Established in 1989 through Gdańską Fundację Oświaty (the Gdańsk Education Foundation), Gdańskie Liceum Autonomiczne (the Gdańsk Autonomous High School), often referred to as "Autonomik", was the first private school in the Gdańsk region. The school was given permission to graduate students in its first year of existence. Since its opening, over 900 students have graduated from this prestigious school. 95% of these graduates furthered their studies in a university program either in Poland or abroad. The school is located in the oldest part of historical Gdańsk. In 2006 and 2007, the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza ranked Gdańskie Liceum Autonomiczne (GLA) as the top school in Gdańsk. In 2007 national daily "Rzeczpospolita" bestowed GLA with the same honor. Each year a number of GLA students are awarded the President of Gdańsk scholarships for their outstanding educational successes.
Currently there are about 169 students in GLA. Students are divided into so called "profile groups" (up to 21 students in a "profile"). There are five "profile groups" with the following leading subjects: 1) mathematics-physics (preparing for polytechnical universities), 2) biology-chemistry (preparing for medical universities), 3) polish-history (preparing for language, culture and legal studies), 4) mathematics-history-geography (preparing for business studies), 5) mathematics-arts (preparing for architecture studies)
There are two academic terms (known as "halves" - "półrocze") in the year. The first one starts in the first week of September and ends in before Christmas, the second one starts in the first week of January and ends at the end of the third week of June. The are three breaks in the year: Christmas break (about 7 days), winter break in February (14 days), Easter break (about 7 days) and summer break (about 9 weeks).
Foreign language study is one of the major priorities at GLA. Most students studying English take the First Certificate Examination (FCE), the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) exams while enrolled at the school. Several courses are taught in English. Apart from being an SAT testing center, since May 2006, GLA has been recognized as a testing center for TOEFL. In addition, all students must take 3 hours a week of a third language. German, Spanish, French and Russian are options to fulfill this requirement. The school also offers Latin and Italian courses.
Extra curricular activities include basketball, soccer, self-defense and volleyball. Students have access to the school gym, soccer field, weight room and pool. Students are also allowed access to an ice-skating rink during the winter. Students also may participate in club activities including math, art, theatre, photography and computers. In 2009 an astronomy observatory at GLA was oficially opened.
Students are supported by highly qualified school counselors from Poradnia Psychologiczno-Pedagogiczna "Osiek" (Eudcational Counselling Center "Osiek") who provide academic, career, college/university readiness and personal/social guidance.
Gdańskie Liceum Autonomiczne cooperates with St.Paul Preparatory School in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA and Paul Klee Gymnasium in Overath, Germany. For two years the school has been taking part in U.S.-Poland Parliamentary Youth Exchange Leadership Program financed by the US Department of State.
Gdańskie Liceum Autonomiczne