Responsibility for personal and academic excellence is one of the tenets of Gunston’s culture. Students learn to balance rigorous academic expectations, athletics competitions, and social commitments. Gunston’s program is structured to provide appropriate levels of support for students in all grades and the following programs are in place to serve our international students:
- Placement Testing
- English as a Second Language class (ESOL)
- English Literature Class
- The Gunston Writing Center
- Homework Period
- Tutorial Period
- TOEFL Tests
- SAT Tests
- "English Immersion Promise"
All new international students take placement tests in English and mathematics during the orientation period. The results of these particular assessments are used in conjunction with student grades, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendations to place students in the most appropriate level classes.
This class is designed to help international students become proficient in the English language and to prepare them for entrance into the school’s standard English and history classes. Through an immersion approach, listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are developed. In addition, students are exposed to American culture and lifestyles.
This class follows ESOL in sequence and introduces international students to reading complete works of literature and provides careful and thorough instruction in the Gunston writing process. Students who successfully complete the English Literature class are ready to transition into the standard English class for their grade level.
The Writing Center is staffed by an English instructor who works directly with the international students on developing their writing skills. Students either work one-to-one with the instructor or in small groups of two or three. The Writing Center is open daily and students are either assigned for sessions by their English teacher or they may drop in for extra help.
Tutorial Period is a daily academic support period open to all students. All classroom teachers participate in tutorial period. Students may elect to attend tutorial to review material or to prepare for upcoming assessments. Teachers may assign students to tutorial when they identify the need for extra help or when the student performance is below course and school expectations. Tutorial is designed to ensure academic success by providing early intervention to students who are experiencing academic difficulty.
TOEFL Tests are offered most weekends throughout the school year. Students can seek guidance from the Director of Global Programs or visit the TOEFL Web site at www.ets.org/toefl. Registration can be done on-line and must be done in the students name that is on their passport.
SAT tests are offered throughout the school year. Information on dates and registration for these tests can be obtained from the Gunston College Guidance Office. Registration can be done online through the College Board website: www.sat.collegeboard.org
International students are required to meet the two-season sport requirement each year, and we believe that participation in team sports is one of the most effective ways for international students to facilitate their integration into both the American and the Gunston culture. Students must also attend the required pre-season training for fall team sports. Prior to matriculation, the Director of Global Programs works with the Director of Athletics to coordinate athletics registration.
International students attend Gunston with the aim of mastering the English-language and gaining admission to colleges and universities in the United States. Therefore, Gunston seeks to be a full-immersion English environment for international students. Upon matriculating to Gunston, each student is required to sign the school’s “English Immersion Promise” which requires students, while they are on campus, to utilize the English language at all times. The depth of this campus immersion is expected to be total; so in addition, students may not engage in the use of their native language through electronic media or cell phones.
Students who violate this pledge will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.