History

History

Kathleen Bennett developed the prospectus and business plan in 1996 for a school that would nurture and empower a diverse group of girls during their crucial adolescent years.

After developing community support and acquiring funding, The Girls’ Middle School opened in September 1998 with a sixth-grade class of 35 girls. Each successive year saw an additional next grade until the pioneer class graduated in 2001.

GMS Through the Years

 

1996
Kathleen Bennett publishes The Girls' Middle School prospectus. Bennett forms an advisory council and begins fundraising. GMS receives official nonprofit status. 
1997
Front-page Business section story on school reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
First Open House: 250 families attend; 15 women engineers lead a hands-on bridge-building activity.
1998
After everyone pitches in, GMS opens with 35 sixth-grade girls and 13 staff members.
The New York Times reports on GMS. 
1999
GMS expands to six full rooms and staff grows to 19. School establishes the Henry Page Memorial Financial Aid Endowment. Launch of Entrepreneurial Program, developed by Lana Guernsey. First seventh grade trip to Washington, DC. 
2001
First eighth grade trip to Mexico. Staff grows to 22. Pioneer class graduates; 34 girls head off to high school.
Bennett steps down; Margaret Scott becomes new Head of School. 
2002
Chandler the Gecko becomes official library mascot. Fred Sotcher helps build woodshop. GMS receives accreditation from Western Association of Schools and Colleges. More than five authors visit school.
2003
Fifth anniversary celebration at the San Jose Museum of Art, attended by more than 500 people. Students plant school garden. 
2004
Students build the GMS play structure and zip-line during Intersession.
2005
Deb Hof becomes Head of School. Pioneer class graduates high school; many former scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college.
2006
Launch of One-to-One Laptop Program. Skateboard ramp completed.
2008
GMS celebrates its 10th anniversary. Two modular buildings open, adding four new classrooms. Library relocated and expanded.
2009
Pioneer Class graduates from college.
2011
The Girls' Middle School moves to a new site at 3400 West Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303.
2013 Jennifer Ayer becomes Head of School.
2015

New strategic plan adopted.