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Dana Hall School The Upper School


BECAUSE YES, THE FUTURE STARTS WITH YOU Dana Hall: a first look 1881, the year Dana Hall was founded

12 students in the average class

30-ish clubs and organizations

55 acres, 12 miles outside of Boston

465 girls, grades 5–12

6-to-1 student to faculty ratio

34-foot-high climbing wall in the Shipley Center

90 elected/selected leadership positions

355 in Upper School 135 boarding students from 15 countries and 15 states

17 AP, 12 Honors level courses offered each year 1:1 iPad program

13 interscholastic athletic teams

100% of graduates enroll in four-year colleges 86% of faculty/staff hold advanced degrees

The future, really, starts with girls. Women represent half of Earth’s population, but they’re dramatically underrepresented in positions of leadership—in business and finance, science and technology, politics and culture. They have brilliant ideas, bold visions, serious plans. The world needs these things. Urgently. We were founded in 1881 to give bright, promising girls the kind of serious, sophisticated academic work that no one else thought they were capable of doing. We’re still doing that work, because it still matters.

This is a place where girls are seen, and known, and respected. This is a place where girls are honored for their intelligence, their courage, their wit. This is a place that makes room for your ideas, your visions, your plans. The world needs your true self—your astonishing, incomparable self. If you ask us, it looks a lot like the future.



Erin: “The class feels like a family—but a family where you learn to become a stronger writer, and a more analytical reader, and a more critical thinker.” Merab: “The discussions are so intense, so engaging. With two teachers, you’re seeing things from so many different perspectives. My eyes have been opened.” Erin: “We talk about hard, complex topics. But the atmosphere is very open, very accepting. It’s

OK to be confused, or to test out a new idea, or to challenge yourself or your classmates to think differently.” Ms. Hays: “This is a class without right answers. When my co-teacher Krista and I disagree, we can model healthy debate. I want students to embrace debate and critique, to find their own voice, to help those who have been silenced to find their voice. I want them to be passionate, involved adults— to engage in the work of shaping the future.”

STEP UP THE COACH PLAYED ON THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM AND WAS INDUCTED INTO THE NEW ENGLAND LACROSSE HALL OF FAME. THE ASSISTANT COACH WAS AN NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL CHAMPION. THE TEAM PRIDES ITSELF ON BEING TENACIOUS, PLAYING WITH INTEGRITY, AND ENJOYING THE WORK (WHICH IS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING “HAVING FUN”). IT’S A NEXT-GIRL-UP TEAM: EVERYONE STAYS READY, EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES. PHOEBE (WHITE JERSEY) PLAYS FORWARD AND IS A SENIOR. KAT (BLUE JERSEY) PLAYS DEFENSE AND IS A JUNIOR. Kat: “Lacrosse is fast and complicated, so it teaches you to make tough decisions under pressure—a skill that I’ve applied in my daily life.” Phoebe: “We almost won the league this year. Toward the end, we were getting so close, and we were so into the idea of winning, we forgot how hard practice was. We were having too much fun, working so hard.” Kat: “It’s a proudly goofy team. We all have something to bring to the table, we all get along so well, and we constantly build off of each other’s positive energy.” Phoebe: “One of my favorite memories is the video we made. Everyone was obsessed with this one song. So we changed the words to apply to the team and made a video of us singing it. If you know each other that well, if you’re that comfortable with each other—you can do great things.”


