Chestnut Hill Academy provides a fantastic education. We’ve had two children attend CHA, and couldn’t be happier.
Small class size, differentiated instruction, caring teachers that are committed to advancing their own education as well as that of our children, are just a small part of the whole picture.
Small class sizes allow for more personalized instruction. Class size is much lower than other private (and definitely public schools) at 15 students per class (sometimes fewer). Not only are class sizes small, but additional credentialed staff are available to provide support to teachers and students inside and outside of the classroom.
Strong school community benefits the child academically as well as socially, and provides a more robust educational experience.
We have 2 children at CHA, in 3rd and 5th grades. Our children have had a phenomenal experience. Is it worth the tuition? Yes. Our children go through the doors each school day excited to see what the day will bring. CHA meets your child where he/she is academically, both encouraging and supporting his/her individual needs/strengths. There is a focus not just on grades and test scores, but also on nurturing the social and emotional development of the children. The individual communication and accessibility to and from the teachers and the principal is unparalleled. The teachers are engaged and excited to be there. As my oldest child transitions to the next level of education, we are looking at those schools with CHA as the basis. Not easy shoes to fill.
If there is a playground kerfuffle, and let's face it, recess can be the roughest part of a young child's day, CHA has instituted a program (through a suggestion of a parent) called Playground Pals. This program helps young students learn from the older students how to deal with playground issues. The question "How do you think it feels for xxx to not be included" comes up and then the kids are given suggestions as to how to handle disagreements.
Not worth the money. We were promised an experience while touring that we did not get at this school. The academics are average at best and some of the programs they told us about we did not get. Classes are bigger than most private schools and teachers have been inexperienced or lacking in other ways. The overall feeling is cold and impersonal. You would do better to look at other options for your money.
I also noted that the parent group raises a lot of money but, is very insular at the same time.
We couldn't recommend CHA any more highly. We both come from public school backgrounds so were a bit skittish on going private, but what we found at CHA was a combination of great school leadership, teachers that truly care and (highly important to us) children who were truly enjoying their childhood as opposed to just being well behaved. The education is highly quality and highly personalized, the care and growth for our daughter's confidence and leadership is highly personalized and powerful, and the parent communications are highly personalized and clearly caring. This is just about the easiest money we spend on our kids.
Our family is finishing its first year at Chestnut Hill and we could not be happier. Our daughter has attended numerous other Bellevue private schools and nothing even compares to Chestnut HIll. As they say, it starts from the top. The Head of the school Holly Senaga, is the definition of strong leader. She is not only a great leader but actually cares about our children. I have NOT found this at any other school. This trickles down throughout the whole school. The teachers are top notch and my daughter was constantly challenged the whole school year.
Both of our children have attended CHA since 1st grade and Kindergarten respectively. This is an excellent school on multiple facets: 1) teachers and staff are top notch and truly care about the development of the kids; 2) the curriculum is progressive (i.e. not super easy) but the kids are challenged at the level appropriate to them; 3) they foster leaders - and it is ingrained in everything they do - kids get opportunities to lead, starting with leading themselves on a regular basis. My oldest has gone on to a college-prep type of middle/high school and we found that CHA prepared him for this next level extremely well. CHA helps develop well rounded, global citizens. A great return on my investment. I'd do it again.
Chestnut Hill Academy is an amazing school. My daughter will be in 4th grade next year and has been attending CHA since Kindergarten. I wanted a school for my daughter that would be academically challenging, diverse, have nurturing teachers, low teacher\student ratios and where parent involvement was encouraged. CHA is every one of those things and SO many more. My daughter is in amazing hands every day and is multiple grades ahead of her friends in public school; from a maturity perspective as well as an academic perspective. Not only is she challenged in the classroom, but she gets to participate in amazing opportunities like school musicals and their fantastic ski program. She absolutely loves CHA and has said many times that she wishes school was year-round! As a very busy working parent, I appreciate how proactive the school is in communicating with me. I always know exactly what is happening with my daughter and I know about school events well enough in advance so that I can plan my calendar accordingly. I feel extremely fortunate that my daughter attends such an amazing school.