A Brief History of the School

The Foote School was founded in 1916 by Martha Babcock Foote, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and trailblazing educator who established that Foote’s strengths would be “its emphasis on creativity, and its focus on the growth of mind and spirit.” Subsequent heads, including Winifred Sturley, Frank Perrine, and Jean Lamont, fostered an atmosphere of creativity and shared learning, paying tribute to the Foote School motto, “Gladly will I learn and gladly teach.”

In its early days, the school migrated several times within the shadow of East Rock, always encouraged and often housed by devoted parents. In 1923, it settled into a remodeled stable at 315 St. Ronan Street. In the late 1950s, Foote moved a block northwest to a nine-acre campus on Loomis Place and Highland Streets. The school acquired five additional acres in 1972, and almost four more in 2009, for a total of 17.8 acres. 

The school’s unparalleled library, which contains 48,000 volumes, is at the heart of Foote, nurturing a passion for reading in every Foote student. Long-held traditions also play an integral part in the life of the school, such as Grandparents Day, Reunion Day, professionally staged theater productions, Field Day and May Day, in which each grade performs a traditional dance, including - for the third grade - the celebrated Maypole Dance.  

Today the school occupies 11 buildings with classrooms and a gymnasium on a wooded site near Yale University. The school has expanded the campus over the years, adding a middle school structure, black-box theater, an art and music facility, two regulation-sized playing fields, and in 2012, the state-of-the-art Jonathan Milikowsky Science and Technology Building. The building is a testament to the generosity of the Foote community and a tribute to the memory of Foote graduate Jonathan Milikowsky ’98, a passionate proponent of new technologies.