Gann Academy

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Gann Academy
Gann acad.JPG
333 Forest Street
Waltham, MA, Middlesex, 02451
United States
Coordinates 42°23′42″N 71°13′01″W / 42.39513°N 71.21703°W / 42.39513; -71.21703Coordinates: 42°23′42″N 71°13′01″W / 42.39513°N 71.21703°W / 42.39513; -71.21703
School type Private Independent coeducational secondary
Religious affiliation(s) Jewish
Denomination Pluralistic
Established 1997
Status Open
President Elizabeth Jick
Head of school Rabbi Marc Baker
Grades 9–12
Number of students 337
Grade 9 81
Grade 10 74
Grade 11 91
Grade 12 63
Classes 13
Average class size 12
Student to teacher ratio 5:3
Hours in school day 9
Classrooms 65
Colour(s)          Maroon and White
Slogan A Diverse and Pluralistic Community for International Jews
Mascot Red Heifer
Nickname Gann
Team name Gann Heifers
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Publication Perspectives Hatichon
Newspaper Shevuon Hatichon
Yearbook Yearbook Hatichon
Tuition $32,350[1]
Gann Academy

Founded in 1997, Gann Academy is a coeducational Jewish high school located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Gann provides a high-quality, challenging, nurturing and inspiring education that integrates intensive Jewish studies with the sciences arts, and humanities. As one of the nation’s leading pluralistic Jewish schools, Gann serves as a model and an important resource for educators and others seeking to build pluralistic communities that enhance students’ intellectual and personal development. Gann Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Gann Academy was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in the spring of 2004.


Gann Academy was founded in 1997 as "The New Jewish High School of Greater Boston." "New Jew" (as it was casually nicknamed) was originally adjacent to Brandeis University. The school opened with 48 students in the 9th and 10th grade. Seeking larger facilities and a more permanent home, the school moved to the top four floors and basement of the Fleetbank building (BankBoston at the time of move in) at the intersection of Prospect St. and Main St. in Waltham and used the basement of the local Temple Beth Israel for additional classroom space. The school changed names in 2003 in honor of philanthropist Joseph Gann who donated $5,000,000 to the school. In the fall of 2003 the school moved into its current building in Waltham, on land formerly occupied by the Murphy Army Hospital.


Gann offers a fair variety of athletic programs, both team and recreational athletics, including basketball, soccer, tennis, ultimate frisbee, juggling, cross country running, fitness, martial arts, yoga, table tennis, Israeli dance, and modern dance.[2] In 2006, 2007, and 2009, the Boys basketball team won the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division IV State Championships.


  • Animal Welfare
  • Cancer Awareness
  • Chess Club
  • Environment Club
  • Family Table
  • Femininjas
  • GNN
  • GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Juggling Club
  • Junior State of America (JSA)
  • Loose Ends
  • LitMag (Literary Magazine)
  • Math Team
  • Men's Issues
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • Open House
  • Perspectives (Sports Magazine)
  • Prom Committee
  • Red Curtain Drama Club
  • Shevuon Hatichon (School Newspaper)
  • Ski & Snowboard Club
  • Social Change in the City
  • Spanish Club
  • Student Council
  • The Artichoke (Satire Newspaper)
  • Tikkun Olam Club (Community Service)
  • Va'ad Hamishpat (Student Corrective Council)
  • Yearbook


Gann Academy has a dual curriculum combining Jewish Studies and General Studies. Students are required to take four years of Hebrew, and an additional 4 years of either Spanish or Chinese are strongly recommended. Each class meets for three hours weekly, with the exception of co-curricular activities.

Gann Academy neither ranks its students (and consequentially has no valedictorian) nor does it assign its students a GPA.


Gann Academy emphasises technology in the classroom. Each classroom has a digital projector installed projecting onto a SMARTBoard and the whole building has a 802.11a wireless network. Each teacher has a laptop, which they are expected to use every day in order to take attendance and use the SMARTBoard for class notes. Gann also makes use of FirstClass, an education email and communication program that facilitates communication between students and faculty and communication through conferences for class discussions.

College and university matriculation[edit]

96% of Gann Academy graduates advance to colleges and universities; 93% of them to four-year colleges and universities.[3]

Student Leadership[edit]

Gann’s Student Council fosters connections among students, student organizations, faculty and administration. The officers and grade representatives of Student Council bring a well-formed and professional student voice to school life that assists the administration in meeting students needs. By advocating for student interests and designing their own original programming, Student Council works to create a more vibrant, unique and welcoming community.

The Jewish Student Life office helps interested students assume leadership roles in the Gann community. Student leaders are present at the Freshman Orientation and All School Retreat welcoming new students. They speak at and help facilitate Gann's Open House, Step Up Day, assist on admissions tours and sit on a variety of committees to help plan programming for their peers

Four students, who are elected to the Va'ad Hamishpat, focus on community matters and conduct. They, along with three elected teachers, act as the school's court system.


Gann Academy has eight academic departments: Business/Technology, English, World Languages, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, and Wellness/Fitness/Family & Consumer Science. Students must earn 24 credits in order to graduate. 1 credit is equivalent to a year-long class, Students must earn 4 credits in English, 2 in Languages, 3 in Math, 3.5 in Social Studies, 3 in Science, and 1 in 2 of the special areas (Wellness/Fitness, Visual/Performing Arts, or Business/Technology).


The 2005 documentary Hineini is about Shulamit Izen, an alumna of Gann Academy, and her relationship with the school as she tries to form a Gay-Straight Alliance. The documentary was premiered at the Boston Jewish Film Festival.[4]


  1. ^ "Gann Academy Tuition Information". 
  2. ^ "Gann Academy List of Athletics". 
  3. ^ "College Acceptances and Matriculations Class of 2011". 
  4. ^ "New Film Peers Into the Teenage Jewish closet".