Slide

Miss Porter’s School is different — historically, intentionally and successfully. We’ve been different, are different and will be different from any school most people have ever experienced.

Since 1843, Miss Porter’s School has been a trailblazer in girls’ education, partnering tradition with innovation. Our proven ability to develop strong female leaders has been replicated decade after decade with unquestionable outcomes. 

Our academic program is mission-driven, global in scope and highly personalized. It evolves in response to the changing world and the needs of our students. It emphasizes the liberal arts, exposing girls to timeless questions while preparing them to address the pressing problems of our world. 

We focus on establishing courses and programs that are engaging, relevant, interdisciplinary and experiential. Our classes are student-centered and discussion-based. Our teachers practice a mastery approach to learning and assess student growth through authentic tasks and projects. Our students value collaboration, problem solving, inquiry and social responsibility.

Bound together by their experiences in Farmington, our graduates shape a changing world. It is the intentional intersection between our enduring legacy and our commitment to progressive education that prepares them to do so.

APPROACH TO LEARNING

INTERDISCIPLINARY

Project-Based

MISSION-DRIVEN

FUTURE-FOCUSED

MASTERY-BASED

AUTHENTIC

Relevant

COLLABORATIVE

Porter’s is a dynamic community of teachers and students, all of whom are learners. The goals for all of our students are the same, but the ways in which they achieve them are entirely their own. We develop our students’ initiative, independence and habits of mind to prepare them for their unique paths. 

With more than 100 course offerings in arts, humanities, languages, math, sciences and social sciences, students experience a wealth of opportunity in their academic journeys. With an average class size of 12, their intellectual curiosity is encouraged and empowered.      

Interdisciplinary Themes

We prepare our students for global change with a dynamic, interdisciplinary approach to learning. As balanced, thoughtful women, our graduates set out to shape the world. The goal of the academic program is to challenge and support girls as they learn to use their awareness, determination and intellect to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems and address humanity’s timeless questions. Thus, the MPS course of study will be organized around interdisciplinary themes, including:

  • The human experience
  • Information and expression
  • Sustainability and innovation
  • Institutions
  • Global citizenship

 

Pressing Problems, Timeless Questions

Our students need more than traditional skills within the context of traditional disciplines. They need to learn to innovate and create. They need to understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. They need to conduct original research. They need to use a deep understanding of the humanities and social sciences to address complex social issues. They also need confidence, motivation, interpersonal skills, cross-cultural competencies, resilience, a growth mindset and curiosity. They need all of this because the world needs them.

Pressing problems and timeless questions are used as lenses through which students approach learning. Below are some examples of pressing problems and their timeless questions.

Pressing Problem:

Identity-based discrimination

Timeless Question:

What does it mean to be human?

Pressing Problem:

Economic inequality

Timeless Question:

What obligations do we have to others?

Pressing Problem:

Media literacy

Timeless Question:

How do we communicate the truth?

Pressing Problem:

Threats to democratic institutions

Timeless Question:

How should society be structured?

Pressing Problem:

Climate change

Timeless Question:

What is humanity’s proper relationship to the natural world?

Pressing Problem:

Artificial inteligence

Timeless Question:

What role should technology play in our lives?

2012

Mission Focus

Reviewed the curricular and co-curricular programs for mission alignment.

Global Vision

Developed a global vision to ensure students understand the complex cultural, political and economic forces that shape the world.

2013

InterMission (IM)

Provided experiential opportunities, including 11th-grade global immersion, and 12th-grade professional experience

2015

Curriculum Task Force

Conducted a holistic review of the academic program, including curriculum, schedule and assessment practices.

2017

Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC)

Joined MTC and committed to learning that is deeply personalized, student-driven and based in authentic engagement.

Independent School Management (ISM)

Began transition to block schedule to prioritize deep, meaningful and lasting learning, as well as the health and wellness of our students.

Work with Grant Lichtman

Engaged in workshops with Grant Lichtman, thought leader in educational change, to develop curricular goals for future generations of Porter’s girls.

2018

Curriculum Design Teams

Initiated a strategic planning process for curricular change with thought leader Grant Lichtman.

Advanced Interdisciplinary Seminars (AIS)

Replaced Advanced Placement (AP) courses with college-level interdisciplinary, project-based seminars.

iLab

Opened our Innovation Lab in Olin Arts and Science Center.

Institute for Global Education (IGE)

Launched certificate program to distinguish students who focus their study on the development of global competencies.

Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (TIE)

Launched certificate program to distinguish students for their work in critical 21st century fields of study.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Developed curriculum focused on health, wellness, identity and inclusion.

Diversity in the curriculum

Interrogated content across disciplines to ensure diverse and inclusive representation of identities.

2019

Standards-based Assessment

Implemented a system of standards-based ratings and feedback to support students in their growth as learners.

2020

Demonstrations of Learning (DOLs)

Replaced summative exams with presentations, projects and capstone experiences.

Modular Block Trimester Schedule

Transitioned to a true trimester schedule through which classes are taught in 10-week intensive periods. Classes meet in 90-minute sessions to provide conditions for the most innovative teaching and learning.

2021

9th-Grade Assessment

Transitioned to 9th-grade standards-based and narrative feedback (no alphabetic or numeric grades). 

9th-Grade Advisory

Created a 9th-grade Advising Team to provide structured SEL and academic skill development to our youngest students.

Curriculum Design Teams

Faculty work in curricular design teams on the next phase of innovation.

2022

Pressing Problems, Timeless Questions

Curriculum continues to shift toward these organizing principles.

Evolution of Signature Programs

Returned to travel experiences for juniors through the Global Citizenship Program and to internships and professional preparation for seniors.

9th-Grade Integrated Program

Developed Introduction to Inquiry Course, STEM 9 and Humanities 9.

2027

Mastery Transcript

All students will have access to a complete mastery transcript.

Imagining a future at Porter’s?