Chadwick School

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Chadwick School
Chadwick School Logo.jpg
26800 South Academy Drive
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, 90274
Coordinates 33°46′36″N 118°21′40″W / 33.77667°N 118.36111°W / 33.77667; -118.36111Coordinates: 33°46′36″N 118°21′40″W / 33.77667°N 118.36111°W / 33.77667; -118.36111
Type Independent
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established 1935
Headmaster Ted Hill
Faculty 106[1]
Grades K-12
Enrollment 830[1] (2013-2014
  • Village School(K-6): 320
  • Middle School(7-8): 150
  • Upper School(9-12): 360
Campus Suburban
45 acres
Athletics 24 CIF Varsity teams
Athletics conference CIF Southern Section Prep League
Mascot Pacific bottlenose dolphin
Endowment $20,706,482.00

Chadwick School is a nonsectarian independent K-12 day school located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County, California, USA.[2][3][4] Specifically it is located at the top of the neighborhood referred to as "Academy Hill", which is bounded by a canyon, a precipice, Crenshaw Boulevard, and Palos Verdes Drive North.


The school was founded in 1935[5] by Margaret Lee Chadwick and Commander Joseph Chadwick in San Pedro, CA.[6] In 1938 the school moved to Palos Verdes, California.[5] In the beginning Chadwick was an open air day and boarding school for 75 students.

Chadwick's 380 seat main theater

After the retirement of the Chadwick family in 1963, the school created a board of trustees[5] and in 1968 discontinued its boarding program. In 1972, Chadwick joined the Cum Laude Society.[5] Up until the 1980s the school owned all of the hill leading up to it which was sold off to establish the school's endowment. Since then the school has opened more buildings, a gymnasium, and a performing arts center.[7] It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[8] The movie adaptation of the book Mommie Dearest was filmed at Chadwick in 1981.[9]

Student and faculty profile[edit]

Chadwick is divided into three schools: the Village School (K-grade 6), the Middle School (grades 7-8), and the Upper School (grades 9-12). 61 percent of the faculty members held advanced degrees in the 2009-2010 school year.[10]

Chadwick International[edit]

Chadwick International's four-story atrium

On January 13, 2010 the school announced that it would be administrating and integrating a sister school in South Korea. Chadwick was the third school chosen to administrate the new school after a deal with Vancouver International Primary and Secondary School fell through. Prior to that, the International School Service had submitted plans to run the school but withdrew them.[11] Later in the process the school's opening was delayed by Chadwick administrators when they failed to submit paperwork on time.[12]

The school is located in the Songdo International City, a city renowned for its efforts to 'go green'[13] and is administratively a near replica of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes.[14] Headmaster Ted Hill has stated that the sister school will remain in contact with the originating school through the use of Telepresence equipment supplied by Cisco.[15]

The school opened on September 6, 2010 and completed its first year in June 2011. There are now frequent exchanges and visits between the two Chadwick campases.[16][17]

Study abroad[edit]

In addition to sending students to Chadwick International, Chadwick frequently exchanges students with other schools that participate in the Round Square program. Chadwick students also travel to other schools through additional programs such as ones through the Community Service program.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Commander field in preparation for a game
Chadwick School Athletic Logo[18]

Chadwick's main rivals are Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California[19] and Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, California.[20]

Chadwick participates in 24 Varsity CIF sports. They include boys' football, tennis, volleyball, waterpolo, basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, lacrosse, and girls' tennis, volleyball, waterpolo, equestrian, basketball, soccer, golf, lacrosse, softball and cheerleading. They also include coed cross country, swimming, and track and field.

In 2007 Chadwick reevaluated its image and decided that yellow was not an appropriate school color. It also realized that its athletics logo featured a non-native dolphin. After these realizations the school designed a new blue, grey, and white logo featuring a native and more aggressive looking dolphin.

Outdoor education[edit]

Chadwick has maintained an extensive outdoor education program for dozens of years.[21] The program begins in middle school with two annual weeklong trips and then shifts to a schedule of one annual, usually weeklong trip each year in high school. The most notable trip is the backpacking trip taken by seniors which varies in length from 10 to 22 days depending on if a student's sports team is competing in post season games. By the time the average Chadwick student graduates they will have spent over two months camping, much of it backpacking.[22] To remove any disincentive for less well off students, in 2011 the entire cost of the outdoor education program was rolled into the cost of tuition.[23] Earlier on in their educational careers Chadwick students also go on annual trips to locations such as Pali Mountain in 5th grade and CIMI in 6th grade.

Year Location(s)[21] Length Notes
7th Grade Joshua Tree National Park 5 days Base camp trip
7th Grade San Jacinto Mountains 5 days Camping course
8th Grade Quaking Aspen 5 days Camping trip
8th Grade Los Padres National Forest 5 days Backpacking
9th Grade Joshua Tree National Park 5 days Backpacking
10th Grade Inyo Forest or Sierra Forest or Sequoia Forest or San Bernardino Forest 5 days Backpacking
11th Grade San Bernardino Mountains 4 days Wellness retreat
11th Grade Sequoia and Inyo National Forests 6 days Backpacking
12th Grade Sequoia and Inyo National Forests 10–22 days Backpacking

Community service[edit]

At least four times a month Chadwick students are encouraged to participate in one of a selection of community service projects. There is no graduation requirement for community service at Chadwick; nonetheless, 97% of Chadwick Upper School students in the most recent graduating classes (2010, 2011 and 2012) participated in community service by the end of senior year. The projects range from restoring the school's local canyon to helping mentally challenged adults. Many students choose to participate in more than one project at a time and most have participated in multiple programs by graduation.

