Santa Fe Girls' School

310 W Zia Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505


Santa Fe Girls’ School was founded in 1998 in response to the community’s need for a middle school setting where adolescent girls from diverse backgrounds could learn in an emotionally safe and academically rigorous environment. The vision of a single-gender school arose from the knowledge that adolescent girls often shortchange their intellectual and academic growth to protect themselves from the painful teasing that often results from competition with boys. The vision for SFGS included the desire to create a learning environment where girls could be challenged to accept and meet high academic standards and where they would be supported in developing a voice of their own. The founding mission of the school is to foster intellectual growth and emotional strength in adolescent girls, preparing them for the demands of high school, college, and young adulthood.

Now in our thirteenth year, we are very proud of the consistency with which we have supported and implemented the original vision. SFGS remains small, and the staff and students know one another well. SFGS sustains high standards—by the time the students graduate they test in the top 17% of the nation. They graduate from SFGS with confidence, self-esteem, strong academic and critical thinking skills and the ability to articulate their own needs. Our graduates are positioned to choose their high schools and to succeed wherever they go.

In the current world, where success is measured by growth in size, SFGS measures success by growth in students’ intellectual, academic, and social abilities. We are excited by the work we do and are committed to maintaining our standards of excellence and sustaining the environment where excellence can flourish.

Santa Fe Girls’ School believes that education is not a matter of opening the top of a student’s head and pouring in the knowledge, but rather is a dynamic, open-ended, and very personal process that requires dialogue and exchange of ideas among students and teachers. Called the Socratic method, the teaching approach practiced at SFGS requires that all students be involved and participatory in a small, seminar-style classroom. In this setting, students develop personal and trusting relationships with the teacher and their fellow classmates, and are encouraged to share their individual world views.

The small, seminar-style environment helps students develop initiative and the ability to articulate thoughts effectively in writing and speaking. SFGS students learn to work as a team and to value intellectual, cultural, social, and physiological diversity, which creates excitement for learning—multiple perspectives from the students, and from the academic materials, provide stimulus for lively debate, depth of thought and informed opinion.

At the core of effective learning are relationships—SFGS maintains a small school and classroom to facilitate more meaningful connections. A small community of educators and learners are accountable to one another and no one person can be invisible. Through these relationships, students learn how to think, rather than what to think.