Student Life at The Gatton Academy
The Student Life Team at The Gatton Academy strives to create a nurturing living-learning environment that allows each student to reach her/his full potential in all areas of development. Our programs focus on adult support for students in transition and crises; experiences that support positive growth in personal, social, educational and ethical leadership; healthy lifestyles, responsible decision making and service to others. This is accomplished through a supportive residential community; residential programming, workshops, retreats, weekend programming and other special events; extra-curricular activities and recreation; and leadership and service opportunities.
The Gatton Academy provides a rich living/learning environment designed specifically for academically talented adolescent students. The Gatton Academy student life staff live in the residence hall where they provide adult support for each student and also provide wing experiences that help facilitate student personal growth and community responsibility.
Because an essential feature of The Gatton Academy is its community, all Gatton Academy students are required to live in the residence hall even if their homes are within commuting distance. Gatton Academy students are housed in Florence Schneider Hall which serves as a home-away-from-home. The Gatton Academy features a Student Life Staff of 9:1-far greater than traditional undergraduate housing. This allows Resident Counselors the opportunity to serve as surrogate parent, mentor, disciplinarian, confidant and counselor to the students on each wing. The Assistant Director, Student Life and the Residential Life Coordinator both live in apartments on the first floor of Schneider Hall and are available through the front desk staff when needed by staff, students and parents.
Schneider Hall is a secure facility with an electronic entry system based on each student's unique student identification card and desk clerks posted 24-hours. These measures ensure that only Academy students, staff members and authorized guests have access to the building. Authorization is granted by gender for student entry onto student wings within Schneider Hall.
Gatton Academy students also adhere to a curfew on both weekdays and weekends. Gatton Academy students "swipe out" when leaving Schneider Hall and sign out when going off campus. When signed off campus, students must be accompanied by another student during the day and at least three other students at night. Most trips off campus are scheduled and transported by the student life staff. Gatton Academy students are not able to have cars on campus, nor ride with drivers under 21 years of age. The WKU Shuttle is available to transport students to various shopping and entertainment venues in Bowling Green. Schedules are available at the onset of the school year. Parent permission is required for a guest (of any age) to visit or sign out a student.
Each room is equipped with a landline phone capable of receiving universal "push messages" that are sent both audibly and visually in crisis situations. In addition, members of the WKU Police Department are fully trained and oriented to campus, and are available to respond immediately should an emergency arise. Students may report an emergency situation to campus police by dialing 911 or to the front desk attendant.
Medical care is available through the Student Health Service center on Western's campus and through local hospitals in Bowling Green. On-call staff provide transportation for non-911 emergency trips to the hospital, pre-arranged doctor's appointments, and to have prescriptions filled at the pharmacy. In addition, Gatton Academy students have access to the Assistant Director, Counseling Services, a full-time Academy staff member and certified school psychologist, to meet their counseling needs.
While Gatton Academy students grow academically, there are also a variety of opportunities for physical recreation. Gatton Academy students have free daily access to the Preston Health and Activities Center located on the WKU campus. Components of the Preston Center include a weight room, fitness room, gymnasium, dance studio, racquetball courts, swimming pool, a pro-shop, the Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Center, a Health & Fitness Lab, and many other features.
Gatton Academy students may also participate in intramural sports. Numerous sports and activities are scheduled throughout both the fall and spring semesters. Recent sports have included: co-ed softball, basketball, kickball, flag football, racquetball, volleyball, badminton, putt-putt golf, bowling, team handball, and soccer to name a few.
Gatton Academy students are not able to participate on KHSAA or NCAA teams.
Gatton Academy students find extracurricular opportunities to be a wonderful combination of opportunities sponsored by the Academy coupled with options available to WKU students. Students who are interested in musical, vocal, dramatic, and other arts may audition for performance groups and societies at Western. The Fine Arts Center-located adjacent to Schneider Hall-features practice rooms for students who wish to refine performance skills in a quiet setting. There are also a variety of religious groups for student who wish to continue their religious study, worship, fellowship and prayer. Students may not rush for a social fraternity or sorority.
Residential counselors and other Gatton Academy staff members sponsor clubs and organizations that cater to students' interests. These opportunities draw upon the affinities of Gatton Academy students and range from gaming clubs to volunteer groups. A Student Activities Committee and advisor plan a variety of weekend activities both on and off campus including the traditional spring Prom.
Approximately one weekend each month will be designated a closed weekend at the Academy, and students will go home to be with their families. Students will check out of the residence hall in the afternoon by a parent, legal guardian, or other specified adult. Students must return by the afternoon of the final day of the closed weekend. A list of tentative closed weekends is available on our Academic and Student Life Calendar.
Other Student Life Points of Interest
This calendar is kept up to date with the activities and important notes for Gatton Academy Students.
The Gatton Academy offers academic, career, college. and personal counseling for our students. This webpage will describe each form of counseling and who to contact if you are in need of counseling.
This is the official Student Handbook of The Gatton Academy. All rules and policies for students can be found in this handbook. Students are handed a physical copy at the beginning of each year.
Gatton Academy students excel in far more than STEM fields. Sierpinski’s Square was founded in the spring semester of 2015 by Gatton Academy students Courtney George (’15) and Hayden Justice (’16) to provide a forum for profound written analyses within the humanities.
Academy students are involved in variety of extracurricular activities that encompass our students' unique passions. This link provides a list of current clubs that are sponsored at the Academy.