Beyond the Classroom

Chapin recognizes that educating the whole child is essential, so that they may begin to develop into creative and thoughtful young adults. The school provides Lower School students with a variety of opportunities to explore the world outside of academics. Students participate in the performing arts, service learning projects and special programs designed to foster their abilities to develop healthy and lasting relationships.


Organized by both Chapin and our sister school, Brearley, Clubhouse is an enrichment program in a collaborative after-school setting for students in Kindergarten through Class 5. Students who participate in Clubhouse can also take advantage of an extended-day option that allows them to remain at Chapin as late as 5:45 p.m.

Under the supervision of teachers and qualified Clubhouse personnel, students have the chance to broaden their imaginations, increase their level of physical activity, and develop a deeper appreciation for the arts through the diverse range of activities offered each trimester. Participation in Clubhouse — especially interacting with students from a neighboring school — encourages the girls to widen their definition of community. They go beyond the boundaries of their own experiences by working together and exploring an array of perspectives.

Questions? Contact Ali Pollock at

A Typical Day:

The program begins with a snack and free choice each afternoon, with classes beginning and ending at designated times. There is an extended stay option available, where children may engage in quiet activities, play in the gym, and /or go to the park (weather permitting) until 5:45 pm.

Financial Aid for The Clubhouse is available to families receiving Financial Aid from the school.

Clubhouse activities may include:

  • Chess
  • Coding
  • Cooking
  • Crazy 8's Math Club
  • Fashion Illustration & Design
  • Mandarin
  • Manga
  • Musical Theatre
  • Sewing
  • Sports - basketball, Gaga, ice skating, in-line skating, lacrosse and soccer
  • S.T.E.A.M.
  • Yoga

Community Engagement & Service Learning

In keeping with Chapin’s mission of helping young women develop community responsibility, Lower School students engage in a number of community service and service learning projects throughout the year. Most projects are guided by each grade level’s homeroom teachers. For example, students may help to collect food for shelters, donate books to people in need or visit the elderly at a nursing home. Students also take on various initiatives themselves, holding bake sales, for example, to raise money for our sister school, The Kibera School for Girls in Kenya.

Creative Expression

While girls in the Lower School have ample opportunities to express their creativity inside the classroom, they also sing, dance and act in a variety of performances, and display their artwork throughout the school.

In Class 1, homeroom teachers, music and dance work together to create an integrated project that reflects the students' year long neighborhood studies. They learn the basics of occupying a stage and delivering dialogue. Class 2 girls separate into small groups, each group developing a short play based on a chosen theme, such as fairy tales or creation myths, which is enhanced with song and dance. In Class 3, students develop a story derived from the three countries — China, India, and Kenya — studied in social studies. They incorporate songs and dances from those countries and create a musical.

Often, student artwork is incorporated into the performances. In addition to being displayed in select school locations throughout the year, student paintings, drawings and sculptures are featured in the Lower School art show held each spring.

No matter the grade level, every girl has numerous opportunities to speak, sing, dance and create. She develops confidence in her ability to perform in public, and gains the understanding that the arts are a powerful medium for self-expression and exploration.

Life Skills

In the Lower School, Chapin’s Social-Emotional Curriculum helps each student develop the knowledge, skills and awareness necessary to be confident, resilient and lead a thoughtful, engaged life. Guided by the Responsive Classroom approach, cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, self-control and empathy serve as the five competencies that are developed in all students

A School Counselor works with Lower School students, faculty and parents on Social-Emotional development, including regular classroom guidance lessons, individual student meetings, and needs-based small group support.

Activities are varied and take place both inside and outside of the classroom. Within the classroom, students learn to identify and manage feelings, using I-statements to express their emotions. Such “I” statements help girls begin to learn to advocate for themselves and to communicate clearly with others. Other activities, such as role-playing exercises, allow students to practice handling confrontation and solving conflicts within friendships.

A bi-monthly group named Banana Splits brings together students who have experienced divorce, separation, or changes in family structure. Students share their concerns, challenges, and hopes with other girls who have similar experiences over lunch. The group provides our students with a unique opportunity to normalize a situation that can be confusing or sad and help one another navigate the journey.

Every Lower School student learns to respect herself and others, maintain healthy relationships, communicate clearly, and advocate for herself, thus laying the foundation for a successful and fulfilling life.