Set a course for YOUR COMMUNITY
YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS
YOUR GREAT JOURNEY
YOUR LEARNING SKILLS PROGRAM
SET YOUR COURSE FOR CHRISTCHURCH
LOCATED ON THE SCENIC RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER AN HOUR EAST OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL IS AN EPISCOPAL BOARDING AND DAY SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 9-12. CHRISTCHURCH | 1
“BUT OF ALL THE SCHOOLS I ATTENDED... only Christchurch ever commanded something more than mere respect — which is to say, my true and abiding affection.” William Styron ’42, Alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice
“MANY STUDENTS BEGIN HIGH SCHOOL with a self-understanding that’s very narrow – ‘I’m a lacrosse player,’ ‘I’m a good student,’ or sometimes, ‘I just don’t fit in.’ At Christchurch, we help students realize their potential isn’t limited to just one box. The Christchurch hallmark isn’t our unique curriculum, our many sports championships, or our beautiful campus. It’s the graduate who leaves Christchurch a larger person than when he or she came in, a graduate who can do well academically, professionally, and socially at any college, in any profession, or at any place in the world. That’s the real goal of a Christchurch education.” — Jeb Byers, Headmaster, Christchurch School CHRISTCHURCH | 2
CHRISTCHURCH IS THE PLACE FOR
STUDENTS WHO AREN’T CHALLENGED BY OR SATISFIED WITH A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL EDUCATION, AND FAMILIES WHO BELIEVE THAT LEARNING SHOULD MEAN MORE THAN JUST TAKING A TEST. CHRISTCHURCH PROVIDES a challenging, yet nurturing environment in which students are encouraged to explore their current interests and their future potential. Christchurch helps students clarify what they want and where they want to go, and then helps them develop the skills and formulate the plan that will get them there. AT CHRISTCHURCH, students discover skills, aptitudes, and talents they didn’t know they had. They come to realize and understand their own intrinsic value, and the tremendous value they bring to their school, to the community, and to the world. THE ULTIMATE PAYOFF from a Christchurch education is more than just earning a diploma or being accepted into the right college. CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL IS THE PLACE and the experience where your best possible future begins.
Christchurch School. Set your course at the river. CHRISTCHURCH | 3
YOUR COMMUNITY AT A GLANCE Average enrollment
70% boarding students and 30% day students The Christchurch community includes students from 15 STATES, as well as international students from 14 COUNTRIES, including the Bahamas, Bermuda, China, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and Vietnam.
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YOUR COMMUNIT Y AT THE RIVER
FOUNDED IN 1921 BY THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA, CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL ATTRACTS STUDENTS FROM THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD DRAWN BY AN INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM AND A CLOSE-KNIT SCHOOL COMMUNITY.
YOUR ADVISORY GROUP
ESTABLISHED IN the Episcopal tradition, Christchurch is inclusive, welcoming students and faculty members of all faiths and backgrounds. BOARDING AND DAY STUDENTS benefit from living and learning in an authentic global community that reflects the larger world. Students learn about other cultures and different perspectives from their classmates and friends. American students might host a Turkish classmate for Thanksgiving, or travel overseas to visit a Chinese roommate during the summer break. Christchurch students from every country gain a greater worldview that will benefit them in any career they choose to pursue, in any location in which they choose to live. PARENTS AND FAMILIES are an integral part of the Christchurch community. Many parents volunteer at Christchurch, and day and boarding school parents are always welcome to visit the campus, attend events, or share a meal in the dining hall.
Every Christchurch student is part of a small advisory group led by a faculty or staff member. Students are assigned to an advisory group as soon as they are enrolled at Christchurch, ensuring that every new student has already connected with a small group of peers – and has friends to sit with during lunch – from the first day of school forward. • Your advisory group members will help you answer questions, solve problems, and offer peer-to-peer advice, while your faculty advisor will hold you accountable for everything from schoolwork to making good social choices, and offer guidance that helps you resolve small issues before they become larger ones. Your advisor also serves as your advocate; no matter what the circumstances, you will always have a faculty advocate by your side. Advisory groups regularly share meals and sit together at assemblies, maintaining a connection through all four years at Christchurch.
CHRISTCHURCH ALUMNI remain fast friends long after their school days have ended. From friendships forged in the dorm to inviting your freshman roommate to be your maid of honor, from meeting on the first day of school to gathering at your class reunion, Christchurch forges friendships that last a lifetime. CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL offers the unique opportunity to expand your view and knowledge of the world and, at the same time, become part of a close, supportive community.
