About

Dear Prospective Students and Parents,

The term college prep is probably a familiar one you’ve most likely heard when researching private or independent schools with challenging academic programs and impressive lists of college matriculations. While Tower Hill certainly fits this description, it might better be described as college-like. The opportunities our Upper School students experience are in many cases more similar to those found at the college level than in a typical high school. Among these include:

First and foremost, a varied and challenging course of study that is grounded in a fundamental liberal arts curriculum and is augmented by creative and contemporary elective courses that are not only college-like in their rigor, but also in their diversity. In place of AP courses, Tower Hill offers advanced and accelerated courses designed by faculty which better accomplish our educational aims and prepare students for the kind of in-depth self-directed learning that is expected at the college level.

Our annual Forum lecture series, which exposes our students each year to prominent speakers ranging from politicians and community leaders, to authors, university professors and more. This program mirrors the type of public affairs symposia found at many colleges and universities.

Outstanding facilities that create an optimal learning environment. In particular, our newly constructed Math and Science center and our renovated athletic facilities rival those of many colleges, let alone fellow high schools.

An Advisory program that fosters honest relationships between students and teachers, and which offers meaningful opportunities for active citizenship, leadership and cooperative group experience. Advisory serves as a forum for the sharing of ideas relevant to school life, team building and service to school.

This college-like atmosphere helps us achieve our most important goal: crafting a high school educational experience which seeks not merely to fashion glitzy college applications, but to foster an environment that shapes leaders, bolsters moral values, and balances good ol’ hard work with a healthy, optimistic and fun outlook. It is a philosophy that encourages students to maximize their potential in all areas of life. The true benefit of a Tower Hill education is not realized in mid-March of the senior year, but throughout a lifetime.

Please visit the other Upper School web pages that provide a full course listing, a description of clubs and activities, a faculty list and more. Also visit the web pages of individual departments and programs to find out more about them. Feel free to contact me at dhickey@towerhill.org with any questions about our program. Best wishes in this important search!

Warmest regards,

Daniel E. Hickey, Ed.D.
Head of Upper School

At a Glance

The Upper School sees the fruition of the partnership between student and teacher. Upper School students often present a level of self-confidence and maturity beyond their years, and they embrace academic and athletic challenges as ways to further define themselves.
  • Each student has an advisor - a member of the faculty who monitors that student's academic progress, communicates with his or her parents when the need arises and is available to the student as a sounding board. This system helps create a support network as well as a system of accountability that prepares students for college.
  • The average enrollment in the Upper School is 230, with section sizes ranging from an independent study of 1 to regular classes up to 18, with music groups being larger. The average class size is about 13. The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and consists of 50- or 70-minute classes and a lunch period. Athletics begin at 3:30 p.m., and all Upper School students must participate in athletics during all three seasons. Juniors and seniors, however, may take one season off per year.
  • The Upper School curriculum is challenging, with most students taking between 20 and 24 credits per year (a full year course is the equivalent of four credits). Graduation requirements include 16 credits of English, 12 credits of math, 12 credits of science, 12 credits of a language, 12 credits of history and 4 credits of art. In addition, students must complete a social service project, including 40 hours of service in one calendar year.
  • Outside of the classroom, students have ample opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, with drama productions, yearbook, newspaper, Student-Faculty Council, Social Service Committee, Green Technology Club, Arts Committee, and the Diversity Club, just to name a few.
  • Marks and detailed narrative comments are sent out four times a year. There is one scheduled parent-advisor conference, but additional conferences can be easily arranged. Progress reports are sent to update parents on a student's particular successes or difficulties, and informal parent-teacher contact is encouraged throughout the school year.
  • The college guidance program actually begins in the eighth grade year, but takes on a more formal, individualized approach early in the junior year, with each student assigned a college counselor, who helps navigate the student and parents through the process of choosing and applying to college.
Please visit the other Upper School web pages that provide a full course listing, a description of clubs and activities, and a faculty list. Also visit the web pages of individual departments and programs to find our more about them.

Upper School News


Founded in 1919, Tower Hill School is a private, college prep school in Wilmington, Delaware, serving students in preschool through Grade 12.
Tower Hill is regarded as one of the best private schools in the U.S. Many of Tower Hill's students attend top universities and colleges.


  • Tower Hill School
  • 2813 W. 17th Street
  • Wilmington, DE 19806
  • 302-575-0550