As I mentioned in my last GreenSheet, I am spending a great deal of time this year listening and learning about our school community in hopes of understanding what students, parents, faculty, staff, alumnae and supporters care about, wish we would do differently, and never want to change. When I asked parents to describe why they chose Ellis for their daughters, almost every parent talked about the strength of our academic program, and the benefits of an all-girls education. It can be challenging in a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 community for parents to have a sense of what is happening in different parts of the school, and I want to be sure you get a chance to see the richness in the Ellis academic experience that I am lucky enough to witness every day.
As a teacher, I have always loved witnessing students’ growth this time of year. I’ve seen this during my classroom visits this month—whether it be watching girls perform sophisticated science experiments, create original vinyl designs in our makerspace: The Foundry, or argue about translations in Latin class—the change is noticeable and impressive.
Surrounded by six different neighborhoods, The Ellis School is in the heart of Pittsburgh’s East End. With museums, parks, restaurants, and coffee shops a short walk away from campus, there are plenty of family-friendly activities, places, and events to discover every day of the week—and they’re all just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Ellis campus. As Mister Roger’s always said, “so let’s make the most of this beautiful day!”
I feel quite lucky to have been raised by parents who wanted me and my siblings to learn to feel and express gratitude and to find joy in giving back to others. As an educator, I believe children are happier when they can look beyond their own needs, when they develop empathy for others, and when they find ways to share their own good fortune. This time of year provides many opportunities for us, as parents and teachers, to talk about gratitude with our children, and to find ways for our children to be of service to others.
Winning a championship is quite a feat in itself, but winning four consecutive championships in a row is, for most teams, unfathomable. At Ellis, it is a reality for five members of the Class of 2018; Emma Bisello, Corinne Hartman, Lysa Meyer, Angie Scheuermann, and Olivia Simon.
Reading for pleasure is proven to have a positive impact on girls’ lives. A 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher, found that children who are read aloud to at home are more likely to read on their own as they grow up. At a young age, reading introduces girls to new vocabulary words and as they get older it allows them to escape into fantasy worlds that teach valuable life skills. Sometimes it can be hard to find a book that has a girl as the main heroine or one that features an empowering message appropriate for your daughter. So we've done the research for you! Check out the below book recommendations that focus on girls and will encourage your daughter to read on her own.
As I reflect on life at Ellis during the past month, I am struck by the many times in which Ellis’ ability to support girls developing their own voices has absolutely shone. Early in the month, we had more than 60 alumnae on campus for Reunion Weekend. I asked these graduates to tell me what Ellis had meant to them.
It’s a rainy morning in September, you’re sitting in the senior lounge and college applications have been consuming your life since August 1. You spent most of the previous night cramming for that test you have first period, you forgot to grab your coffee on the way out the door, and 7:45 a.m. is far too early for a teenage girl to be awake.
I have quickly become very fond of my moments spent greeting girls as they arrive each morning. They are such a warm, bright, diverse bunch, and they seem to bring a great deal of joy and eagerness with them every day. The enthusiasm for learning is clearly evident at Ellis—one of the qualities of the School that makes it so special.
Choosing a school for your daughter can be a daunting task. As a parent, you want to find a place where she’ll feel challenged and engaged—but also supported, nurtured, and comfortable as she matures. Luckily for you (and your daughter), all-girls schools provide that environment and more. At an all-girls school like Ellis, your daughter will gain the skills she needs to thrive at home, at school, and in the world. She’ll learn practical skills that will teach her to communicate effectively, problem-solve strategically, and not only set goals—but achieve them. Here are five reasons why an all-girls school is the perfect fit for your daughter.