Upper School

Welcome to Gerstell Academy's Upper School. Our program is designed to provide every student with a challenging academic course of study and the leadership skills necessary to have a positive impact and compete in an ever-changing world.
Our focus and emphasis is on the Gerstell Motto, Leadership Principles and Attributes. Leadership is fully integrated into our rigorous interdisciplinary college preparatory curriculum.

Students will be equipped with specific leadership skills, will develop a mindset of lifelong fitness, and will attain proficiency in Spanish. Interviewing skills, conflict resolution, public speaking, and mentoring students are all important components of each class. Additionally, all students take a separate leadership class each year that provides specific leadership education and skill development.

Gerstell Academy's Upper School Course Guide provides an overview of courses currently offered at the upper school level. This guide represents a survey of core and elective course offerings which reflect Gerstell's unique leadership focus and emphasis upon rigorous, college preparatory academics. All courses listed are subject to change based upon program enhancements or student interest.
The Gerstell Academy Advisory Program

The purpose of the Advisory Program is to
provide leadership and guidance to middle and upper school students in a small group setting to support the leadership, academic, and social growth of each student and the advisory as a whole. The advisor serves as the first point of contact
for student questions, suggestions, or concerns. Each class has several advisors who assist in planning class events and trips while maintaining an overall awareness of the day-to-day wellbeing of the group. Advisory meets daily and provides for a one-to-one mentoring relationship between advisor and advisee. Advisors also serve as advocates for their students and are often the first point of contact for parents.

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor whenever there is a need or concern. Whenever possible, and as necessary and appropriate, advisors will attend and participate in any parent or administrative meetings reflecting on their advisees.
The Upper School Advisory Program 

The Advisory Program is a cornerstone of the Upper School Program as it
provides consistent coaching and guidance for every student. It consists, in part, of a structured format designed to enhance each student's effectiveness and growth as a leader and student. The focus is on assigned topics and activities to ensure students master the material contained in the Book of Knowledge
and the Student-Parent Handbook. Other topics covered will be student performance, organization, class performance, community service, interview skills, college admissions assistance, event planning, and preparation for Student-Led Conferences.

The unique format is structured around several recurring themes which include the study of portrait leaders, the creation of Life Path Portfolios, relevant advisor topics, community service, college guidance.

Life Path Portfolio consists of a PowerPoint presentation identifying student goals in six separate categories along with a portfolio of artifacts shared with parents and advisor at the Student-Led Conference.

One day each week is dedicated to assisting students in the development, refinement, and updating of their Life Path Portfolio.  
The Book of Knowledge (BOK) is a compilation of the minimum fundamental knowledge and skills expected of a Gerstell Academy student at each grade level. Each Upper School student should know all the information covered in the Middle School Book of Knowledge. The dedicated period of advisory each week should be scheduled to review those areas of the BOK noted in each month's advisory focus. In the spring, all Upper School students will compete in the BOK Challenge Cup, a competition among all Upper School advisories.

2500 Old Westminster Pike
Finksburg, MD 21048-1823