“I LIVE WITH 200 OTHER KIDS who come from different states and different countries. I’m creating friendships here that I’ll still have after high school and even after college. Being able to live with my classmates and get to know them so well, supporting them, and knowing they support me, has been so special. We’re all in it together. It’s like having 200 siblings.” — B Pressley ’18
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YOUR CAMPUS AT THE RIVER
A 125-ACRE, WATERFRONT CAMPUS ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED ALLOWS CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL TO OFFER AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND A LIFESTYLE FOUND AT NO OTHER SCHOOL IN THE UNITED STATES. THE RAPPAHANNOCK SERVES as a hands-on classroom and laboratory, a challenging recreational venue, and a tranquil chapel. The river and waterfront are the setting for class outings, academic field research, leadership training events, and colorful sailing regattas, as well as the backdrop for moments of quiet contemplation. NESTLED IN THIS IDYLLIC SETTING an hour’s drive from the nearest large city, the Christchurch campus is refreshingly free of distractions. Students are inspired by the natural beauty of the river and immersed in the lessons it has to teach. THIS ICONIC RIVERSIDE SETTING is symbolic of the Christchurch School experience itself – a constant, guiding influence that is both timeless and always evolving.
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CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL IS LOCATED 1 HOUR from Richmond, Virginia 1.5 HOURS from Virginia Beach WASHINGTON, D.C.
45 MINUTES from Williamsburg
2.5 HOURS from Washington, D.C. 2 HOURS from Charlottesville
3 HOURS from the North Carolina Research Triangle
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YOUR DAY AT THE RIVER
The academic schedule at Christchurch is similar to a college schedule. Classes begin at 9:00 a.m. (We thought you’d like that.) “Students take six classes a semester – three classes per day lasting 85 minutes, with classes scheduled on alternating days. The longer class periods create more opportunities for projects and labs that keep students engaged and foster a deeper connection with the material, while alternating class days mean evening homework is focused on fewer subjects. The schedule teaches students to manage their time effectively and better prepares them for college life.
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YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS BEGINS AT THE RIVER
CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL IS RECOGNIZED FOR RIGOROUS ACADEMICS AND A WELL-ROUNDED COLLEGE PREP PROGRAM. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF CHRISTCHURCH STUDENTS ARE ACCEPTED TO FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES, WITH THE MAJORITY ATTENDING UNIVERSITIES ON U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT’S TOP 150 LIST.
A WIDE RANGE OF STUDENTS FIND their niche at Christchurch, from self-motivated learners who excel in the most rigorous honors courses to those who benefit from extra guidance and structure. Christchurch understands that every student doesn’t share the same educational goals or arrive on campus with the same level of preparedness. Teachers meet students where they are and help them advance with a one-on-one approach that engages students in their own learning. OF COURSE, THERE ARE TESTS. But rather than simply memorizing answers, learning at Christchurch is focused on understanding deeper concepts and developing the critical thinking skills that will serve students long after test scores have been forgotten. Christchurch students are equipped with the skills they need to master any subject they choose to study at the college level. Those same skills prepare Christchurch graduates for any career they choose to pursue, even those not yet imagined.
Christchurch offers more than 20 college-level honors courses designed to give motivated students an opportunity to explore subjects in more depth. A high school transcript that includes honors classes will appeal to selective colleges interested in students who have challenged themselves. An alternative to traditional advanced placement courses, honors courses allow students to explore a subject more thoroughly and learn more meaningfully by focusing on depth of content and critical thinking. AT CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL, education doesn’t mean teaching standard content. Education means building independent, successful individuals. CHRISTCHURCH is not a school that makes you. It’s a life-shaping experience that helps you define your own future and your own path to success.
“AT MY OLD SCHOOL, the teacher would lecture for 52 minutes about a subject, and we just listened. They were teaching to a test, and there wasn’t any room for curiosity or questions. At Christchurch, the teachers encourage you to be curious, to ask questions, and to share your opinions.” — Margaret Wilson ’18
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YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS BEGINS AT THE RIVER
YOUR BEST COLLEGE FIT CHRISTCHURCH GRADUATES GO ON to attend diverse institutions of higher education, including colleges and universities among the most selective in the nation. One hundred percent of graduates are accepted to four-year colleges. CHRISTCHURCH’S GOAL, however, is not merely to see students accepted to good colleges, it’s to see students thrive at good colleges. THE SCHOOL’S COLLEGE COUNSELOR works one-on-one with students throughout the college consideration and application process, and has also established connections with university admissions representatives at public and private institutions around the country. The counselor guides students toward colleges and universities that best match their needs, and explains to university representatives how the unique Christchurch experience prepares its graduates to make strong contributions to their undergraduate communities. A SERIES OF COLLEGE PREP SEMINARS helps Christchurch students prepare for every phase of the application process, including testing, writing essays, researching scholarships, and more. Representatives from 40 diverse colleges and universities visit the Christchurch campus each fall, and juniors attend the annual Richmond Area Independent Schools (RAIS) College Fair every spring. CHRISTCHURCH’S college counseling process focuses on finding the ideal college fit for each student. Students are encouraged to apply to universities where the course offerings, location, size, and cost of tuition are all in keeping with students’ interests, needs, and educational and career goals. THE RESULTS of this personalized college counseling process are impressive. Some 90 percent of Christchurch students are admitted to one or more of their top three college choices.
