About GAISS

Guru Angad Institute of Sikh Studies (GAISS) is a tax-exempt faith based educational organization aiming to enshrine an appreciation and understanding of Sikh heritage, language and music among children, youth and adults. The Gurmat, Punjabi, and Gurmat Sangeet studies program, year-round Kirtan programs, and extra-curricular activities by the institution play a major role in achieving the mission.

Established in 2004, GAISS strives to cultivate a sense of belonging and purpose in Sikhism through inspiration, motivation and a diligent educational agenda. We try to foster leadership skills in our students and inculcating a sense of pride and self-confidence relating to Sikh heritage and knowledge of global issues.





Operations

Started in 2004, the school’s structure is similar to that of a grade school comprising of two semesters. The first semester is from September to December and the second semester runs from January to June. Classes are held on Saturday’s during the semester, excluding holiday weekends that are prescheduled. Classes are held on Saturday’s from 10AM-2PM (KG to Level 3) and 12PM-4PM (Level 4 onwards). Every student attends blocks for all 3 subjects, and there is a snack break too. Students are required to bring with themselves a light vegetarian snack. Milk and water beverages are provided by the school. On the first Saturday of the month, Pizza is served as the snack to all students, so they don’t need to bring a snack from home. The school day also includes an Assembly Divan which is held at 1PM, attended by all GAISS students. In addition, extra classes are held after school to help the students, as needed.

We leverage the standard “Sojhi” Boli and Virsa curriculum developed by the Sikh Research Institute implemented with benchmarks developed by the GAISS team. GAISS is the only school of its kind in North America that teaches Gurmat Sangeet using traditional Sikh string instruments.
In April 2010 GAISS moved into our own facility after many years of holding classes out of a Community Center. Our facility is built like a school in order to properly hold our Gurmat, Punjabi, and Gurmat Studies program in a classroom environment.





Extracurricular Activities

Outside of our Gurmat, Punjabi and Gurmat Sangeet studies program year-round our students participate in a couple of Kirtan programs every month, Interfaith events, and other community activities like homeless shelter food packing every month. Students also meet during the week for Gurmat Sangeet practice sessions in the evenings, as needed. In 2014, we started a Toddlers Class too which is held on Saturday morning’s from 11AM – 12PM.





Students are organized into 4 Misls (Mata Bhaag Kaur, Baba Deep Singh, Baba Fateh Singh, and Mata Sahib Kaur) and activities like a Sports Day and other activities are organized as healthy competitions between the Misls. Typically on the first Saturday of the month, there is a special extra-curricular activity planned for after school ends.
During the summer break GAISS runs a Gurmat Sangeet camp. The camp’s aim is not only to further our students’ Gurmat Sangeet understanding and practice but also teaching them basic tenets of Sikhi and promoting camaraderie. Sessions in the camp include Master classes with special teachers, Sikh History Jeopardy, and Gatka. Volunteers and guests are invited to lead sessions and impart knowledge and expertise, and promote discussion and further understanding. At the end of the camp a Divan is held where our campers share the Shabads that they have learned during the camp. In addition, every year there is a Free Day in which fun activities and games are held for everyone to enjoy.