GSMST is a well-known, world-renowned school for its high level of student achievement, extracurricular accolades, and the powerful culture all of our stakeholders continue to strengthen at our school. GSMST’s success is due in large part to the excitement and dedication of our students, parents, teachers, Advisory Board, and valued partnerships with universities and corporations; each of whom are deeply involved in our students’ experiences and successes. Believe me when I say that GSMST students are in good hands. We have a very powerful staff at GSMST and we all work extremely hard to prepare our students for the next level. We are a unique school with a laser focus on nurturing the talents and high potential of all of our students through a unique, challenging, and integrated curriculum centered on mathematics, science, and technology which prepares students for jobs that do not yet exist.
The combined efforts of many within GCPS continue to carry out Superintendent Wilbank’s vision of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology. The STEM curriculum is preparing our students for academic success at the next level and exposes them to a global platform accomplished through the engaging, innovative, and dynamic type of teaching and learning our instructors are passionate about.
There is a significant and explicit difference at GSMST between being on task and engaged. Teachers here work at a higher level of instruction through rigorous courses designed with high levels of relevance for our students. Now some of you might question what I mean by “rigor” at GSMST.
- About the course content
- About expectations
- About quality instruction
- About depth, quality, and richness of the tasks and content
- Seen in the nature of the task, with a focus on higher-order thinking
- Attached to literacy
- Related to student engagement and invigorating the learner
- Supported through multiple opportunities and an expectation for students to be successful
- About high standards for students
- About high standards for educators
Rigor is not:
- Grading harder
- Doing more of the same
- About amount– quantity over quality
- Failing more students
- Being rigid
This rigor is made relevant for students by the project-based learning and explicit connections our instructors masterfully communicate. You will begin to see this immediately in their coursework and it will continue through the internships and unique opportunities that our upperclassmen enjoy. Our Partnership Program, which includes our internships, is extremely successful and is inspiring students to become interested in STEM. GSMST works diligently at incorporating the advancement of STEM education through an integrated curriculum and community partnerships.
Our curriculum, rigor, and focus on relevance definitely set us apart from other schools. However, it is our culture (which is how we do business every day) that adds to the uniqueness of GSMST. The high level of tolerance amongst our student body as well as the powerful and productive relationships our students and teachers form during the time that is spent at GSMST is unparalleled. As I have said many times, culture trumps any strategy. Because our student body holds itself to a higher level of accountability, our teaching strategies are even more effective. Students truly have the opportunity to outperform their own benchmarked predictors.
We are very proud of accomplishments such as two consecutive years of posting a 100% graduation rate, a 100% pass rate on the GA HS Writing Test with over half of the test takers exceeding all standards, the 100% pass rate on the End-of-Course Exams this spring, as well as the number of scholarships and awards granted to our senior class last year. GSMST’s AP scores are also leaders throughout the state. We were even recognized by the Washington Post High School rankings as a BEST School in Georgia and ranked 18 in the nation.
For many of you who may read this message, you are the essential component in nurturing this special culture of motivation and success. We are excited to take the journey of infinite possibilities with you this school year. For our parents, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to teach your students. Together… We ARE GSMST!