“CHRISTCHURCH GRADUATES YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN who can walk a path to success. That is a tremendous value.” — Bob Armstrong, parent of graduate and Christchurch School Trustee
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EVERY FACULTY MEMBER
is a different kind of parent, and every faculty member brings a different set of skills to offer students. When a student needs advice, motivation, encouragement, or nurturing, he or she has 60-plus caring adults ready to meet that need.
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YOUR MENTORS AT THE RIVER
CHRISTCHURCH FACULTY MEMBERS ARE CALLED TO TEACH AND TO MENTOR, NOT JUST FROM 8:00 UNTIL 3:00, BUT 24/7. THE RARE COMBINATION OF PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE AND GENUINE CARING THESE TEACHERS BRING TO CHRISTCHURCH IS ONE OF THE SCHOOL’S GREATEST STRENGTHS. THE MAJORITY OF faculty members have chosen not only to teach at Christchurch, but also to call Christchurch home. Some 75 percent of teachers and staff live on campus, and even those who don’t have a campus address share meals with students, coach sports teams, lead co-curricular activities, and build relationships with their students that extend beyond the classroom.
“LIFE AT CHRISTCHURCH is all about relationships.
The students see us throughout the day – at breakfast, in class as teachers, on the field as coaches, at dinner, and just hanging out in the dorm where we live – our whole day is crafted around the students. Like any other family, we see each other at our best and at our worst, but that only makes us more accepting of each other. We know where every child is, academically, socially, and emotionally. We genuinely care about our kids and they know it.” — Jennifer Homer, Christchurch Dorm
Parent since 1992
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN students and teachers who share a community makes learning less an academic experience and more a part of real life. Discussions that begin during class continue in the dining hall, on the playing field, and in the residence halls. Because Christchurch teachers come to know the whole person, not just the student they see in the class, they are able to advise students on a more personal level. Students, in turn, see their teachers as adults they can trust, not just the people who administer their tests. TEACHERS WHO ALSO SERVE as dorm parents live with students day in and day out. These campus parents come to
know and care for “their kids” on a deep personal level and are always available to offer guidance not only academically, but also socially or emotionally. MORE THAN TEACHING, being a Christchurch faculty member is co-parenting. Every faculty member is a different kind of parent, and every faculty member brings a different set of skills to offer students. When a student needs advice, motivation, encouragement, or nurturing, he or she has 60-plus caring adults ready to meet that need. THIS CAMPUS FAMILY extends beyond Christchurch teachers. Every adult on campus, from the headmaster to the members of the maintenance staff, is an advocate for the students. AS ONE CHRISTCHURCH TEACHER said it best,“Teaching at Christchurch is not a way to earn a paycheck. It’s a way to live your life. The reward isn’t in what we do for the kids. It’s in what the kids do for us.”
“WHEN YOU AND YOUR TEACHERS LIVE ON THE SAME CAMPUS, you see your teachers outside the classroom. They’re like a friend, mentor, or older sibling, which is really nice. I think that makes me feel a lot more comfortable in the classroom. If I’m ever tired, worried, or just not myself, a teacher or my dorm parent is sure to notice and check on me, ask me if they can help, or just offer me a cup of tea to make me feel better.” — Sally Johnson ’18 CHRISTCHURCH | 15
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YOUR GREAT JOURNEY BEGINS AT THE RIVER
CHRISTCHURCH OFFERS A CHALLENGING COLLEGE PREP CURRICULUM WITH A 21ST-CENTURY PERSPECTIVE. IN ADDITION TO rigorous course material, students learn how to collaborate, problem solve, and use evolving technology as a creative tool. Students develop the critical thinking skills that prepare them for college courses and careers, including those that don’t yet exist. In a world that is rapidly changing, Christchurch School teaches students how to navigate those changes with confidence. APTLY NAMED “Great Journeys Begin at the River,” Christchurch’s innovative curriculum also takes full advantage of the school’s waterfront location on the Rappahannock River. The river and historic Tidewater Virginia serve as a living classroom where students participate in hands-on learning that is not duplicated by any other school. Applying the skills they learn to solve problems in the tidewater prepares students to solve problems in the larger world.
