Gerson School Curriculum

The curriculum at The Gerson School closely mirrors that of most home districts so academic standards are not compromised. Classrooms typically have six to 10 students. Our curriculum is aligned with Ohio Department of Education Learning Standards, as well as with the Ohio Department of Education graduation requirements by providing core and elective course offerings to earn a high school diploma. Core courses include English language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, health, physical education and fine arts. We also have a wide range of elective courses for students to choose from, including life skills, financial literacy, foreign language, media and communication, and women’s studies. In addition, eligible students can participate in online courses, community service projects, leadership council, and online credit recovery program. Educational field trips are also incorporated into the core subject matter.

Regardless of subject area or teacher, the Gerson curriculum is designed to support the school’s mission to prepare students for life by developing and nurturing:

  • Critical/creative thinking and problem solving skills
  • Emotional intelligence and social emotional skills
  • Personal life skills
  • Mature habits of mind
  • Responsibility
The Gerson principal leads a curriculum and instruction team responsible for developing and maintaining curriculum oversight and data collection. Gerson has adopted the Understanding by Design framework of “backward design” for all instructional units and courses in the curriculum. This method focuses on first identifying worthy educational outcomes or objectives, and then building assessments and instruction aligned to the identified goals. This framework focuses on teaching for student understanding through three phases: acquisition, meaning-making, and transfer. Gerson’s curriculum and assessment systems focus on monitoring student progress toward meeting the mission pillars, identified above, and ensuring that each student succeeds in achieving them.
Beyond what a typical middle or high school offers, Gerson provides a therapeutic environment with an intentional focus on social emotional skills, including self–awareness, regulation and monitoring along with empathy and relationship skills, to build and reinforce those skills. Allowing for reflection on and practice of those skills enables students to transfer them to all areas of their lives, further ensuring that each student succeeds in both learning and in life.