Spring Unit Program

Upper School GSB Students
Upper School GSB Students

A signature program at GSB for nearly 50 years, the Spring Unit Program provides two-week experiential learning opportunities for our Upper School students each May.

At its heart, the Spring Unit is a chance for students to explore new subjects and deeply engage in learning outside the traditional academic setting and beyond the traditional academic curriculum. Whether through immersive travel, artistic exploration, service projects, or unique internship experiences, the Spring Unit celebrates learning at its best.

At a time when most schools are winding down and new learning is rarely introduced, the academic year at Gill St. Bernard’s is reborn. The last two weeks of May fill our campus with energy, purpose, and a sense of shared adventure.

Mike Wendell, Spring Unit Co-Coordinator

Recent Unit Spotlights

Cultural Immersion

By exploring diverse, lived experiences in local, national, and world settings, students develop the knowledge and emphatic skill sets to understand multiple perspectives and thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. 

Experiential Learning

Whether working one-on-one with field experts or in collaborative group settings, our real-life experiential learning courses provide students with the unique opportunity to apply classroom concepts into practical settings.

Service Learning

Community service has long been a tradition at our school, providing students with opportunities to gain a deeper appreciation for organizations and causes that assist those in need. Students in these courses will participate in immersive service learning projects that support our broader community.

Environmental Sustainability

Courses in animal husbandry, sustainability, farmland preservation, and environmental stewardship provide students with authentic, hands-on experiences that challenge them to think critically about the environment and our relationship with the world around us.

Career Exploration & Internships

Each year, Juniors and Seniors in good academic standing have the chance to partner with industry professionals in several internship opportunities. Students use this experience to work with their mentor--often a GSB alum--to explore career possibilities and make valuable connections in fields such as medicine, law, entrepreneurship, veterinary science, physical therapy, education, cybersecurity, information technology, and digital media.

Alumni Spotlights

Spring Unit Trip, 1987

Program History

Since the founding of GSB, experiential learning has been a fundamental element of our school curriculum. From the early visions of both Thomas Conover and Elizabeth Gill, academic classes incorporated a connection to the broader world through practical applications. This vision was formalized into an academic program within the curriculum more than 50 years ago. The Spring Unit program was born to provide students with a fully immersive experience to explore projects beyond the classroom, discover connections to new environments through global travel, and to think critically about the world around them.

Reflecting on our school's motto, "the world is our classroom," the Spring Unit program continues to connect our core values, academic goals, and the desire to inspire students to think beyond the classroom.  Today's courses offer an array of opportunities for students to learn more about environmental sustainability, service learning, cultural immersion and global travel experiences. In 2018 the Student Internship Program was added for interested students to work alongside mentors in various professions including law, veterinary science, broadcasting, medical, cybersecurity, and business.