School Message

The 2018-2019 school year kicked off on Monday, August 13th for Gray Stone Day School.  A student body of 835 students in grades 6-12 arrived ready for the new year. “Both the middle and high school have many opportunities for engagement and students are eager to begin,” said Helen Nance, Chief Administrator. “We have assembled a stellar group of faculty and the work will challenge students to do their best.”

Jeff Morris, who serves as the principal for the high school said, “We are excited about another great year at Gray Stone.” Last year saw 106 students graduate and this year’s graduating class is even larger.  More than 98% of the students who graduate from Gray Stone enroll in college.  

One of the strengths of Gray Stone is the ability to offer a rigorous course load for students.  The school offers the regular state core curriculum at the honors level as well as fifteen different Advanced Placement courses.  These AP courses are college level courses taught in high school with a curriculum mandated and approved by the College Board – the makers of the SAT that most college bound students take.  On the middle school side, all students are taking accelerated core courses to help them get ready for the high school environment. 

The students don’t just study, though.  More than 60% of the students participated in athletics last year.  The school offers a full complement of state sanctioned sports with the exception of football and wrestling.  “Our teams have worked hard on and off the field through the years,” Morris said.  More than half of the teams at Gray Stone won their respective conference title last year.  

The school engages in an alternate learning week called “E-week” or “Enrichment Week” as well.  This year will see a week in the fall and a week in the spring where regular classes come to a halt and the school offers other activities that supplement learning.  While the first week, scheduled for October, is still in the planning stages, some of the ideas being considered are automotive repair, personal finance, website development, theatre intensive, work with local non-profits, and several STEM projects.  

“This is a great opportunity for our students to explore other interests in a way that allows them to try without the fear of failure,” Morris explained.  “Students and teachers look forward to the break from the regular, rigorous workload and the chance to try something new.”

All of the course work, activities, and opportunities are designed with keeping the school mission in mind.  “We want to do everything we can to prepare students for college – from helping them build a great transcript to teaching them how to study and manage their time,” said Morris.  

Gray Stone employs a dedicated college counselor who is already at work guiding students through the application process.  Sarah Ince is in her fourth year at the school and is responsible for educating students and parents about the process and supporting them through it.  The two weeks leading up to classes saw senior students on campus voluntarily for what has become known as Senior Seminar.  “Seniors come in to check in with me and begin the process of applying to colleges,” said Ince.  “It is exciting to see them working through the many post-secondary options and helping to guide them through applications, essay writing, recommendations, and the financial aid process.”

In keeping with the vision of Gray Stone, the middle school began its second year offering grades 6th through 8th accelerated core courses to help prepare them for the high school curriculum.  All 6th grade students participated in an orientation on August 9th and 10th to help them with the transition to not only middle school, but to Gray Stone. During the two-day orientation, students learned about the culture at Gray Stone, bonded with their classmates through fun activities, and enjoyed time learning the skills and expectations to get off to a great start for the year.  “It is hard to believe this is only year two of the middle school, because it has been a very smooth and exciting start to the year” said Robert Stack, the principal of the middle school. We also began our second year of athletics this year with fall sports tryouts coinciding with the first week of school.

This year will be the best ever!! Go Knights!

Headlines

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Mrs. Nance, Board Chair Stephen Chambers, and other invited guests cut the ribbon for the new school building
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