A REHEARSAL FOR THE SPRING MUSICAL, OUR ANNUAL COPRODUCTION WITH BELMONT HILL, A BOYS SCHOOL IN A NEARBY TOWN. THE AUDITORIUM IS BIG, THE LIGHTS ARE HOT, THE SHOW IS FABULOUS (ALTHOUGH THE TITLE OF THE SHOW IS HARD TO LOOK AT WITHOUT WINCING, AND SO WE’LL PUT IT IN THE QUOTES BELOW). THE IDEA IS TO WORK TOGETHER TO PUT ON SOMETHING MASSIVE AND INSPIRING—TO TAKE THE LEAD AND BE PART OF A TEAM, TO STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT AND SING ALONG WITH THE CHORUS. MARISOL (HOPE, ON THE LEFT) IS A SENIOR; HER BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS DEALING WITH THE MOVABLE STAIRCASE. SARAH (JOSEPHINE STRONG, ON THE RIGHT) IS A JUNIOR; HER BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS SINGING A SOLO FOR THE FIRST TIME. Marisol: “Doing theater, especially at Dana Hall, is about more than the show itself. It’s about the people you’re working with.” Sarah: “I got to know younger girls, older girls, and Belmont Hill boys. I made new friendships and strengthened old ones.” Marisol: “This is a fun musical with a bad title and dark undertones. And if you’re into theater, it’s especially funny because it makes fun of theater.” Sarah: “I’m not gonna lie: I was hesitant about Urinetown at first. The title is a turnoff, and the subject matter—capitalism, the legal system, resource consumption—isn’t exactly light. But it’s a Tony Award-winning show, the songs are great, and what you get, in the end, is a satire of musicals about major social issues. Which is provocative in all the right ways.”



Maria: “In my first two years at Dana, I had amazing proctors. That’s why I wanted to be a proctor: I saw the kind of impact you could have, how important proctors are to the community. But really, if you’re at Dana, you’re an important part of the community. Every girl makes an impact.” Avery: “The spirit on my floor is so energetic, so tight. Students are always socializing, always planning new activities. And they’re always there for each other. It’s extremely hard to feel lonely on my floor. The support and care we have for each other are limitless.” Maria: “Here’s my best advice: Be open-minded! That’s one of the most important values of our boarding community and of Dana as a whole. It’s also a really important value in life. Be ready to meet people from all different types of backgrounds. Be ready to learn from them. And don’t be afraid to open up and share who you are.”


AMOR CARITAS Our motto. It means “Love and Caring.” We believe it’s the foundation of a meaningful, lasting education.

AP COURSES We offer 17 of them, across the major disciplines, including AP English Language, AP Computer Science, and AP Physics. Nearly all of our seniors—82% in 2016—enroll in one or more (and do remarkably well).

ARCHITECTURE We offer three levels of coursework in it, culminating in projects designed with ArchiCAD. Kind of unusual, no?

ALUMNAE Where do they go? What do they do? Well: Margaret Wise Brown ’28 revolutionized children’s literature. Carolyn Hack ’93 is the CEO at Aspire Public Schools, one of the nation’s highest-performing low-income school systems. Liz Wald ’85 is VP of technology and design at the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Lesley Jane Seymour ’74 is the editor-in-chief of MORE Magazine. They’re getting an advanced degree in neuroscience at Oxford, starting an art gallery in New Orleans, studying in Italy on a Fulbright, starting a residency at Mass General after finishing Harvard Medical School, starting a nonprofit to bring yoga into New York City’s public schools, playing roller derby with the Charm City Roller Girls in Baltimore, and, as part of a master’s program in international relations at the New School, studying slum upgrading in Uganda—that kind of thing.

AREA STUDIES The evolution of social studies. In addition to coursework in Western Civilization and United States history, every student chooses at least one area studies course—a deep survey of the history and culture of a part of the world (Africa, East Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Latin America) that doesn’t fit neatly into the box marked “West.” This is often how college works; more to the point, it’s how the world works.

ARTS Yes, please. Our students produce and star in ambitious full-scale dramas and musicals (e.g., Jane Eyre and Chicago, with boys from Roxbury Latin and Belmont Hill); they choreograph and perform in dance concerts; they join classical ensembles, choral groups, a jazz band, a rock band; they study with working artists (our teachers, plus visiting artists) and curate exhibits. They make films, they take pictures, they write songs, they publish poems, they make art. They will be heard.

