Ties that Bind
Chapin girls begin to develop a sense of community from the moment they enter the Lower School. Each month, Lower School students participate in community gatherings, which are designed to foster friendships across grade levels and to expose students to the diversity of their peers. During the gatherings, groups of eight or nine girls, comprised of two or three girls from each grade, meet with a teacher in a classroom to discuss a relevant topic or to complete a community-service project. Projects, which often reflect the season or a current event, include writing poetry, decorating food donation bags at Thanksgiving, sharing stories about immigration and playing games.
Community groups are structured so that students form lasting bonds, developing trust and respect for one another. Upon entry into Kindergarten, each girl is placed in a community group and remains with it until she leaves the Lower School. One or two teachers lead each group, and those teachers stay with the same group as the girls move from Kindergarten to Class 1, 2 and 3. Each group forms its own dynamic while remaining an integral part of the Lower School community.