The Ellis School

6425 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-0152
Tel: (412)661-5992
Grades: PK-12 | 399 students
The Ellis School is Pittsburgh's only age 3 - grade 12 independent school dedicated to the superior education of girls and young women.
We continually innovate to ensure that all aspects of the Ellis experience are of the highest caliber and are tailored to help girls thrive in school and excel in life. Since 1916, girls have enrolled here to come into their own and become outstanding women.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc. National Coalition of Girls
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS)
Grades Offered Grades Prekindergarten-12
Year Founded 1916

Student Body

Total Students 399 students
Student Body Type All-girls
% Students of Color
38%
State avg.: 22%
Students by Grade The Ellis School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers 69 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio 6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
67%
Average Class Size 12 students
Number of AP Courses 10 courses
List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. Data Link to Matriculation Data

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline None / Rolling
% on Financial Aid
37%
Admissions Director Bayh Sullivan '02
Admissions Associate Emily Scott

Sports

Total Sports Offered 10 sports
Sports Basketball, Crew, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and FieldBasketballCrew,
Cross CountryField Hockey,
LacrosseSoccer,
SoftballSwimming,
TennisTrack and Field,

School Notes

  • MISSION: The mission of The Ellis School is to prepare, empower, and inspire each and every girl through an excellent education in an all-girls environment. 
  • VISION: Our vision is to be a leading school for girls, providing an excellent education for every student and continuing to innovate so each girl thrives in school and excels in life.
  • OUR VALUES
  • ALL-GIRLS EDUCATION
  • The all-girls educational environment maximizes girls` intellectual, physical, emotional, and social growth. Girls are empowered to take risks, work collaboratively, ask questions, and pursue their dreams.
  • BALANCE AND WELLNESS
  • We seek intellectual, emotional, and physical health for every member of our community. We set priorities and pursue our desire for achievement in a balanced way.
  • CITIZENSHIP AND INTEGRITY
  • We work to make a difference in the world. Our relationships are collaborative and responsible, and through our interactions we demonstrate honesty, integrity, and respect.
  • DIVERSITY
  • We pursue, support, and embrace diversity of all kinds, recognizing the collective strength derived from our individual differences.
  • FUNJ
  • oyfulness and appreciation of one another are fundamental to our School community. We make time for social interaction and fun.
  • INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE
  • As individuals and as a community, we embrace change, pursue new opportunities, and seek continuous improvement.
  • LEADERSHIP AND INDIVIDUAL POTENTIAL
  • We know and nurture every girl through her individual journey. We provide each girl with the support she needs to know herself, to pursue excellence, and to reach her potential, both as a student and as a citizen.
  • OUTSTANDING ACADEMICS AND TEACHING
  • Our academic program is rigorous, engaging, and forward-thinking. Our faculty promotes critical thinking and creativity, and inspires girls to reach their full academic potential.

