Grades 4 - 8

Why An All-Girls School?

Empowering Girls.
Launching Leaders.

We are in a unique and pivotal moment in time. Today, 47% of the U.S. workforce is composed of women, but women still hold only 27% of CEO positions [Department of Labor, 2017]. Today, more than half of undergraduate students are women, but women are still significantly underrepresented in key areas of study. We have made good progress, but there is still important work to do.

Girls’ schools play a critical role. 93% of students who have attended girls’ schools report that they had greater leadership opportunities, 66% expect to earn a graduate or professional degree, and research shows that girls’ school graduates are six times more likely to pursue majors in math, science, and technology [National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, 2016].

At Nashoba Brooks, our students learn to develop both the skills and the confidence to learn and lead in any environment. They bring with them boundless curiosity and unlimited potential, and they inspire each other to dig deeply into learning. Nashoba Brooks students develop their own voice and perspective through multiple learning platforms—research and problem solving, coding and composition, music and drama. Our students learn to express their ideas with confidence and consider multiple perspectives in honing their own.

Nashoba Brooks graduates embark on new opportunities with confidence. They identify how they can fit into or navigate around challenging learning dynamics. Our students claim and shape learning opportunities to complement their strengths, challenge their areas for improvement, engage their peers, and maximize their individual growth.

We invite you to experience the impact of Nashoba Brooks for yourself. 

Danielle Heard 
Head of School





List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • I Chose to Attend an All-Girls College to Earn My Science Degree; Here's Why

    by Kate Carson

    When my mother, a Wellesley graduate, first suggested a women’s college for my tertiary education, I would have none of it. I listed a dozen different NO-WAYs, starting with my non-existent dating life, coasting through: “Things are so much better for women now; do we really need that kind of feminism anymore?” And always landing firmly at: “The real world is co-ed.  Don’t you want me to be prepared?”
    Meanwhile, in that very real world, I studied physics. Mr. Hickey taught two sections of advanced placement, and the demographics were the same for each: 18 students, only 3 of us girls. I loved that class. Physics was hard and fun and exciting. The deeper I got into physics, the more curious I grew. I wanted to speak the language of calculus and understand all the things I could not see.
     
    At the end of the term, we received our grades. I had done well. Very well. I put my grade slip away quietly. But the boys in the class, who outnumbered us girls 5 to 1, started posturing with each other. They wanted to know who was top of the class. Mr. Hickey wouldn’t tell them.  He rolled his eyes and redirected, but the chaos escalated and the boys started shouting out their guesses of who was best at physics.
     
    “Tom!” They guessed. “Aaron!  Deepak!  Mike!” they went on.  “Steve! Brian!” They guessed boy after boy after boy until they had named every boy in the room. They didn’t guess a single girl.
     
    Mr. Hickey looked furious. He snapped.
     
    “You want to know who has the top grade in this class?”  He asked. “Kate. Kate has the best grade in this class. And in the other section it’s Donia.”
     
    You could hear a pin drop.
     
    In the sobered silence, I understood. My classmates–kids I had grown with since kindergarten– didn’t realize that I was smart. They didn’t know that Donia and Sue and Emily and Ericka were smart. And when these peers learned how well we were doing in physics, rather than think more highly of us, they took it as a personal insult and kicked themselves for losing out to girls.
     
    In the end, I decided that the real world could wait for a few more years. I went to Smith, a women’s college. I studied chemistry and physics. The physics department was tiny, 9 students.  We taught each other, collaborated well, and built each other up. When we went to conferences together, physics professors from other schools asked us, with wonder and surprise, “How do you get so many young women to study physics at your school?”
     
    We built a learning environment that welcomed, supported, and celebrated women. It made all the difference.    
     
    I transitioned easily back to the real world, teaching at coed schools, marrying a wonderful man, working in coed labs, studying further at coed graduate school. Single sex education did not hold me back in any of the ways that I feared. Instead, it elevated my education, nurtured me, and quieted the noise so that I could hear myself think.
     
    At Nashoba Brooks, I see the benefits of this nurturing learning environment every day.  My students are passionate about science. Hands shoot up with excitement. Eyes gleam wide with wonder. Heads nod together in collaboration. Here, everybody celebrates girls’ intelligence and ability. Girls come here to learn and grow well for a few years so that they can thrive for a lifetime.

