In short, we teach the way students learn.
Full Discussion on CH-CH's Academic Approach
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At CH-CH, we know that every learner enters the classroom with a unique set of intellectual, personal, and academic strengths.
Classes at CH-CH stimulate and challenge students by tapping into their different “intelligences” as defined and inspired by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University, who developed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Dr. Gardner proposes that there are nine “intelligences” that schools need to stimulate and support. At CH-CH, teachers design lessons that address the range of these intelligences, thus giving student multiple avenues into the essential skills and understandings in each course.
We create multiple paths to mastery of the skills and content provided, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to engage with the material in a meaningful and deep way.
Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching that recognizes two basic facts: all students are capable of high achievement and all students come to each class with a varied set of strengths and challenges. In order to ensure achievement of essential skills and understandings, CH-CH teachers come to know their students well and provide them with a variety of entry points and academic strategies that allow them to leverage their individual strengths in the classroom. Our highly trained faculty, over 70% of whom possess advanced degrees, engage in thousands of hours of professional development annually in order to develop their content area knowledge and their pedagogical “toolbox” in order to best help CH-CH students achieve academic success and prepare themselves for college.
Every day, in every class, our teachers strive to connect the material and skills being taught to the learners’ strengths which extends and further develops students overall capacities and performance.
A key structure which supports this work is our academic schedule. Classes meet three times per week with each meeting lasting 75 minutes. This frequency and class length allows teachers to conduct multiple activities within each block, giving learner multiple ways to access the material, and significantly decreases the harried nature of the typical high school day, allowing students to enter each classroom more at ease and ready to learn.
Another avenue of support for students is our office hours which take place four times per week for 40 minutes per session. All teachers are available in their classrooms or office during this period and students are encouraged (and at times, required) to see their instructors with any questions or difficulties they might be encountering. Students entering the 9th grade are required to attend office hours blocks daily; as students demonstrate progress in their academics they are given the opportunity to choose which teachers to see during this time. For our 11th and 12th grade students, office hours are designed to mimic what they will find at the college and university level, which allows students to develop the time management and self-advocacy skills they will need when moving on to the next stage in their education.
In addition to these scheduling structures, both our classes and overall teacher load are kept intentionally small, so our teachers can develop the close understanding and relationship with each student that will forward their individual learning. Beginning in the 9th grade, where classes average nine students, and our overall teacher load is approximately 35, we make sure that all our students are known well by their teachers. Class sizes grow in the upper grades, to an average of 13, as we begin to prepare our students for college and expect from them the self-advocacy skills they will need to make that transition successful. Throughout a student’s whole time here at CH-CH, he or she will be known well by every teacher…and this understanding serves as yet another layer of support in the learning process.
Sample Student Schedule
Path to College
In our intentionally small classrooms, with an average class size of just over ten, teachers engage students’ strengths, create multiple avenues to academic success, and help students grow in their self-advocacy and self-confidence. All this work leads into a personalized college counseling process where students find, apply to and attend colleges that fit the student they have become and the person they want to be.
Located 10 miles from Boston, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall (CH-CH) is a private, college preparatory day and boarding school for grades 8-12/PG. CH-CH cultivates intellectual courage, creative ambition, and unwavering empathy that drives students to achieve their best.