Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
|Springside Chestnut Hill Academy|
500 West Willow Grove Avenue
|Type||Private, Day, College-prep|
|Head of school||Dr. Stephen Druggan|
|Grades||Preschool through grade 12|
|Gender||Single sex from Pre-K through Grade 8, then coeducational in high school|
|Campus size||62 acres|
|Athletics conference||Inter-Academic League|
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (also known as SCH Academy or SCH) is an independent, non-sectarian Pre-K through grade 12 school located in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approximately 10 miles from Center City.
The school—also known as SCH Academy and SCH—has a unique educational model, stemming from its history as two independent, single-sex institutions. The Lower and Middle Schools, grades Pre-K to 8, continue to be single-sex and follow many of their traditions, such as May Day (girls) and Blue and Blue Day (boys), and the Upper School is coeducational.
SCH serves over 1,000 students from more than 100 zip codes, as well as from other countries. 35% of its students identify as people of color.
Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was formed by the 2010 merger between all-girls Springside School and all-boys Chestnut Hill Academy (CHA), private Pre-K–12 schools on adjacent campuses.
Founded in 1861, Chestnut Hill Academy was an all-male Pre-K-12 independent college preparatory school located in northwest Philadelphia. CHA was the oldest all-boys school in Greater Philadelphia.
Springside was founded in 1879 by Ms. Jane Bell and Ms. Walter Comegys as a French and English boarding school for young ladies and girls. The school was located on Norwood Avenue in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Springside was initially a boarding school and attracted students from across the northeast, particularly in New England, where most boarding schools were only for boys.
The school will open its new McCausland Lower School & Commons in fall 2019. The learning experience will remain single-sex, with gender- and age-specific classrooms, while leveraging the benefits of shared common and cooperative space and access to outdoor learning areas. The building is perched on 10 acres of SCH woods adjacent to the Wissahickon Watershed.
Academics and Extracurricular Offerings
There are more than 100 electives available to Upper School students, including forensics, architectural design, global economics and multivariable calculus. There are also more than 40 student-led clubs, boards, and activities. SCH teachers have an average of 18 years of experience, and 73% of faculty hold advanced degrees.
SCH's athletic teams play in the Inter-Academic League (Inter-ac) which, since its inception in 1887, remains the nation's oldest interscholastic athletic conference.
Students can choose from 18 sports, 15 of them offering junior varsity and varsity levels. The school offers cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, tennis, crew, basketball, ice hockey, track and field, indoor track, squash, wrestling, life sports and fitness, baseball, lacrosse, and softball.
Sports facilities include nine playing fields, including two turf fields, the longest continuously used baseball diamond in the U.S., 10 squash courts, and an indoor rowing tank. In 2017-2018, SCH won three PAISAA state titles: boys and girls soccer and softball. SCH also won a SEPA championship for girls soccer and three Inter-AC championships for boys soccer, softball, and girls track and field in 2018.
In their third year, the Philadelphia Eagles held training camp at Chestnut Hill Academy prior to the 1935 season.
In 2012, SCH Academy established the Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) to complement its core curriculum and to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Philadelphia magazine named SCH one of 19 area schools rethinking education in big and small ways for its CEL program in 2018. The center is unique in the nation in that the entrepreneurial curriculum is built into student schedules from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.
In addition to its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, SCH has robotics, global travel, new media, outdoor, and sustainability initiatives programs.
Since 2018, SCH's high school robotics team has competed in 15 of the last 16 FIRST Robotics World Championships, finishing four times in the top 10 and winning the FIRST Chairman's Award eight times.
SCH was also one of the first Philadelphia independent schools to offer classes in video production and design and fabrication. Students have won awards in the Greenfield Youth Film Festival, Cappies, Scholastic Art Awards, national DiscoverDesign Competition, Philadelphia Independence Awards, and the WHYY Youth Media Awards.
