Purnell School

Purnell School is the premier boarding and day school for girls with learning differences.
Our mission is to educate young women, who learn differently in grades nine through PG within a creative, reflective, and supportive classroom and boarding community.
We offer seven- and five-day boarding as well as day programs. Purnell also offers a PG year program that encourages study and exploration.
Our campus is located on 83 acres in rural, equestrian New Jersey.
Safe, peaceful yet close to the vibrancy of New York City and Philadelphia.
Students discover their unique strengths in preparation for college and the world.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 46 students
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12
Offers Post-Graduate Year
Yes
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Learning Programs Supported
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, Executive Function Challenges, Auditory Processing Disorder
Year Founded
1963
Summer School Offered
Yes

Student Body

Total Students
46 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
37%
State avg.: 40%
Students by Grade
Purnell School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
16 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
3:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size
10 students
Classroom Dress Code
Formal
Everyday uniform: dark wash jeans, white button-down or polo and Purnell sweater. Formal uniform includes a blazer and a kilt or khaki pants.

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Admissions Director
Kate Davis
Admissions Associate
Meghan Coates

Sports

Total Sports Offered
7 sports

Extracurriculars

Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
14 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.
Adlibbers-Acting Group, Art Club, Big Sisters, Choir, Community Service Club, Dance Synthesis, Environmental Club, Equestrian, Floor Leaders, School Tour Guides, Shoots and Strawberries Singing Group, Student Council, Technical Theater, Yearbook

School Notes

  • Purnell School, established in 1963, is the premier boarding and day school for girls with learning differences. We are at the forefront of education for girls from across the globe with different learning styles. We use a highly individualized approach tailored to the precise learning style of each student. Girls in grades nine through twelve learn within a creative, reflective, and supportive classroom and boarding community and thrive in academics, the arts and athletics. We offer seven and five-day boarding as well as day programs. Purnell also offers a Post Graduate (PG) year of study and exploration. Each year Purnell graduates attend the college of their choice.Purnell is located on 83 acres in rural, equestrian New Jersey. Safe, peaceful yet close to the vibrancy of New York City and Philadelphia. Students discover their unique strengths in preparation for college and the world. Purnell students learn to be ethical, independent, and self-confident working with faculty who act as mentors, teaching to the individual needs of the student.Purnell`s founding beliefs continue to guide the school over 50 years later: Consideration of Others, Truthfulness in All Relations, Use of Common Sense.Purnell successfully serves girls with the following learning differences: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, Executive Functioning Challenges, Auditory Processing Disorders.School accreditations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

What sports does Purnell School offer?
Purnell School offers 7 interscholastic sports: Ballet, Basketball, Dance, Equestrian, Soccer, Softball and Tennis.
When is the application deadline for Purnell School?
The application deadline for Purnell School is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (3 reviews)
5  
I transferred to Purnell from an all girls highly competitive Catholic school. Purnell was a breath of fresh air for me! I was able to learn in my own way, receive personalized attention due to small class sizes, and have made lifelong friendships that I would have never made it if weren`t for this amazing school. I credit Purnell for giving me the confidence I needed it become the woman I am today :)
- Posted by
5  
My experience at Purnell was, overall, an amazing one. While no institution is perfect, the mission at the heart of this school is one that is unique and important. I attended for all 4 years of high school and in the end I can say it was a great experience. No school is perfect- and my ratings are based on my time there. But the small classes and the fact that my teachers got to know me outside of my academics made my high school experience special. While I didn't struggle with learning differences, I needed the support in other ways and was able to help establish Honors classes so those who wanted more academic rigor could have it. Being able to make Purnell work for you (flexibility) was amazing. Purnell is so many things to so many people. The experience of being in a classroom where people learned in all sorts of ways made me a much more aware and sensitive person and those were skills I took with me after graduation. The arts programs were also a huge draw. For such a small school, we had the opportunity to explore and be exposed to so many things beyond the classroom. Clowning class, weekly trips to NYC to go to art museums and galleries, modern dance, broadway shows.... The friends I made at Purnell are my sisters. The bonds formed went beyond shared interests and taste is music. We learned to co-exist with, and more importantly, respect people from all different backgrounds and walks of life- and those lessons are the ones that you really carry with you.
- Posted by
5  
Current parent at school. After a period of turnover, the new head, faculty and support staff are a strong and unified team. The learning and wellness focus brings together a complete academic profile of each girl that each teacher has uses to adjust their teaching approach. The girls are at the center of the overall academic and wellness curriculum. My daughter is in her second year at the new school and has increased confidence in learning and in advocating for herself. The new leadership team is having an impact. This school will be on everyone's radar soon.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 46 students
  • Average class size: 10 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in New Jersey is $15,343 for elementary schools and $20,189 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in New Jersey is 80% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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