Q&A with Christy Welborne, Director of Admission & Enrollment at Chapin School

Interview by Taylor Smith | Photographs courtesy of Chapin School

What is the history of the Chapin School and where is it located?

Chapin School was founded by Francis Chapin, a woman dedicated to educating children. In the beginning, she taught reading in her home at 23 Chambers Street, Princeton. Francis Chapin’s contribution as an educator in the Princeton community grew, and so did school enrollment. In 1958, Chapin School moved to its current location at 4101 Princeton Pike. This location offered Chapin students exceptional options for learning then and it continues to do so today. Chapin proudly fulfills its mission to provide a richly-textured education that inspires academic achievement and builds strength of character.

What grades does Chapin School serve and what are the academic and developmental advantages of this decision?

Chapin School is an age three through grade eight, co-educational, independent, learning community. The wonderful benefit of the Chapin experience is that elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to be the leaders, “top dogs,” of their community. They are empowered to lead without the pressure of emulating older high school students. Our students are met with engaging, age-appropriate experiences that challenge them: to think critically and expansively, to work collaboratively in diverse groups, and to reach beyond comfort zones. These experiences occur in an encouraging, supportive environment where students “grow up” at their own pace, building confidence each step of the way.

Explain the meaning behind Chapin’s five virtues.

Chapin’s five virtues are the foundations of leadership: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Kindness, and Perseverance. Our virtues are community norms that are woven into every aspect of student life. We know that the demonstration of these characteristics prepares our students well to be good citizens in the classroom and in life.
Name some of the local and regional high schools where Chapin students frequently matriculate.

As an age three through grade eight school, we have the opportunity and responsibility of preparing students to contribute to high school communities as confident leaders and inquisitive learners. Our focus is not limited to a particular high school experience or curriculum, but rather giving our students the tools (critical thinking, social engagement, confidence) to be successful at any high school. Through a robust secondary school guidance process, Chapin students have choices both here in New Jersey and farther afield. In recent years, they have matriculated into The Hun School, The Lawrenceville School, Peddie School, The Pennington School, and Deerfield Academy, to name a few.

What steps should prospective families and students take to learn more about life at Chapin?

We know that choosing a school for your child is an important investment of resources, both in time and finances. Our application process is intended to give you an opportunity to learn about Chapin and consider the benefits of your family joining our community. The very best way to get to know Chapin is to visit. Our admission events or private tours allow you to see the interactions and everyday experiences that make the difference in a child’s learning. Scheduling a visit is just a phone call away. Current Chapin students and Chapin alumni are also excellent resources. If you know one, ask them about their Chapin experience.

We share admission decisions on March 10, so we encourage prospective families to complete their application process by January 15.