Glenbrook Academy of International Studies
Founded in 1981, the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies is a nationally recognized program integrating the teaching and learning of English, Social Studies, and World Languages for students in the Glenbrook High Schools.
The World Language for the Class of 2028 will be French
The Glenbrook Academy application process is now open.
Student Applications are due by Monday, January 22, 2024
Applicant Interview and Impromptu Writing will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2024
Teacher Recommendations are due by Friday, February 2, 2024
Academy Application Details
Interviews and Impromptu Writing
On Thursday, January 25th, Academy applicants will complete two writing samples and sit for an interview with staff and current students. We will do this in person at Glenbrook South High School unless health conditions change. Applicants must report to the Lyceum, Room 1109, at 3:45 p.m. This room is located on the First Floor, East Wing.
The meeting will run from 3:45 to 6:30 p.m.
Please contact Mr. Whipple or Mrs. Chandiles with any questions or concerns.
Communication of Admission Status
On Friday, February 16 (after school), each applicant will be sent an email containing The Academy's final decision on placement. In the meantime, all applicants should complete the high school registration materials required of all eighth graders. Those eighth graders placed into The Academy will be rescheduled by guidance counselors later this spring.
In the late 1970s, the faculties of The Glenbrook High Schools developed a Statement of Philosophic Goals and Objectives for the 1980s. At the core of that document was the following assertion:
“We believe that man is essentially a rational being with the potential for developing his unique talents to create and sustain a wholesome existence. To realize this philosophic goal, we believe that the school should teach and the young should achieve the following objectives: 1) To recognize that individual and cultural values other than their own have purpose and validity; and 2) To know that the world's people are becoming increasingly interdependent and to accept membership in an ever-widening world community as essential to human progress.”
Implicit in this statement is a recognition of the same global realities which prompted 35 nations to sign the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The final act of those Accords committed the signatory nations “to encourage the study of foreign language and civilization as an important means of expanding communication among peoples.”
American efforts to fulfill the terms of this international agreement were initiated in April of 1978, when President Jimmy Carter appointed a special commission to evaluate the current state of foreign language and international studies and their impact on our nation’s internal and external strength. In November of 1979, The President’s Commission on Foreign Language and International Studies published its report and recommendations. That report included the following statement:
“We are profoundly alarmed by what we have found: a serious deterioration in this country’s language and research capacity, at a time when an increasingly hazardous international military, political and economic environment is making unprecedented demands on America's resources, intellectual capacity and public sensitivity.”
Illinois was one of the first states to respond to the challenge of finding ways of improving the critical global component of education. A state task force recommended the establishment of a series of planning seminars to encourage serious public consideration of the issue. In December of 1979, The State Board of Education sponsored the first of these meetings in Peoria; a delegation from The Glenbrook High Schools was in attendance.
In February of 1980, a joint committee of Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South faculty was organized to research the development of a district-wide international studies program. The work of this committee resulted in a proposal for the creation of a four-year program to be called The Glenbrook Academy of International Studies and designed for academically talented students. On February 2, 1981, the Board of Education unanimously approved the program.
In the fall of 1981, The Academy opened with its first class of ninth graders. For the next three years a new class entered each year. In the spring of 1985, Dr. Lee Anderson, Chairman of the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and a respected authority on international education, examined The Academy’s program as part of a district-wide educational evaluation. After witnessing the work of students and teachers, Dr. Anderson summarized his feelings: “Seeing what you have accomplished with this program has restored my faith in American secondary education.” Dr. Anderson continued as follows:
“To visit The Academy is to observe a living example of excellence in American education. Were the members of the visitation committee to be asked by foreign visitors to show them some examples of outstanding American educational programs, there is no question the committee would take them to see The Academy.
“The Academy offers students an outstanding opportunity to learn a foreign language. Moreover, the strength of the overall program is augmented by efforts to link foreign language instruction with social studies and literature.
“The classroom climate clearly facilitates learning and particularly the development of thinking skills. It is relaxed but demanding of students and teachers alike. Emphasis is placed on the development of analytical skills. A high level of intellectual excitement is clearly evident. Indeed, the level of intellectual discussion observed by the committee members exceeds much of what they have experienced in college classrooms, including graduate seminars.”
