Academic Roadmap

Morrow House students smiling during class. slider

Lifelong learning is at the heart of the Elisabeth Morrow experience.

Since 1930, The Elisabeth Morrow School has shown exceptional dedication to educating children to be thinkers and leaders. Our founders, Elisabeth Morrow and Connie Chilton, were trailblazers who believed that young children deserved to have a developmentally appropriate education from the earliest ages. Today, with more than 90 years of inspiring young minds to embrace the joys of learning, we continue to be innovators in educating children through the entire arc of childhood.

Our campus reveals classrooms, laboratories, and art studios that are at once lively, playful, and intellectually serious, and students who possess a sense of wonder and are deeply engaged. The experiences that children have at EMS form habits of mind and memories that last their whole lives.

Our Core Values in Determining Curriculum

Strong, intellectually rigorous academics

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Icon

Global and cultural competency

Social and emotional learning

Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Possibilities

Teacher helping Chilton House student in the EMS garden

engage in experiential and integrated learning

Students at The Elisabeth Morrow School investigate challenging concepts and construct meaning by engaging in experiential and integrated learning at every level. Our school environment is engineered to build confidence and self-awareness in our students so that they can become thinkers and leaders in an increasingly interconnected global community. We want our students to put what they learn to use, develop a broad sense of themselves, and discover passions that will become the underpinnings of a successful life.

explore WITH “STEAM”

The Elisabeth Morrow School is a leader in STEAM education — combining science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — which we balance with humanities programs to allow our students to uncover new passions and explore the world around them through multiple perspectives. Technology is integrated throughout our curriculum, from early childhood through eighth grade.

A group of girls smiling at lunch

Embrace Cultural Diversity

The Elisabeth Morrow School is one of the most diverse independent schools in the country. We embrace cultural diversity within our community, and our students develop a global perspective and an eye toward equitable and inclusive practices. From the earliest ages, our students expand their capacity for creativity in collaboration with students and teachers across diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Two girls celebrating

discover the joy of learning

It’s the series of ‘aha’ moments that inspire children to reach higher, wonder more, dig deeper, and celebrate their achievements. Our classrooms contain more than desks, chairs, books, or blocks; they contain a mesmerizing world of discovery.

Teacher talking with students.


The Elisabeth Morrow School strategically invests in its faculty members, helping them to become the best teachers they can be by supporting their education and professional development. EMS provides funding for faculty to attend professional conferences, complete continuing education courses, enroll in graduate programs, and collaborate with colleagues on projects that inform their work in the classroom.

NuVu design maker space classroom

Make IN makerspaces

The Elisabeth Morrow School provides multiple makerspaces — hubs for creating and learning where students make connections across the STEAM disciplines and humanities, learn to work collaboratively with one another, help solve real-world problems, and actively participate in the engineering design process.

Morrow House students raising their hands
MAY 2021 SNAPSHOT To create the magic of live theater, the Morrow House Zoomsical cast filmed their dancing and vocals on our Community Field with the help of Theater Director Alex Diaz and Choreographer Rebecca Sonia. Students began rehearsals on Zoom in early March to bring this musical showcase to life! Musical numbers included a celebration of EMS musicals of the past.

Lean into leadership

Leadership capacity exists within everyone, regardless of temperament or personality. At EMS, we strive to help all students develop leadership skills, providing an exceptional foundation that each can build on as they enter secondary school. EMS offers a signature seventh- and eighth-grade Leadership Symposium to help students discover their strengths and develop the confidence, competence, and connectedness needed to become leaders in all aspects of their lives.

Head of School Marek Beck and Amelia Gold posing with parents at our Cultural Fair

connect with the community

Children thrive as well as they do at The Elisabeth Morrow School because of our community. All children here are known by caring adults. Our families are deeply rooted in our community, as well, and support our students through an active Parents Association. Our Book Fair, International Food Festival, Fall Festival, and Gala and Auction are just some of the opportunities that families have to enjoy each others’ company, strengthen their ties, and benefit our students.

Head of School Marek Beck talking with a student about his food truck

Develop Global Competency

Global interconnectivity is dramatically changing the ways we relate to one another, live, work, and educate our children, and global competence is essential to meet the challenges and opportunities of our present. Our curriculum challenges our students to investigate the world, consider multiple perspectives, communicate ideas, and take meaningful action.

Two Chilton House students making design with colorful dough.

Chilton house

The early years of a student’s education are among the most crucial because they set the stage for future success. The curriculum for Elisabeth Morrow School’s youngest students incorporates extensive literacy and mathematics activities, as well as social studies, science, music, dramatic and visual arts, Spanish, and physical education.

Subjects: Visual, Dramatic, and Performing Arts • Gardening • Library • Literacy • Language Arts • Mathematics • Music • Physical Education (Movement) • Science and Technology • Social Studies • World Language (Spanish)

Little School

The lower school (Grades 1–4) builds upon the knowledge and habits of mind gained in students’ early years, increasingly challenging children to be active problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and innovative learners. Small class sizes and experienced faculty ensure that learning is personalized to both challenge and support students, allowing them to achieve their highest potential.

Subjects: Art • Gardening (Grades 1–2) • General Music • Instrumental Music (Grades 3–4) • Language Arts • Library Science • Technology • Mathematics • Physical Education and Health & Wellness • Science

Little School students using Blockly in computer science class
Students working on NuVu design thinking project in class

Morrow House

Middle school students are encouraged to be partners in guiding their education. In addition to academic subjects, children choose electives to explore areas of particular interest. In the sixth through eighth grades, students play on competitive, interscholastic sports teams, explore their creativity through music, drama, or visual arts, and engage in various leadership opportunities that prepare them for rigorous secondary school experiences. Students continue to experience technology as it is integrated throughout middle school. This helps them develop empathy and apply the 4 C’s and good citizenship in online spaces. Students explore creating multimedia, 3D design, coding and game creation, robotics, and emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality.

Subjects: Advisory • Electives • English History • Instrumental Music • Leadership Symposium • Library • Mathematics • Physical Education and Health and Wellness • Science • Technology (classes in fifth and sixth grades, integrated into all subject areas) • Visual Arts • World Language (Latin, Spanish)

EMS prepares students for an impressive range of top-tier secondary schools.

Our students cultivate the ability to learn, think, explore, empathize, and lead. They graduate with the ability, mindset, and competencies to navigate a global world and are well-prepared to face an unknowable future.

Accustomed to a challenging academic environment, EMS students welcome the demands of competitive secondary schools and are often placed in advanced sections where they perform very well.


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