students need the kind of preparation that gives them the tools and skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly and continuously changing world.
When current students graduate from high school, more jobs will require skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) than in the past. The NGSS provide a strong science education that equips students with the ability to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems — the skills needed to pursue opportunities within and beyond STEM fields.
What will the NGSS look like in the classroom?
High-quality education standards allow educators to teach effectively, moving their practice toward how students learn best—in a hands-on, collaborative, and integrated environment rooted in inquiry and discovery. Teaching based on the NGSS calls for more student-centered learning that enables students to think on their own, problem-solve, communicate, and collaborate—in addition to learning important scientific concepts.
The Gilbert School Middle/High School Department has developed a 7-12 program that is constituted as an interdisciplinary curriculum, drawing on all of the social sciences. Its goal is to help students become effective citizens in an ever-changing world. We seek to establish understandings of U.S. history, government institutions, and world cultures. The focus is on enhancing personal citizenship and widening the student’s appreciation of common problems facing humanity.
In addition to mastering content, the social studies curriculum stresses skills and attitudes. Through the use of technology, students will continue to gain skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and oral/written communication.
The Physical Education program is designed to help students learn skills and develop positive attitudes necessary for them to lead healthy, active and productive lives. The State of Connecticut requires that each student earn one credit in this subject to graduate from high school. Objectives are based on National and State Standards.
The Health and Safety Education program is designed to help students develop and maintain behaviors that promote lifelong wellness. Objectives of the program are based on state standards. This is a planned, ongoing, and systematic curriculum that includes state-mandated lessons in HIV prevention, suicide prevention, and substance abuse resistance education as well as other current health issues of adolescents. Instructors are certified American Red Cross teachers and juniors and seniors have opportunities to earn certification in adult CPR.
National Standards for K-12 Physical Education
The World Languages Department teaches the four basic skills inherent in the acquisition of a language- listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We address each of the “5 C’s” of the National Standards appropriately to the language and level: Communication, Culture, Comparisons, Connections, and Communities. Each language offered in the department provides AP or U Conn credit in level 4 or 5.
The Department also is the home of a sequence of courses in Classical Studies, in which students read works of Greek and Latin literature in English translation; these courses are not offered for foreign language credit.
Philosophy of the World Languages Department
The study of World Languages consists of a body of knowledge that includes the vocabulary, grammatical structures, and syntax of the target language; the acquisition of receptive and expressive skills to communicate actively and passively in the target language; and elements of the culture of the target language, including history, geography, customs, arts, foods, etc.
Our philosophy of Foreign Language education is based on the statement in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning produced by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). ACTFL states that “Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are equipped linguistically and culturally to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad.” (page 7). We believe that acquiring proficiency in a modern or classical language will enable students to benefit in many ways: students will gain the ability to communicate with other people in other cultures, acquire insight into other cultures, and develop the means to gain access to bodies of knowledge on their terms and to gain greater awareness of themselves and communities. We believe that all students can succeed in learning Foreign Languages, whether modern or classical. Foreign Language education is part of the core curriculum: it is integral to the entire school experience, provides unique benefits in intellectual development and integrates students into the wider world community.
Communication in languages other than English has become increasingly important in a diverse nation and an ever-shrinking world. Through long, uninterrupted sequences of second languages, learners acquire the skills and cultural understandings that permit them to function in a non-English speaking environment. Technological advances have provided new opportunities for learners to use their second language skills in interactions with other speakers and to learn about other cultures whether or not they travel beyond their classrooms. The study of Latin and Ancient Greek offers students the same benefits as the study of other languages except that the emphasis on oral communication is not as great.
Program Goals of the World Languages Department
In general, the goals of the Department reflect the National Standards. In studying foreign languages, students will learn to:
communicate in languages other than English
gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures
connect with other disciplines and acquire information
develop insight into the nature of languages and culture
participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world
The application of the Standards differs in the context of modern languages and classical languages. In the context of modern language instruction, students will learn to communicate in all four language skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing. Classical language instruction is primarily concerned with the ability to read Latin and Ancient Greek: the other skills areas help with the acquisition of that skill. Spanish students learn about the contemporary cultures of the Hispanic world and participate in them; classical language students learn about the ancient world and participate in the communities of Ancient Greek and Latin as the heirs of classical culture. All foreign language students gain insight into their own culture by coming in contact with those of people different from them in time or geographical location.
Specific goals of the program include:
To develop in the student the ability to understand, speak, read and write the target language as appropriate according to The Connecticut World Languages Curriculum Framework.
To acquaint the student with the culture and civilization, i.e. art, music, history, literature, etc. of the target language.
To develop an awareness and appreciation for one’s language and culture using contrast and comparison.
To promote an understanding of a diverse society through the acquisition of knowledge concerning a second language and the people who speak it, as well as the common linguistic heritage of Western Culture.
To promote an interest in the acquisition of a second language and its usefulness in enhancing career opportunities.