By June of 1985, the first graduates of The Academy agreed with Dr. Anderson that the program had indeed made a significant impact on their lives. More than two decades later and several years into the twenty-first century, today’s Academy faculty and students remain committed to academic excellence with a global vision.
|Grade Level||English||Social Studies||World Languages|
Academy English 193:
|Academy Social Studies 193: World History: Beginnings to C.E. 1750||Academy World Language 193: Spanish|
Maria Paula Duran
|Grade 10||Academy English 293:
|Academy Social Studies 293:
United States History
(with preparation for AP U.S. History Exam)
Academy World Language 293: Chinese
|Grade 11||Academy English 393:
(with preparation for AP English and Composition Exam)
|Academy Social Studies 393:
|Academy World Languages 393:
Jamie Ellinger Macon
|Grade 12||Academy English 493:
(with preparation for AP English Literature and Composition Exam)
|Academy Social Studies 493:
21st Century Global Challenges
|Academy World Language 493:French
Essential Questions for Study
In their four years together, Academy students and their teachers freely cross disciplines, cultures, and centuries. The Academy faculty deems the following questions essential because they nurture reflection and discussion on identity, expression, perspective, change, conflict, and truth—concepts that define us as individuals and bind us as a learning community.
What groups, formal and informal, do humans create and belong to? How do groups shape identity?
How do humans create voice and identity through form and structure?
What role does national identity play in forming individual identity? What role does personal imagination play in shaping national identity?
How can we better understand others’ perspectives and other cultures’ values?
How do we consider and evaluate the various sources at our disposal?
Do spiritual and material pursuits result in greater happiness or wisdom for humans?
What can stories tell us about what it means to make sense of the world?
How do history, literature, and languages shape us? What happens when we interpret history, literature, and languages through lenses of gender, race, social class, family, community, or personal experience?
What is the role of language in global issues?
How has technology affected humans’ relationship with the earth?
How do humans succeed or fail to co-exist?
What is the American definition of success? What roles do convention, creativity, and fulfillment play in this definition? Are there alternative definitions?
How can we better understand others’ perspectives and other cultures’ values?
How do we consider and evaluate the various sources at our disposal?
Why and when did inequality among humans emerge? With what consequences?
What has caused the reconception of the universe and how have humans handled new ideas?
What have we gained, or lost, through progress?
How do increasing globalization and accelerating technological change affect us?
What are the notable achievements of “Eastern” and “Western” civilizations? Are such distinctions valid?
How do individuals and societies deal with extreme anxiety?
What is the place of questioning authority in the American identity?
What forces affect our understanding of the world?
What is education? What ends does it serve? What voices and groups tend to control discussion and inquiry?
As readers, writers, speakers, listeners, and thinkers, how do we work together in a mutually satisfying and productive way?
From what sources do we derive our values and beliefs? Do we freely choose them or are we programmed by history and culture?
What can be expected as a result of an Academy education?
- What traits do successful Academy applicants possess?
- What are the criteria for placement into The Academy?
- Are there quotas of boys and girls, GBN and GBS students in each entering class?
- Can students enter The Academy in their sophomore or junior year?
- Are grades in the Academy weighted?
- Is the academic work in The Academy more difficult than in high schools' honors curriculum?
- Are grades in the Academy courses typically lower than grades in the honors courses?
- How do Academy faculty work together?
- How does The Academy's schedule mesh with the schools' regular schedules?
- Do Academy students have time to fit math and science courses into their schedules?
- What about elective courses including applied arts and fine arts?
- Do Academy students have the time and opportunity to participate in co-curricular and community activities?
- Are Academy students required to study during the summer?
- Are Academy students required to travel at any time during their four years?
- Does The Academy provide an advantage in applying to competitive colleges and universities?
Successful Academy applicants tend to enjoy challenges; take academic risks; read willingly and enthusiastically; want to excel in a world language; care more about learning than about earning grades; take responsibility for their learning; recognize that most ideas and issues are not black-and-white; enjoy sharing ideas with others; respect a diversity of viewpoints; enjoy creative, problem-based projects with open-ended outcomes; understand that confusion is often part of real learning.
Selection of eighth-grade applicants for placement into The Academy is based on:
- scores earned on the PSAT 8-9 tests in the areas of reading and language
- middle or junior high school placement information, including grades earned, study habits ratings, and three teacher recommendations
- application form, including personal essay
- impromptu writing derived from a brief reading on a current global topic
- personal interview with Academy faculty and students
During the placement process for the incoming ninth-grade class, The Academy’s faculty seek to identify those thirty students whose academic and personal qualifications best suit them for success in the program. In this process, rigid quotas are not maintained, though the principal of balance between genders and schools is always a consideration.
The distinctive feature of the Academy curriculum is the linking of English, social studies, and the world language program. The Academy places higher emphasis on the quality of student performance than on its quantity. Academy students are not assigned more work than their peers in honors classes. However, they are expected to demonstrate excellence in responsibility, initiative, and critical thinking. In this sense, the Academy is generally more demanding than many honors courses.
No. In a study conducted at Glenbrook South, we learned that, on average, students who left the Academy and entered honors courses continued to earn the same grades. Furthermore, with few exceptions, Academy students consistently rank in the top fifth of their classes at both high schools. Finally, Academy students from both schools annually garner a generous share of awards and scholarships.