ATHLETICS Formally known as Athletics, Health and Wellness—which tells you something about our approach. We ask students to respect their body, try something new, stretch their definition of what’s possible. One result: balanced, mindful, active students. Another result: winning teams in the competitive Eastern Independent League (e.g., recent league and tournament champions in field hockey, swimming, fencing, and squash).

BOARDING We’re a boarding and day school; in fact, we’re the only girls’ school in the Boston area with a boarding program. About 135 students from across the country and around the world live on campus, in six dormitories, with house directors and assistants and student proctors. They share meals and study halls, they explore Wellesley and Boston, they go on planned weekend trips guided by faculty (many of whom also live on campus) to discover the many wonders of New England, and they keep the campus warm and welcoming.

BOSTON It’s a lovely, historic, walkable, worldclass toolbox. An art class goes to the Museum of Fine Arts (or the Institute of Contemporary Art or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum); a physics class visits a research lab at a major research university; an architecture class can go anywhere; an American history class can go to that same anywhere. If you want civic engagement or internships or food from countries you’ve never been to, or innovative music or theater or dance— it’s here. To be specific, it’s 12 miles from campus, which, in practice, is about 30 minutes.

Interscholastic Sports FALL



Cross Country Equestrian Field Hockey Soccer Volleyball

Basketball Equestrian Fencing Ice Hockey Squash Swimming

Equestrian Lacrosse Softball Tennis

Fitness Programs Afternoon Fitness Dance Strength and Conditioning Rock Climbing Yoga Life Guarding Instructional Rowing

BOYS They’re so handy to have around! But really: we live in the world; about half the people in the world are boys; and so boys are part of our life. We ask them to join us for plays or clubs or dances or service projects or even athletic teams. But here’s the thing: They don’t take up all the oxygen in our classrooms and labs. And so, for this one crucial moment in time, our students have more room to breathe.

CARDBOARD BOAT RACES Exactly what it sounds like. Teams of students build boats out of cardboard and race two laps in the Shipley Center pool. A hands-on exercise in engineering and teamwork and general wetness.



Our students join (and mostly run) dozens of them. The list changes every year in response to student interest. ONGOING Best Buddies Big Sister/Little Sister Blue Key Bridge China Care Community Service Advisory Board Disciplinary Committee Ed Techies Focus (yearbook) Gospel Choir Green Team Hallmanac (newspaper) International Student Association K2K (peer tutoring) Kesher Latin American Club Mirage (literary magazine) Model UN Outing Club

Partners in Health Peer Education Proctors Salaam SHADES: Sisters Honoring All Diasporas & Enlightening Society Student Activities Student Council RECENT START-UPS Architecture Club Cahier du Cinema Entrepreneur Club Girl Up DHMUN (supporting women in developing nations) Robotics Club TED (Teen Empathy at Dana)

Wildly popular, and not just because our state-of-the-art climbing wall is one of the first things you see when you walk into the Shipley Center. If it looks impossible, we want to try it: That’s who we are. We also offer climbing classes for the local community. (Which is also who we are: If it’s good, share it.)

COLLEGE Our graduates go to some of the country’s top-ranked colleges and universities (random recent sample: Bates, Brandeis, Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, NYU, Penn, RPI, Smith, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, Yale), but that’s less important than what they do when they’re there (same sample: graphic designer for the student newspaper, starting a fencing club, self-designing a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, doing research with a developmental biology professor, joining dorm government and questioning everything, joining the mock trial team and mentoring local schoolchildren, joining the dragon boat team, winning Athlete of the Week, and deferring admission to spend a semester in Nepal studying religion and working on a service project in a rural village). In other words: Our students see college as part of the journey, not the destination.

CONFERENCE PERIOD A time three days a week when all teachers are available for advice, guidance, or conversation, guaranteed.

DANA DRAGON Our mascot. Lovable yet fierce. Much like us.

DANA HALL ART GALLERY A dedicated space for exhibits by local and visiting artists. Also home to the Senior Show in May. Also home to regular alumnae and faculty shows.