SETTING A COURSE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP Christchurch’s Creativity, Research, and Entrepreneurship (CRE) Program takes experiential learning to a new level, building creative confidence and teaching students the skills they need to succeed in an evolving world. • CRE incorporates design thinking into the classroom, presenting students with challenges and asking them to collaborate on solutions, which might include designing new products or improving existing ones. Students work in maker spaces, using computer hardware and software, 3D printers, laser cutters, and other advanced technological tools not simply to complete an assignment, but to foster their own creativity. The CRE Program encourages students to collaborate, brainstorm, research, build prototypes, test, and ultimately bring their original, innovative ideas to fruition.
STUDENTS LEAVE CHRISTCHURCH WITH THE ability to problem solve and an entrepreneurial mindset that prepares them for success in college and beyond.
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“CHRISTCHURCH IS AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, not just sitting in a classroom hearing a
lecture. My son learned outside on a boat, on trips – he discovered a way to learn that was right for him.” — Xandy Owen, Parent
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YOUR GREAT JOURNEY BEGINS AT THE RIVER
GREAT JOURNEYS INTRODUCES students to field research in the sciences and environmental stewardship, but also incorporates the river into unexpected academic pursuits. Rather than just “going to the board” to solve a calculus problem, students also head to the river, where they put mathematical concepts to work measuring shoreline erosion. An international language assignment might be to observe an osprey soaring over the river and write a description of its flight in Spanish, while a fine arts project might require capturing the same osprey on canvas or film. THE GEOGRAPHY, ecology, history, economy, and culture of the Chesapeake Bay area offer endless opportunities for educational exploration. Students visit local farms and fisheries, and interview residents whose heritage, dialect, and livelihoods are tied to the land Christchurch calls home. THE GREAT JOURNEYS CURRICULUM is teaching and learning that involves all five senses. Hands-on research and real-world experiences stir a sense of adventure and engage students far beyond what would ever be possible with textbooks alone. THIS UNIQUE CURRICULUM fosters analytical thinking skills and a spirit of exploration that ensure Christchurch is only the beginning of the greater journey of a lifetime of learning.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE SHELL
Christchurch students launched and maintain an ambitious oyster recovery program that is improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Oysters naturally clean and filter local waters, with one adult oyster filtering as many as 50 gallons of water a day. Using money raised by recycling aluminum cans, students cultivated an oyster reef at the school’s waterfront. Christchurch also helped Restore Urbanna Creek, a local conservation organization, secure a $50,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a joint project to restore oysters to Urbanna Creek. To date, students have recycled more than five million cans and planted more than one million oysters – that translates to 50 million gallons of clean water flowing into the Chesapeake Bay every day.
IMMERSION TRIPS AT THE RIVER AND BEYOND Immersion trips are off-campus learning experiences that immerse students in the concepts and subjects they study. Each grade investigates a different part of the midAtlantic Tidewater region on a three-day immersion trip, conducting field research, exploring the region, and interviewing local residents to understand their history and the challenges they face today. Longer immersion trips take students to international destinations including India, Africa, and Latin America. Students embed themselves in rural communities, living and working alongside local residents on service projects designed with input from residents and Christchurch students. Students form lifelong connections with people around the globe, and gain an appreciation for other cultures and a deeper understanding of their own places in the global community.
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THE LEARNING SKILLS PROGRAM was developed based on research by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, Dr. Mel Levine’s All Kinds of Minds, Dr. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey’s Driven by Distraction and Answers to Distraction, and other respected sources.
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YOUR LEARNING SKILLS PROGRAM AT THE RIVER
APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT OF CHRISTCHURCH STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM THE LEARNING SKILLS PROGRAM, THE FIRST PROGRAM OF ITS KIND AT A VIRGINIA BOARDING SCHOOL.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
Christchurch offers an outstanding English as a Second Language (ESL) program for international students. Students learn to express themselves fluently in English in social situations as well as academically. By interacting not only in the classroom, but also in their school community, students quickly gain the confidence needed to listen, speak, read, and write in English at a mastery level. English-speaking classmates and mentors are always on hand to help ESL students find just the right word and to take the challenge of learning English from a classroom exercise to a conversation among friends.
