Principal's Office

James Cook

A Message from the Principal

August 2017


Dear Gloucester High School students and families,

“In dreams begin responsibilities.” Last year, I began my first letter to the Gloucester High School community with these words; I return to them again today, as we envision a year of social-emotional and academic growth and wellbeing for all students.

To make this vision a reality, the Gloucester High School staff is driven by a commitment to purposeful and engaging instruction in every classroom every day, support for social-emotional and intellectual growth for all students, and inquiry-based learning that fosters connections, curiosity, creativity, resourcefulness, and resilience. The caring and dedicated faculty and staff of Gloucester High School look forward to partnering with you for a successful year.

An important aspect of this partnership is the effort put forth by students. Only with purposeful effort and dedicated practice can the support of educators and parents be transformed into student growth. Through resourcefulness and resilience, through passion and perseverance students will be able to grow, thrive, and succeed. For students, resourcefulness means making use of support structures and resources in the school and community. Resilience means bouncing back from setbacks and difficulties. Passion, in this context, refers to compelling enthusiasm and the drive to achieve short-term and long-term goals. Perseverance and persistence mean sticking with a purposeful task even when it becomes difficult. These are attributes we value and foster at Gloucester High School.

Mindful of our values, I’d like to remind students and families about our innovative summer reading program that weaves language arts development together with social-emotional learning. Students at each grade-level are expected to read at least one book that addresses GHS core values: resilience and resourcefulness for 9th graders; kindness and compassion for 10th graders; creativity, character, and careers for 11th graders; and resilience and resourcefulness (again) for 12th graders. Near the beginning of the school year, students will complete an assignment in English classes and participate in a discussion with peers based on their reading. More information about summer reading, including book titles, can be found at

In 2017-2018, we enter the third year of our plan to create a one-to-one laptop environment for our students to promote inquiry learning and higher-order thinking. This year 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students will be issued Chromebooks. 12th grade students will continue to use Chromebook carts in classes throughout the school. Information about Chromebook distribution will be ongoing throughout the late summer and early part of the school year.

As we enter the 2017-2018 year, we also celebrate a range of new opportunities for Gloucester High School students. Students will be making use of more than $600,000 of new equipment and resources in Machine Technology and Biotechnology as a result of state grants. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate college readiness and to earn college credit in three new AP courses (AP World History, AP Economics, and AP US History). Students will participate in a variety of Social-Emotional Learning seminars. Through our new Bridge Program, students, who experience significant disruptions in their education, will have an opportunity to catch up and successfully return to their scheduled classes. Gloucester High School English Language Learners will benefit from a coordinated approach to supporting newcomers and from new Sheltered English Immersion courses. All students will benefit from the development of inquiry-rich lessons that promote the knowledge and skills necessary for 21st century work and citizenship.

For these reasons and many others, I am extremely excited about the year ahead. I invite students, staff, parents, guardians, and the community-at-large to join me in working toward a successful 2017-2018.


James W. Cook


Gloucester High School