Academics

Academic Pillars

A Unique Learning Experience

What do today’s students need most from their high school experience to prepare them for college, careers, and civic life? Are we teaching enduring learning, inspiring deeper thinking, helping students excel in the habits of an intellectual life? The academic pillars at Emma Willard School are designed to consider these very important questions.

With awareness that the world is changing and learners are changing with it, the Emma Willard School program equips our students to meet the extraordinary opportunities and challenges of their time. Our academic program is focused on what matters most in learning—relevance, enduring understanding, and multidisciplinary connection. In order to educate a generation of learners ready and able to meet the most pressing issues of our time, we commit ourselves to the following academic pillars.
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Intellectual Flexibility

Emma Willard School strives to educate a generation of learners ready and able to address the most pressing issues of their time. During their time at Emma, students develop the intellectual flexibility to consider big questions and to work to solve big problems.

Purpose & Community

Fundamental to personal wellbeing is the life-long exploration of one’s self and one’s contribution to the world. The Emma Willard School curriculum fosters a sense of purpose in each student by emphasizing relevance, impact, and community connection.

Equity & Justice

Living and learning in a global and inclusive community requires persistent and purposeful practice. Our curriculum provides exposure to and understanding of the global community, and focuses on developing the skills necessary to build and sustain equity and justice in the world.
Using the program pillars as a guide, Emma Willard School faculty develop advanced course offerings that challenge students to think deeply and fuel students’ love of learning. These Advanced Studies courses are a part of a plan to phase out and replace AP™ course offerings with unique curriculum developed specifically for Emma students. In addition, the school has developed a Ninth Grade Program that is designed to meet the unique needs of ninth graders as they transition to high school. 

Academic Headlines

List of 3 news stories.

  • College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

    Expanding Access to Computer Science Education

    By Sandra Santana
    Emma Willard School students are captivated by computer science. In 2020-21, Emma received honors for expanding young women’s access to advanced computer science classes, and our Emma Codes team excelled at the American Computer Science League competition.
  • Chelsea Y. '22

    Signature Meets STEAM 9

    By Melissia Mason
    This semester, Emma’s Signature and STEAM 9 programs converged when Chelsea Y. ’22 set out to teach ninth graders what she’s learned about Processing, a language for coding within the context of the arts. This exciting part of Chelsea’s Signature project is a wonderful example of student becoming teacher.
  • Showcasing Student Accomplishments

    By Melissia Mason
    Whether it’s creating a fuel cell from mud or performing a complex musical masterpiece, Emma Willard School students rise to the challenge. In this year’s Spring Showcase, the Emma community had the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the work that has been done this year in the Signature and Emma Artists programs. 
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Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years.