Mission and Vision of GCAA

Our Mission.

Founded in 2010, Grand Center Arts Academy is a St. Louis public charter middle and high school located in the heart of St. Louis’ vibrant cultural arts district.  We currently serve grades 6 through 10, and by August of 2015 we will serve grades 6-12.

Our mission is to serve students with a meaningful, well-rounded education that includes a strong emphasis on the visual and performing arts and a deep commitment to academic excellence. We strongly believe in community engagement, multi-cultural understanding, service and good citizenship.

Our Vision.

In fifteen years, GCAA will be recognized as the one of the highest quality arts and academic schools in not only Missouri, but the Midwest, and that all our adult graduates will be:

  • Economically self-sufficient participants in the 21st century’s global marketplace
  • Capable of exercising perseverance, leadership, and compassion in positively impacting themselves, others, and the world we share
  • Highly artistic, literate, passionate life-long learners.

Core Values.

Academics
Grand Center Arts Academy (GCAA) offers challenging courses, in all subject areas, that encourage intellectual curiosity and develop strong critical thinking skills.  Students are expected to participate in a rigorous program, including four-five hours of academic classes, two-three hours of arts training, and one-four hours of rehearsal/practice per day. The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m.  Academic as well as Arts classes will be sequenced to match the needs of each student at GCAA.  Academic support and remediation are provided as needed, in addition to Honors and Advanced Placement courses.  The curriculum incorporates educational approaches employed in the arts, and the schedule will maximize the arts and academic connections.

Arts
Grand Center Arts Academy offers world-class training in music, theater, visual art and dance. Courses for students in grades 6-8 are designed to encourage exploration of the world of the arts.  Students will begin to sub-specialize in 9th and 10th grades, choosing a major in their junior and senior years. GCAA educates the whole student by fostering the development of applied creativity, critique (self and others), appreciation of all arts forms and a lifelong connection to the Arts.  GCAA provides continuity and increasing depth of course offerings in each art area. Course work will include an emphasis on differentiated instruction, skill development through coaching, performance-based assessment, individual and collaborative work, creative and critical thinking, and open-ended inquiry.  An important element and foundational premise for the arts curriculum will be the intersection of arts and social justice.

Social Justice
Grand Center Arts Academy is firmly committed to equity and to the vision that education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multi-cultural democracy.  GCAA believes that classrooms should be places of hope, where students and teachers can gain glimpses of the kind of society we could live in, and where students learn the academic, artistic, and critical skills needed to make that vision a reality.

Community
Grand Center Arts Academy will enhance the performance component of the arts programs through ongoing relationships with major cultural institutions in St. Louis.  Students will be able to participate in projects and classes at these institutions, and the school intends to draw on them for artists-in-residencies at the school.  Partnerships with these local arts and cultural partners are a key component of the arts programming for students in GCAA in addition to the arts instruction they receive from their certified Arts Specialists throughout their school day.