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News

  • CH-CH Students Awarded ‘Seeds for Education’ Grant
    Ms. Shipley’s Biology class has been hard at work on a project that will soon have a very real impact on the CH-CH campus.  Her students worked together to create a proposal that was awarded the Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes ‘Seeds for Education’ grant.  The mission of Wild Ones is to promote environmentally sound landscaping practices and to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities (http://www.wildones.org/about-us-2).

    Shipley assigned the grant project to her Biology students, who held various roles throughout the creation of the proposal including: Project Manager, Botanist, Zoologist, and Landscape Designer. 

    “Each group developed their own proposal of what they could do with the grant money,” said Shipley.  “Their goal was to create a landscaping plan for the walkway to the Commons using native plants.”

    Each of the groups’ plans was then presented to a panel of judges which included: Al Umina from the CH-CH Building and Grounds department, Sarah Forrester a CH-CH Trustee and Landscape Architect, and Jim McManus from the Wagon Wheel Nursery and Farmstand in Lexington. 

    “It was really important for everyone to work as a team on this project,” said McManus.  “And working with native plants means they had to really think outside of the box.”

    Instead of picking one winning plan, several key aspects of each were merged into one, which became their submitted project.  The students then worked together to write and submit the completed grant proposal, creating a real-world learning experience. 

    “There are many challenges when working on a real-world project such as this,” said Shipley. “But the students love working on something that is real, and learning how to work together to create solutions is an invaluable lesson.”

    The class recently learned that their project was selected to receive the ‘Seeds for Education’ grant, and they are excited to bring their project to life by planting this May.
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  • Experiential Learning: Spring Session Preview
    This spring, CH-CH students will be going behind the scenes at Disney World, kayaking down the Charles River, taking the stage at a comedy improvisation workshop, exploring New Orleans and much more as part of this year’s Spring Session. 

    Spring Session takes place during the last week of May, and consists of a variety of experiences that will allow students to engage in an area of interest. Spring Session is an experiential learning program that was designed and created by teachers at CH-CH.  Teachers wanted to give students the opportunity to absorb themselves in topics that they are truly passionate about.

    “Last year was our inaugural year of the Spring Session initiative.  Through feedback from students, teachers and a small group of parents, we consider it a successful program launch,” said Lance Conrad, Head of School.  “It really gave students a chance to explore their interests, build bonds with their friends and teachers and, of course, have some fun.”

    This year, Spring Session experiences will possibly include:
    • Quilting for Children’s Hospital
    • Kayaking and fishing on the Charles River
    • Trip to Puerto Rico for cultural exposure and language practice
    • Discovering Yourself: Indoor/Outdoor Fitness, Yoga, Art and Writing
    • Walt Disney World educational programs
    • Taking Comedy Seriously: The Art and Value of Improvisation
    • Circus Arts at Esh Aerial Arts Studio
    • Creative Writing Workshop
    • Tinkering: reverse engineering and learning how things works
    • Trip to Montreal: culture and history of the region
    • Movies as Literature and Art
    • The Origins of Sci-Fi
    • Broadway Theater Workshop - Trip to N.Y.C.
    • Battle Sites of the Revolutionary War
    • The Art, Music and Food of New Orleans
    Earlier in the school year, students were given the option to choose from among eighteen potential experiences.  Each experience is designed and chaperoned by CH-CH faculty and staff members.  The experiences all have an educational component.  For example, students going to Walt Disney World will be taking part in the “Sustainable Practices in Wildlife Conservation” program at the Animal Kingdom.  Whereas students visiting Ticonderoga, NY will explore the sites where America turned the tide in the Revolutionary War.  
    For more information about our Spring Session program, please contact Cory Olcott, Director of Student Events, at colcott@chch.org. 
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  • CH-CH Drama Department’s Winter Wrap-Up
    It has been a busy winter for the CH-CH Drama Department! In addition to producing one of the most ambitious Winter Musicals to date, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the department also took its talents and passion on the road to help others through community outreach.

    One recent visit was to Worcester’s Nativity School, where they helped students find their voice and discover their potential through the arts.

    “We chose the Nativity School as part of the Drama department’s community outreach initiative because I strongly believe in the school’s mission,” said John Schnelle, Director of the Afterschool Drama Program.  “I was particularly moved by the dedication and commitment of their faculty to serving the poor and under-served of the Worcester community.”

    CH-CH students prepared for their visit to the Nativity School by developing engaging theater workshops. The workshops were designed to help the students explore their creativity - and take risks to build confidence. Throughout the planning process, CH-CH students collaborated to develop the most effective exercises. The Nativity School students met these exercises with great energy and enthusiasm.

    “It was amazing to watch these young inner city boys of different cultural backgrounds step out of their comfort zones in front of their classmates and allow themselves to be free and to explore,” said Hannah Sarnie ’16.