Grade-level teaching teams collaborate to develop appropriate learning goals, effective assignments and assessments, and innovative instructional techniques. Though all three teachers are not necessarily in the classroom at the same time each day, they regularly teach “in tandem” each quarter and often sit in on each other’s classes. A typical, five-day week includes two days on which all three courses meet for 50 minutes, and three days on which two of the three courses meet for 75 minutes. Such an arrangement focuses both in-class instruction and out-of-class homework more efficiently. Aside from grade-level teaching teams, subject-specific teams (English, social studies, and world language) meet periodically to review, research, and revise curriculum.
Yes. All Glenbrook students must take math and science courses and most Academy students exceed the graduation requirements in those areas. In fact, many Academy graduates are enrolled in engineering, pre-medicine, and other math/science/technology programs in college, and later choose these careers with great success.
They certainly do: Academy students are hardly hermits. They are involved in the full range of school activities, and outside of school they pursue interests and passions such as club sports and private music lessons. However, The Academy requires serious and consistent academic commitment of its students, and the truth is, simply, this: No one can do it all. Students and their parents must realize that choices have to be made in high school as they will throughout life.
Yes. Competitive colleges continue to emphasize the quality of the high school program. One competitive university’s admissions officer recently wrote, “Our admissions decisions are heavily influenced by the degree of difficulty of the student’s curriculum. We are more favorably impressed when students accept rather than avoid serious academic challenges.” Colleges and universities receive a lengthy description of the Academy program and curriculum with each admissions application. We are confident that colleges and universities are well acquainted with the nature and the quality of The Academy.
Glenbrook Academy faculty members have identified a range of ideal attributes for Academy graduates to demonstrate in adult lives of leadership and service. These attributes both provide focus for current Academy curriculum and underpin the planning for new initiatives.
As an individual, the Academy Graduate . . .
- is ethical, honorable, and loyal
- is passionate and compassionate
- is unabashedly idealistic
- seeks to excel and quests for quality
- is confident
- solves difficult problems creatively
- makes connections easily
- synthesizes ideas across disciplines
- is an excellent communicator
- is innovative
- possesses a healthy work ethic
- is multilingual
- seeks a deep understanding of beauty
- seeks personal and professional fulfillment
- is eager to learn and to keep learning
As a community member, the Academy Graduate . . .
- is aware of current local, national, and world events
- is aware of and conversant with cultural differences
- is active in civic, community, and political groups
- is a protector of human rights
- fosters strong family and other personal relationships
- is adaptable and flexible to challenges and opportunities
- challenges boundaries by taking risks
Where They Continue To Study
Since 1985, when the first class of Academy students graduated from Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South High Schools, the following colleges and universities have granted admission to our graduates:
|Allegheny College||Northwestern University Honors Medical Program|
|American University||Oberlin College|
|Amherst College||Pennsylvania State University|
|Bates College||Pomona College|
|Beloit College||Princeton University|
|Boston University||Purdue University|
|Bradley University||Rensselear Polytechnic Institute|
|Brandeis University||Rice University|
|Brown University||St. Mary's College|
|Bryn Mawr College||Smith College|
|California Institute of Technology||Southern Methodist University|
|Carleton College||Southwestern University|
|Case Western Reserve||Stanford University|
|Colgate University||Syracuse University|
|College of William and Mary||Trinity College|
|Columbia University||Tufts University|
|Cornell College||Tulane University|
|Cornell University||United States Naval Academy|
|Creighton University||Union College|
|Dartmouth College||University of Arizona|
|Denison University||University of Chicago|
|DePauw University||University of Connecticut|
|Drew University||University of Colorado|
|Duke University||University of Dallas|
|Emory University||University of Illinois at Chicago|
|Franklin and Marshall College||University of Iowa|
|Georgetown University||University of Kansas|
|Grinnell College||University of Miami|
|Hamilton College||University of Michigan|
|Harvard University||University of Missouri|
|Harvey Mudd College||University of North Carolina|
|Haverford College||University of Notre Dame|
|Illinois Wesleyan University||University of Oklahoma|
|Indiana University||University of Pennsylvania|
|Iowa State University||University of Southern California|
|Johns Hopkins University||University of Texas|
|Kenyon College||University of Vermont|
|Lehigh University||University of Wisconsin|
|Loyola University||Vanderbilt University|
|Macalester College||Vassar College|
|Marquette University||Washington University|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Wellesley College|
|Miami University of Ohio||Wesleyan University|
|Michigan State University||Wharton School of Economics|
|Middlebury College||Wheaton College|
|Northwestern University||Yale University|