The Masters School celebrates active participation, deep understanding, and meaningful connection. A community of diverse individuals, we gather to learn, to strive, to dare, to do — to be a power for good in the world.


List of 5 items.

  • To Learn

    We believe that students learn best when they construct their own meanings. This belief is reflected in the architecture of the classroom itself: the Harkness table gathers students and teachers to build knowledge and learn from one another. Our students practice communication and thinking skills by developing and supporting their ideas, listening carefully to others, working collaboratively, and sharing feedback. In the process, they come to understand their own approaches to learning and value those of others. This group experience fosters a sense of collective responsibility, an appreciation of others, and a feeling of accomplishment in creating something unique and profound.
  • To Strive

    We believe that our environment must inspire students to strive to be their best selves -- in academic, athletic, artistic, and all other endeavors. In working to achieve their goals, students learn to persevere. A community-wide focus on growth enables them to navigate challenges and become resourceful, confident, and resilient.
  • To Dare

    We believe that we must empower students to dare -- to wonder, to question what is known, and to explore what is unknown. Our culture of kindness and inclusivity applauds students who take risks, learn from setbacks, and gain new perspectives.
  • To Do

    We believe that learning is doing. We ask our students to be more than consumers of content -- we ask them to use what they learn to solve problems and design new visions for the world and their place in it. For our students, learning is experiential, and experience shapes learning.
  • To Be a Power for Good in the World

    When Eliza B. Masters founded The Masters School in 1877, she set out to educate each student “to be a power for good in the world." Today, we continue to hold this mission as central to everything we do. As our students contend with real-world issues both in and out of the classroom, they gain empathy, confidence, and a sense of responsibility to fulfill Miss Masters’ most important mission.


In the fall of 1877, Eliza Bailey Masters founded what is now The Masters School. The oldest daughter of a Presbyterian minister, Miss Masters was determined that her school would not be the typical “finishing school.” Although her earliest students did not traditionally go on to college, they studied a liberal arts curriculum that included Latin, mathematics and astronomy.

Miss Masters instilled in her “girls” the need to live useful, orderly lives based on truthfulness, integrity and responsibility. She took the school motto from a verse in the Bible: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” To her students, she often said, “Don’t just try; do it!” For the school color, she chose purple, signifying royalty and spirituality.

By the early 1900s, college preparation had become the dominating factor in the academic curriculum. This changing focus of coursework and preparation for college was to serve as the backdrop to how The Masters School’s future would unfold. By the time the School celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1927, it had 200 boarding students, most of whom were preparing for college.

By 1994, it became evident that bold initiatives were needed to increase enrollment and continue the School’s tradition of excellence. After a year of study, the Board of Trustees voted to make the Upper School coeducational, to create a boys Middle School that would parallel the existing girls Middle School, and to use the Harkness method of teaching in the Upper School, beginning in the fall of 1996. A one-semester, experience-based urban studies program called CITYterm was launched on campus, also in the fall of 1996.

Since July 2000, guided by an ambitious strategic plan, The Masters School has experienced measured growth and dramatic successes. The School’s enrollment now stands at nearly 700 students. Our alumnae/i live in 73 countries and all 50 states. Laura  Danforth has served as Masters' 14th head of school since July 2015.