Gator Pod is an innovative, engaging and interdisciplinary program that encourages students to develop the skills necessary for success in the 21st century: critical thinking, collaboration, effective use of technology, oral and written communication and information analysis.
In Gator Pod, students work with a team of four teachers with specialties in Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science and Computers. Students engage in inquiry-based learning wherein they take initiative and responsibility in many aspects of their learning, while reinforcing the essential skills listed above. Students can expect regular access to technology to help support and inspire their learning.
Gator Pod is built upon the notion that students are engaged and empowered by their own passions and hands-on learning. Students can look forward to many student-centered tasks such as: Caine’s Arcade, Genius Week, Terra Outdoor Survival Simulation, Build Your Own Viking, Amazing Race, and Gators’ Den.
Gator Pod is also unique in that our Grade 8 classes are partnered with as many as five senior Leadership students who act as mentors academically and socially. These senior students encourage the Gator Pod students to have an impact on their school, local and global communities. For example, these senior students coordinate the sponsoring of local families around the holidays, as well as help arrange class visits with our school’s Explorations special education students.
The Gator Pod program has a limited enrollment capacity. As a result, students will have to meet certain criteria and go through an application and interview process. The Gator Pod program is open to students of all ranges of academic abilities. The program is, however, designed for students who possess certain personal and learning qualities. The final determination of student placement in Gator Pod resides with the Administration.
Who would thrive in this program?
- Students who enjoy working collaboratively with their peers.
- Students who demonstrate leadership skills.
- Students who are keen to hone their skills in computer technology.
- Students who show initiative in their own learning.
- Students who have an interest in enriching their community.
- Students with strong organizational skills.
- Students who want to learn oral presentation skills.
Students who enroll in Gator Pod 8 will receive credit for English Language Arts 8, Social Studies 8, Science 8 and Computers (term 1 and 2). Students will sign up for an elective block which consists of two terms of Gator Pod Technology (term 1 and 2) and then for final third term, they will be free to enroll in an elective of their choice independent of Gator Pod. Students who wish to apply to English Language Arts 9 Honours or Science 9/10 Honours will have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to do so while in the Gator Pod Program.
Application Deadline: February 23, 2023
Interviews: March 1, 2023
Gator Pod is a Bring Your Own Laptop program. All students are expected to have a laptop. It is an innovative, engaging and interdisciplinary program that will encourage students to develop the skills necessary for success in the 21st century: critical thinking, collaboration, oral and written communication, information analysis and effective use of technology.
The Gator Pod Program encompasses participants’ Social Students, English, Science and Computers courses.
Our Grade 11 and 12 leadership students are in many ways the life–blood of our program as they design and carry out the fun and unique challenges that Gator Pod is known for, as well as build meaningful and supportive relationships with our Grade 8 students. Our senior leaders mentor students both academically and socially within the unique interdisciplinary environment provided by Gator Pod. We are proud to offer two to four senior leaders in each of our Gator Pod classes. The leaders are hand-picked by our teachers and many were in Gator Pod themselves
Application & Interview Process
Students and parents who are interested in applying must complete the online application form (link above).
Students will then receive an email giving them an interview time. This year, the interview will be held virtually on Teams: students will be placed in online groups and asked to complete a problem–solving scenario in a virtual format.