Eighth Grade Experience

The eighth grade year sees the strong foundations laid in the previous two years bear fruit. The girls have a well-developed sense of the group’s identity, know how to self-advocate, and arrive in eighth grade with a level of sophistication at working collaboratively beyond many adults. They are ready to ready to complete their individual journeys, together, for one final year before heading off to their different schools.

In a year that culminates with each girl's Personal Odyssey, the eighth graders explore complex and often intense topics. They use the freedom they are provided to investigate, innovate, fail, and grow. Students examine the complexity of identity and the realities of UN diplomacy; they experiment with the building blocks of nature and learn to calculate mechanical energy; they work through the quadratic algorithm in math and programming algorithms in Python; they create and perform a Shakespeare production and take a week-long class trip to Mexico. Throughout this journey, the students refine how they fit together as a community. Our eighth graders arrive at graduation with deep levels of self-awareness, understanding, maturity, and compassion.

At the foundation of GMS is a philosophy of growth mindset and self-discovery. We trust in the process of learning by doing, through trial and error, and with the lens of kindness and empathy. We are confident in what the girls will glean from the skills and techniques, successes and failures, frustrations and moments of glory. Our graduates leave as hand-raisers and self-advocates, innovators and instigators. We know that by the end of eighth grade they have the tools they need to be leaders and thoughtful supporters, keen observers of life and upstanders. As one graduate stated,

…you can’t typecast a GMS girl, because a GMS girl is every girl at her best.