St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School

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St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's School is an independent, Episcopal day school in New York City. It is located in Morningside Heights on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The youngest students are beginners (2 or 3 years old), and students graduate when they complete eighth grade.


  • Traditional liberal arts curriculum
  • Foreign language study begins in nursery. Options include Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.
  • Art and music begin in early childhood; formal performing arts curriculum begins in grade 4.
  • Daily P.E. begins in senior kindergarten. Weekly movement classes take place in beginners, nursery, and junior kindergarten.


  • Competitive sports for grades 6-8 (NYCAL): Soccer, track and field, volleyball, cross-country, basketball, softball, baseball
  • Lifetime sports program for grades 7-8: Yoga, dance, martial arts, and other non-competitive fitness activities


St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s was founded 1950 by the Reverend Mother Ruth (Ruth Elaine Younger). Mother Ruth was a biracial nun from Harlem. Due to prejudice, she was forced to pursue her vocation abroad and obtained advanced degrees in Canada. When she returned to New York, she sought to create a school that would welcome diverse groups of students and their families in an educational setting: “I hope,” she said once, “that an Episcopalian who attends our school becomes a better Episcopalian, a Jewish child a better Jew, and an agnostic a better agnostic.”


Students and their families represent a variety of ethnic, religious, and socio-economic groups. In 2012, the school reported that 50 percent of its students identified themselves as ethnically diverse, according to NAIS standard..


Students in grades 1-8 are required to wear a uniform. The uniform consists of a white shirt and blue or plaid skirt for girls, and tan pants for boys.

Upper division students (grades 4-8) attend Eucharist on Thursday, and students in grades 1-8 attend Chapel on all other days.

Community Service[edit]

Community service projects take place throughout each academic year and involve students in all grades. Among the school's more notable community service traditions is the Thanksgiving Food Chain, which takes place the day before Thanksgiving each year. Students line up and pass food donations from hand to hand down the block to Broadway Presbyterian Church, which maintains a food pantry and soup kitchen.

Global Outreach[edit]

In 2006, in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s helped to rebuild a school in Chengalpattu, India, now called CSI St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's. Enrollment now exceeds 1,000 students, many of whom are members of the Dalit community, who would not previously have had access to formal education.

In 2014, St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's began a pilot program to work with St. Pierre Community School in Madras, Haiti, a northern fishing village.


The current school building is an 80,000-square-foot self-contained campus that was constructed in 1967. Renovations have taken place since 2004 to update the facility. Building features include:

  • SMART technology in every classroom (grades senior kindergarten and up)
  • Micro-kitchens in classrooms through fifth grade
  • Three age-appropriate science labs
  • 500 sq. foot greenhouse
  • 2,600 sq. foot library with nearly 25,000 volumes
  • 7,400 sq. foot outdoor playdeck with age-appropriate play zones
  • Two technology centers with 32 Macintosh computers
  • Regulation-size gymnasium with stage
  • 1,100 sq. foot indoor play space with climbing wall
  • Three art studios with kiln, etching press, and woodworking shop
  • Chapel with Rieger organ
  • Three music studios


Graduates of St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's go on to attend a variety of day, boarding and specialized public high schools.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°48′26.37″N 73°57′57.59″W / 40.8073250°N 73.9659972°W / 40.8073250; -73.9659972