The JMSG Approach

Julia Morgan School for Girls is committed to creating a challenging and inspiring academic program that encourages all students to recognize and meet their potential through individualized attention and the guidance of expert teachers. The faculty has developed an engaging program, and subject areas are taught using an interdisciplinary approach designed when possible to integrate disciplines. The relational model is core to what we do at JMSG, and therefore collaborative learning, effective communication, and valuing each student are emphasized. 
JMSG believes students graduate with an understanding of personal and social responsibility. The progressive program nurtures each student’s sense of social justice in every area of school life. Weekly advising check-ins and activities, school assemblies, and social and emotional learning classes, develop personal and social awareness, teaching students to empathize, give support, and 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-learning guest speakers, field trips, and special all-school events such as the annual Gift of Giving, a community service event, provide multiple perspectives and opportunities to connect with the larger community.

List of 6 items.

  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)

    Women are traditionally under-represented in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design and math) fields. As early as elementary school, boys dominate computer classes and math clubs. In middle and high school, the trend worsens, and by college girls have not acquired the background skills or self confidence to pursue engineering degrees or other STEAM-related careers. The gender disparity in STEAM jobs is especially noteworthy because STEAM occupations can pay significantly more than other private-sector jobs, and the gender gap in pay is actually lower than in non-STEAM sectors. The lack of representation of women in STEAM jobs means that women are missing out on some of the best-paying occupations.

    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 develop passion in girls to pursue further education and eventually STEAM careers. Throughout the JMSG three-year program, the classes use methodology combining project-based, experiential learning and inspires creative and analytical thinking while developing a strong foundation in engineering skills.
  • GO GIRL (Girls Out Getting Involved in Real Life)

    As a capstone to the JMSG experience, GO GIRL solidifies girls’ understanding of leadership while providing opportunities to apply their leadership skills in the real world. After the 8th grade rafting trip, all field trips in this year focus on service learning through GO GIRL and the following strands: Aging with Dignity, Education Matters, and Homelessness in the Bay Area. While the trips are intended to expose girls to a variety of social justice issues, the class also is devoted to helping girls form their own values so that their personal power and promise are linked to a passionate cause they will continue to champion long after JMSG.
  • Art Electives

    The visual and performing arts are of central importance to dynamic, innovative lives. JMSG classes aim to foster a love for both creating and experiencing the visual and performing arts. After two years of broad exposure to the visual and performing arts, eighth graders choose art elective courses that give a deep dive into specialized areas. Courses run half the year with offerings that allow for more focused skill development, collaboration, and creation of a polished product. Students choose from photography, documentary films, book-making, architecture, a cappella, or rock band.
  • Invention Convention

    The JMSG Invention Convention is an eighth grade culminating interdisciplinary project in which students use the concepts they have learned in the science program throughout their three years at JMSG to create an invention of their own design. They program robots and use power tools while developing and building a functional invention. These inventions aim to serve a population in need, in conjunction with the STEAM, GO GIRL, and math programs. Every girl plays a significant role in making an idea come to life. Their confidence increases as they prepare and when they present their inventions to the community at the annual all-school event.
  • Workflow

    How do we teach students to navigate transitions, develop an innovative mindset, and advocate for their needs?
    Workflow is the 6th grade academic preparation class that equips students with the essential skills to make a successful transition from elementary school to middle school. This weekly class offers important basic skills necessary for students to navigate their new schedules, become confident with technology, and learn to advocate for themselves as learners. As the year progresses, this class collaborates with core subject academic teachers so that students begin to practice their skills in real time. Workflow provides organizational techniques including homework strategies, daily routines, tech skills, communication with teachers, and self-reflection.
  • Community Time

    Community time occurs every day throughout the week and ensures students and staff connect as a community. It promotes bonding among peers, facilitates student contact with teachers, supports student self-advocacy, and creates space for us to share, celebrate, and play together as a school community.
"And we all have such incredibly good feelings about Julia Morgan – both on the educational front and the social/emotional front. My child has been so well prepared. If I could give one critique, it is that it’s a really tough act for any other school to follow."
~Alum Parent '21