2018-2019 School Year
GW Community School welcomes visitors to tour our school almost any day of the week. During your visit, you will see classes in progress—including AP and Honors classes-- and get the feel for our intellectually stimulating, collegial environment. You’ll have the opportunity to observe our passionate and talented teachers engage with interested and invested students.
What you won’t get to see is the wealth of extracurricular activities and opportunities we offer. Here’s a quick glimpse of just a few:
Spotlight on Trips: Broadway or Bust
Coyotes can’t get enough theater! Staunton’s Shakespeare trip really whet our whistle for even more theater this year. So at the request of several students, we organized Broadway or Bust – a jam-packed three days of theater, sight-seeing, and, of course, penguins!
Spotlight on Community Service: Mapathon
On Saturday, March 23rd GWCS Coyotes participated in their first Mapathon. Using satellite imagery, students and parents “re-mapped” an area of Zimbabwe ravaged by an overflowing dam caused by cyclone Idai.
Girls Varsity B-ball Takes Title for Second Year!
For the second straight year, the GWCS coyotes came out on top of the ISSAC Championship. Our Girls kept the intensity turned up to 11 this season. Did I hear someone say “three-pete?”
Our Proud Parent Community
At least once a quarter, our parents and grandparents get together at school for a potluck party. We eat great food, celebrate our successes, discuss upcoming events, and hold break-out sessions to facilitate community goals.
We also frequently meet for informal parent coffees. We love our school, our kids, and The Swiss Bakery.
At GWCS we appreciate the wealth of knowledge, talent, connections, and skills our parent community brings to the table. There are a multitude of ways, both big and small, that parents can engage with and benefit our community.
I Hate Shakespeare! (We don’t really, of course.)
GWCS’s Bit Off More Than We Could Chew Players’ winter production of I Hate Shakespeare! was a sold-out success for its late December two-night run.
Hamlet served as our narrator and led us through an evening of side-splitting skits and spoofs. Thanks to the B.O.M.T.W.C.C.P. for closing out 2018 with two nights of highbrow hilarity.
We are currently holding readings for our soon-to-be-announced spring production.
Spotlight on Clubs: GSA
In 2016, at the suggestion of then-sophomore Anne Callaway, GWCS formed a Gay-Straight Alliance. The GSA meets weekly and celebrates community members in an inclusive environment. This club is project-based, often utilizing creative fundraisers to achieve a philanthropic goal. Some of the organizations we have contributed to include the It Gets Better Project, SMYAL, the Trevor Project, and the Wanda Alston Foundation.
Spotlight on Service: Wreaths Across America
GWCS Coyotes were proud to celebrate and honor the men and women who have served our country by laying wreaths at Arlington Cemetery this winter.
Students can be found in “the shop” almost every day after school and on weekends as they design, build, and program robots to compete in FIRST Tech Challenge’s Rover Ruckus, this year’s robotics game.
Spotlight on Clubs: Anime
Ciara O’Brien, class of 2019, created the GWCS anime club in 2014, allowing fellow Coyotes a chance to release their inner Otaku. The club meets weekly and looks forward to its yearly trip to Katsucon in February.
Junior Trip to Gettysburg
GWCS Juniors abandoned the classroom for the battlefield to take a deep dive in history at Gettysburg this fall. From walking the path of Pickett’s charge to dinner at General Li’s Buffet, this proved to be a fun and edifying trip.
Spotlight on Clubs: E.S.T.A.
E.S.T.A. or Ending Stigma Through Art is a club created by GWCS’s own Lizzie Weber, class of 2020. E.S.T.A. strives to end stigma and the negative impacts it has on vulnerable populations though understanding, art, and service.
Our first quarter topic centered on poverty. We read poetry by Langston Hughes, Robert Flanagan, and Julie Dinsmore; examined plein air paintings of Marc Clamage; interpreted a variety of editorial cartoons and listened to and discussed TED Talks. We closed out the quarter with a visit to The National Building Museum’s exhibit “Evicted.”
Our second quarter topic is addiction. Stay tuned to hear more about our Martin Luther King Day service project dealing with this issue.
Spotlight on Service: Walk for Paws
GWCS Coyotes rally around a good cause, and the annual Walk for Paws is a longtime favorite. Supporting homeless dogs and promoting breed awareness is something we can stand behind.
Coyotes love an excuse to dress up and embrace the inner child. Costumes were curiously creative this year and the ever-awkward doughnut eating contest was the highlight of our day.
Anatomy and Physiology Students Witness Live Open-Heart Surgery
At GWCS we believe in authentic learning and take every opportunity to bring learning to life. One such example this year was The Dome Experience at Fairfax Inova Hospital, where our students witnessed a live four-hour-long open-heart surgery followed by an in-depth discussion with the surgical team.
Spotlight on Clubs: Creative Writing
GWCS’s Creative Writing Club meets each Tuesday after school to explore the writing process and experiment with different literary genres.
Homecoming Dance and Spirit Week: GWCS Has Got Game!
Spirit week was, well…spirited! We celebrated our Coyote pride all week, cheered on our Boys’ Varsity Basketball team and danced the night away to the musical stylings of D.J. Roger Muntu.
Senior Essay Writing Retreat
The GWCS Senior Essay Writing Retreat was born out of necessity in 2004 when staff tired of chasing down seniors to check on the status of their college essays.
In true GWCS fashion, we addressed the issue head-on and unconventionally. We packed the kids into cars and headed out to “the wilderness” to complete the essays away from the distractions and disruptions of home.
The retreat has become a favorite tradition of GWCS staff and seniors alike.
Check out our then and now pictures below.
Spotlight on Service: Stream Cleanup
In conjunction with Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, GWCS proudly sponsors Wakefield Run, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. On the last Wednesday of each month, you’ll find us in waders and boots, equipped with gloves and bags, ridding our waterways of rubbish.
Eighth Grade, Freshman, and Sophomore Camping Trip
Early in September each year, we set aside a Friday night to spend time with our underclassmen and celebrate our value of Team Play.
And what better, more authentic way of bonding is there than erecting seemingly impossible tents, braving swarms of mosquitoes, singing around a campfire, eating charred marshmallows, and getting no discernible sleep whatsoever? That’s right, there is none. These bonds are forged in steel.