The Ellis School

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Coalition of Girls
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS)
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-12
Year Founded1916

Student Body

Total Students399 students
Student Body TypeAll-girls
% Students of Color
State avg.: 22%
Students by GradeThe Ellis School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers69 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size12 students
Number of AP Courses10 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
% on Financial Aid
Admissions DirectorBayh Sullivan '02
Admissions AssociateEmily Scott


Total Sports Offered10 sports
SportsBasketball, Crew, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and FieldBasketballCrew,
Cross CountryField Hockey,
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As individuals and as a community, we embrace change, pursue new opportunities, and seek continuous improvement.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (17 reviews)
5  4/7/2017
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  4/7/2017
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  4/7/2017
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  11/25/2016
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  11/25/2016
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  11/25/2016
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  11/25/2016
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  5/17/2016
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  5/17/2016
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  7/24/2015
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  7/24/2015
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  7/24/2015
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  7/24/2015
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  7/24/2015
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  2/10/2014
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
5  4/14/2013
Some amazing teachers make it a geat school. Your daughter will really know herself by years end.
- Posted by
5  1/31/2013
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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