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Upper School

“ At CHS we are helping your children grow into self-aware learners, effective communicators, advocates for equity and compassionate leaders.” -- 4th Grade Teacher

The Upper Elementary years often go hand in hand with change and transformation. Our expert educators provide students with the space and structure they crave, while also offering the support and challenges they need. In Grades 4, 5 and 6, our students are given the encouragement, and tools to become true leaders in academics, athletics, and community. By design, the Upper School experience prepares students exceptionally well for their next educational experience.

While many of our students enter CHS in earlier grades, we occasionally accept new students into the upper grades. Please reach out to learn more (admissions@tchs.org).  

Academics

While continuing to gain new knowledge across the academic disciplines, students in Grades 4-6 focus on honing and applying new skills as they engage in increasingly complex and multi-dimensional projects. Students are challenged and inspired by increasingly sophisticated opportunities to gather, evaluate, synthesize, and present information. Open-ended research projects on Nobel Peace Prize winners in Grade 6 or in-depth multimedia presentations on Medieval culture in Grade 4 are exciting and constantly evolving examples of such investigations.

Both within and between disciplines, students utilize high-level problem-solving skills, whether grappling with multi-layered math problems, developing insightful questions about the properties of acids and bases, or tackling complicated design challenges in programming a robot or constructing a life-size greenhouse. Upper School students have equally powerful opportunities to apply their critical thinking skills to issues of equity and social justice and to engage in increasingly deep thought and conversation about bias, stereotypes, prejudice, and social action.

Upper School Leadership

A formal emphasis on developing leadership skills is a hallmark of our Upper School. Beginning in Grade Four, students serve as Learning Partners to the Beginners class, mentoring the younger students and building relationships that are often sustained through graduation and beyond. The Grade Five leadership initiative reinforces the importance of active listening, communicating, empathizing, negotiating with others, and making responsible choices. Students spend a portion of the spring working with the Head of School—itself a reflection of the school’s commitment to leadership education. Whether in learning about virtue or in confronting the real world challenges inherent in early adolescence, students learn to recognize and articulate leadership qualities in themselves and others. The class culminates in a special capstone experience, marking students’ passage to becoming sixth grade leaders in the CHS community.

Upper School Athletics

All Upper School students participate in an interscholastic athletics program designed to foster teamwork, build school spirit, enhance sport-specific skills, and expose students to competition with other nearby independent schools. Games are scheduled on a seasonal basis: soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and softball/baseball in the spring. 

The program is introduced in Grade 4, when students begin to have practice time added to their weekly schedule in order to prepare for a number of games each season. In Grades 5 and 6, an extended school day incorporates athletic practice and a full schedule of games. Team travel exposes young athletes to conditions both home and away and builds powerful esprit-de-corps among the children and their coaches.

After CHS: Next School Placement Process

An important part of our Upper School program is our well-honed placement process. As students move through the upper grades, the CHS team is fully committed to supporting your family as you evaluate, apply, and decide on the next educational step, finding the right “next school” fit for your family. Read more about our placement process and where our students go after CHS.

Clubs and Activities for Upper School (Grades 4-6)

Math Olympiads

The Math Olympiads program is offered to all Upper School (grades 4-6) students and provides competition and fellowship for those students who welcome additional challenge. Following a curriculum that is used by schools around the world, students attend practices on a weekly basis and participate in monthly tests. At the end of the year, achievement is recognized both on an individual and on a team basis. CHS teams have scored consistently in the top 10% of schools nationwide. 

Lego/Robotics

The LEGO Robotics Team serves as a capstone experience exclusively for our 6th graders. Sponsored by the First LEGO League (FLL) of Massachusetts, competitions are held during the winter in various locations across the state.  In addition to weekly practices throughout the fall, students who join the team commit to participating in a state qualifier competition and (if the team qualifies) the State Championships.

Winter Clubs

The Winter Club program takes place during the lunch and recess period during the winter term. Open to all Upper School students (grades 4-6), recent clubs have included such popular options as chess, robotics, yoga, debate, board games, drama, improvisation, and photography. Clubs are offered twice a week and all Upper School (grades 4-6) students are required to participate in at least one club. 

Student Affinity Groups

CHS offers a number of optional Student Affinity Groups for Upper School (grades 4-6).  Students Affinity groups in past years have included:

The Students of Color Lunch Group: Open to Upper School students (grades 4-6) who identify as people of color.  This group was developed to provide an opportunity for students of color to be in a space where they are not the demographic minority and where they can interact with adults who reflect their identities.

Friends in Our Community (FIOC): Open to all Upper School students (grades 4-6) focused on community service and supporting our school and larger community. Some of the projects we work on include the Winter Toy Drive, MLK Cereal Drive, and Spring Toiletry Collection.

Ask us about our upper school experience at admissions@tchs.org.