|Miss Porter's School|
|Motto||Puellae venerunt. Abíerunt mulieres. (Latin = They came as girls. They left as women.)|
|Head of School||Katherine G. Windsor|
113 day (2014)
|Average class size||10|
|Student to teacher ratio||7:1|
|Campus||55-acre (220,000 m2) township campus|
|Color(s)||Green and White|
|Athletics||18 Interscholastic teams|
Miss Porter's School is a private college preparatory school for girls located in Farmington, Connecticut. Porter's enrollment for 2017-8 academic year is 313; 200 boarding students, and 113 day students. Known for its nationally and internationally diverse population, the school draws students from 21 states, 31 countries (with dual-citizenship and/or residence), and 17 countries (citizenship alone). All told, international students comprised 14% as of the 2017-2018 year Average class size is 10.
Miss Porter's School was established in 1843 by education reformer Sarah Porter, who recognized the importance of women's education. She was insistent that the school's curriculum include chemistry, physiology, botany, geology, and astronomy in addition to the more traditional Latin, French, German, spelling, reading, arithmetic, trigonometry, history, and geography. Also encouraged were such athletic opportunities as tennis, horseback riding, and in 1867 the school formed its own baseball team, the Tunxises. In 1884, Sarah Porter hired her former student, Mary Elizabeth Dunning Dow, with whom she began to share more of her duties as Head of School. From then until her death in 1900, Miss Porter gradually relinquished her control of the school to Mrs. Dow.
Sarah Porter's will named her nephew, Dr. Robert Porter Keep, as executor of her estate, of which the school was the most valuable asset. Mrs. Dow's compensation for her position as sole Head of School was also specified in the will. As executor, Dr. Keep began extensive repairs and renovations to the school. While Mrs. Dow continued to receive a salary as per Porter's will, she became convinced that Dr. Keep, in diverting the school's income to pay for construction, was enriching his inheritance with funds that were rightfully hers. The conflict escalated and culminated in Mrs. Dow's resignation in 1903. She moved to Briarcliff, New York, taking with her as many as 140 students and 16 faculty members, and began Mrs. Dow's School for Girls, which would come to be known as Briarcliff Junior College only to be absorbed by Pace University in 1977.
Dr. Keep announced in July 1903 that the school would reopen in October of that year with his wife, Elizabeth Vashti Hale Keep as Head of School, eleven teachers, and between five and sixteen students in attendance. After Dr. Keep succumbed to pneumonia and died on July 3, 1904, Mrs. Keep continued his legacy of renovation and construction. One of her many legacies was the establishment of a kindergarten for children of her employees. The kindergarten, on Garden Street, is now home to the Village Cooperative Nursery School, and is no longer connected with Miss Porter's School. When Mrs. Keep died of influenza on March 28, 1917, leadership of the school passed to her stepson, Robert Porter Keep, Jr., who moved to Farmington from Andover, Massachusetts where he had been teaching German at Phillips Academy. From 1917 until the school's Centennial, in 1943, he and his wife, RoseAnne Day Keep, remained Heads of School at Miss Porter's.
Mr. Keep appointed members to the first Board of Trustees including:
The school was incorporated as a non-profit institution during the school's Centennial in 1943, with the primary purpose as a college preparatory school rather than its previous reputation as a finishing school for the social elite. Also in 1943, the school ended the tradition of choosing a successive Head of School from the Porter family tree, selecting as its Head Ward L. Johnson and his wife Katharine.
Classes at Porter's are held Monday through Friday, with Wednesday as a half day. Porter's has a student-to-teacher ratio of about 8:1. Porter's utilizes a style of teaching similar to the Harkness Method, wherein students and teachers sit around an oval table for discussion-based humanities courses. STEM courses take place in traditional classrooms and/or labs, while arts are taught in studio.
Students are required to take courses in the arts, computer science, English, ethical leadership, history, modern or classical languages, mathematics, and science. Typically, students take a total of five to six units of credit per semester.
On May 19, 2011, the Online School for Girls announced that Miss Porter's School and School of the Holy Child in Rye, New York had become consortium members. Three Porter's faculty members are currently listed as teachers on the OSG website.
Miss Porter's offers need-based financial aid as well as a variety of merit scholarships. The school reports that, for the 2017-8 school year, roughly 34 percent of the student body receives some form of financial aid, with a total of over $3.3 million in aid awarded, although fewer than 2% of the student body receive a full scholarship. 37% of students in 2018 received some form of need-based financial aid.
As of 2018, the school's endowment was estimated at $113 million. The school is undergoing a capital campaign in 2018 to support a more consolidated campus that harkens back to its original roots. The campus at one time incorporated more than 90 buildings, most of which were in historical districts in Farmington and/or on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. Consolidating the campus supports the school's mission of educating young women for the future, while incorporating its rich past as the school celebrated its 175-year anniversary.
Porter's competes in the Founders League with Choate Rosemary Hall, Hotchkiss, Kent, Kingswood-Oxford, Loomis Chaffee, Taft and Westminster schools. At the end of each season, Porter's competes against the league's most competitive teams in the New England Championships. Porter's traditional rival is The Ethel Walker School.
In 2012, the Varsity Squash team placed fourth in New England Championships. Following the 2014 NEISA Team Championships, Varsity Squash ranked 8th out of 16 teams in Division A of the New England Interscholastic Squash Association (NEISA). Participation in the 2014 NEISA Individual Championships earned the team 74 points and 6th Place overall.
In 2010, the Varsity Volleyball team defeated Convent of the Sacred Heart to become the 2010 New England School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class B Champions.
Approximately 75% of Porter's girls live in dormitories, all but one of which are former Farmington private residences left to the school. Each dormitory has a house director who lives in a private suite or apartment in the dorm, often with his/her family. One of the school's distinguishing features is that house directors' primary responsibilities are within residential houses. Each dormitory, with the exception of the two senior dorms, has two Junior Advisors who serve as peer counselors and mediators.
All student residences are equipped with the TellEmotion Polar Bear Program, technology developed at Dartmouth College, in order to encourage conscientious energy consumption among students. Each display features an animated polar bear at various degrees of comfort or distress depending on the building's current energy consumption. Additionally, students can monitor their dorm's progress and even compare it to that of other dorms using the software's graphical analysis feature.