A Balanced, Holistic Education
Guest Author: Dana Abplanalp-Diggs, The Grauer School's Principal
I’m often asked what makes The Grauer School different from other secondary schools. We are a school founded on the core value of kindness. We believe that every student has an innate talent and, when given the space and support to pursue it, they will achieve happiness, joy, and success. We are the best at balancing expeditionary learning and relationship-based education with college preparation. Our talented faculty and staff work diligently to balance intellectual pursuits with resourcefulness and kindness. Academics matter and our courses are accredited by the University of California’s a-g curriculum standards and follow the standards set by the State of California. We also believe that compassionate young people that are willing to work for what they believe in are our greatest legacy.
Last year, I had the opportunity to attend lunch with the Directors of Admission for both the University of Southern California and Santa Clara University. When asked what makes an applicant stand out among the thousands of applications received, Tim Brunold, the Dean of Admissions from the University of Southern California shared, “We want to see that a student is living their life with passion and purpose that is only theirs to define.” I think that The Grauer School gives our students the supportive environment and space to find and explore their passions and purposes.
In a typical Grauer School day, you will see students engaged in Socratic discussions in their classes. You’ll see them doing homework and working (and reworking) assignments to mastery. You’ll see them collaborating with their classmates and teachers, attending office hours, and utilizing resourcefulness as they employ a variety of materials to find answers to their questions. You’ll see them having class in our teaching kitchen, holding discussions around the fireplace in our Meyer Hall, engaged in nature activities outside in our habitat corridor, delivering presentations in the Carr Gazebo, and even doing math at Rico’s or a local coffee shop. You’ll also see our students taking on leadership roles, writing proposals for events (our most recent passed proposals were for the Middle School ASB to hold a dance this Friday and for our High School ASB to host a Food Drive), and engaging in internships throughout the community. Our students are writing and performing songs for Café Night, they’re developing photography blogs, producing films, learning second (or even third) languages, gardening, cooking, and taking physical fitness and health seriously. They’re engaging in athletic competitions, defending bills at Youth and Government Bill Hearing nights, and representing The Grauer School in Robotics, Mathematical Modeling, Science Olympiad, and at other academic competitions. And, they’re traveling on expeditions around the world and engaging in humanitarian service opportunities both locally and globally.
As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our entire Grauer School “family” for the trust that you put into the school daily. Your generosity and support are sincerely appreciated. We will continue to prove to you that, at The Grauer School, our students (and wonderful families) really do mean the world to us.