A new look at gateway international school from its new principal

Deep Dhillon became Gateway International School’s Principal at the start of 2022-23 School Year.

But she did not start to change everything immediately.

“You have to be careful with what changes you want to make immediately and what should wait,” Dhillon says.

As the new principal, she began some changes with the school library as she felt that was a need all teachers have been asking about. Dhillon wanted the library to be not only a place for students to borrow books, but also a space for inquiry and research.

Dhillon started her career at GIS in 2014 as a school counselor and 5th grade teacher. Next year, she became a full-time counselor and a coordinator for the Middle Years Program for the International Baccalaureate Program. After that, she served as a vice principal for 4 years. When last year the opportunity to become the school principal arose, Dhillon was ready for it.

Dhillon believes that her previous experience, especially as a counselor, helps her a lot in the principalship position.

“The principal is a counselor for everyone,” Dhillon says.

Gateway International School is a public charter school for Transitional Kindergarten through eight grades. The school is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program and Middle Years Program.

GIS has two world language programs: Russian and Spanish. It provides services such as intervention programs, academic tutoring, and after-school programs. The school has 1:1 technology for students, English language support, and student planners.

The teaching approach at GIS is unique. Teachers are more focused on inquiry-based way of teaching. Students think about their topics from a global perspective and the way it affects everyone. And this helps them to become actively involved in the world and their local community in future.

”Our goal is to help students develop characteristics that become part of their personalities,” Dhillon says.

The IB program offered by the school is a worldwide recognized program. The main idea of the program is that it is focused on teaching students to be open-minded and respond with optimism to everyday challenges. Students learn to connect knowledge from school with everything else they do outside the school.

Dhillon says that “research proves that IB students develop strong academic, personal, and social and emotional characteristics.”

At GIS, students are required to take a world language. Dhillon believes that the fact they offer Russian language attracts many students from Slavic community to apply for the school. We also attract other diverse learners by offering Spanish and another world language choice.

GIS teaches its students to be involved in the community by taking action outside of school based on what they have learned. Kids do community related projects and activities, such as helping out in churches, cleaning up local parks, supporting after-school programs, etc. GIS staff believe that such projects develop international awareness, self-sufficiency and a sense of pride in the academic and personal success of students.

“We are a family that supports and encourages each other to reach higher levels of learning and success,” Dhillon says.

GIS is always enrolling new students and are currently in open enrollment from Feb.1 to March 31.

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