Earlier this spring, the Post and Courier newspaper (Charleston), explored Ashley Hall’s unique philosophy and signature programming that empower girls to confidently become their best selves. Read an excerpt from the article and view the full feature story on the Post and Courier’s website by clicking here.   

Charleston Private School Builds Confidence Pipeline to Empower Girls in Social Media Age

By Jenna Schiferl, Post and Courier Education Reporter

“Girls experience a 30 percent confidence drop between the ages of 8 and 14, according to a 2018 survey conducted by Ypulse and the authors of The Confidence Code for Girls. At age 14, girls experience their lowest levels of confidence, the study found. For comparison, boys of the same age reported confidence levels 27 percent higher.

Experts say one way to tackle this confidence drop is by giving students structured opportunities to go out of their comfort zone and establish their own independence. This principle has guided Head of School Jill Muti’s vision for Ashley Hall, an all-girls private school [in Charleston.] 

New technology policies, hands-on learning models and extensive leadership opportunities all contribute to what Muti refers to as its ‘confidence pipeline,’ a targeted learning experience tailored for students aged 2 through 18. The pipeline is implemented in a handful of different ways—an interdisciplinary curriculum not bound by standardized testing, abundant leadership opportunities and various wellness initiatives that emphasize healthy relationships and self-reliance.

The school has always placed building young girls’ confidence at the front of its mission since the school was established more than a century ago. Although social media and new technology have forced it to adapt, the school’s core values have remained the same, Muti said. ‘From the very beginning, the mission of the school was for women to be independent, ethically responsible and ready to meet the challenges of society with confidence,’ Muti said.

The confidence pipeline aims to counteract social and emotional pressures girls face at each stage development, starting with preschoolers. They learn autonomy and independence at a young age via hands-on nature walks and inquiry-based learning, Muti said. Fifth- and sixth-grade girls learn how to program robots, seventh- and eighth-graders write their own honor codes, and high school students have the opportunity to lead their own class discussions and debates.

‘We need to build confidence in some ways the old-fashioned way by making connections and collaborating and giving those experiences of seeing technology for what it is, and for what it is not. Good, bad and ugly,’ Muti said. Around two and a half years ago, Ashley Hall began a partnership with The Social Institute, a Durham, North Carolina-based organization dedicated to teaching students how to make the most out of social media in a healthy way. Through workshops and breakout sessions, founder Laura Tierney aims to ‘empower and equip rather than scare and restrict’ what students do on social media. ‘It’s essentially character development in the 21st century,’ Tierney said.”

To learn more contact Ashley Hall’s Admission Office:

PrePrimary-Grade 5:
Grace Jorgensen
[email protected] | (843) 965-8463

For Grades 6-11:
Maris Coleman
[email protected] | (843) 965-8548