Julia Morgan School for Girls is committed to a challenging and inspiring academic program that encourages each girl to recognize and meet her potential through individualized attention, cooperative learning, and the guidance of expert teachers.

Julia Morgan School faculty have developed a detailed curriculum and subject areas are taught using a project based, interdisciplinary approach, designed when possible to integrate disciplines that have traditionally been separated. The relational model is core to what we do at Julia Morgan School and therefore cooperative learning, creative expression, and valuing each girl is emphasized. 
JMSG believes girls should graduate with a deep sense of social responsibility. The JMSG program nurtures each girl’s compassion and sense of social justice in every area of school life. Weekly advising check-ins and activities, Families, all-school assemblies, along with SEL classes, develop girls’ personal and social awareness, teaching them to empathize, to give support within a community, and to tackle the complex moral issues that arise during adolescence. In academic classes, girls are engaged in explorations of culture, as well as environmental, economic, and ethical issues. Service-oriented guest speakers, field trips, and special all-school events such as the annual Gift of Giving Event that is a culminating community night of service, provide multiple perspectives and a chance to connect with the larger community.

Examples of Curricula that reflect the Mission of the School

List of 5 items.

  • Community Time

    In the 2013-14 school year, JMSG piloted a new element of the schedule to bolster our relational model: a “band” of time stretching across the week to ensure that we are connecting as a community every day. Our intention behind this

    Community Time has been to promote bonding among peers, to facilitate student contact with teachers, to support student self-advocacy, and to create space for us to share, celebrate, and play together as a school community.

    Community Time looks different each day of the A-F rotation:

    On A days, we all gather together in the Ming Quong Room for All-School Meetings led by 8th grade students. There, we acknowledge birthdays, honor Women and Girls of Courage, give shout-outs, and gain inspiration from guest speakers and special presentations.

    On B and E days, we gather in grade-level Advisory groups to learn about ourselves and peers through reflection activities and check-ins. The group experience of Advisory lends itself to a sense of “home” at school, and each advisor is available as the school’s “primary care person” for advisees and their families.

    On C and F days, we gather by grade-level in either Study Hall/Office Hours groups or as a whole grade for Class Meetings. Study Hall/Office Hours afford students the opportunity to work on assignments at school with the support of their peers and teachers, and students are strongly encouraged to seek out their teachers one-on-one during this time to clarify understanding and make a personal connection. In Class Meetings, we make announcements, plan and engage in fun community building activities, and learn from films and special presentations that tie in to our academic curriculum.

    On D days, girls participate in Families, making positive connections with peers across grades with the guidance of faculty and staff mentors. Families check in, engage in discussions, play games, and work on projects together. Whereas Advisory focuses on specific topics, sometimes sensitive and/or confidential, Families focus on creating a sense of cross-grade bonding through fun activities. Subsequently, each Family has its own unique character, as mentors are encouraged to plan activities that engage their strengths while promoting connection and a sense of joy at school. Highlights from the past two years have included: “upcycled” artwork, student-designed scavenger hunts, random acts of kindness for other Families, and an all-school balloon stomping tournament.
  • Cornerstone

    In response to studies that show adolescents tend to benefit from a later start for academic classes, the JMSG school day officially begins at 8:55 AM. Optional "Cornerstone" activities such as Band, Chorus, High School Lab, Robotics, and Study Hall are offered from 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM. As a cornerstone is critical to a sound foundation for a building, so we hope the later start, as well as additional before-school opportunities, will be a strong foundation for the girls to have a slower, more relaxed start of the day, allowing girls to connect with teachers and staff, to settle into the day, and to be much more ready to learn when time is on their side.
  • GO GIRL (Girls Out Getting Involved in Real Life)

    GO GIRL (Girls Out Getting Involved in Real Life) is a year-long service learning and leadership course designed for students to explore social justice issues in-depth and to engage their sense of personal power. This includes planning and implementing active work in the community. Through doing research, writing, public presentation, group collaboration, and experiential learning, girls will develop skills and self-confidence to be leaders in the JMSG community and the larger world.
  • STARS (Skills to Achieve Real Success)

    STARS is the sixth grade student skills program that teaches Skills To Achieve Real Success in school and beyond. Students learn strategies and habits that help them develop their student self through topics such as: organizing work and belongings, homework load management, studying, assertive communication, and effective mindsets for learning.
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Art, Math)

    Women are traditionally under-represented in STEAM fields, with the problem beginning as early as elementary school when boys dominate computer classes and clubs. By middle and high school, the trend worsens, and by college girls don’t have the background skills or self-confidence to pursue engineering degrees or pursue STEAM-related careers. The gender disparity in STEAM jobs is especially noteworthy because, on average, STEAM occupations pay significantly more than other private-sector jobs, and the gender gap in pay is actually lower than in non-STEAM sectors. The underrepresentation of women in STEAM jobs means that women are missing out on some of the best-paying occupations in the U.S.

    The mission of the Julia Morgan School for Girls STEAM program is to expose middle school girls to the fields of engineering and technology, and to prepare and develop passion in girls to pursue further education and careers in science, technology, engineering, art/design and math (“STEAM”). Throughout the 3-year program, the course works to demystify the field through methodology combining project-based and experiential learning that inspires creative, critical, and analytical thinking while developing a strong foundation in engineering skills. The course also works to debunk stereotypes about the field by bringing in mentors and discussing messages from the media.

Julia Morgan School for Girls

•  5000 MacArthur Boulevard, PMB 9966  •  Oakland, CA 94613