Morrow House, Grades 5–8

A few of our 2023 graduates sitting together in the Morrow House courtyard


EMS prepares middle school students for long-term success in a number of ways: by providing them with a diverse curriculum that doesn’t align to just one high school; with small class sizes and the development of strong relationships with caring teachers; and through the guidance of a dedicated counselor coordinating social and emotional development and individualized learning. Through these relationships, we are able to carefully support the natural process of individuation and identity development that happens at this time.

In fifth through eighth grades, students are able to develop the capacity for abstract and metacognitive thinking, further develop a passion for learning, and hone their intrinsic motivation. We help students understand who they are as friends and community members, ensuring that they are equipped with the skills and strategies to learn, lead, and participate meaningfully in a global world.

Parents and educators are partners.

Open communication with parents is one of the hallmarks of the Morrow House experience. In this critical time of development, the ability to be seen and heard is a product of working with families to understand what their children are experiencing and if they require more challenges.

At this stage, your child is becoming more independent and increasingly involved in activities outside the family. We encourage families’ involvement in school and extracurriculars, so that, together, we can help your child appreciate the value and importance of education, be enthusiastic about learning, and achieve academic success.

Head of School Marek Beck showing a student something during his AI class

The Value of Morrow House at The Elisabeth Morrow School

Morrow House isn’t just “the middle” or some passing experience, but rather a culmination of childhood and the beginnings of adolescence.

Morrow House students putting their hands together during Adventure Week

Balancing challenge and support

Middle school is a special time in the lives of young people when they undergo enormous physical, emotional, and academic growth, becoming more independent with the continuous guidance and support of the faculty and staff. The curriculum in Morrow House encourages students to engage their natural curiosity about the world while becoming more serious about academics. Middle school students continue to be both challenged and supported while developing a strong work ethic, which helps prepare them for the academic rigors of secondary school.

Two Morrow House students working during class

providing a developmental advantage

Research supports what EMS has known all along: Schools that culminate in eighth grade can better support students’ development at this pivotal stage. Studies also show that students in K-8 schools outperform their middle school peers in reading, language arts, and mathematics and have better overall experiences. Importantly, our eighth-graders are able to select their secondary school with a thoughtful knowledge of who they are — which evolves rapidly at this stage — and which learning environment will best serve them.

EMS is the best way to truly prepare your child for the rigors of top-tier secondary schools.

We encourage our students to remain within the EMS family from the time they join through their eighth-grade graduation so we can best prepare them for secondary education success.

Choosing a secondary school is an exciting time in your child’s life when they’ll reflect on the student they are now and the one they hope to become. It is also a time for families and EMS to work together to help our eighth-graders think through the kind of educational environment in which they’ll thrive. This is often a powerful and exciting process for both parents and students, as this process of self-examination and discovery sets the stage for success after graduation.

In a yearlong partnership that begins in the spring of seventh grade, we work closely with families to investigate the rich diversity of school choices to find the right fit. Our students explore a variety of schools, imagine themselves in new environments, envision their futures as young adults, and challenge themselves through a process that, while rigorous, can be incredibly rewarding.

In the fall of eighth grade, students are offered optional test preparation courses after school and are assigned a faculty mentor who works with them to sharpen their interview skills. EMS students benefit from the relationships we maintain with admission offices of secondary schools, and our Director of Secondary School Placement answers questions and advocates on behalf of our students.

Knowing that our graduates excel in the academic and extra-curricular programs in highly competitive schools, secondary schools love EMS students and seek them out!

  • Academy of the Holy Angels
  • Academies at Englewood
  • Avenues: The World School
  • Bergen Catholic High School
  • Bergen County Academies
  • Bergen County Technical High School
  • Berkeley Carroll School
  • Birch Wathen Lenox School
  • Blair Academy
  • The Bolles School
  • The Brearley School
  • The Browning School
  • The Calhoun School
  • Canterbury School
  • Chapin School
  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Collegiate School
  • Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School
  • Convent of the Sacred Heart
  • The Dalton School
  • Dana Hall School
  • Deerfield Academy
  • Delbarton School
  • DePaul Catholic High School
  • Don Bosco High School
  • Dwight-Englewood School
  • Dwight School
  • Eagle Hill School
  • Ethical Cultural Fieldston School
  • Fordham Preparatory School
  • Grace Church School
  • Hackley School
  • Hawthorne Christian Academy
  • Heschel School
  • Hewitt School
  • High Technology High School
  • The Hill School
  • Hopkins School
  • Horace Mann School
  • The Hotchkiss School
  • Immaculate Heart Academy
  • Kimball Union Academy
  • The Lawrenceville School
  • Leman Manhattan Preparatory School
  • The Loomis Chaffee School
  • Loyola School
  • The Masters School
  • Mercersburg Academy
  • Millbrook School
  • Montclair Kimberley Academy
  • Newark Academy
  • Northfield Mount Hermon School
  • Paramus Catholic High School
  • Passaic County Technical Institute
  • The Peddie School
  • Pennington School
  • Phillips Academy Andover
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • Pioneer Academy
  • Pomfret School
  • Public/District Schools
  • Riverdale Country School
  • Saddle River Day School
  • Sacred Heart High School
  • S.A.R. High School
  • Scranton Preparatory School
  • The Spence School
  • St. Andrew’s School
  • St. Joseph’s Regional High School
  • St. Paul’s School
  • Trevor Day School
  • Trinity School
  • The Ursuline School
  • Winston Preparatory School
  • York Preparatory School

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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