Our Program


At Shipley, our Upper School students are not only active learners—they are leaders as well. Our rigorous college-preparatory program challenges them to discover their passions and their potential, and to take their education to the next level. They are pushed to see how ideas overlap across academic disciplines, and they gain the confidence and self-awareness that will carry them through college and the future.


The Upper School curriculum offers a wide array of honors, standard, and advanced courses, and allows students to structure individualized schedules based on their talents and interests. Visit the Upper School curriculum page to learn more.

It is our curriculum’s balance of support and rigor that sets students up for success as they apply to colleges. We challenge students to find the college that is the best match for them, whether that is an Ivy League university, a small liberal arts school, or a state school, and we are proud of the wide range of schools they choose. 

Character Education: Deeply Rooted Learning

As students enter Upper School, they are defining their own paths more than ever as they begin to think about their futures and their roles as leaders in the school.

In addition to the Character Education that is integrated into every classroom, Upper School students participate in the Emotional Literacy program. Through a partnership with Yale, we have introduced this research-based, year-long class that is focused on students learning about themselves—who they are, what they believe in, and how this affects planning for their lives to come.


Beyond the Classroom: The Confidence to Explore

Our Upper School students are complex individuals with a wide variety of passionate interests, and our extracurricular offerings provide them with an outlet to explore these interests:

  • Athletics Program: 24 varsity teams plus JV and 3rd teams for all students interested
  • Clubs and Activities: includes Model UN, Yearbook, Beacon (student newspaper), World Affairs Model Senate, Mathletes, plus the opportunity for students to design their own clubs
  • Performing Arts Program
    • Theater: Fall one-act plays, winter musical, spring Shakespeare
    • Music: six vocal and instrumental ensembles with regular performances
    • Electives for private instruction: music, drama, public speaking

Did You Know?

100% of Shipley graduates attend college within a year of graduating
Learn more about Shipley’s College Counseling Program

25% of Shipley seniors received National Merit recognition in the past eight years
Learn more about Shipley’s College Counseling Program

J.D. Salinger honored his wife’s alma mater with a mention in his classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Learn more about Shipley Alumni

Oscar-winning director Erica Rehl ‘89 is a Shipley graduate Learn more about Shipley Alumni

100% of Lower School students have hands-on exposure to string, woodwind, and brass instruments. Learn more about Music at Shipley

300% of Middle and Upper School students participate in theater. Learn more about Theater Arts at Shipley

90% of Upper School students play an interscholastic sport. Learn more about Athletics at Shipley

75% of Upper School students compete at the varsity level. Learn more about Varsity Programs at Shipley

50+ colleges have recruited Shipley athletes in Divisions I, II, and III.

There are 15 students in each Lower School class on average. Learn more about Lower School

10 adults will know your elementary school (or LS depending) child as a learner and a person each year. Learn more about Lower School

5 is the average age of Shipley students doing their first research project in the Kindergarten Knights and Castles unit. Learn more about this project

100% of Lower School students have hands-on exposure to string, woodwind, and brass instruments. Learn more about Shipley’s E/LS music program

100% of Lower School students build a foundation for future success through our challenging curriculum. Learn more about Lower School curriculum

100% of Lower School students learn how to resolve conflicts, negotiate, present their point of view, and serve the community in our internationally recognized character education program. Learn more about Character Education

100% of students benefit academically AND socially from developing emotional literacy skills. Learn more about Shipley Core Values Curriculum

200 real-world capstone service learning projects completed by Shipley students each year. Think Care Act in 5th grade, a Leadership Project in 8th grade, and the Senior Service Project in 12th grade.

5 key content elements of the SEED curriculum Pre-K through 12th grade: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management and Organization, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Management. Learn more about Shipley Core Values Curriculum

Shipley Has:

6 music ensembles in each division.

5 theater productions in the Middle and Upper Schools annually.

A 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio

55 athletics championships in the past six years

225 Shipley colleagues trained in emotional intelligence strategies.

14,490 minutes of class time devoted to Shipley's core values curriculum Pre-K through Grade 12.

14 years of integrated core values curriculum offered to all students.

61% of teaching faculty with advanced degrees.

10 art courses offered in the Upper School

The only high school emotional intelligence course in partnership with Yale University offered in the country, right here at Shipley.

46 honors courses to challenge students

6 specials (music, art, science, PE, character education, and world language) enhancing Shipley’s core curriculum.

The Shipley School

814 Yarrow Street, Bryn Mawr PA 19010
T: 610.525.4300 F: 610.525.5082
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