Why SEM?

Because forward thinking is our tradition.

As an independent day and boarding school in a beautiful city neighborhood, we are a rare combination. At SEM, students enjoy not just equal opportunity, but every opportunity. All class officers, club presidents, team captains, and student mentors are girls. The result? A school where girls think for themselves, express themselves, and become leaders for life.

An average class size of 12: “My teachers knew me better than I knew myself,” is how one graduate described her SEM experience. The school’s advisory program fosters positive student-teacher relationships and encourages open communication with families.

Beloved traditions combined with 21st century learning: Founded in 1851, SEM has a rich history that resonates today. The school’s philosophy and culture, including an all-school academic and social honor code, combine a respect for the past with a commitment to each other and the school.

An independent curriculum that goes beyond standardized testing: Because SEM is an independent school, our accreditation does not require the New York State Regents. Students benefit from an education that goes beyond the minimum standards, and teaching to the test which leads to outstanding college preparation and academic success.

A focus on the arts that inspires individual expression: SEM’s fine arts program offers a rich exposure to theater, music, digital arts, and visual arts. Each girl is encouraged to push herself artistically in a number of mediums.

Athletic facilities that emphasize wellness and strength: Our athletic program helps develop the whole person through physical activity and healthy habits. SEM has two squash courts and a complete fitness area. With 17 interscholastic teams, the school is a great place to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, responsibility, and dedication.

Technology that puts girls in control: A 1:1 tablet program, STEAM and research curricula ensure that each student creates and manages information responsibly and confidently. As a member of the Online School for Girls, students take specialized advanced computer science courses not offered through the classroom based curriculum.

A residential program that brings girls together: SEM is the only all-girls school in the region with a 5- and 7-day residential program. Renovated historic homes, all located beside the school and connected by the Magavern-Sutton Courtyard, are homes to girls from across the region and all parts of the world.


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