    The four-night run of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was also an opportunity to give back. The production took place in the Barn Theater at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School, and was seen by five-hundred people. With multiple sets, over thirty intricate costumes, and an orchestra, it was a production that showcased the talent and dedication of everyone involved. All of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to the Nativity School, to help expand their drama department.

    Schnelle found that the affects from the community outreach this winter were equally beneficial to the CH-CH and Nativity School students alike. “They were able to witness firsthand the potential for the arts to be a vehicle of self-empowerment,” said Schnelle. “Our students found a great deal of satisfaction in leading the boys to the realization that ‘I can.’”

    The CH-CH drama department will soon begin working on their Spring Production. For more information on the arts at CH-CH visit http://www.chch.org/arts.
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  • Alumni Spotlight: Sandra Dickson '09
    After graduating from Chapel Hill - Chauncy Hall School in 2009, Sandra Dickson attended Boston College where she graduated with a degree in nursing in 2013. Currently, Sandra is enrolled in the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. BC acclaims Sandra as one of their Most Memorable Graduating Seniors. With her hard work and success both in the classroom and in the community, we are proud to have Sandra as member of the CH-CH Alumni! 

    Click here to read about Sandra's achievements in the Boston College Chronicle.
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  • Students Celebrate Diversity Through Art
    While walking around the CH-CH campus this winter, you may notice that one tree stands apart from all of the rest.  This vibrant tree is part of an installation art project that utilized a combination of photos and yarn to create a showcase of diversity around CH-CH.  Read below for the artist statement from students Oluwagbemiro ’15 and Katrina ’14 about their project “Similar Differences”.
     
    To learn more about the arts at CH-CH visit: http://www.chch.org/arts
     
    "Similar Differences," installation art on campus by Oluwagbemiro S. 15' and Katrina W. 14'
     
    The diversity in each of our students is one of the main things that make the school unique. We created this installation to be able to express the ethnic diversity on campus. We wrapped yarn around part of a tree with different colors to represent the flag of each country. We used different colors of yarn such as red, blue, yellow, green, white, and black to represent the flags of countries such as America, Nigeria, China, Spain, Korea, Vietnam, Germany, Italy, and Kazakhstan. Each branch is a country, where there are photos of CH-CH students representing their country. We wrapped the trunk of the tree with blue and white to represent Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall because that is the core of what brings us together.
     
    This installation addresses the issue of what it takes to create a community. As we pass by this tree a happy spirit touches our souls because we created something that we have never done before. It was our intention to create an artwork that would bring the community together through dialogue. People have stopped to ask us questions about the yarn tree and this warms our heart because this tells us people care about what is happening around the campus.
     
    The ultimate message we are trying to tell is that our school is special because of the different people that come from different backgrounds.
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  • Spotlight on College Counseling
    With college applications being finalized and sent out by seniors, and juniors continuing to tour campuses around the country, college counseling is a constant topic of conversation at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School.  At the center of it all is Brooke Fincke, the Director of College Counseling.  Ms. Fincke works with CH-CH students throughout the entire process, from preparing for the SAT, to meeting with college representatives and completing and submitting final applications.

    “The process of preparing for college begins as early as freshman year,” said Ms. Fincke.  “By the time they hit senior year, they’ve already visited colleges, met with school representatives, and have a solid understanding of how to narrow down the field of three-thousand colleges into the six or ten they’re really passionate about. Our goal is that students are focused on finding the right fit and sharing their voice and experience with the colleges they want to attend.” 

    One benefit available to CH-CH students through the college counseling office is personal visits from college representatives.  Throughout the school year, an average of fifty college representatives will visit the college counseling office to engage with students in small groups and answer questions.   These meetings give students the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of schools, and truly understand what they have to offer. 

    “The college visits were very informative,” said alumni Emilee Purdy.  “During the normal, large college tours, I wasn’t able to ask a lot of the questions that I had.  With the college representatives coming to us at CH-CH we never had more than five people in a meeting, and I was able to get answers to all the questions I had.”

    Between the college counseling office, 75 minute classes, and teacher’s daily office hours, the process of preparing for college is happening every day at CH-CH:

    “The students at CH-CH aren’t just learning in the classroom, they’re learning outside of the classroom as well,” said Ms. Fincke.  “That mimics exactly what students are going to find when they enter academically rigorous programs in college, where conversations are going to continue in the dorm room, in their internships, and in clubs and activities.”

    To learn more about college counseling at CH-CH and see our matriculation list, visit www.chch.org/collegecounseling.

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  • Fall Visual Arts at CH-CH
    This November at CH-CH, the arts were on full display, culminating with the Fall Visual Arts show.  The show consisted of the opening of artist Emmaline Payette’s “Tree$” exhibit in the Mankiw Family Gallery, student artists displaying their work in the Barn Gallery, and the CH-CH drama department’s production of the fall play.

