Academic Philosophy

Presence, Empathy, Research, Purpose

Our program is carefully constructed around four academic pillars — presence, empathy, research, and purpose — that shape the way our teachers teach, our students learn, and, ultimately, the way both teachers and students live their lives: beyond the expected, beyond the easy answer, and beyond what seemed possible. From kindergarten through commencement, Hewitt faculty members exemplify thoughtful presence, social-emotional and intellectual empathy, research-driven teaching, and a personal sense of purpose as they expertly and personally deliver a curriculum that stimulates each girl’s capacity for reflective engagement.


Hewitt’s pedagogy of presence champions mindful interactions between students, teachers, ideas, and diverse vantage points. Teachers make explicit the connection between self-awareness and learning. At Hewitt, teaching and learning are profound acts of presence, because teachers and students truly listen and talk with one another, because they value reflection and embrace the process of learning, and because they change and are changed by the alchemy that happens in a school where the “touch of life upon life” is at the center of daily life.


A student who has been taught to respect disparate perspectives has also been trained to explore alternate theories, solutions, and answers. And a girl who has embraced many competing worldviews becomes a young woman well prepared to engage with a diverse and complex world. Empathy, a core value in every division, enables our students to maintain a point of view that is not narrowed by the limits of personal experience but expansive, because of the ability to make a deep connection to the stories of others.


Research reveals that girls who feel known and valued through trial and triumph learn more enthusiastically, think more adventurously, and grow into young women who thrive in college, career, and life itself. Hewitt faculty are trained to design curriculum and implement pedagogy that explicitly fosters a growth mindset in classrooms that are cooperative, collaborative, and relevant to young women.


Hewitt’s raison d'être is guiding girls to become young women of purpose—purpose that is meaningful to the self and of meaningful, beneficial consequence to the larger community. Taught to chase dreams rather than credentials, Hewitt students come to know who they are and learn to construct a vision for the journey ahead, long before they choose their majors or careers. Because our girls develop a perspective and worldview wise beyond their years, they leave Hewitt with a sense of both possibility and direction that is far from “mission accomplished.”

Lower School
A rich elementary school experience for grades K-4 that is dynamic, girl-focused, and student-driven.
Middle School
A time of exploration, transformation, and joy for grades 5-8.
Upper School
Students in grades 9-12 celebrate autonomy and a burgeoning sense of purpose. 
Hands-on experience designing, building, programming, and driving robots.