    Kate Carson teaches Grade 8 math and science at Nashoba Brooks School and serves as a Grade 7 and 8 advisor. 
  • Why Girls Need to Lead

    by Lauren Funk
     
    Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968 declared, “I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential.” It is with that potential in mind that Nashoba Brooks School prepares its students for lives as leaders in their communities and beyond.
    From the classroom to the sports field to the assembly podium, Nashoba Brooks School fosters civic participation and leadership as critical components of our all-girls middle school education. To that end, the Grade 8 social studies curriculum, “Implementing Change in an Imperfect Democracy” focuses on the formation and functions of the United States government, so that each student has an understanding of how our government works and democracy as a work in progress.
     
    Often times, politics reflects the prevailing power dynamics and biases that have historically favored men, rendering women’s voices and perspectives all but invisible. Across the nation today, women are much less likely than men to be in political leadership positions. For example, of the 535 current members of Congress, fewer than 20% are women. Two states (MS and VT) have never elected a woman to Congress at all.
     
    At Nashoba Brooks School, we believe that women's political participation and leadership are necessary for democracy to function most effectively. Women in these roles have the power to break down cultural and structural barriers and drive direct policy change. Having female leaders can change the norms and stereotypes about who can lead and what qualities are necessary in leadership. We instill Nashoba Brooks School students with transformative leadership qualities through our commitment to our core values of collaboration, empathy, inclusivity, integrity and resilience.
     
    Representation matters, and without seeing women in positions of leadership, it can be difficult to imagine a more equitable future. But at Nashoba Brooks School, we believe in the potential of each of our graduates to be catalysts for change. In creating opportunities and making leadership visible, they are empowered to embrace their voices, lead with confidence, and change the narrative of leadership in this country.

    Lauren Funk teaches Grade 7-8 Social Studies and leads the Grade 6-8 employee team at Nashoba Brooks.
  • Chewonki: Outdoor Lessons on Leadership

    by Jacqueline Waters
     
    A group of eager, energetic Nashoba Brooks School eighth graders tumble out of a school bus in Wiscasset, Maine. It is early September, and the boot-clad students disembark with backpacks slung over their shoulders and sleeping bags tucked under their arms. They are warmly greeted by Chewonki staff, who introduce the girls to their home for the next few days: the great outdoors.
     
    Established in 1915, “Chewonki inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.”It is easy to see why Nashoba Brooks School would want to partner with this unique program based on such an ambitious mission. In fact, Nashoba Brooks Middle School students and teachers have been heading north to Chewonki for more than four decades to experience “life-changing learning in nature.”

    “Chewonki is a significant academic program of incredible depth. It’s about educating in every way: attuning to nature, finding your voice, learning about your footprint,” says Nancy Kennedy, Chewonki’s Director of Girls’ Programs. The core goals of the program include: compassion for one another, building self-confidence, and stewardship for the natural world.

    “Students are encouraged to see themselves as leaders and understand there are many kinds of leaders,” explains retired Nashoba Brooks Science teacher Martha Svatek, who made many trips north to Chewonki with students throughout her career. “Unknown strengths of students come out in this setting, and this sets up the students for success throughout the school year.”

    Fiona Haslett, a graduate of Nashoba Brooks who first experienced Chewonki as an eighth grade student and returned to teach sustainability there after college, explains the program’s impact, "Chewonki was a huge pivot point, opening my awareness and understanding of what I could do, what my role in a community could be." According to Haslett, "Personal growth is at the core of the Chewonki experience."

    As Kennedy observes Nashoba Brooks students in the outdoors, interacting and engaging with the hands-on science lessons, she praises their willingness to “engage each other in communication and not take the easy way out.” She is clearly impressed by their character, remarking, “The girls are insightful, energetic, positive, and articulate.”  

    After a few days at Chewonki, what do students take away from their experience?  What valuable lessons do they learn and bring back to school, to home? “When a small band of randomly selected kids comes together and bonds, it opens them up to new possibilities and opens their minds to new ideas and perspectives,” acknowledges Svatek.  

    For Kennedy, she hopes the girls leave with the knowledge that “sometimes the things that challenge us most are the most rewarding.”

    Jacqueline Waters is a former employee of Nashoba Brooks School and a contributing writer to the Bulletin.  
     

Nashoba Brooks School is a coed Lower School from Preschool to Grade 3 and an all-girls Middle School from Grades 4 to 8 located in Concord, Massachussetts.