|Examples of Full-service Schools
Gardner Pilot Academy
Located in Allston (Boston), MA, Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA) is a full-service community school with the capacity to serve 340 students in grades K1-5. To achieve the school’s mission of providing academic excellence for all students, GPA provides high quality teaching along with a range of social, emotional and enrichment programs delivered through an array of community partners. GPA opens its doors to welcome over 15 community partners. University partners, physical and mental health providers, as well as recreation and enrichment programs all actively support and strengthen GPA’s ability to teach and enhance student learning.
As one of just 21 pilot schools in the Boston Public Schools, GPA is exempt from most district and union regulations. This status provides autonomies to create and implement innovative curricula, assessments, interventions, and a school culture that supports high expectations and achievement.
GPA strives to maintain, on average, classes sizes of about 20 students per classroom. Through a unique staffing structure that creates grade level teams of teachers, aides, specialists and interns, GPA boasts a school-wide ratio of one adult for every ten students. GPA is working with Boston College to pioneer a school-wide literacy initiative. Every GPA student is taught science by a science specialist in a dedicated classroom fully equipped as a science lab as well as in an outdoor science classroom.
Physical education is provided by a part-time teacher as well as in partnership with the Sports4Kids program. Every student at GPA will be exposed to a variety of arts, including dance, storytelling, drama, music, textiles, drawing, and more as part of GPA’s Friday Arts Initiative. Professional artists teach at GPA through our partnership with local arts organizations, such as Young Audiences, Mass Movement, Boston Children’s Theater, and the Museum of Fine Arts.
GPA’s before school, after school, and summer programs combine homework support, academic enrichment, recreational clubs, character development and community service into the daily schedule. The after-school program consists of four main educational and recreational components:
GPA is committed to supporting the needs of the whole child and families. Integrating the best aspects of the community school and pilot school models, GPA strives to ensure the individual needs of each child are addressed. Families have the opportunity to participate in programs such as: Adult Education Services, Parent Support Group, and Parent/Family Engagement Events. GPA is a partner with Boston Connects. Boston Connects provides GPA with a full-time family support social worker, to connect children and their family members to community-based support programs. Joseph M Smith Community Health Center has a satellite office housed in the GPA building that provides medical services to all GPA family members who choose JMSC as their primary care provider.
Full-service Schools Roundtable 443 Warren Street, Dorchester, MA 02121