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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, http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/19/494232646/sixth-grade-is-tough-it-helps-to-be-top-dog


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