Gibson Island Country School
Gibson Island Country School (GICS) was established on the Pasadena peninsula in 1956 to serve families from Annapolis to Baltimore City and communities in between. The School offers students in Pre-K - Grade 5 a challenging elementary program in a safe and exceptionally scenic waterfront setting. School Busing and financial aid programs ensure community diversity.
According to a current 5th grader, “GICS is special because it is small so you get to know all the other students and you also get to know the teachers very well.” She also likes the fact that “there are smart kids in my class, and we’re always doing things.” Her comments reflect the philosophy of GICS, a school where a personalized atmosphere supports strong learning and nurtures both personal and partnering skills.
At GICS, the homeroom teacher instructs students in language arts, math and social studies, while science, foreign language, art, music, physical education, library studies and computer are taught by specialists in these fields. Blending the best of traditional and progressive educational models, GICS teachers encourage their students to apply their schooling through integrated studies and hands-on learning projects.
GICS students expand their knowledge and confidence through presentations at assemblies, all-school productions, exploring the bay and its resources, studying famous artists and composers, learning tumbling and sports skills, giving monthly book talks, communicating with pen pals in Japan and Africa, perfecting computer skills, and participating in extracurricular afternoon activities. They also participate in community service activities, including regular visits to a Severna Park retirement community, food and clothing drives, and relief efforts for victims of last year’s tsunami and this year’s hurricanes.
GICS’ environmental program includes a composting program, recycling extending beyond our immediate community, growing and planting native bay grass, studying Bay water quality and fish populations, constructing reef balls, growing oyster spat, meteorological studies and a nature trail. Such projects are possible due to the School’s location on the Chesapeake Bay and relationships with environmental organizations. We hope to be formally designated a “green school” this spring.
GICS graduates attend area schools such as Severn, Indian Creek, McDonough, Annapolis Area Christian School and St. Paul’s Lutheran, as well as Severna Park, George Fox and Chesapeake Bay Middle Schools. Whatever their choice, the students arrive well prepared and eager for the challenges, both academic and social, that middle school brings.
GICS provides a rigorous academic experience that helps students to build the strong foundation of the skills and knowledge needed to flourish at higher educational levels. The quality of their preparation is reflected in strong standardized testing results. But we are also a school in which learning and growth is seen to extend far beyond fine scholarship.
At GICS, we encourage young people to build other skills and outlooks important to happiness and success in life: the ability and willingness to work hard to achieve meaningful goals, self-confidence and self-reliance, creativity, sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, a feeling of stewardship for the world in which we live, a sense of humor and perspective, sturdy personal values, and essential critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Ours is a school where easy laughter and a friendly, partnering atmosphere provide the backdrop for purposeful growth and judicious risk taking. It is a place where Pre-K students carry their own lunchboxes and share news with the entire student body without self-consciousness, where 5th graders greet the younger students at the start of the day and take ownership for the school. It is a place where students learn how to solve their own problems and discover it is better to have extended yourself into something new and made a mistake than never to have tried at all.
GICS is about hard work, joyful play, and feeling a part of a dynamic community of learners. It is a place where students are expected to abide by the ground rules yet find their personal needs respected and their individuality honored. It is about respecting themselves, partnering effectively, and acting responsibly.
At GICS, parents are actively involved in their child’s growth and play a central role in the partnership. We encourage our parents to turn off the television and talk with their child, to support their child’s forging strong study skills, and to model a life-long openness to learning. That’s why we always talk about GICS as a community--we’re all in it together!
GICS graduates are young people who are responsible, curious, self-reliant and able, students who are ready and eager to take on the challenges of life.
For further information, please visit our website at www.gics.org or contact us at 410-255-5370. Open Houses are held 9:00-11:30 am every Wednesday.