Passionate learners. Independent thinkers. Students with the tools to be intellectually curious throughout their adult life.
Each year, students create annual e-portfolios that help them identify their talents and passions. Freshmen receive foundational digital literacy training and sophomores enroll in our Research and Information Literacy class. Students gain disciplinary research skills through a range of projects in each subject area during their years at SEM.
Harkness discussions are a vital part of our teaching and learning experience. A Harkness discussion is a student-led exploration of ideas that privileges open-ended questions and multiple perspectives.
In sophomore year, students take American Literature as part of their English curriculum, and this past week participated in their first formal Harkness discussion. Students discussed the question "What makes American literature so American?" based on a number of texts, including "A Rose for Emily," by William Faulker, "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros and "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. The discussion is lively and engaging, with students exploring themes of power, dichotomies, freedom, and how artifacts shape our understanding of history. A powerful part of the conversation is the unique perspective offered by our international students, and the keen interest of our American students to engage with the vantage point they offered.
As an independent school, SEM provides a comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes the humanities, arts, digital literacy, and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.
With a strong focus on college preparation, the curriculum anticipates students’ academic goals beyond high school and includes both foundational and advanced courses in the humanities, the sciences, and physical education.
Expression through the arts and exploration of key health and leadership topics are also integral to the program. Regardless of the subject matter, every course is designed to reinforce the school’s mission of empowering young women to be informed and engaged now and for the future.
SEM believes that school is not only a formal education, it is also where character is built. School is where students come to understand what is expected of them as adults. And so, beyond the classroom we provide opportunities for each SEM student to learn by giving back to her school and the larger community through extracurricular activities such as clubs, organized sports, and community service.
SEM is a charter member of the One School House Online School for Girls (OSG). The OSG membership offers a world of electives and APs to our students.