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Safety and Healthy Boundaries

Emma Willard provides a safe and supportive environment where students may learn and grow. 

Emma Willard School has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexually inappropriate behavior of any kind between employees and students, regardless of age, including all forms of sexual activity and sexual harassment. These policies are codified in our Employee and Student Handbooks, which are reviewed and agreed-upon by all members of the Emma community each year.

Students receive additional education about safety and health boundaries through our READY Program curriculum, the work of the Health Center, and training provided to student leaders. All adults are required to participate in annual training on sexual harassment and identifying abuse in schools. In addition, new employees participate in extensive "Healthy Boundaries" training as a part of orientation. 

Student Handbook

Employee Handbook

Investigative Process

Emma Willard School maintains specific, up-to-date investigative processes in response to reports of discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct. All reports are investigated and each investigative response is specific to the incident reported.

Investigative Processes


How to Report Sexual Assault

Current or former students who believe they have been victims of sexual assault should seek help immediately from a trusted adult, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

Head of School Jenny Rao | 518-833-1301, 

Associate Head of School Meredith Legg, PhD | 518-833-1310, 

Dean of Students Shelley Maher | 518-833-1365,

Director of Counseling Melissa Anderson  | 518-833-1881, 

Director of Nursing Jennifer Mazzariello | 518-833-1504,

Director of Student and Community Life Emily Carton | 518-833-1321, 

Director of READY Programs Evangeline Delgado | 518-833-1502

Students may also choose to reach out to professional services directly. Some options for professional support are listed below:

Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital
2215 Burdett Avenue | Troy, NY 12180 | 518-271-3257 Hot Line

New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Troy, New York Police Department
55 State Street | Troy, NY 12180 | 518-270-4411

Students should call 911 if they need or witness a need for immediate police and/or medical attention.

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Addressing Reports of Abuse

Following reports of abuse and misconduct that came to light in 2016, Emma Willard School engaged child protection experts Leslie M. Gomez and Gina Maisto Smith of the law firm Cozen O'Connor to conduct an external audit. The reports linked below contain their findings.

Initial Report

Addendum Report

Culture of Respect

In 2016, our school established a partnership with Culture of Respect,  an advocacy organization founded in 2013 by Emma Willard School alumna Sandi Haber Fifield ’74 and John Fifield, which works with institutions of higher education to eliminate sexual violence on school campuses. In their own words, “Culture of Respect builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing, expansive organizational change.”

Culture of Respect Executive Summary