Girls' Middle School

Spring-Summer 2005
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Market Analysis
Organization Type


The Girls’ Middle School (GMS) nurtures, empowers, and educates girls during a pivotal time in grades six through eight. The school’s project-based, hands-on curriculum encourages girls to collaborate, think critically, and experience the joy of learning. Through practice, girls grow to value their voices, develop empathy, and set and reach their personal goals. By offering non-traditional educational opportunities, respecting teachers’ independence, and assessing students authentically, GMS has a community in which girls take risks, expand their horizons, and realize their potential. By intentionally recruiting a diverse group of high-achieving girls, GMS works toward a more equitable world.


GMS has a variety of goals for the year, including identifying and hiring a new head of school, determining a long range plan for the school’s physical site, implementing its technology plan, and increasing financial aid according to its fundraising plan.

Project Objectives

The Girls’ Middle School board posed the following questions to the ACT Team:

  • What is the competition in Silicon Valley?
  • What can be learned from peer schools across the United States?
  • What is the Silicon Valley support for a school like Girls Middle School?
  • What are the implications for GMS’s strategy from the answers to the first three questions?

Project Overview

The ACT team pursued conducted competitive research focused on private schools in area, examined other girls’ middle schools, and analyzed education trends in Silicon Valley.

Final Report Outline

  • List of peer schools
  • Atlanta Girls’ School (Atlanta, GA)
  • Lake Washington Girls’ Middle School (Seattle, WA)
  • Orchard House School (Richmond, VA)
  • Seattle Girls’ School (Seattle, WA)
  • The Village School (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Julia Morgan School for Girls (Oakland, CA)
  • Analysis of each peer school
  • Successes
  • Media attention
  • Technology offerings to students
  • Curriculum assessment (traditional, progressive, etc.)
  • Diversity practices
  • What Girls’ Middle School can learn from peer schools as the organization formulates its strategy
  • Best practices for communicating mission and building community support