Beyond APs

As a leading independent school in the United States, Chapin occupies a position of privilege that provides us both the responsibility and opportunity to continually assess our program. This assures that it meets the highest standards of rigor while it aligns with best practices in education, most recent brain research, and the needs of today's young women.

After several years of research, including an extensive study in partnership with fellows from the Teachers College Kligenstein Program in Private School Leadership; in-house course development; and conversation with experts from the college admissions community, we have determined that Chapin-designed advanced courses provide our students challenging, college-level work that deepens their intellectual engagement while building critical skills demanded by each discipline in more enduring ways than AP courses do. 

Examples of these Chapin-designed courses include advanced electives such as:

  • English courses such as: Border Stories; Contemporary American Poetry; Gender and Sexuality in Literature; Sacred Texts; Science Fiction: The Literature of Invention; and Shakespeare’s World
  • The American Experience: An Interdisciplinary Course in Literature, History, and the Arts
  • Advanced Biology: Molecular Genetics
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Senior History Seminar: Contemporary Issues
  • Advanced Chinese I: Developing Conversational Fluency
  • Advanced French I: Reflets et réflexion
  • Advanced Latin I: Crisis and Culture in the Late Republic
  • Advanced Spanish II: Challenges of a Global Spanish-Speaking World 
  • Advanced Art Studio
  • Advanced Computer Science

Above all, these courses reflect Chapin's purpose: ensuring that all our students are engaged fully in their educational journey and prepared to thrive and lead in a world we can only begin to imagine. These courses provide our students rigorous, college-level work that engages them intellectually because each has the freedom to be responsive to their interests and to the world around us. Further, we can design the most effective methods for deepening the critical skills demanded by each discipline. We are proud and thrilled that university admissions offices have consistently recognized the strength of our most advanced programming.

Opportunities to Lead

Advanced courses that offer a more tailored, rigorous curriculum designed by our own teachers have been and will continue to be compelling opportunities to develop innovative, purpose-driven curricula that reflect the aims of a forward-focused program that:

  • embraces 21st century learning skills
  • helps students pursue interests more fully
  • demonstrates those interests more effectively to colleagues
  • fosters deeper, more meaningful, more enduring learning

Shared Principles

Chapin's most advanced courses are imbued with shared principles that reflect Chapin's vibrant, rigorous, skills-based, forward-thinking learning environment, distinguished by:

  • Inquiry-based, student-centered instruction
  • Rich, rigorous learning experiences that challenge students
  • Authentic assessments and demonstrations of learning
  • Promoting enduring understanding and knowledge transfer