Education with impactNursery through eighth grade
Gordon School
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About

Gordon's mission

Mission Statement

The Gordon School is a racially diverse nursery through eighth grade coeducational independent school in East Providence, Rhode Island. Child by child, the Gordon School community cultivates successful students by inspiring joyful learning, encouraging intellectual leadership, fostering an empathic spirit and stimulating a drive for positive societal impact.

Guiding Principles

We emphatically believe that each of the following five principles is essential for the success of our mission:

  • Our curriculum is rooted in multicultural practice, which develops academic skills, thinking strategies, active imaginations and children’s social competencies
  • We teach students to investigate and study concepts and topics from multiple perspectives, a basic skill for success in school and in life
  • Students are challenged and inspired to be active workers toward their education
  • As articulated in the Gordon School Statement on Inclusivity, we create and sustain a diverse community of faculty, staff, students and families
  • As multicultural educators, our teachers strive to establish relationships of understanding and trust with each child and his or her family

Founding Purpose

Founded in the fall of 1910 by pediatrician Dr. Helen West Cooke as the Open Air School, Gordon began in Dr. Cooke’s living room on the East Side of Providence. Windows were kept open year round to foster good health and clear thinking. In that year, Dr. Cooke’s son Gordon and a neighbor, Margaret Arthur, comprised the school’s first class. In this way, Gordon became Rhode Island’s only non-public coeducational school.

Today, the school remains true to its progressive roots. We seek to instill what Dr. Cooke termed “the true spirit of joyous work” into each day of school. Our faculty implements a challenging multicultural curriculum to fuel each child’s innate curiosity and idealistic spirit. We prepare our students to enter an increasingly complex and diverse world with skillful awareness, unwavering hope and the capacity to advocate confidently for justice.

As Gordon enters its second century, we proudly follow the directive highlighted on the bronze plaque that was placed at our entrance at the time of the school’s move to this beautiful 12-acre campus in 1963: “The Gordon School: founded in 1910 in the belief that mind and heart should be educated with equal care.”

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