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Mission, Ministry, & Inclusion

Approach to Faith-Based Education

Gesu School believes that character development and spiritual formation, combined with academic preparation, are critical components of elementary school education.
Learn more about our approach: 
  • As a faith-based institution in the Catholic tradition, Gesu intentionally provides the study of religion. Catholic beliefs and traditions are taught as part of the religion curriculum, and Gesu places emphasis on helping students develop strong character and values.
  • Gesu teaches respect for all people and all faiths, exposing students to the world’s major religions. 
  • Gesu students have the opportunity to grow spiritually, socially, and emotionally, whatever their faith background.
  • Gesu raises students’ awareness of social justice issues and encourages students to be young women and men for and with others. 

Mission and Ministry Program

Gesu’s Mission and Ministry Program strives to nourish the spiritual well-being of our Gesu community. Mission and Ministry promotes service and social change and impacts students’ growth as young citizens of the world. Activities and initiatives include:
  • Daily prayer and monthly Mass or prayer service, for example Advent, Ash Wednesday, and Earth Day 
  • Catholic Student Union (CSU)
  • Sacramental preparation in collaboration with local Catholic parishes if families choose
  • Retreats for students and staff
  • Parent prayer group 
  • Non-Catholic, religious educational experiences, including a Kwanzaa celebration, Passover Seder for 8th grade, and ongoing programming with Interfaith Philadelphia
  • Service and social justice programs in partnership with other schools and community organizations, such as MLK Day of Service
  • Mission collections for charities such as Jesuit and Catholic Relief Services (for Operation Rice Bowl and flood relief in Jackson, Mississippi)

The Mission and Ministry Program also supports Gesu families. The team may offer financial and counseling resources to families in need during emergencies and also leads initiatives that provide food during the holidays. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Gesu

Gesu engages all students, staff, faculty, and trustees in celebrating diversity. We foster a school environment that promotes anti-racism at every level of school culture, from institutional decision-making and procedures to classroom learning and daily interactions. Our DEI approach includes: 
Curricular and co-curricular initiatives, such as daily affirmations to reinforce cultural pride and cultivate self-esteem and a monthly feature of a different culture (including Black History, Hispanic-LatinX, Native American, Asian American Pacific Islander, and Jewish American heritages) 
School-wide programming that promotes respect for all, strengthens cultural competency, and works towards designation by the Anti-Defamation League as a No Place for Hate© school for the 12th consecutive year
Professional development on anti-racism in education including presentations by and discussions with top DEI researchers and practitioners. Gesu's equity and inclusion initiatives reflect our community's commitment to respecting human dignity, celebrating our diverse experiences, and fostering a culture of belonging. These beliefs are embodied in our Jesuit and IHM traditions of social justice, faith, creative hope, and love, and in our membership in the Jesuit Schools Network and NativityMiguel Network.

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