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Guiding Principles and Practices

At Seven Hills, we are guided, each day, by our mission, our values, our commitment to a diverse community, and our ambitious vision for the future. Together, they shape who we are today and who we’ll be tomorrow. 


Our Mission

Seven Hills engages hearts and minds, guiding students to cultivate their unique capabilities and preparing each for a meaningful role in a rapidly changing world.

Our Values

Our values guide us. Our commitment to kindness, caring, and compassion is just as strong as our commitment to excellence. We want our students to take part in a community that both inspires and nurtures them. Here, they learn more than how to be good students; they learn how to be kind and confident people.

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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Guided by our mission and values, The Seven Hills School is committed to preparing its students to play an active role in making the world a more just and equitable place.

Accordingly, we seek to build and sustain a learning community that is equitable, inclusive, and diverse in the broadest possible sense: with respect to race, gender, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, physical ability, family composition, learning style, political opinions, as well other characteristics, abilities, and perspectives that contribute to one’s view of the world.

We seek, also, to provide rich learning experiences that help students understand themselves and others, cultivate cultural competency, and explore complex issues of equity and justice.  Our goal is to foster in our students the habits of mind and heart they will need to thrive in a complex, pluralistic, and interconnected global community.

We are, therefore, committed to:

  • Enrolling a diverse student body, from a wide variety of backgrounds, whose varied perspectives can enrich our learning community. 
  • Attracting and retaining a more diverse board, faculty and administration.
  • Sustaining a supportive and inclusive school culture that affirms and values the uniqueness of each individual, honoring our differences while embracing shared values.
  • Seeking continuous feedback to better understand the experiences of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and using it to challenge and refine our own practices.
  • Encouraging all members of the community to explore honestly their assumptions and biases and to modify them when appropriate.
  • Training our teachers to recognize and respond to a wide range of needs and learning styles among our students and to use inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogies.
  • Ensuring equitable access to all of the school’s programs and enabling all students to thrive academically, artistically, athletically, socially, and emotionally.
  • Exposing students to a varied, multicultural curriculum that explores the rich diversity of human experience and gives all students chances to see themselves in what they read and study.
  • Enriching the curriculum to provide experiences – both in and out of the classroom – that deepen students’ understanding of the world and foster informed and engaged citizenship and service to others.

In pursuit of these goals, the Board of Trustees commits to providing on-going strategic direction and oversight, allocating the resources necessary to ensure continuing progress, and holding itself, as a governing body, to the highest standards of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our Portrait of a Graduate

We want all of our students to become their best possible selves, unlocking their full potential to be active, engaged citizens, ready to lead and excel in a competitive global community. We have developed our deep and wide-ranging curriculum and programs to help foster these attributes and habits of mind. Our commitment to these ideas defines Seven Hills today, and also drives our model of continuous progress and momentum moving forward.

Lifelong Learners

Our students are prepared to excel in college and beyond.

  • They enjoy learning and respect knowledge. They regard learning as meaningful and fulfilling.
  • They have confidence in themselves and in their peers and the persistence to work together to solve problems and surmount difficulties.
  • They value healthy, balanced lifestyles, embracing a range of interests and valuing the arts, athletics, and their personal relationships as fully as academics.
  • They understand the components of a rewarding life.
  • They recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and they know their own emotions.
  • They understand how they learn and solve problems. They can monitor their own learning.
  • They are well-spoken, articulate communicators.
  • They advocate for themselves.
  • They adapt easily to different environments and cultures.
  • They know how to lead and recognize there are many ways to do so effectively.


creative and critical thinkers

Our students ask why and what if.

  • They know how to problem-solve: how to approach problems critically and creatively, and how to ask probing questions.
  • They habitually reflect on ideas.
  • They have confidence that comes from engaging legitimately difficult questions. 
  • They have the confidence to challenge received wisdom and to explore their own novel solutions.
  • They possess a healthy skepticism and the skill to identify fallacious reasoning.
  • They can analyze, synthesize and evaluate the credibility of data gathered from a variety of sources. 
  • They are comfortable using
    technology to collect, analyze, and pres- ent information.
  • They seek and find solutions.


Hard Workers

Our students display tenacity and persistence.

