Elmwood is one of the most innovative girls’ schools in North America and ranked as one of the top 25 private schools in Canada. Acclaimed for its academic excellence, caring atmosphere and strong community spirit, Elmwood is a school where girls are encouraged to stretch themselves, try new things, create and explore. We are nimble and flexible, modeling best practice in educating girls. We strike a balance between traditional academic goals and innovative approaches to achieving those goals. We create inquiring lifelong learners, compassionate and engaged global citizens, and confident caring leaders.
At Elmwood, girls who want to change the world become the women who do.
Elmwood’s first Headmistress, Theodora Philpot, stood out from the crowd in her time. She had seen some of the far corners of the world. She was not afraid to defy convention. She was capable of hard work and, even as a respectable married woman with children, she had plans that went far beyond her own front door. She was an entrepreneur, and her dream was to create a great school.
Elmwood—originally the Rockcliffe Preparatory School—opened for business in 1915 with only four students, aged four to seven. The educational ambitions of the first Headmistress were high. She wrote: “The discipline of the school and the instruction are in accordance with the best modern methods, and constant care is given to the proper development of each pupil and the fostering of good school spirit.”
Theodora Philpot’s vision rang true with many parents. Even in the first few years, there were exponential increases in enrolment. Within ten years, Elmwood School had a student population of eighty students, served by a faculty of twelve teachers.
After founding the school, Theodora Philpot retired to England leaving Elmwood in the capable hands of Edith Buck. She donated a Bible Box, inscribed with the words “Pactum Serva” meaning “Keep the Faith” to the school, and it came with a plea to carry on the work she had started.
And the work she had started did carry on to make Elmwood the school it is today, nearly a century later.
Modern methods, such as our 1:1 technology program; academic excellence, through the lens of the International Baccalaureate Programme; personal development via leadership opportunities and the Duke of Edinburgh Programme; and strong school and House spirit are still the cornerstones of the Elmwood experience. We are certain Mrs. Philpot would be very proud of the school she built.
At Elmwood, we recognize that we have a huge responsibility. We’re entrusted with helping guide the academic, social and emotional development of girls so they can become thoughtful, intelligent, balanced and successful women who live well every day. We take this mandate very seriously and it shows in our academics, arts, athletics, and other activities. We believe that every Elmwood girl has amazing potential, and our promise is to help them reach it.
Elmwood launched a new, five-year Strategic Plan in April 2015. This plan lays out the roadmap for the future of Elmwood School. Click below to view the plan.
Meet our Community
Meet our Board of Governors
The ultimate responsibility for the governance of Elmwood School resides with the Board of Governors which is the guardian of the mission and values of the school. The Governors are volunteers who function at arm’s length from the School’s administration. The Board works with the school, and in particular the Headmistress, to develop the school’s strategic plans, and it provides oversight with respect to the implementation of those plans. The Board also works to ensure that adequate resources are in place to maintain Elmwood as a premier school for the education of girls and young women.
Meet our Leadership Team
Elmwood School is run by a diverse team of passionate, experienced educators and seasoned business people. The team is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the School, under the guidance of Cheryl Boughton, Headmistress. The Headmistress is appointed by the Board of Governors and is accountable to the Board.
Volunteering at Elmwood
Elmwood relies on parent volunteers to organize community building events and fundraising activities. Volunteering is a wonderful way to contribute to the school’s life and to meet other parents and members of the Elmwood community. The Elmwood Parents’ Association offers many opportunities to get involved.