The JMSG Approach

Julia Morgan School for Girls is committed to creating 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. The faculty has developed a thoughtful curriculum, 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 cooperative learning, creative expression, and valuing each girl are emphasized. 
JMSG believes girls should graduate with a deep sense of social responsibility. The program nurtures each girl’s compassion and sense of social justice in every area of school life. Weekly advising check ins and activities, all-school assemblies, and social and emotional learning classes, develop girls’ personal and social awareness, teaching them 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 night of service, provide multiple perspectives and opportunities to connect with the larger community.

List of 5 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.
  • 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

    Workflow is the 6th-grade academic preparation class that equips students with the essential skills to make a successful transition from elementary school by bolstering their learning at JMSG, into high school and well beyond. The class opens with an introduction to brain science and learning styles, and girls are taught to begin adopting a growth mindset: the belief that our abilities can be developed through effort and effective learning strategies. As the year progresses, the teacher coordinates with subject area teachers so students’ actual assignments will be used for practicing the skills they are learning. This class provides organizational techniques, note-taking and homework strategies, and guided practice in self-advocacy.
  • 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.