Why I Believe Deeply in Ellis' All-Girls Environment
I came to Ellis just over a year ago, excited about the many strengths of the program, the diverse and multi-talented students, faculty, and staff, and the welcoming and warm nature of the School community. I was also excited about the School’s commitment to remaining all-girls, but I was, admittedly, new to all-girls education and curious to experience it for myself. After a year of listening, watching, and learning—of hearing why it matters to our students, faculty, parents, and alumnae and after seeing for myself the spectacular ways in which our girls are growing and thriving—I have become a complete convert to our all-girls mission.
As I wrote in my August GreenSheet article, I have always believed that the world still has some distance to travel to be as wonderful as we would like it to be for girls and women. Some people believe that educating girls in an all-girls environment is important in order to protect them from that world. I believe deeply that the real benefit of being an all-girls school is not to protect our girls, but rather to give them unique experiences that result in them developing into incredibly confident, intellectually alive, authentic, and bold young women. In particular at Ellis,
Girls come first: We are a leader in girls’ education, and we put girls first. We make sure girls are the focus 100 percent of the time.
We accept girls just as they are: There is no such thing as a typical Ellis girl because there is no one way to be a girl. In our all-girls environment, girls can be themselves. Quirkiness and individuality are valued and girls are not expected to fit into a box.
We know relationships matter: Relationships are key to learning and growing and we believe in the power of girls and women supporting each other. Ellis students grow up surrounded by a community of other confident, diverse, and intellectually vibrant girls who become women seeking to change the world for the better. They have a built-in network of individuals who know what they are capable of and who will provide powerful sources of advice, opportunity, and connection throughout their lives.
Growth experiences abound: Being all-girls means students are never barred from opportunities, explicitly or implicitly, because of their gender. Ellis students encounter a variety of traditional and nontraditional learning experiences—including incredible interdisciplinary project work—that gives them real skills as creative and critical thinkers, flexible collaborators, and bold problem solvers.
We prepare girls for the real world: The girls and young women who attend Ellis leave our all-girls environment and enter the larger world with a strong belief in themselves and the understanding that they deserve the respect of others. Ellis women are taught to ask questions, tussle boldly with challenging problems, and make themselves heard. Not only are they oriented within the real world, but they have opinions about it and are ready to make a positive impact. Time and again we see Ellis women charging fearlessly into the future with the self-confidence and determination to succeed. Simply put, Ellis women shine.