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Upper School

The Future of GEMS World Academy Chicago




Our innovative Upper School building opens in 2019! We are excited to see Phase II of the GEMS World Academy Chicago campus become a reality. Construction of the building completes our premier pre-K-through-Grade-12 learning community. Continue reading for news about the Upper School building, staff and programming.

Quick Hits: Latest News About Our Upper School

 
  • October 2018: GEMS files a formal application with the International Baccalaureate for authorization of our Diploma Program, the final phase of the IB experience at GEMS.
  • July 2018: GEMS announces to the school community that the final construction permit for the Upper School has been acquired and the building is on track for an opening in the fall of 2019.
  • July 2018: Thomas Cangiano joins the GEMS community as its new head of school. Mr. Cangiano joins GEMS from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, a private school that sends graduates to elite colleges and universities — Northwestern University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Princeton University.
  • July 2018: GEMS adds the following staff to Upper School faculty roster:
    • Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning
    • Director of College Counseling
    • Diploma Program History Teacher
    • Diploma Program Language & Literature Teacher
    • Upper School Guidance Counselor
    • Upper School Physics Teacher
    • Diploma Program Theory of Knowledge Teacher
    • DP CAS Coordinator
  • June 2018: GEMS hires its first college counselor for Upper School students.
  • March 2018: GEMS World Academy becomes a candidate school for authorization in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (serving grades 11 and 12).
  • March 2018: GEMS World Academy earns authorization for the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (serving grades 6 through 10).
  • December 2017: GEMS World Academy hosts formal dedication ceremony for Upper School construction.
  • July 2017: Tracey Wood becomes GEMS’ first Head of Upper School; Ms. Wood comes to GEMS from the International School of Boston, which sends graduates to elite private and public colleges and universities all over the world — University of Chicago, Oxford University (UK), MIT, Harvard University.
  • July 2017: Construction of GEMS World Academy Upper School gets underway (opens in 2019).

Chicago's Premier Upper School Comes To Life


The new facility will reflect the same sense of design and purpose seen in the Lower School. GEMS World Academy Upper School students will learn in open, airy classrooms equipped with the latest technology. According to the designs, the Upper School building will include:

  • A digital theater and a media workshop with adjacent editing suite to encourage exploration of design and creativity
  • Specialized science and design laboratories
  • A 500-seat multi-purpose auditorium, which will provide an impressive space for assemblies and performances
  • A bright, open common area, where students can socialize, meet with teachers, work in small groups or study independently
  • The library and media center will be an expansive research and development facility that rivals top collegiate programs

Visit our Constrution Update page for the most recent updates.
 
    • Our multimedia theater will host live performances, guest speakers, school assemblies and more.
      Future

      Our multimedia theater will host live performances, guest speakers, school assemblies and more.

    • The Upper School’s design lab will spark students’ creativity, curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit.
      Future

      The Upper School’s design lab will spark students’ creativity, curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit.

    • The purpose-built GEMS Upper School will redefine middle-school and high-school learning environments in Chicago and beyond.
      Future

      The purpose-built GEMS Upper School will redefine middle-school and high-school learning environments in Chicago and beyond.

    • The Upper School library will rival collegiate offerings in terms of its design, resources and mission.
      Future

      The Upper School library will rival collegiate offerings in terms of its design, resources and mission.

    •  Innovative common spaces will provide breathtaking view of Chicago’s lakefront and architecture.
      Future

      Innovative common spaces will provide breathtaking view of Chicago’s lakefront and architecture.

    • Recording and rehearsal spaces for student performers
      Future

      Recording and rehearsal spaces for student performers

    • Spacious dining hall that doubles as a student gathering place
      Future

      Spacious dining hall that doubles as a student gathering place

    • Learning spaces designed to encourage lively, engaged thinking
      Future

      Learning spaces designed to encourage lively, engaged thinking

    • Fully equipped science labs provide our students with the tools necessary to experiment and discover.
      Future

      Fully equipped science labs provide our students with the tools necessary to experiment and discover.

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