School newspaper[edit]

The school newspaper, The Mainsheet, is published in print and online.[24] Online publication was restarted at the beginning of March 2012.[25][26]

Intracurricular activities[edit]


In 2006 members of the high school community started Wicked Wobotics, team 2150, a FIRST robotics team.[27] The team won the Judges' choice award at the 2008 FIRST Robotics competition in Las Vegas, Nevada and was ranked sixth after the qualifying rounds.[28] The FRC team was discontinued in 2010.[29] The remaining team focused on the simpler and less expensive Vex Robotics Competition.

In 2011 the school added an optional robotics class to its science curriculum and moved into a larger room previously occupied by the maintenance department.

Chadwick Robotics also collaborates with the robotics program at the Chadwick International campus in Songdo, South Korea, sharing engineering techniques and innovative strategies for each year's contest.

Controversial actions[edit]


After 5-8% annual raises from 2004–2008, Chadwick did not give teachers raises for the 2009-2010 year and issued smaller raises of 2.5% for the 2010-2011 school year.[30] At the same time Chadwick also changed a policy of replacing teachers' computers every three years to replacing them every five years.[30] These along with other changes have led to many teachers leaving the school.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumna Aida Mollenkamp demonstrates cooking techniques at the Chadwick Carnival



Alumna Christen Press plays in a Chadwick alumni soccer game


A photograph by Adams of students visiting the beach

Notable employees[edit]

In literature[edit]


Fictional Chadwick School novels[edit]

A number of authors have written fictional books based on escapades at private schools named Chadwick School. The schools portrayed in these novels share some similarities with Chadwick but don't seem to be based on it. Oddly the authors of these novels chose to use the name of a real private school rather than create one.


Year Film Notes
1981 Mommie Dearest Shot in main parking lot


  1. ^ a b "Chadwick At A Glance". Chadwick School. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Chadwick School: Chadwick At A Glance
  3. ^ "Rolling Hills Estates city, California[dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "Directions to Chadwick." Chadwick School. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Chadwick School: History of Chadwick
  6. ^ Chadwick School: About Us
  7. ^ Chadwick School
  8. ^ Chadwick School Navigator — February 2011
  9. ^ a b Mommie Dearest (1981)
  10. ^ Chadwick opens Songdo campus
  11. ^ Chadwick Likely to Run Songdo School
  12. ^ chadwick likely to run songdo school korea times - Google Search
  13. ^ Chadwick Likely to Run Songdo School[dead link]
  14. ^ Chadwick International School
  15. ^ Chadwick School to operate new school in South Korea - The Daily Breeze
  16. ^ The City of the Future | Video - ABC News
  17. ^ "Chadwick International School: ES Schedule and Calendar". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  18. ^ Chadwick Athletic Logo
  19. ^ Palos Verdes Peninsula News
  20. ^ News Post
  21. ^ a b Chadwick School: Outdoor Education
  22. ^ Chadwick School: Outdoor Education
  23. ^
  24. ^ the Mainsheet | Chadwick School | Student driven online newspaper
  25. ^ "Student Publications". Chadwick School. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  26. ^ "chadwick mainsheet blog". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  27. ^ WestBots FRC 911
  28. ^ The Blue Alliance - - W-Squared - Team 2150[dead link]
  29. ^ W-Squared - Team 2150 - The Blue Alliance
  30. ^ a b "School CFO clarifies issues of scholarships, school finances « chadwick mainsheet blog". 
  31. ^ Danese Cooper | LinkedIn
  32. ^ Rolling Stone | Music News, Reviews, Photos, Videos, Interviews and More
  33. ^ Erik Bergquist Biography, Erik Bergquist Bio
  34. ^ Mommie Dearest Movie -The 80s Rewind «
  35. ^ IMDB Hearts and Minds
  36. ^
  37. ^ Wanting More
  38. ^ Lee, Brandon - The Free Information Society
  39. ^ Mike Lookinland - Biography
  40. ^ The Milk of Almonds: Italian ... - Google Books
  41. ^ Palos Verdes Peninsula News
  42. ^ Chadwick School: Boys Cross Country Team Award Winners
  43. ^ Nemy, Enid (2001-08-09). "Maureen Reagan, 60, Activist and President's Daughter". New York Times. 
  44. ^ Olivia Vordenberg 2011 NH POL Champion. "Poetry Out Loud". Poetry Out Loud. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  45. ^ "Overview for Robert Towne". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  46. ^ Elaine Woo, "Michael Viner dies at 65; tabloid book publisher", Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2009.
  47. ^ Chadwick Alum Wins Major Journalism Award - Chadwick School
  48. ^ Price, S.L. (2006-09-16). "Standing Tall". Sports Illustrated. 
  49. ^ Christen Press Wins Hermann Trophy[dead link]
  50. ^ Leggat, David (August 5, 2008). "Soccer: Ferns ready to show they deserve their place". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  51. ^ John Thorrington - Soccer Blog - ESPN Los Angeles
  52. ^ Chadwick School: Ansel Adams and Cedric Wright
  53. ^ Gray, Alysia (2011-01-10). "A Local School's Famous Photogs". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  54. ^ "Chadwick football team crushes Saint Joseph", Palos Verdes Peninsula News, October 7, 2010.
  55. ^ Chadwick School to Open State-of-the-Art “Chadwick International School” in South Korea This Fall | EON: Enhanced Online News
  56. ^ Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film (Screen Classics) (9780813126043): Ruth Barton: Books
  57. ^ Indigenous: growing up Californian - Google Books
  58. ^ Mommie Dearest (9780966336900): Christina Crawford: Books
  59. ^ The Milk of Almonds: Italian ... - Google Books
  60. ^ Surviving Chadwick: A Novel (9780595520947): Phillip Wilhite: Books
  61. ^ THE TRUST: A Secret Society Novel by Tom Dolby