    During the Mankiw Family Gallery opening of Emmaline Payette’s “Tree$” exhibit, Payette shared her work which creates a conversation about cultural systems, nature, and the current state of our environment.  Through her art, she aims to invoke compassion for the natural landscape and hopes to inspire thinking about one’s own relationship with the environment.  The “Tree$” exhibit will be on display in the CH-CH Commons until February 20th.

    In the Barn Gallery, students from CH-CH’s art classes had their work on display.  Work included mixed media portraits, photo projects, sculptures, and much more.

    The CH-CH drama department completed a two night run of their production of Rollin W Coyle's "Come Out of the Closet", a comedy set New York City in the 1950's.  Both nights, the students preformed the three-act comedy in front of a full house that was laughing until the moment the curtain closed.

    To learn more about the arts at CH-CH and upcoming events, click here.
    To see photos from the fall play, click here.
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  • Dr. Howard Gardner Visits CH-CH
    On October 17th, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School welcomed Dr. Howard Gardner to our campus.  Dr. Gardner’s groundbreaking work in human understanding and the multiple intelligences is the basis of CH-CH’s educational philosophy: We teach the way students learn.  Dr. Gardner enjoyed his time visiting classes, meeting with faculty, trustees and the administrative team, and addressing the school during assembly.

    “When something is important, try to teach it lots of different ways,” Dr. Gardner told the CH-CH community.  “Text books are fine, but not everybody learns best from text books.  iPads, hands-on, works of art, debate, humor, graphics, and video, the more different ways you can teach something, the more likely it is to get in there, stay in there, and be useful.”

    After visiting classes and speaking to the CH-CH community, Dr. Gardner met with teachers and administrators to talk about his theories and their use in the classroom.

    “He is such an incredibly influential thinker in the field of education,” said English Teacher Cory Olcott.  “His work has helped teachers reframe their lesson plans, and look at things from the prospective of the students.  And his ideas about the use of technology in the classroom are really where the future of multiple intelligences is going.”

    Dr. Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He is a leading thinker of education and human development, and he has studied and written extensively about intelligence, creativity, leadership, and professional ethics.  His latest bookThe App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, will be released next week.

    To learn more about Dr. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, take a test to discover your own learning styles, and see how MI comes to life in the CH-CH classrooms visit www.chch.org/multipleintelligences
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  • Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky Visits CH-CH
    On October 6th, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School welcomed the three-term Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky to their Second Wednesdays on the Commons series. 
     
    Pinsky along with local poets, Ben Berman, Elisabeth Carter, and Gregory Lawless read selections from Pinsky’s latest book, Singing School.  A bold, imaginative new work, Singing School is a meditation on how reading our favorite poems can help us create great poetry of our own.
     
    “This art of poetry is a very ancient art,” Pinsky told the audience.  “It’s not as dazzling as the art of film, which I love.  It can’t produce emotion as immediately and reliably as the art of music, which I love.  It’s not as spectacular as the electronic devices that I own, which I love.  However, the medium of this art of poetry is uniquely on a human scale.”
     
    For more on Robert Pinsky, including a blog dedicated to discussions about poetry, visit http://robertpinskypoet.com/
     
    Second Wednesdays brings internationally recognized artists and writers together with students and community at the newly renovated CH-CH Commons.  For more visit www.chch.org/commons
     
    From The Poetry Foundation:
    Robert Pinsky is one of America’s foremost poet-critics. Often called the last of the “civic” or public poets, Pinsky’s criticism and verse reflect his concern for a contemporary poetic diction that nonetheless speaks of a wider experience. Elected Poet Laureate of the United States in 1997, his tenure was marked by ambitious efforts to prove the power of poetry—not just as an intellectual pursuit in the ivory tower, but as a meaningful and integral part of American life. “I think poetry is a vital part of our intelligence, our ability to learn, our ability to remember, the relationship between our bodies and minds,” he told the Christian Science Monitor. “Poetry’s highest purpose is to provide a unique sensation of coordination between the intelligence, emotions and the body. It’s one of the most fundamental pleasures a person can experience.” 
     
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  • New Pool Complex Opens at CH-CH
    On Monday, June 24th, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School unveiled a brand new pool complex on its Waltham campus. The facility features a six-lane, standard-sized competition pool as well as a second shallow learner’s pool with a zero-entry ramp.  The sleek, two-story pool house contains changing rooms, bathrooms and shower facilities.

    The complex was finished in time for the arrival of summer campers from the Running Brook Day Camp and Aspen Adventures, who eagerly jumped in for the first swim. One benefit of this new addition is that it can accommodate a significantly larger number of swimmers during the hot summer days.

    At the ribbon-cutting for the new pool complex, Lance Conrad, Head of School, acknowledged the dedication and teamwork the project took to be completed, “This has been about a two year project, and a lot of people who are with us today have collaborated to make this the success that it is,” said Conrad. “This pool complex is a big addition to our CH-CH Summer Experience program and to our CH-CH students as well.”

    The construction was completed by local companies including: Themeli Builders, South Shore Gunite Pools, Vanaria and Sons, and Sasaki Associates.
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