A Message from President Armbrister ...
“Excellence is Within Our Grasp.”
A New Year at New Girard
We are now in the third week of school, and things have been busy. Throughout the past few weeks, staff, students and families have commented on feelings of energy, excitement and optimism that permeate the entire campus. As I start my fourth year as President of Girard College, I too feel the excitement of new beginnings and the confidence that we are truly heading towards EXCELLENCE.
I think much of the credit for the palpable sense of excitement should be attributed to the over 70 new families who joined the Girard College community as we began the new school year. We applaud the efforts of everyone who participated in the identification and enrollment of these new students and families, but a particular note of thanks should be extended to our Enrollment Management Team for leading this successful endeavor.
In conjunction with the Academic and Residential faculties and staff, the Enrollment Management Team welcomed these new students and families to Girard in an unprecedented fashion. On August 25-26, they conducted a one and one-half day orientation program that included the grade 1-8 students’ first-ever sleepover at “the Hum.” (PHOTO BELOW RIGHT) What a success! Acclimating themselves to residential life before school officially began gave students and families another opportunity to make a smooth transition to becoming members of the Girard Family.
Although pleased by the levels of excitement, we are not entirely surprised because we have been preparing for the start of an exciting school year all summer.
- We have reorganized residential spaces so that grades 7 and 8 will be housed in the west end;
- We have upgraded the Upper School dormitories and lounge areas with new furniture, paint and carpeting (PHOTO ABOVE LEFT);
- We’ve established an Upper School “Enrichment Center” on the second floor of the Library;
- We have welcomed new academic faculty in both Lower and Upper Schools;
- We’ve expanded the Independent Reading Project from fifth grade in 2013, to fourth/fifth/sixth grades in 2014, to fourth/fifth/sixth/seventh/eighth grades in 2015;
- We are defining a new direction for the EDP (Extended-Day Program).
Looking into the future, we have begun work to reorganize the school in a manner that we believe will most benefit our students. In the fall of 2016, we expect the school to be organized as a 1-8 school that focuses on our primary grades (1-5) and middle school (6-8); and also as a distinctive, thematic high school, focusing on grades 9-12. The transition to this new configuration has already begun with the relocation of our seventh- and eighth-grade students to the residential facilities at the “West End” of campus.
Whew! As you can see, there is a lot going on at Girard College, and all of it is designed to reach the standard of Excellence we have set for ourselves. Excellence is certainly within our grasp!
Looking forward to a great 2015-16 academic year.
Clarence D. Armbrister