Building independence as a learner and confidence as a person.

Ellis Students Buck the Trend

National research shows girls often stall academically in middle school, but Ellis students buck this trend.

Develop Time Management Skills

Ellis starts middle school early— in fifth grade—so girls can hit the ground running in the traditional middle school years. Students develop organizational skills—time management, goal setting, note-taking, prioritization, and more—that prepare them for success.

Ellis Middle School Students

In these pivotal grades, Ellis students can be more than one thing: childlike and adult, playful and competitive. It’s all part of discovering who they are.



Integrated Projects

Learning across subjects builds in middle school with a focused capstone project for each grade. For example, eighth graders combine science, arts, and entrepreneurial skills to design a car.


House Games

Students express their creativity together in Harry Potter-style competitions—in multi-grade “houses” named for famous Pittsburgh women. They compete for the coveted cup in events ranging from lip-synch battles to a paper fashion show.

Theater Masks

Breadth and Depth

Students start choosing their own electives to test their skills and explore their potential. Ellis students try many new things—band, robotics, graphic novels, and more—as they search for their passion.


1:1 Technology

Every student has her own Chromebook and learns to use it as a powerful tool to enhance and express her learning.



Grades 5 and 6 require classes in programming and robotics. Students in grades 7 and 8 choose electives including app design, mobile robotics, maker shop, podcasting, and multimedia design.

  • Confidence
  • Teamwork and community
  • Understanding diverse perspectives
  • Entrepreneurial thinking
  • Creative thinking + problem solving
  • Organization and time management
  • Critical Analysis
  • Structuring an argument

How we teach

Ellis Middle School: How We Teach