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

Middle School 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.

Our students are accepted to the most selective secondary day and boarding schools in the country!

“It’s no surprise that the most selective secondary day and boarding schools in the country continue to seek out our students. Each of our graduates has honed a set of competencies necessary for success today and well into the future. At EMS, these competencies — collaboration, innovation, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, growth mindset, integrity, and self-efficacy — begin to take shape in our youngest students in the 2s program and develop throughout an academic journey that culminates in eighth grade. This intentional pathway for our students is ‘the EMS advantage,’ and these essential competencies form our community’s shared Vision of the EMS Graduate.” — Marek Beck, Ph.D., Head of 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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