Academics

Program 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 program 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 program 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.

  • Hannah Bower ’10 and Daphine K. ’23 are making the most of their Emma connection through a mentoring relationship

    Finding the Connection: The Explorers

    By JoAnn Gometz
    For students at Emma Willard School, it’s always been easy to look to graduates for inspiration. The rapid and revolutionary changes in global society and educational methodologies over the last century, though, sometimes make it difficult for alumnae to see their experiences reflected in the lives of today’s students. This series of stories (originally printed in the Spring 2022 edition of Signature magazine) highlights pairs who found the connection.
  • Owl devices remained front and center during Spring Showcase 2022, allowing families to view panel discussions remotely.

    COVID Keepers: Seeing the pandemic as a portal to a better future

    By Luke Meyers
    Nearly two years after the height of the COVID pandemic, we live in a world reimagined. Some of what seemed like short-term solutions or operational detours at the moment have proved to be catalysts for reframing the educational experience, engaging our community, and ensuring access. 
  • Summer Reading

    We’re about halfway through summer, and odds are you may be looking for your next summer read. Emma Willard School faculty and staff have shared some recommendations, based on their favorite reads so far this summer.
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285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815
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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. 

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