Gonzaga Middle School (GMS) is an innovative, tuition-free, independent middle school serving Winnipeg’s inner city. GMS provides an enhanced, holistic, and culturally sensitive educational experience coupled with an extended multi-year commitment to the continued success of students though high school and post-secondary studies. Gonzaga Middle School’s work with students, families, and the communities we serve continues to be guided by our commitment to reconciliation and the TRC’s Calls to Action.
GMS empowers underserved children from low-income neighbourhood families to develop to their full potential while accompanying them on their educational journey from middle school through high school and beyond. GMS supports students breaking the cycle of poverty by providing a middle school program with wrap around supports and extended learning time and then continuing to follow and support GMS graduates’ success in their chosen high school and post-secondary programs.
Gonzaga Middle School lowers barriers to educational advancement through its strong academic program, individualized and levelled group instruction, longer school day, before and after school programming, extended school year (including summer camp weeks), and Graduate Support program. The nutrition program, transportation to and from school, one-to-one technology and other student supports all contribute to reducing learning obstacles.
The grade 6-8 in-school program at GMS is the intervention piece and foundation for future educational success, establishing strong positive relationships with students and families, helping students develop good work and life habits, inspiring hope, and promoting their socio-emotional growth. The Graduate Support Program is the sustaining piece helping to maintain positive academic trajectories through high school and post-secondary studies. GMS also helps to build a resilient community by empowering families to positively change their life circumstances through education.
All GMS students are from economically disadvantaged families, with many Indigenous and New Canadian families continuing to deal with inter-generational trauma and family dislocation. GMS positively impacts students’ academic trajectories while developing significant leadership skills and social capital. When students begin at GMS, they are on average two grade levels below grade level in reading and over two grade levels behind in Mathematics. When they graduate and begin high school, they are, on average, at or above grade level in reading and at or close to grade level in Mathematics.
A focus on students maintaining high attendance both in the middle years and through high school is a key element of our programs with consistently over 90% average attendance rates.