Profile last updated: 05/10/2016

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School Reviews

The Ellis School has been life changing for my daughter. We came in lower school and saw a change immediately. A highlight: that the girls learn to draw a map of the United States by hand, creating real meaning for them in social studies, geography, and art. Thanks to Ellis, she's now comfortable speaking out in class and and has discovered a love and talent for science. The fact that the program is interdisciplinary makes for very deep understanding. For example, in 5th grade she is now studying the history of Greece, studying Greek myths in English, and learning about the art of the ancient Greeks in studio art class. The girls are a year ahead in math class, taking pre-algebra now. She's made incredible progress in French and has discovered video game programming in computer science. She's also really excited to take Latin in grade 6. I''ll close by saying that the school's focus on social and emotional intelligence has helped us resolve friendship issues easily, and that the sports program is just amazing. Nearly the entire 5th grade plays a team sport even though participation isn't required. Thank you Ellis for encouraging my daughter to be a scholar and an athlete!
- Posted by Parent, 05/17/16
As parents, we are big fans of Ellis! But more importantly, my daughter just loves going to school!!! It's an environment with high expectations but also one that nurtures and encourages. The school gives high priority to academics (English/writing, History, as well as STEM programs) while balancing intellectual advancement with athletic achievements. There are also many other activities such as involvement in the school play -- each grade has its own play every year plus the Lower School has a play for all of its students, as well as the usual class field trips. In the Middle and Upper Schools, the girls also have overnight (2-3 days) trips where they also learn while having fun and strengthening their social skills. The teachers are absolutely wonderful! And because of the low student/teacher ratio, the classroom discussions are much more meaningful. If your family is considering the school for your daughter, it would be great to schedule a campus visit and then eventually, a day in the classroom to get a better idea of the school environment. We highly recommend Ellis!
- Posted by Parent, 05/17/16
I am a parent of a student who attended The Ellis School for the middle and upper schools. We live in a very good public school district, but recognized the negative impact standardized testing has had on education, especially on writing and required a strong English department for a middle school experience, so we compared SSA and WT to Ellis, and Ellis won. After my daughter visited all three, she came home from Ellis beaming, and said, “Ellis is my school!” There is no better school for the smart and motivated girl, in which to learn liberal arts, fine arts, and critical thinking, especially in math, science and technology. My daughter is now in the upper school and is thriving, happy, and very competitively positioned for any of the top colleges and universities of the world and of her choosing. She is strong, confident, accomplished, self-assured and happy. Ellis has given her the knowledge, skills, and the opportunities to develop the critical self-awareness she needs to plan and execute her own vision of her future.
- Posted by Parent, 07/24/15
I love this school because I see my daughter trying new things, taking advantage of the unique opportunities, and truly knowing herself as a result of the small classes and the attention each student receives as a result. She loves it and so do we!
- Posted by Parent, 07/24/15
My daughter came to Ellis from public school in 6th grade. She had a bit of catching up to do in study skills because Ellis already taught the 6th grade girls how to organize their work, such as making outlines when they read textbooks. But Ellis'' attentive faculty spent some extra time with her until she was comfortable. She is now in 9th grade at Ellis and has truly blossomed as an independent thinker and writer. I like Ellis'' focus on the "whole child." Each year Ellis pays more and more attention to balancing academics, sports, life skills, volunteering, etc., and making more partnerships with resources like the Pgh. Center for the Arts and nearby businesses. I also like that the girls learn to be leaders of clubs and sports teams, and practice public speaking over and over. I am sure that this will help my daughter to be confident and successful when she enters college.
- Posted by Parent, 07/24/15
Ellis has an amazing way of encouraging young women to create great art, participate in sports, learn a language, be leaders in helping our environment .... It has been a very good fit for our daughter who has developed deep bonds with the staff and teachers that encourage her to stretch her mind daily.
- Posted by Parent, 07/24/15
I go to Ellis and it is an amazing school. I currently play 3 sports and have many leadership roles in my class, Ellis has taught me how to balance them. I would highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a friendly, academic, fun school. I have gone to this school since 1st Grade. I know all of the teachers and have special connections with them. What I especially love is the diverse community of Ellis. It seems like everywhere I go I meet a person who either has gone to Ellis or knows someone who has gone to Ellis. This school is the perfect opportunity for a girl to turn into a highly educated, successful, and caring woman. Again I say I highly recommend it.
- Posted by Student/Alumni, 07/24/15
We love Ellis! My daughter is in 5th grade now and I remain incredibly impressed with her growth academically, creatively, and socially since coming to Ellis. She loves her classes, especially science, English, history, and art. The teachers take an interdisciplinary approach: when they study Egypt in history, they study the art of Egypt in art class. She plays sports and has discovered a love of soccer. The Middle School leadership (new this year) is very caring an the advisory program means my daughter always has a special adult mentor to help her manage social issues that are a natural part of the middle school years. I am so grateful my daughter goes to this incredible, caring school.
- Posted by Parent, 02/10/14
Some amazing teachers make it a geat school. Your daughter will really know herself by years end.
- Posted by Parent, 04/14/13
Ellis Upper School has strong English and History programs. The Math and Science programs are sorely lacking. If your daughter is passionate or particularly talented in either of these areas, she would do much better at (and received much better preparation for college) from Shady Side Academy.
- Posted by Parent, 01/31/13

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Pittsburgh, PA is $9,385 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).