Weekends and Special Events

Life outside the classroom is part of our program—an active and fun part that brings us together as a united Gow while promoting leadership development, social and emotional growth, executive functioning, healthy decision-making, and self-advocacy skills. 

Things to do at a Boarding School

After Saturday classes end, students have plenty of choices. The recreational facilities of the Gow Center, including a weight room, gyms, Table Tennis, billiards, and foosball, are open much of the time. Off-campus trips might include trips to local stores, movies, skiing, pro or collegiate sporting events, amusement or water parks, theater, skate parks, paint ball, or other attractions such as Niagara Falls, to name a few. Much-anticipated weekends include Winter Carnival, with events ranging from a human dog sled race to a pie-eating contest, and Spring Fest.

All these activities, plus athletics, keep students very busy. Both boarding and day students can take part in all aspects of student life.

Events throughout the year

While our students are on campus they are working hard, so we like to throw some fun into the mix every month to keep spirits high. Student Council and student activities are always coming up with something to break up the days and have some fun. 

two students on the first day of school

It is Gow tradition that the school year starts every year on Labor Day. That evening, the school gathers for Convocation and our first all school dinner. Every year a different faculty member is chosen to lead Convocation with the help from the Student Council President and Vice President. 


October is an exciting time for our students. It is the end of the first marking period, Parents Weekend and their first break all open during the middle of October. 

Towards the end of the month when Halloween rolls around, Student Council likes to kick up the school spirit with the help of spirit week! 

With days like Twin Day, Tie Dye, Pajama Day, and Jersey Day students are able to get creative with their outfits. One of the days every year is Crimson vs. Navy our version of color war. Our Gow community is broken up into two teams and compete in different activities throughout the year to earn points for their team. 



With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, before our students head home to spend the holiday with their families, we make sure to sit down as an entire school community to have our own version of Thanksgiving. 

kids ready for charity ball

Come December, Govians are ready for some extra fun with the Charity Ball event. This local charity event for middle schoolers and high school students gives students an opportunity to meet other local kids, dance, and enjoy themselves. 

Bring on the Ugly Sweater. As the Holiday season fast approaching, our students like to ditch the coat and tie for the day and bring out the ugly Holiday sweaters to show off their festive sides. 

In past years, Student Council has even organized a gift exchange among advisor groups. 

Once exams are done, students then head home for their winter break. 


While this event does have a tendency to change date from year to year, it always seems to fall when the snow arrives and the temperature is a little cold. Students arrive to breakfast, not knowing that classes are canceled for the day. Students head off campus to go ice skating and exploring in East Aurora or in past years the entire school goes bowling.  

students at winter carnival

A Gow tradition that started back in the 70's, on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, classes are canceled. Instead the Gow Center multipurpose room, is filled with  bounce houses, a wrecking ball, obstacle course and anything else we are able to fit, students have the morning to enjoy the inflatables, popcorn, cotton candy, all while earning points for their color war team. 


When March arrives students can start seeing the May finish line! Spring break typically falls in March and students can head home for some rest or attend the school trip. In past years students have gone to: Peru, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, and Greece. 


April brings our Spring Awards and Cresting Ceremony. Parents join us on campus for our recognition of our students who are student leaders and a part of clubs and organization on campus. In the second half of the day, seniors receive their newly crested blazers. This Gow tradition is the first step towards commencement for our seniors. Their school blazers are adorned with the Gow family crest, welcoming the seniors into the alumni association.

At the end of April, Student Council holds a spring carnival, as one last celebration before end of the year exams starts. Similar to winter carnival, spring carnival moves outside and we include a dunk tank into the mix, which some faculty members are known to get into. 


May is a busy time on campus. The school year is wrapping up and there is much to celebrate. 

Kicking off the month is prom! The newest Gow tradition, but one that is here to stay. With a new theme every year and held of campus, juniors and seniors enjoy a night off campus on the dance floor. 

The Athletic Ceremony and Honors Convocation, are the start of the Commencement weekend. Students across all team are honored and most improved and valuable players are awarded. After being acknowledge for their efforts on the court or fields, our students are awarded for their academic efforts with students being inducted into the National Honor Society. 

Commencement closes off the school year with the celebration for the graduating class. Every senior gets up to do a three to five minute speech about the road that led them to Gow and their plans for life after Gow. All students and families attend Commencement, providing a little bit of hope for what is to come.