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purnell school

why choose purnell?

we’ll tell you why.


your success matters to all of us Purnell welcomes each girl into our community and gives her the gift of discovering what she is truly great at doing. We believe every student has a true talent to share with the world. At Purnell, girls discover their talents and learn to solve problems creatively. Here, everyone experiences success and the confidence that comes with it.




we are a national model of excellence

you can be yourself here

The Affinities Program

Our founders, Lytt and Sis Gould, opened Purnell on the

Purnell’s award-winning Affinities Program® stems from the belief that building on a student’s unique strengths is the best way to help her grow into the person she was meant to become. This program focuses on integrating the ninth grade students into the strengths-based community at Purnell, and offers continuous follow-up for tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students in order to guide

premise that a small community where everyone is known and valued is the best way to educate young women. At Purnell, we celebrate the individual and accept differences. Girls are able to take risks and grow. Each girl will have a place of importance in the school, receive extra help and encouragement when needed, and develop a unique understanding of what allows her to thrive.

them during their high school careers and lead them to

Purnell serves a wide range of students. Some come to us

successful paths in college. The program incorporates real

seeking the extra attention provided by a small school setting,

life career education through summer internships, our

some are attracted to the structure and programs we offer

Career Speakers series, and Diversity and Wellness seminars

to help girls succeed, and some have felt underserved in

with the belief that “You don’t go to school to be better at

larger schools. We welcome motivated students with mild

school; you go to school to be better at life.”

learning differences. Here they find the strategies and confidence to move beyond labels and toward learning

21st Century Learning

success. Whatever the reason, we both challenge and

Our mission is to discover the different learning styles of

support each student in order for her to attain her goals.

each student so that she can reach her full potential. Purnell School combines innovative programs with state-of-the-art

Purnell students come from an array of states and

resources to promote an optimal learning experience in the

countries, which adds to the richness of diversity on our

classroom. Each student has an individual goal plan to

campus. They are girls with positive character traits and

provide academic support as well as enrichment, tailored to

engaging personalities who enjoy group activities and

her particular needs. Teachers are skilled in the integration of

treasure school traditions. Friendships formed here last

student strengths, technology, and engaging content to foster

a lifetime.

creativity and critical thinking across the curriculum. With access to tools like interactive whiteboards, iPods and iPads, and a variety of multimedia software, students and teachers are able to experience hands-on what learning means in the 21st Century.

Advising Each student at Purnell has an advisor with whom she meets weekly one on one. Discussions range from classes and time management to dorms and friendships and result in strong student-teacher relationships. The advisor is the student’s advocate, mentor, point-person and touchstone during her years at Purnell. The advisor also supports her

feel on a daily basis that “Iwhat I do in the classrooms, on the fields, and in the dorms is making a difference in the lives of so many young women here.

William Warlick, Director of Athletics and History Teacher

as she pursues her affinities. All advisors meet as a group weekly to discuss and plan for the needs of each student.




you won’t fall through the cracks

there are no back rows

Adapting our teaching methods to student needs is only

You won’t find desks in rows at Purnell. Our average

part of the story. We focus our attention on each student

class size is twelve. Our classroom methods support and

in a myriad of ways to understand her learning style.

challenge students in a way that is geared to what works

We then tailor a comprehensive program to help her

best for girls. Our courses maintain a strong commitment

achieve. Along the way, we continue to adapt and change

to project-based learning, where students work in teams

this program to assure each student is on the right path.

to explore real-world problems and create presentations to share what they have learned. Our teachers consistently

Counseling and Nursing Our health center has nurses on staff and manages appointments for students who seek counseling off campus. We support girls through all the normal transitions of adolescent life.

adapt teaching techniques and structure course work to help each student learn in her own way. The curriculum is college preparatory and designed to challenge students to think and problem solve in creative ways as well as

English as a Second Language An immersion language program is offered for students for whom English is a second language. There is also an opportunity to participate in our Literacy Skills class as well as other activities to help students improve their English. Extra Help Structured time is available each day when teachers invite students to meet with them for one-on-one assistance or review of class material. Learning and Enrichment Center (LEC) The Learning and Enrichment Center assists students to reach their full potential. The LEC works with the students’ Individual Goal Coordinator to combine innovative programs and state-ofthe-art resources in order to promote an optimal learning experience for each student. Seminars Each student has a seminar period that rotates through her schedule. Some seminars offered are diversity, wellness, affinities, and college counseling and transitions; some days this period may be used as a study hall. Students may also choose a seventh academic class instead of a study hall. Supervised Study Hall Students attend a monitored study session each evening.


express themselves clearly.



you can express yourself through the arts

athletics help to build self-esteem

The arts are an integral part of our education. Research has

Our athletic program encourages every girl to discover

proven that students who are involved in the arts are more

herself as an athlete. With competitive team sports each

motivated, more engaged, more sensitive, more focused,

season and a variety of non-competitive sports, girls have

more creative, and more responsible. With that in mind,

many opportunities to challenge themselves individually

our program offers a deep and broad experience in both the

as well as to be a member of a team. The Moran Athletic

studio and performing arts. Our faculty, many of whom are

Center is a state of the art facility with a large gymnasium,

professional artists themselves, have a talent for bringing

exercise and work out rooms, and dance studio.

out each student’s creative potential. Our well-equipped arts facilities, The Johnson Art Center and The Carney Center for the Performing Arts, are lively focal points of student life during the school day, evening, and weekends throughout the year.

