Girls Preparatory School
|Girls Preparatory School
|Type||Private all-female secondary|
|Color(s)||Black and blue|
Girls Preparatory School, often called simply GPS, is an all-female college preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. It was founded in 1906 by Grace McCallie, Tommie Payne Duffy, and Eula Lea Jarnagin. Its brother school, The McCallie School, had been founded a year earlier by McCallie's brothers.
In 1906, Duffy and Jarnagin, two public school teachers, asked the city school board to provide a fourth year of high school studies, including modern language and a lab science, so that girls, as well as boys, would apply for college. When their request was denied, they decided to create an independent school to prepare girls for higher education and convinced their friend Grace McCallie to join them. The school opened on September 12, 1906, in a four-room schoolhouse at 106 Oak Street.
The school house had been McCallie's home. The three founders used all of their money, $300, to equip and launch the school. In twelve weeks they converted the house to a school. The ground floor contained rooms with second hand desks. There was an alcove library and cloakroom.
The school accommodated the 45 students who enrolled for the first day of classes on September 12, 1906. Each girl paid $80 tuition per year and at the end of the first year one of the students was accepted to and enrolled in Randolph-Macon Woman's College. In 1915 the school relocated to a larger brick building on Palmetto street.
Girls Preparatory School celebrated its 100th anniversary during the 2005-2006 school year.
Middle School (grades 6-8) From 6th grade the girls take a computer class twice a week to develop technological, communication, and problem-solving skills. In the 7th grade, they learn French, Spanish, Latin, or Mandarin Chinese, and in the 8th grade, each student purchases a laptop for school use. In the past, IBM tablets were the laptops of choice; however the school switched to MacBook Airs in 2011.
Upper School (grades 9-12) The Upper School offers 18 Advanced Placement courses, ranging from AP Latin Horace to AP Comparative Government & Politics. Students consistently score higher than the national and state average for males and females in every subject offered; in 2010-11, 80% of the sophomores through seniors taking the exams scored three or higher on the five point scale, and in the senior class of 2011, 70% were enrolled in at least one AP course.
Class sizes are small, with the student-teacher ratio being 9:1. Each grade consists of 80-110 girls. The school boasts National Merit Scholars, perfect SAT scores, and millions offered in scholarship money per year. Graduates of GPS attend colleges every year, including Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia University, New York University (NYU), United States Military Academy (USMA), Yale University, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Brandeis University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), and Vanderbilt University.
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