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GPA hosts art- and academic-powered open house

Annual Academy open house showcased art, academics and Michigan’s longest continuously operating Montessori program.

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The Grosse Pointe Academy was humming with activity on March 15 when this venerable beacon of academic innovation on Lake Shore Road opened its doors to the community for the school’s annual Open House and Art Show.

In addition to opening all classrooms and hallways for visitors to roam and explore — every nook, cranny and alcove of the Academy’s Valade Art Loft & Gallery were filled with artwork as students in grades K through 8 assembled nearly six months worth of hard work and creative expression.

Visitors also were able to experience the school’s very unique take on technology education for grades 1 through 8, which GPA calls its “STEAM” program.

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The Grosse Pointe Academy offers the longest continuously operating Montessori program in the state of Michigan.

According to school officials, three years ago the Academy integrated instruction in some of the more traditional STEM subjects such as science, technology and mathematics with classes in art, writing and literature to create the school’s own version of a “STEAM” program, or “science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.”

Along with cutting-edge technology in every classroom at GPA that includes the Grosse Pointes’ only one-to-one iPad school program for grades one through eight, the integration of the arts and technology has been implemented across the entire spectrum of courses at the Academy, giving all students a continuum of instruction from the Lower School through grade 8.

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With a curriculum that includes language, math, science, technology and the arts, The Grosse Pointe Academy is providing a strong foundation of academics in an environment where every child is nurtured, challenged and inspired every day.

Open house visitors also witnessed how GPA teachers are turning Academy students into makers, inventors, engineers, and dreamers in the school’s “innovative” Innovation & Design Center, which includes capabilities for robotics, 3D printing and a host of other challenging technical activities.

In addition, prospective families learned more about the school’s innovative electives program for middle school students. Called “Real-World Experiences and Applied Learning” (R.E.A.L.), these classes — which exist outside the school’s core curriculum — typically focus on critical thinking and problem-solving activities that require students to propose and create solutions for real-world problems. R.E.A.L. classes scheduled for the current school year include the 442 Project, which is retelling the story of Detroit through creative writing; cryptography, where students will learn how to send and receive secret messages using both historical and modern methods; and CSI, which takes students on a journey to learn crime scene analysis.

Additional R.E.A.L. classes involve graphic arts and design, a student-centered Grosse Pointe Academy Historical Society, and Sharing the Melting Pot, in which students explore different world cultures through the study of food.

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For a private tour of the Academy, please contact Jennifer Kendall, director of admissions, at 313-886-1221, or jkendall@gpacademy.org.

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About The Grosse Pointe Academy
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2-1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.
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