Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2013 14:15


1. What kind of student best succeeds at GW Community School?

GWCS is not a school where students are cookie-cutter kids. Because we are equally strong in both the liberal arts and math and sciences, GWCS is a good fit for students who excel in one area or both. Additionally, our extensive extracurricular programs offer something for every student. Usually our students become much more engaged and involved than they were at their previous school.

Some examples of our extracurricular activities include:

  • Theatre

  • Boys’ Varsity Basketball

  • School-sponsored Community Service

  • Co-ed Intramural Soccer

  • Student Government Association

  • Yearbook

  • Social Activities including Prom, Video Game Tournaments, School Lockins, etc.

  • Robotics Team

  • Class Trips

  • School Trips

  • Weightlifting


2. Why do students come to GWCS?

Students choose GWCS because they are longing for an educational environment where they can connect. GWCS students are engaged and are valued members of the community. Students benefit from an intellectually stimulating environment without the stress of having to teach themselves at home or do busywork. Our students are genuine kids who want to succeed in an environment where they are accepted.


3. Is GWCS accredited?

Yes. GWCS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the same body that grants accreditation to Fairfax County Public Schools and George Mason University.


4. Does GWCS offer AP classes?

Yes. GWCS is approved by the College Board to offer AP classes. We offer AP, PSAT, and SAT testing on site.


5. How are parents involved?

At GWCS we appreciate our parents and recognize their unique contributions. Coyote PAC (Parents Acting Collaboratively) is the body that organizes parent volunteer efforts. We like to meet once a quarter for a potluck dinner to discuss the goals and accomplishments of each committee.  Individual committees meet on a more frequent basis. [PAC Webpage]


6. What is the curriculum like?

GWCS is owned and operated by teachers who understand the learning process. We send our students off to college with a firm understanding of both the classics and modern technology, and a common frame of reference with their first-year peers.  Course matter trends toward the traditional. However, classes are taught with an innovative spin by teachers who engage students and assign meaningful and relevant coursework. Elective classes are many and varied each year so that students have the opportunity to explore interests while completing a college preparatory curriculum.


7. Do you allow students to move at their own pace?

While we respect each individual student and enjoy the opportunity to discover each child’s strengths, classes move together as a whole. Each class is comprised of whole-class learning.  (You’ll rarely find one of our teachers behind a desk.) Students do meet with teachers one-on-one to conference about papers and receive feedback about class work. And, our teachers are always available before or after school help.


8. What is the philosophy about homework?

At GWCS the learning takes place in the classroom. However, students are required to practice skills learned or apply concepts outside of school time. That said, students are not overwhelmed with homework, nor are they required to teach themselves new material.


9. How are parents made aware of student progress?

Each week parents are emailed a status report that details comments about the student’s progress in class as well as the grade earned to date.

Additionally, each student meets with a faculty advisor for 20 minutes each day.  The faculty advisor serves as a liaison between the parent and the child’s teachers. Of course, faculty members may be contacted directly at any time.


10. Do you accept students with behavior problems?

In a word, no. We do not accept students who are not, or are unable to be, engaged and disciplined members of our classrooms and community.

GWCS is an environment in which each member can grow into their full potential.
We fully expect that we will, at times, need to redirect attention or deal with teenage behavior; however students who are unable to control their own behavior are not a good fit for us.


11. What is the application process like?

The application process is designed with the aim of getting to know each family.

We do not hold open houses because we want each family to see us in action—to visit each class in session, and see the dynamic learning environment we have created.

Initial visits may be with or without the prospective student with the understanding that the student will need to interview before being accepted.

An application, application fee, photo, and writing sample must be submitted to be considered for admittance. [GWCS Admission Webpage]


12. Do you participate in block scheduling?

No. At GWCS we believe, at the high school level, students need reinforcement and new learning in every class every day.


13. Do you accept students during the school year?

Yes. At GWCS we extend rolling admissions to students looking for a change during any part of the school year.

Our small, nurturing environment ensures the smooth transition and incorporation of each new student regardless of time of year.


14. Where do your students go to college?

Our students receive acceptances and scholarships from the finest colleges and universities in the country. However, we work individually with each student to ensure that they are applying to schools that allow them to continue the success they were able to find at GWCS.