Grade 9 - Grade 12

Academic excellence stands at the center of a Spence education. Our girls work with an outstanding faculty possessing high expectations of them and a firm understanding of the challenges of adolescence and unique joys and opportunities of teaching in an all-girls’ school. Spence subscribes to the idea that its educational environment is the most powerful way for girls to gain and maximize the scholastic voice and leadership skills they will need once they graduate. Through the advisory and the grade-level dean systems, the girls understand how to form authentic relationships with the adults in the School, enabling them to share their knowledge and continue to shape and reshape their thoughts.

In the Upper School classrooms, we know that teaching our students multiple perspectives is essential to their education. We value that principle and we commit ourselves to it, as exemplified in the School motto, “Not for school but for life we learn.” Our curriculum is designed so that a girl can find herself, her race, her ethnicity and her culture reflected in what she studies. Our faculty designs and teaches courses that include a variety of voices and that open up the classroom to the larger world. As Spence girls make their way through the Upper School, the work takes on more complex and sophisticated dimensions and learning becomes much more than an accumulation of facts. The required courses and the choice of electives promote thinking across the disciplines and knowing how to analyze and integrate information, as well as learning how to share with and teach others. A Spence education is an intellectual journey that is engaging, powerful and purposeful.

Equally important are the co-curricular offerings in athletics, and in performing, dramatic and visual arts. Through student organizations, clubs and opportunities for service learning—all integral pieces of a Spence education—as well as athletics and the arts, our students are encouraged to explore and take on roles of leadership. In our co-curricular program, they can discover their potential and create their own experiences. At Spence each girl has an opportunity to achieve her own goals and aspirations. 

Michèle Krauthamer
Head of Upper School
Just as the girls cross the connecter and enter the Upper School home in the Townhouse, they begin to identify themselves as different students. They have more freedom and broader choices as they learn to direct an intellectual journey that is engaging, powerful and purposeful.
—Michèle Krauthamer Head of Upper School

Explore Our Curriculum

Math At Spence

To be able to approach novel problems is perhaps the most important thing that we can help students do for their lives.

—Eric Zahler Mathematics Department Chair