ENGLISH Required all four years. An extensive, disciplined, soul-shaking encounter with the world’s great voices, from Homer to Bronte, Ibsen to Kushner, Edwidge Danticat to Isabel Allende. Also an invaluable ongoing workshop in textual analysis, critical thinking, creative expression, and clear, forceful expository prose. Because the world needs more sharp minds and more great voices.

FACULTY Smart, accomplished, accessible people who happen to care deeply about teaching—and about teaching girls, and about teaching girls here. Like all great teachers, they’re still learning; they get grants to study in Ghana and China and Russia; they attend STEM conferences and seminars at the many world-class universities down the road. About 50 faculty and staff members live on campus, which means that our students discover an astonishing truth about teachers: They have lives! They have pets! They listen to strange music! Sometimes they can even cook!

FENCING A program rooted in tradition (founded in the 1930s)—and ready to make history (we’ve won three state championships in the past five years!). The coach was a member of the U.S. National Team. Graduates have gone on to some of the nation’s top college programs. Smart, serious fun.

FORUM Everyone takes it, and it’s about everything: personal values and social justice, leadership and service, financial literacy and cyberethics, careers, lifestyles, decision-making, self-defense, and how to change a tire. It meets once a week, it’s non-credit, and it’s led by an adult facilitator, with frequent visits from the staff of our Health Center and our Athletics, Health and Wellness program.

GIRLS SUMMER ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM A hands-on, ten-day business incubator. Under the guidance of local and national business leaders (some of whom happen to be Dana alums), students work in teams to develop a product or a business. Includes experience in leadership, collaboration, finance, marketing, and innovation. Concludes with the Dragon’s Lair, in which the teams pitch their business plans to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs.

GIRLS SUMMER LEADERSHIP PROGRAM A weeklong residential program on leadership for girls from around the country, at exactly the moment when they’re most ready to consider (and stretch) their own capacities as leaders: the summer before ninth grade.

GLOBAL SCHOLARS’ CERTIFICATE PROGRAM Proof that you’re making your way in the world, literally and figuratively. A credential for students who complete a set of rigorous requirements, including immersive travel, global coursework and activities, a sustainability program, and a Senior Project that includes an international component.

GREEN TEAM Dana Hall’s Sustainability Committee, run by students and faculty. They run our Community Garden, the results of which appear occasionally in our salad bar. They started our campus bike share program. They’re vigilant, they’re visible, and they’re developing new ideas as we speak.

HELEN TEMPLE COOKE LIBRARY A very contemporary research engine. More than 31,000 items (print and digital), direct access to more than 3,000 periodicals and hundreds of other libraries in the state, dozens of public computers, a media production facility, group study rooms, private carrels, and, yes, armchairs. Also home to a friendly, forward-thinking staff who will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about librarians.

HIGH MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE A semester-long program in Leadville, Colorado, featuring intensive academics and wilderness expeditions in the Rocky Mountains and Utah canyons. We’re a member school.

INDEPENDENT STUDY An opportunity for serious, specialized, self-designed (in consultation with teachers and advisors) work in a range of fields.

INTERNATIONAL WEEK Featuring a craft bazaar, a film festival, language lessons, a food festival, and a Parade of Flags. Courtesy of the dozens of Dana Hall students who traveled the world to study here.

iPADS Thanks to our 1:1 iPad program, every student and every teacher in every grade has an iPad—a critical tool for research, organization, community-building, and more.

KAREN STIVES ’68 EQUESTRIAN CENTER Our state-of-the-art Karen Stives ’68 Equestrian Center is home to some of the most innovative educational initiatives on campus: a curriculum focused on horsemanship, an internship program, an animal project for seventh grade science, and a partnership with a therapeutic riding program. It’s a touchstone for many girls who ride, whether competitively or for physical education, and is the training center for our championship equestrian teams (successful on both the Regional and National level). Our riders also compete individually, with impressive results in local and A-rated shows throughout the Northeast and in Florida.