SCH prioritizes sustainability efforts, including its native arboreta, rain gardens, LEED Gold science and technology center, and rooftop solar panels. SCH was also recognized with a 3-Star Green Restaurant rating for its school cafeterias and a Green Flag Award from the National Wildlife Federation.
- Amy Banse (1977): Managing Director and Head of Funds for Comcast Ventures
- Leslie Blankin Lane (1975): Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee
- Ibraheim Campbell (2010): an American football safety with the Cleveland Browns who played college football at Northwestern
- Bruce L. Castor, Jr. (1979): lawyer, politician; District Attorney Montgomery County, PA, 2000-2008; Commissioner Montgomery County, PA, 2008-present
- Joseph S. Clark (1918): Philadelphia mayor, 1952–56; U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1957–69
- Scott Cramer (1976): Olympic figure skater
- Mo'ne Davis (class of 2019) – Participant in the 2014 Little League World Series and 2014 AP Women's Athlete of the Year; current softball player at Hampton University
- George Meade Easby (1936): great-grandson of George Meade, celebrity figure, and a famous art/antique collector
- Melissa Fitzgerald (1983): actor
- Dan Gargan (2001): defender for the San Jose Earthquakes
- Thomas S. Gates Jr. (1924): Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense during the Eisenhower Administration
- Walter B. Gibson (1915): author of the "Shadow" mystery stories
- Eliza Griswold (1991): Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and poet.
- Patricia Skinner Huntington (1958): President, Network 20/20
- Gretchen Schaeffer Jackson (1955): owner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro
- Eamon Javers (1990): reporter, journalist, CNBC
- Allyn Joslyn (1919): stage, film, radio, and television actor
- Mike Koplove (1995): Major League Baseball pitcher.
- Irving Langmuir (1898): winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- Jeff Larentowicz (2001): professional soccer player for the Chicago Fire
- Dr. Michael LeMole (1987): neurological surgeon
- Dr. Alexandra W. Logue (1970): Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, City University of New York
- Fred Lovegrove (1958): Connecticut state senator
- Cateria McCabe (1982): PA Court of Common Pleas judge
- Pat Meehan (1974): U.S. representative
- Katharine W. Moore (2004): Fulbright Scholar, Chemistry, Quantum Control of Chemical Reactions
- Andrew Moss (1996): Frontman of the indie-rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
- David Nalle (1942): American diplomat and scholar.
- Alec Ounsworth (1996): Musician in Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
- Robert McCracken Peck (1970): Curator of art and artifacts and senior fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, is a writer, naturalist, and historian who has traveled extensively in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe
- Dave Simms American Sportscaster
- Isaac Starr (1912): developed the first practical ballistocardiograph; Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1945 to 1948
- Michael Strange: (1977) Owner Bassetts Ice Cream, America's oldest ice cream company and a Philadelphia Institution.
- Stuart Taylor, Jr.: Member of the Brookings Institution; columnist for the National Journal and Contributing Editor for Newsweek
- Diana Chapman Walsh (1962): 12th president of Wellesley College, serving from 1993 to 2007
- Taylor Ellis-Watson: American track and field athlete
- Barbara Ketchum Wheaton (1948): Noted food historian, and since 1990 the honorary curator of the culinary collection at the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College
- John Wolf (1966): Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation
- Lud Wray (1913): former NFL player and coach. First official coach of the Philadelphia Eagles Franchise.
- Lloyd Yancey (1981): former NFL player
- "Springside Chestnut Hill Academy: Our History".
- Frank, Reuben (August 17, 2020). "A history of each Philadelphia Eagles training camp site, from 1933 to 2020". nbcsports.com/philadelphia. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
- Bell, Daryl (December 19, 2018). "Mo'ne Davis chooses Hampton University to play softball because 'everything felt right'". The Undefeated. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- Bengel, Chris (February 10, 2020). "Mo'ne Davis, former Little League World Series star, makes college softball debut for Hampton". CBSSports.com. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
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