RIVERVIEW — A child’s high school experience can make a significant difference in his or her readiness for college or career. Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Riverview fosters an atmosphere in which students strive not only to reach their highest academic potential, but to strengthen and live their faith while developing the leadership and social skills that are crucial for continued success.
With 12 Advanced Placement courses and 14 honors classes, Gabriel Richard provides a rigorous academic environment that challenges, nurtures and prepares students for life beyond high school. One hundred percent of the school’s graduates are accepted to college each year, and students consistently exceed state and national averages on standardized tests, including the ACT.
GR also ranks among the best globally for its AP test success rate. Of the 113 AP exams taken by GR students last year, 97 received a score of 3 or better, qualifying those students to receive college credit.
“When you add up the amount of money a parent can save later on down the road by earning college credits through AP courses, it can be quite substantial,” GR Principal Joseph Whalen said. “We’ve had students who have placed out of their entire freshman year because they’ve done so well on their AP tests.”
As GR prepares to begin its 50th anniversary next year, the school continues to enhance its programs and curriculum. This fall, GR launched its 1:1 technology program by installing wireless Internet throughout the campus. It also provided a free Chromebook with touchscreen to each student enrolled.
“Having this technology available to all of our students is like having a classroom without walls,” Whalen said. “Being able to access the Internet in class gives each of our teachers the opportunity to take students on virtual field trips, helps them to work collaboratively, and enhances curriculum with test prep tools and activities.”
Another enhancement is the opening of the Academic Learning Center, which provides students with one-on-one tutoring, assistance with homework, and a safe place to hang out after school. The school also added daily enrichment seminars for students with offerings such as ACT prep, drama/improvisation, and graphic novels.
Commitment to academic excellence isn’t GR’s only pursuit. The school seeks to develop each individual as a whole. Rooted in a strong Catholic foundation, GR helps cultivate young men and women who are spiritually aware, socially responsible and actively involved in the community. Students attend weekly mass, engage in daily prayer and participate in a minimum of 12 hours of community service each year.
Cheryl Knapp, the director of campus ministry, said that most students exceed the school’s requirement for community service. Last year, GR students provided more than 7,200 hours to help those in need. Some of the outreach opportunities include feeding the poor and hungry, providing friendship and assistance to the elderly, and ministering to youth. The school also has an active music ministry program which plans and participates in each mass.
To further develop each student, Gabriel Richard boasts a wide range of extracurricular programs that offer something for every student, including several athletic teams that promote sportsmanship and integrity, a vibrant fine and performing arts program, and numerous after-school clubs and leadership opportunities.
“We believe that GR is Downriver’s best educational value and we work to make an education at GR as affordable as possible for our families,” Whalen said.
In addition to offering financial assistance to families who qualify, the school offers merit scholarships to incoming freshmen who meet certain criteria, and a multi-student discount.
The school also works closely with students to ensure that education beyond high school remains financially attainable by helping to identify and assist with scholarship opportunities. Graduates from the 2013 and 2014 classes, for example, earned more than $5 million in college scholarships.
Come and see the difference a GR education can make. Gabriel Richard will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at the school, 15325 Pennsylvania Road. Interested eighth grade students also should plan to take the High School Placement Test, which is offered on Nov. 15 or Dec. 6.
For more information, to learn about financial aid, or to inquire about enrollment, call 734-284-1875 or go to gabrielrichard.org.