LABS As in: the Math Lab, the Science Lab, the Writing Lab. These are open workshops staffed by our teachers at convenient hours of the day and night. They’re where you go when you want to know more and go further.

LANGUAGES We require up to the third level of study in a language, though we offer all the way through AP; we offer French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin. Our Language Lab features 20 computer carrels using DiLL software. Which is just to say it’s the future of language labs.


LATIN Still here! Still the linguistic bedrock of the arts and sciences! We offer it at every level. Dana Hall students take the National Latin Exam annually; many win Gold Summa Cum Laude, many win Silver Maxima Cum Laude.

MATHEMATICS From algebra to advanced topics (number theory, complex variables) to the kind of math you can only do in an independent study with a teacher as your advisor. It’s not an accident that one of the newest clubs on campus is the Math Club.

MIDDLE SCHOOL A community within the larger Dana Hall community: about 110 students in grades 5–8, in a dedicated building a few dozen steps from the Upper School’s academic facilities. If you want a quick lesson in the meaning of sisterhood, or if you just want to weep tears of joy, go to the Moving Up Ceremony, where each graduating eighth grader shares a memory of her time in the Middle School in preparation for the exciting new challenges of Dana’s Upper School. Interesting note: Our fifthgrade classroom is designed to be a model

of 21st-century teaching and learning, featuring flexible furniture, IdeaPaint surfaces, and access to contemporary (and appropriate) media and technology. That’s where our Middle School starts.

MODEL UN A club at the top of its game. Our nationally ranked team is a consistent winner of the Best Large Delegation Award at Dartmouth College’s Model UN conference for high school students.

MORNING MEETING Run by students and featuring announcements, performances, skits, and moments of unbridled zaniness and deep reflection.

SCHOOL FOR ETHICS AND GLOBAL LEADERSHIP A semester-long residential program based in Washington, D.C., designed for juniors; it emphasizes ethical thinking, leadership development, and international affairs. We’re a member school.

SCHOOL OF MUSIC Our School of Music is a community resource (it offers lessons to local residents) and a source of tremendous creative energy; students can take private or group instruction in piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and voice, join chamber ensembles, perform in recitals, and audition for our annual Concerto Competition.

SCIENCE A vast field in which women are dramatically underrepresented. And so: We offer an innovative science curriculum, starting with a hands-on lab course in conceptual physics. Tenth graders take one of three levels of chemistry; eleventh graders take molecular

or ecological biology; and we offer AP courses in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science. Electives include “Current Topics: Science, Society, and Service” and “Astronomy and Natural Science.”

SCIENCE CENTER Clean, contemporary, and busy in a hive-like way. Featuring labs, project rooms, seminar rooms, a greenhouse, and equipment to support the most current teaching and research. A genuinely exciting place to be.

SENIOR PROJECT In the last two weeks of May—their last two weeks at Dana Hall—seniors can design their own focused, intentional learning experience: working in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office, shadowing a pediatric neurologist, assisting a producer at CNN, interning at Partners in Health. Every end is also a beginning.

THE SHIP The 93,000-square-foot Shipley Center for Athletics, Health and Wellness. A few of its jaw-dropping features: a 21,000-square-foot gymnasium with two NCAA-regulation-size basketball courts; a three-lane suspended indoor track; a 6,589-square-foot Aquatics Center with a 25-yard, six-lane pool; four full-sized squash courts that meet international competition standards; a fencing studio with six built-in fencing strips; a dance studio with a lighting and sound system. And a 34-foot-high customdesigned rock climbing wall. And a weight and fitness room, a student lounge, a snack bar, and the School’s Health Center. A generous gift from Lucia Farrington Shipley ’38, a pioneering entrepreneur.

STUDENT CENTER The heart of campus life, recently (and dramatically) updated. Glass-walled, lightfilled, expansive, and welcoming. Home to Step Sings, snack breaks, meals from around the world, social events, designated meeting rooms for clubs, a café, a patio, and the people you most want to see every day.