  • They take initiative.
  • They display the will to persist in the active pursuit of creative solutions.
  • They know how to manage time and
    how to cope with the challenging pace and complexity of the modern world,
  • They know how to work hard now for rewards that will come later.


Global Citizens

Our students embrace cultures other than their own.

  • They are open-minded and collaborative.
  • They enjoy interacting both socially and professionally with people of different backgrounds.
  • They believe that working together with others can engender clearer understanding.
  • They understand the importance of developing relationships and of under- standing other cultural perspectives.
  • They affirm their individuality and celebrate the unique gifts of others.
  • They have the courage to explore other points of view and the willingness to build bridges that connect them with others.


Ethical Individuals

Our students live with integrity.

  • They seek out strong communities
    and participate responsibly in their world, demonstrating empathy through service to others near and far.
  • They recognize a moral dimension to their lives and their learning.
  • They appreciate their own good fortune in the gifts life has given them.
  • They are courteous and respectful of others.
  • They are good sports on and off the playing field.

View our full Portrait of a Graduate in PDF form here.

Our Educational Philosophy

At Seven Hills, our educational philosophy drives everything we do. We believe, of course, in setting students up for a successful college career. But we also want to play a role in preparing them for the rest of their lives. That’s why we intentionally model and teach our values to our students every day.

OUR Approach to teaching

Our teachers share a commitment to continuously developing their lessons and methods based on new research and best practices. The result is an intentional, future-focused curriculum that helps students become skilled problem solvers, empathetic leaders, and compassionate human beings.

At Seven Hills, we:
  • Believe that learning should be engaging and relevant.
  • Use teaching methods designed to ensure that students acquire the intellectual and social skills they need to thrive in an increasingly complex global community.
  • Focus not only on the acquisition of knowledge, but on inquiry, discovery, and the application of skills to meaningful problem-solving.
  • Teach students to make choices, to manage their time, to think critically and creatively, and, above all, to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Are committed to exploring educational best practices and to adapting our instructional methods to advances in technology and developments in the world


OUR Learning Environment

At Seven Hills, our classrooms are open, nurturing, and highly participatory. Teachers guide students through a journey of self-discovery while getting to know their individual learning styles and interests. By giving students the freedom to explore and experience new things, we help them become confident in who they are and what they want to do.

At Seven Hills, we believe that:
  • Students learn best when they work in an atmosphere of open inquiry and mutual respect.
  • The school should provide a safe, supportive, and challenging environment, with clear goals and high expectations for student achievement and conduct.
  • Education is relationship-based and that students learn best when teachers fully understand the interests, motivations, and individual learning styles of each of their students.
  • The school should provide the widest possible range of opportunities for students to explore personal interests and develop individual talents.
  • Extracurricular and athletic activities should be open to all students who wish to participate, regardless of their innate ability.


OUR Commitment to Character

We believe that who students are is just as important as what they know. That’s why we explicitly model and teach our values to our students from a very early age. As they grow into their own person, we strive to nurture their intellectual, moral, and social skills, so that they can become engaged, articulate, and responsible citizens of the world.

At Seven Hills, we:
  • Believe that the school, in partnership with our families, plays a critical role in helping students develop character and core values.
  • Strive to nurture the intellectual, aesthetic, moral, and social skills our students will need to become engaged citizens and responsible leaders.
  • See our teachers, administrators, and staff as role models, mentors, and collaborators, engaging with students in meaningful and mutually respectful ways.
  • Value individuality and believe that a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives enriches our community.
  • Encourage students and faculty to be actively involved in their communities, making us all more aware of the needs of others.

View The Seven Hills Educational Philosophy in PDF form here.

Our method of teaching and learning

  • We pose engaging questions that foster students’ passion for learning.
  • We design complex tasks that build logic, critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • We structure learning activities that require creativity, independent thought and innovation. 
  • We focus on content that engages students in compelling global issues. 
  • We design opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
  • We craft opportunities for skilled and confident communication in a variety of media.
  • We emphasize the use of technological tools for research, analysis, and communication.

View The Seven Hills Method  in PDF form here.

OUR Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan articulates where we are and where we are going. It drives a process of continuous improvement that develops, each year, new outcomes, new opportunities to prepare our students to meet the challenge of tomorrow.

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