At ECF, we actively engage a diverse and pluralistic student body in a rich and challenging academic, moral, and aesthetic education. Here academic excellence grows out of curiosity, of wanting to know and to do. Education is focused on giving each individual the opportunities, skills, and encouragement to develop a unique self. It is learning that is always doing, making, shaping, building, growing, and thinking. Ethics begins early and is integrated into the curriculum as well as taught as a discrete course beginning in second grade.
As students move through the school, each grade becomes appropriately more complex. First graders, for example, acquire active research skills in their yearlong study of birds. Third graders study the Hudson River and the Northeast Woodland Indians who lived near it, with attention to complicated interactions between environment and culture. Middle school students are studying and tracking biodiversity on campus, taking a census of invasive and native plants, while high school students in advanced biology perform a gel electrophoresis lab, utilizing DNA technology.
Our commitment to excellence and an engaged education can be seen in many ways, including our decision to discontinue the AP curriculum five years ago -- a decision that confirmed our position as educational leader in the independent school world, but more importantly, enabled us to enrich and expand our own advanced electives.
At ECF, learning comes with a purpose: to be a clear and daring thinker, to be good and kind, to be competent and skillful, to be a good citizen, to be an agent of positive change. This is education that prepares students not simply for college but for life -- to become independent thinkers, lifetime learners, and active participants in a democratic society.