Mission & History
Our Mission Statement
The Wardlaw + Hartridge School prepares students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. We provide an educational atmosphere characterized by academic challenge, support for individual excellence, diversity, and a familial sense of community.
Our Core Values
The core values of The Wardlaw + Hartridge school community are:
- Integrity – our bedrock value, sine qua non
- Opportunity – Wardlaw + Hartridge develops academic and intellectual excellence in its students through programs that stretch their creative imaginations, develop their athletic and artistic skills, engage their sense of discovery, and develop a social conscience. In the process, students take on leadership roles and learn how to work effectively in teams.
- Support – Every member of the Wardlaw + Hartridge faculty believes in a personal approach to educating and developing the whole child. Wardlaw + Hartridge educators take the time, care, and interest in each student to call forth his or her best work.
- Diversity – The diversity of thought, background, and culture at Wardlaw-Hartridge distinguishes us among independent schools, strengthens the global orientation of our curriculum, and enriches the daily experience of every member of the school community, inside and outside the classroom.
- Community – When faculty members, students, parents, or graduates walk through the doors of Wardlaw + Hartridge, they have entered a home. Our community is distinguished by an ethos of care and mutual respect, and a strong partnership with families.
- Sustainability- Wardlaw + Hartridge prepares students to become citizens whose beliefs and actions will create a more humane and sustainable global society.
Founded as The Leal School for Boys in 1882 and The Misses Scribner and Newton's School for Girls in 1884, both in Plainfield, these later became respectively The Wardlaw School, after Charles Digby "Pop" Wardlaw moved from teacher to Head and purchased the school in 1916, and The Hartridge School, when Miss Emelyn Hartridge became her school's Head and owner in 1903. From their earliest days, the schools developed a reputation for powerful preparation for college. Mr. Leal's School was singled out by Yale and Harvard for providing fine preparation for their colleges. Hartridge graduates filled six key college leadership posts in one year in the 1920's, at Vassar, Smith, Radcliffe and Wilson. Hartridge earned a national reputation for pioneering science education to girls and young women. In 1976, The Wardlaw School and The Hartridge School merged, becoming a coeducational PreKindergarten though Twelfth Grade School. Our dedicated faculty embraces the core values of the school’s long and rich history. Today we are one school on one campus. We continue to focus on the legacy of the past and draw strength from the academic excellence Wardlaw + Hartridge ensures for the future.