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.

Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked PA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Students: 399 students
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

Top Rankings

The Ellis School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Pennsylvania for:

Category
Attribute
School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Prekindergarten-12
Year Founded
1916

Student Body

Total Students
399 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
20%
State avg.: 25%
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
Matriculation DataMatric. Data

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

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

Sports

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.

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (18 reviews)
5  
I'm a former student at Ellis and attended four schools during my school career; my family moved quite a bit. I can certainly say that of all of these schools, Ellis was the best! I enjoyed every day and was always eager to learn, had the most wonderful and diverse friends as well as the most supportive teachers. After I left, I always secretly hoped that we would move back to Pittsburgh so that I could graduate at Ellis together with the lifelong friends I had made. This unfortunately never happened, but I am hoping that I may someday be able to give my children the opportunity to attend this excellent school! If you are looking to give your girls the tools they need to become strong, independent and successful women who will create a lasting impact in which ever environment they find themselves, The Ellis School is most definitely the right school for you and your family!
- Posted by
5  
Best school for girl students in this area. Very strong academic program. Excellent teachers with lots of care, dedication and passion. Many intelligent, confident, hard working and friendly peers.
- Posted by
5  
My family moved to Pittsburgh from California so my husband and I could attend graduate school here. We planned to immediately move back to California when we graduated but now we are going to stay JUST so our girls can go to Ellis through 12th grade. When we moved here, my youngest daughter started attending a Pre-K down the street. She was shy and would hide in the bathroom. As soon as we enrolled her at Ellis, she became vocal, happy, and excited to go to school everyday. My second daughter was the same way - shy and quiet at daycare, but completely happy and out of her shell at Ellis. They both wake up with a smile knowing that they have to go to school! Ellis enriches the girls in special ways that I have not witnessed anywhere else. The girls become more independent every day. By the time they graduate (and probably even before), they are confident, self-sufficient, and ready to take on the world.
- Posted by
5  
Ellis is a wonderful way to grow strong, confident, accomplished girls. The academics are consistently strong, and the environment is magical. They somehow manage to provide the girls with the freedom to be themselves while actively teaching them to avoid the kinds of subtle undermining that girls often learn to do to each other. The girls look to each other, and to their faculty and coaches, for support and direction. They foster a strong sense of community and the expectation that the girls will help each other to become their best, most successful, selves.
- Posted by
5  
Ellis is an amazing school and institution. Not only is the curriculum well designed and research based but the community of teachers, parents and children is wonderful.
- Posted by
5  
Ellis does a great job of creating community between students of all ages, teachers, and the larger surrounding community, and in teaching girls how to be responsible and productive members of a community. I love the small campus and the interactions that happen with girls of all ages. My pre-school aged daughter loves seeing the "big girls" on campus, and they offer her a wonderful model for growing up. There are specialized teachers in science, art, math, spanish, and the library even in the pre-k classroom. The faculty and staff engender a supportive yet challenging environment for girls to both thrive and flourish.
- Posted by
5  
Our daughter loves her time at Ellis! The Ellis School values the individual development of every student in its community. The students are so unique and encouraged to explore their own path as opposed to conforming to any preconceived notions of womanhood, girlhood, femininity, or any other cultural or societal norm. The School continues to invest in technology endeavors (the new "Foundry" maker space, significant investment in fine arts technology, technology integrations down to the kindergarten level) and benefits from caring and stalwart leadership. The parent community is down to earth and involved to a very appropriate degree with the School proper. Ellis is very well positioned for continued success through the next century!
- Posted by
5  
It has been such a joy to watch my daughter's love of learning grow at Ellis. She comes everyday eager to tell me what she's learning and her excitement is palpable. Our family is very grateful to be a part of the Ellis community!
- Posted by
5  
After graduating from a K-8 school, my daughter looked at other high schools, and chose Ellis. I was thrilled by the administration's care in welcoming her as a new student. Then with her class of kind, fun girls, she became comfortable very quickly, even being elected to a student council position her freshman year. There are wealth of opportunities at the Ellis Upper School. Girls are set up to be successful inside and outside the classroom. My daughter has been able to take part in a student exchange to Australia, do an internship at a non-profit, and be a leader on a sports team (even though she's not a jock!) Ellis takes advantage of community connections, like nearby Google and the Tech Shop, to expand its already impressive STEM offerings. My other children have attended other high schools in the city, and to me, Ellis is tops.
- Posted by
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
Some amazing teachers make it a geat school. Your daughter will really know herself by years end.
- Posted by
5  
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

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Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked PA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Students: 399 students
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Pittsburgh, PA is $9,338 for elementary schools and $14,739 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Pittsburgh, PA is 94% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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