Gloucester High School (Virginia)
|Gloucester High School|
6680 Short Lane
|School type||Public high school|
|Founded||1955, 1975 (in current building)|
|School district||Gloucester County Public Schools|
|Superintendent||Dr. Walter R. Clemons|
|Color(s)||Red, White and Gold|
|Athletics conference||Virginia High School League|
AAA Peninsula District
AAA Eastern Region
Gloucester High School is an accredited public high school located four miles from Gloucester Courthouse (the county seat) in Gloucester County, Virginia, United States. It is operated by Gloucester County Public Schools, a Virginia public school division.
The current complex was originally built in 1976, and has been expanded several times since. The current high school facility remains the only high school in the county, even though student numbers have risen steadily since its construction date. The current number of students ranges somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000.
A major addition was built onto the school in 1993 and functions mainly as the school's science wing. It is fully equipped with 3 computer labs, 2 full scale chemistry labs, as well as other classrooms with enough equipment for simple demonstrations. It is known to students and faculty as D-Hall. Included in the expansion was a foreign language hall at the opposite end of the building, built onto A-Hall.
Less extensive renovations have occurred since then, including the office and guidance offices in 2005. Beginning in April 2006, the industrial arts facilities were remodeled into new art rooms by the beginning of the following school year, freeing up the previous art rooms for normal classroom use. The old primary art room became the newsroom of the school newspaper, the Dukes' Dispatch. During the summer of 2006, the school's television production facility was updated with new equipment and made into a studio. The school then began producing programming for its own local Public-access television cable TV channel. The most recent renovations were completed in October 2006 and included a $700,000 renovation of the auditorium.
During the summer of 2007, Gloucester High began outfitting classrooms with LCD projectors. Most recently, another wing of the school began renovations to add a cardiovascular workout room. The room will include treadmills and other cardiovascular workout machines.
Gloucester High School operates on an four by four scheduling structure. The school day begins at 7:45am EDT and ends at 2:46pm EDT. Every day there are four periods that are approximately two hours long, which host one class each period. With one school year containing two semesters, there are 4 classes each semester which total into 8 classes over the course of a year. The exception to this rule are Dual and AP classes which are every other day over the course of a year, with some activities classes also following this rule.There are three lunch blocks, each 25 minutes in length, which take place over the course of the day's third block.
The facilities of Gloucester High School include:
- Sports installations
- Academic installations
- Large auditorium (renovated 2006)
- Fully equipped science laboratories
- Nine computer labs, each with roughly 25 computers and a ceiling mounted LCD projector
- A fully equipped, state-of-the-art library
- A driver's education driving range
- Television production lab
- Greenhouse for horticultural classes
- An auto-mechanics facility
- Complete restaurant kitchen facilities for the student-run International Café
- Other installations
Gloucester High school is in the VHSL AAA Division 6 and plays in the Peninsula District of Virginia.
- American football
- Marching Band
- Field Hockey
- Cheer Leading
- Boys/Girls Volleyball
- Boys/Girls Cross country
Gloucester High School has been recognized for its drama department. Every year the drama department, or Duke Troupe, compete in a regional theatre competition and perform two public shows a year: a fall play and a spring musical. Past shows include South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors, A Christmas Carol, Grease, Dracula, Footloose, Scheme of a Driftless Shifter, The Wizard of Oz, Anybody for Tea, Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Disney's High School Musical, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The performances are open for participation by any student at the school (not just those enrolled in theatre classes).
Gloucester High School operates a fully functioning dining room called "Dukes Bistro". The culinary program places a heavy emphasis on French cuisine, as well as Gloucester County's historical significance in the seafood industry. The culinary program has competed on a state and national level, winning first place in Virginia in 2009 and 2011.
- Spirit Week is held the week of Homecoming and consists of themed days including Twin Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Wacky Day, and Decade Day. On the day of the game, Friday, students dress in the high school colors, red, black, and gold and hold a pep rally outside on the bleachers of the football field.
- Foreign Language Week is usually in March or April, when students and teachers celebrate foreign languages. Students create displays and, with teachers, organize a banquet to take place after school. The banquet, held in the Commons, consists of ethnic foods cooked and served by the school's culinary students. Language classes usually perform skits and songs for those in attendance.
- Junior Ring Dance is essentially junior prom. It is sponsored and run by the junior class, and it is during this dance that the juniors are presented with their class rings.
- Senior Prom
- Senior Graduation takes place every year in June.
- Military Ball takes place every year for ROTC cadets and their dates.
- Jon Stewart of The Daily Show was the soccer coach at GHS while a student at The College of William and Mary, from which he graduated in 1984.
Transgender policy dispute
At the beginning of the 2014–2015 school year, sophomore Gavin Grimm came out as a transgender boy and used a doctor's note to obtain permission to use male bathroom facilities at the school. After about two months, an anonymous complaint was received, and the Gloucester County School Board passed a policy resolution requiring that access to changing rooms and bathrooms "shall be limited to the corresponding biological genders, and students with gender identity issues shall be provided an alternative appropriate private facility". When he refused to use the girls' bathroom, the school hastily converted a few broom closets into unisex bathrooms and offered those as an alternative. He refused to use those, opting to use a bathroom in the school nurse's office instead.
Grimm then obtained legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union and sued the school in federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to intervene in the case on Grimm's behalf, writing to the court that Title IX "prohibits discrimination based on sex, including gender identity, transgender status, and nonconformity to sex stereotypes". After various rulings and appeals, the dispute escalated to the U.S. Supreme Court, which announced in October 2016 that it would take up the case.
- "Gloucester High School Report Card". Virginia Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- John Riley, Gavin's Story: Gavin Grimm is the new face of the transgender movement, Metro Weekly, May 12, 2016
- G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, American Civil Liberties Union
- The Editorial Board, For Transgender Americans, Legal Battles Over Restrooms, The New York Times, July 27, 2015
- Dominic Holden, Justice Dept. Backs Transgender Boy In Lawsuit Against School District, BuzzFeed, June 30, 2015
- G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board (E.D. Va.), Statement of Interest of the United States, June 29, 2015
- Barnes, Robert; Balingit, Moriah (October 28, 2016). "Supreme Court takes up school bathroom rules for transgender students". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2016.