Private School Column

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The Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y., last week announced plans to launch the most ambitious capital campaign in the history of all-girls schools.

The college-preparatory school intends to raise $23 million over three years. A celebration to kick off the drive is slated for next week at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

Among those expected to attend the gala event are the actress and Emma Willard alumna Jane Fonda, class of 1955, and her husband Ted Turner, the broadcasting magnate.

Forty-seven percent of the campaign funds, $10.7 million, will be used to renovate and expand current science, dormitory, and athletic facilities at the boarding and day school. One-fifth of the money, $4.5 million, will go to increase faculty salaries.

Another $4 million will be earmarked for financial aid and scholarships, while $3.8 million will be designated as annual-fund monies for programs and operating costs.

"As we move toward the 21st century, it is time to insure a future where girls continue to have the best possible teachers teaching them in the best possible circumstances,'' Robin Robertson, the school's principal, said in a statement.

Emma Willard, founded in 1814, is the oldest independent school for girls in the United States. Its endowment stands at $28 million.

A new interdisciplinary curriculum to be pilot-tested next fall was officially approved last month by the board of trustees at the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.

The curriculum, known as the Principio Project, is being financed by the recent $100 million gift from the philanthropist and alumnus Walter H. Annenberg to the independent boarding and day school. (See Education Week, July 14, 1993.)

The project, once called the Peddie Plan and temporarily renamed the Annenberg Plan last summer after its benefactor, is to be separate from and parallel to the traditional Peddie curriculum and will serve 60 sophomores and juniors by its second year.

Thirty 10th graders will be selected the first year--on criteria including "adventurousness''--and an additional 30 students will be added the second year. After five years, school officials will evaluate the program.

The two academic years, which will extend into the summer months, will be ungraded but will conclude with the evaluation of an exhibit or project, said Susan James, a Peddie spokeswoman.

Community service, student research, the use of lap-top computers, and international travel will all be integral to the program, with sophomores making a three-week trip to Spain.

Students will rejoin the traditional curriculum in their senior year.--M.L.

Vol. 13, Issue 09

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