Charger Corner

Chapin School Princeton's Blog


Ordinary Hero Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, Mrs. Brennan's language arts students saluted their "ordinary heroes" with beautiful, moving tributes they had written. It was an inspiring experience for all in attendance. 

Mr. Myers class will present original essays on February 22nd at 8:15 a.m. and Ms. Kemp's class will present on February 27th at 1:45 p.m. 

The Chapin Alumni Chronicles

2017 Presidential Scholars Nominees

"The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors."  (Department of Education)
This year, two Chapin alumni were name nominees for the prestigious Presidential Scholars award.  Congratulations to Trevor Russo '13 and Winona Guo '13. Truly inspired, confident and ready in every sense of the word. 
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Lower School Lowdown: Design Lab


As part of their research on Native American culture, Chapin third graders have been working in the design lab. In pairs or small groups, they are recreating important aspects of their tribe's life.  Some are creating homes, modes of travel, or other art pieces that epitomize Native American culture. 
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Inspiring: Winona Guo '13

Chapin Alumna Winona Guo '13 returned to Chapin to present  Choose the organization she cofounded with her friend, Priya Vulchi. Our faculty participated in a thought-provoking and enlightening discussion, driven by Choose's mission "to overcome racism and inspire harmony through exposure, education, and empowerment."   The ideas were thought-provoking, the issues challenging, but we also were beaming with pride at all that Winona has accomplished as just a Harvard-bound high school senior.
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Why an Elementary and Middle School without a High School?

Understanding the Benefits of a Pre-K Through Grade 8 Community

The research is telling us what Chapin School Princeton always knew. Kids feel safer, have a “greater sense of belonging” and are better prepared academically (Kamenetz). Why is this so?

At Chapin School Princeton, all of our time, effort and resources are focused on elementary and middle school children.

High schools dominate any school to which they are attached. Funding, sports, social issues, arts, music, and many other areas must defer to the high school students. Elementary and middle school students are left to feel like second class citizens, only able to aspire to high school and never able to celebrate their achievements.

Elementary and middle school students thrive when they are in an environment that allows them to be who they are developmentally. We recognize that first graders, fifth graders and eighth graders are not practicing for high school, college or adult life. They are learning, laughing and exploring. They cry and they cheer. Their experiences are just as valid, important, and vital to their development as those in high school.

Our curriculum, culture and community prepares students for every high school. Our students are ready socially and academically for the fast-changing world. They perform on stage, they give Open House tours, they join class discussions. They are advocates for themselves.

Works Cited

Kamenetz, Anya. “Sixth Grade Is Tough; It Helps To Be 'Top Dog'.” NPR, NPR, 19 Sept. 2016,

The Five Virtues

Our Character Education Program

Chapin School Princeton’s Character Education Program:  The Five Virtues

A school exists to teach reading, writing, math, science, history -- just the big subjects, right? What kids need for high school and college.  Right?  Yes, of course, we do all of that. Every elementary school does.  Every middle school does. We are a private school with both, so we have an even greater opportunity. It is our mission and our passion to teach all of these in rigorous and innovative ways.

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Mandarin Chinese


Chapin School Princeton has always had a very strong World Languages program, starting with Spanish instruction in kindergarten through eighth grade, combined with French in upper school. This year, after great success as part of the after school clubs program, Mrs. Shelby Wu will be teaching Mandarin Chinese to kindergarten through sixth grade students.

One of the many great aspects of the Chapin experience is that our students don’t have to wait until high school to be inspired by new challenges. Chapin School Princeton is one of the few private schools in the area to offer Mandarin Chinese to elementary and middle school students. Our students are truly ready for the world!

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Family Groups

At least once a month, the Chapin School Princeton community gathers in Family Groups. Students from Lower and Upper School meet and work together on fun activities, community service projects or just to simply become better connected.
Since Chapin doesn’t have a high school, and most elementary schools are not on the same campus as their middle schools, our students are given the unique opportunity to form bonds with students of different ages. Our older students become leaders and develop life-long connections with the younger students. Our younger students aspire to one day be just like these terrific role models. Plus, each Family Group has at least two faculty and staff members from different constituencies of Chapin. Our hallways are full of high-fives and friendly waves from kids who have gotten to know each other through Family GRoups.
Truly one of the best advantages of a pre-k through grade eight school!

Upper School Leaders attend Middle School Leadership Conference

This week, our Upper School Student Leadership team attended the third annual MS Leads Conference at Germantown Academy. They were accompanied by Gil Olvera, Maura Coughlin and George Foley.

Student leaders of the Student Council, Honor Council, and Character Committee attended sessions that examined the definition of leadership and helped them develop skills to face the daily challenges of being a leader. Over 140 students from a dozen independent schools attended four sessions focused on identifying and refining leadership styles. Chapin was the only school from the greater Princeton area, so our students were able to make friendships with a variety of other students from the Philadelphia area.

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Gardening Fun at Chapin School Princeton!

Chapin School Princeton students love to garden, and our garden is a huge part of our Sustainability program. The garden is central to school life, providing food for Chef G's lunches and curriculum for classes in every grade from prekindergarten through eighth grade. 
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2nd Grade Reading All-Stars!

The Chapin School Princeton 2nd graders were excited to present their brilliant writing to the Chapin faculty and administration!  After strutting down the red carpet, the second graders proudly read from their latest masterpieces as the audiences sat in rapt attention. Weeks of hard work and many revisions resulted in a critical smash hit. Bravo! Award Season awaits! 

How to Thrive on the First Day of School

How to Thrive on the First Day of School

It's here again. That day. It seemed so far away, ten weeks ago. This is where you’ll be, most of the time, for the next ten weeks. Here are some helpful tips on how to survive, and more importantly, make the best of the first day of school.

  1. Think Positive: The first day is school is a great chance for a new start, or to keep up momentum from last year. What are the things you want to change this year? Improve?

  1. Find a Friendly Face: Nothing can calm those first day jitters faster than a friendly smile. Maybe it's someone you hung out with all summer. Maybe it's someone you haven't ever really spoken to before. Just say hi!

  1. Be Ready:  Supplies? Check. Lunch bag? Check. Summer work finished and ready to turn in? Check. One of the best things you can do for the first day of school is to be ready the night before.  You’ll feel better knowing that everything is in place and the morning will be easy.

  1. Take it One Day at Time: There are no exams yet. No music recitals or Show Choir performances. It’s the first day! Just focus on what’s happening today. Listen to your new teachers explain the class. Pay attention to your friends as they talk about summer. Remember where your locker is. Focus on the things happening today!

  1. Help others: There’s a pretty good chance that there is someone out there who is even more nervous or stressed about the first day of school than you are. Look around. You be the friendly face. You be the one to talk to the new kid on their first day. You be the one to make a difference!

These are just a few of the many, many ways to make the first day of school just a little more manageable. Wait! One more: Have fun!

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