SERVICE To us, service is an essential part of a) being human and b) being educated. We require our tenth graders to perform (and reflect on) 20 hours of service. Our student-led Community Service Advisory Board organizes regular events and drives. We organize weekend service opportunities and arrange long-term individual placements for students at local hospitals, soup kitchens, nursing homes, and homeless shelters. Our students take an entrepreneurial approach to service: When they see a need, they find a way to meet it.

SHE SAILS Every two years we bring together Dana Hall alumnae and current students for a daylong summit focused on women and leadership. It’s a source of inspiration and celebration, a time to learn from other generations, extend your network, and imagine your future.

STUDY ABROAD We participate in School Year Abroad, the premier international study program for high school students; it offers yearlong stays with host families around the world. We also sponsor exclusive exchange programs with Ruyton School in Melbourne, Australia; Sansueña School in Zaragoza, Spain; and Tokyo Jogakkan School (in, yes, Tokyo). And our faculty lead academically (and culturally!) intensive spring break trips to South Africa, China, France, Italy, Russia, and more. The world is waiting.

TRADITIONS They’re like a gift to the School community. They’re also a surprisingly intense exercise in logistics, teamwork, and group dynamics. Every class year has one: Cabaret (ninth graders putting on a talent show), SeniorSophomore (decorated lockers, beanies, costumes, banquet), Revels (11th graders hosting a medieval/modern play), and the sworn-to-secrecy Mid-Winter Tradition. Not to mention Step Sing, which happens often and is, oh, boisterous.

WANNAMAKER LECTURE SERIES In which we bring leading thinkers, writers, and artists to campus for a lecture or performance. A few examples: World Cup soccer champion Kristine Lilly, CNN medical editor Elizabeth Schwartz Cohen (’83!), pioneering meteorologist Mish Michaels.

WELLESLEY The town center is walkable from campus, which means you’re steps away from excellent frozen desserts, baked goods, pizza, Thai food, tea and coffee, specialized independent (and, shall we say, dependent) retail, and a commuter rail stop that gets you to Boston. Wellesley is home to about 26,000 people, an amazing percentage of whom hold advanced degrees; it’s also home to exceptional colleges dedicated to the liberal arts (Wellesley), business (Babson), and engineering (Olin, just over the Needham line). Smart, worldly, accessible, and all yours.

ADMISSION, FINANCIAL AID, VISITING ADMISSION There are deadlines, there is a fairly standard testing requirement, there is a fairly comprehensive application; you can find details about all of these things on our website: The big idea is this: We’re looking for girls who want—really want—to learn. Girls who want to learn about themselves, about the world, about subjects they’ve never heard of and places they’ve never been. Girls who care—really care—about their education, who think thinking is a serious (and joyful, and agonizing, and thrilling) business, and who spend a lot of time wrestling with new ideas and new experiences not because it might get them somewhere in the future but because they just have to do it right now. As it turns out, those girls happen to go somewhere in the future. They also happen to be unusually kind, collaborative, and supportive of their friends (and—maybe more importantly—of strangers), because they think the world works better that way. We’re speaking from experience here. It’s an experience we never get tired of repeating.

FINANCIAL AID Nearly 25% of our students receive financial aid; last year we gave roughly $4 million in aid, and every year—following our mission—those numbers grow. Providing access to a great education is a critical part of who we are; joining a truly diverse, polyphonic, unclassifiable community is a critical part of a great education.

VISITING Visiting is the only way to really understand who we are, what we do, and how you might feel here. A lot of current students say they knew as soon as they stepped on campus that they needed to study here. We’re easily accessible from Logan Airport, South Station, and the region’s major arteries. For the Google map, see our website:

Dana Hall School 45 Dana Road  Wellesley, MA  02482-9010 781.235.3010

Upper School Viewbook  
Upper School Viewbook