Sports help girls to develop self-esteem and an appreciation for fitness. More than 50% of our students choose to play on interscholastic teams, which compete with nearby independent schools.

All students participate in a two and a half week intensive study, Project Exploration. One of the major offerings is

Athletics Offered

Production, in which students combine their talents in act-

Varies from year to year

ing, dancing, singing, technical crew, and costume design to



launch a major musical performance. Other offerings dur-



ing Project Exploration include: an art offering, early child-


Cross Country

hood teaching, animal behavior, interior design, and even


Personal Fitness

opportunities to travel – both domestically and abroad.

Horseback Riding


Circuit Training

These offerings vary year to year.

Tennis High/Low Ropes Course

Throughout the year, professional artists, from jazz musicians to classical pianists to storytellers, perform in the Carney Center for the Performing Arts. It is the performances, however, by our own student groups – Shoots and Strawberries singing group, Dance Synthesis, and Adlibbers acting troupe —that earn the warmest applause.

A Sampling of Arts Courses

“I never knew I would love basketball so much. Purnell

Varies from year to year



Painting I/II

Acting I/II

Drawing I/II

Creative Theater


Intermediate Ballet



Fashion Design

Sounds of Music

Art History

Dance Sampler


All That Jazz and Tap

Jewelry Design

Children’s Theater

gave me the confidence to go out there and try a

new sport.

Tammy, Class of 2012




we prepare everyone for college

you will build lasting friendships

Preparation for life after Purnell begins the moment a student

Dorm Life

arrives. Our total approach to education contributes to the development of self-directed learners and thinkers, good writers and public speakers, and ultimately, confident young women fully prepared for life’s challenges. As the student learns about her affinities, the college

We believe the residential program may be the most effective educational experience in the transformation of an adolescent girl into a healthy, confident woman. Friendships made on campus are friendships made for life. Three guidelines are the basis of conduct at our school:

counselor helps her discover schools that are a good match


Use of Common Sense

based on these strengths. In their junior year, each student


Truthfulness in All Relations

takes a class focusing on the college admission process.


Consideration of Others

The college counselor meets with the student and her family

As the standard for student life in the dormitories,

to discuss options, crystallize ideas, and construct a list

these principles guide students to participate in a positive

of prospective colleges.

and respectful community. Our air-conditioned dorms are secured by a Keyscan® security system and each dorm room is wired for internet access and telephone service.

Weekends Weekends at Purnell are full of a wide variety of activities both on and off campus. These activities are a continuation of the learning and growth that occurs both in the classroom and in the residence halls. Some examples of weekend activities are:



A Broadway show in New York City


A dance at a boys’ school


Crafts and games on campus


Ski and snowboarding trip in the Poconos


Football game at Rutgers University


Hoboken Arts and Musical Festival


New York Yankees game


Museums and shopping in Philadelphia and New York City




Movies, Starbucks and mall trips


Amusement park trips

Our Campus G Main: Admissions Office, Administration G Dorms: Boynton, Custis and Gould G Baker Dining Hall G Moran Athletic Center G Carney Center for the Performing Arts G Gardner Classroom Building G Stringfellow Library G Johnson Arts Center



this is a place to call home

we offer the best of both worlds

A variety of special traditions bring meaning and ritual

Purnell School is situated on 83 acres amid the rolling

to the community. These, coupled with the large number

meadows and gentle hills of the Pottersville Valley in

of faculty, their children and pets that live on campus,

New Jersey. We feel fortunate to live in such a secure

make Purnell feel just like home!

and peaceful environment and still be less than an hour from New York City, and less that two from Philadelphia. Class trips and weekend excursions to these cities and other destinations enrich our cultural and historical perspectives.

“The best thing about Purnell is that we have a terrific campus and access to everything


the city has to offer.

Charlotte, Class of 2014



come, take a look. At Purnell, our three guidelines: Use of Common Sense, Truthfulness in All Relations, and Consideration of Others, added to three basic directives: sustained effort, commitment to honest relationships, and high expectations for all students equal three outcomes: a future where each student understands what she can do best, an ability to take that knowledge and find success, and the character to build a meaningful life.

NY MA Hartford






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Purnell School 78


New York

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Philadelphia 95






Getting Here

For More Information

We encourage you to visit and see for yourself. Below is a

See us on the Web:

list of approximate travel times from cities and airports in

our area. For driving instructions, please visit our website. I

Newark Airport

40 minutes


New York City

60 minutes


LaGuardia Airport 90 minutes


Kennedy Airport

2 hours



90 minutes

Arrange a visit and tour:

Office of Admissions


(908) 439-2154


Send mail:

PO Box 500


51 Pottersville Road


Pottersville, NJ 07979


51 Pottersville Road P.O. Box 500 Pottersville, NJ 07979 (908) 439-2154

Purnell School Viewbook  
Purnell School Viewbook  

Purnell School's viewbook.