GAP School, located in the West Side neighborhood of Saint Paul, serves approximately 200 youth and young adults (ages 15-24) annually through education and enrichment; training that leads to employment; and social and emotional supports. Since its establishment, GAP School has taken a holistic approach to working with students at-risk of school dropout by addressing the numerous barriers to their academic success.
We provide individualized education that meets the social-emotional needs of students, including mental health services and basic needs resources such as meals and transportation. More than 96% of GAP School students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the majority are English Language Learners. Because the challenges facing our students and their families are continually changing, GAP School staff work to adapt and create programs that respond to our student population and their strengths and needs.
We offer at-risk adolescents a safe, structured environment in which to learn and grow. With a significantly lower staff-to-student ratio than mainstream public schools, our teachers develop strong personal relationships with GAP School students that help us identify and address each individual’s unique needs.
GAP School’s suite of culturally appropriate, community-based educational services help youth overcome the realities of their backgrounds and greatly improve their economic and occupational outcomes.
GAP School was founded by Sister M. Giovanni founded in 1967 to address the high number of secondary school dropouts in her community, Saint Paul’s West Side neighborhood. Over the decades, GAP School’s services grew, and today, programming has expanded to include mental health and social work services, alternative high school and adult basic education, training leading to industry-recognized certifications, mentoring, and post-secondary transition support. Today, GAP School serves children and youth at high risk of school failure, as well as immigrants and refugees seeking to create a better life in this country.