RECOGNIZING THE NEED for a program serving students with diagnosed learning differences, Christchurch established the Learning Skills Program in 1983. The program assists students with dyslexia, executive function weaknesses, attention deficit disorder, and a range of learning differences, improving their ability to thrive in a challenging college prep environment. Trained faculty members offer specific learning and organizational strategies, in addition to study skills that prepare these students for academic success, often at a level they did not imagine possible. SERVICES ARE CUSTOMIZED for each student; the only common denominator is individual attention that helps every student do his or her best. Participation in the Learning Skills Program is limited to a designated number of Christchurch students and is a scheduled class. Students who participate in Learning Skills attend regular classes, with as many as one-third of participants progressing into honors courses.
LEARNING SKILLS students are not viewed or treated any differently than their peers. Instead, the program is viewed as an extension of the one-on-one teaching and individualized approach to learning experienced by every Christchurch student. THE LEARNING SKILLS PROGRAM goes beyond helping students thrive at Christchurch. Participants gain an understanding of how they learn best that helps them prepare for the college setting. Like their fellow classmates, 100 percent of students who participate in LSP matriculate to competitive colleges and enjoy successful careers in many fields. PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, the Learning Skills Program builds confidence in students and reassures concerned parents. Knowing that a student’s needs are understood and a plan is in place to help that student thrive at Christchurch and beyond is the hallmark of this groundbreaking program.
“WHEN I ENROLLED AT CHRISTCHURCH, I had no idea how to budget my time or cope with my ADHD. My academics were suffering, and my confidence was pretty low. The Learning Skills Program taught me strategies for dealing with my attention issues and how to study efficiently. In the process, they gave me confidence in my ability to succeed. I still use strategies from the program every day, whether I’m putting together a litigation plan, briefing a case in property law, or just trying to organize my room. Like second nature, I rely on the lessons I learned in the Learning Skills Program.” — Henry Jones ’08, Cum laude graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, Magna cum laude graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law, Attorney with CowanGates, Richmond, Virginia CHRISTCHURCH | 21
YOUR HOME AT THE RIVER Christchurch residence halls are a welcoming home away from home, a place where friends live, study, and relax together. Students gain a new sense of independence living away from mom and dad, but can rest assured that dorm parents will be available 24/7 to help with everything from coping with homesickness to how to do laundry.
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YOUR LIFE AT THE RIVER
CHRISTCHURCH’S BOARDING STUDENTS GAIN A SENSE OF INDEPENDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY THAT PREPARES THEM FOR COLLEGE AND THE WORLD BEYOND.
LEARNING TO GET ALONG with their roommates and peers, take care of their belongings and living spaces, make wise choices, and manage busy schedules fosters a sense of self-confidence and maturity. OF COURSE, boarding school is not all work and no play. Weekends offer outdoor adventures including camping, kayaking, and fishing. Students take to the field and the courts for friendly games of soccer or tennis. Excursions might involve a weekend spent “at home” with a day student and his or her family, a trip to the movies with friends, or a walking tour of Urbanna, the charming port village just off campus. When snow falls, the campus’s own Headmaster’s Hill is the ideal spot for sledding. Students socialize at dances and mixers, and with a built-in set of friends living on campus, there’s never a problem finding someone who’s up for an impromptu game of basketball or a fierce laser tag battle in the field house. CHRISTCHURCH ALSO organizes group trips that allow students to explore the living history at Colonial Williamsburg, take in concerts or performances in Charlottesville, or enjoy sunny days on Virginia Beach. These excursions are based on the students’ interests and input. DAY STUDENTS also find a second home at Christchurch. The campus doesn’t close at 3:00. Many day students choose to spend their free hours and weekends on campus, studying, eating dinner, and hanging out with their friends. Day students are welcome to join their classmates and teachers on week-
end excursions, for breakfast or dinner in the dining hall, and in activities on campus after the school day ends. WITH SO MANY ACTIVITIES from which to choose and a community of friends to lean on, many students find that time spent off campus can actually leave them a little homesick for Christchurch.
TRADITIONS AT THE RIVER
Founded in 1921, Christchurch School is rich in tradition. Long after they graduate, students remember the waterfront picnics with friends and special dinners at the headmaster’s residence, the scent of saltwater in the air during a sailing regatta, and the brilliant blaze of fall foliage viewed from a swinging hammock. • The school year begins with a festive campus carnival, freshmen usher in the holiday season by trimming the Christmas tree at the headmaster’s residence, and seniors signal the end of their time at Christchurch by ringing the bell at graduation – a ritual they have long looked forward to, but that most find bittersweet.
“LIFE AT CHRISTCHURCH IS AMAZING. You will
always have support, and you’ll never be alone in your room crying. No one is unhappy for very long here. And if you’re feeling lonely, just come to the Student Center. There are always people here for you.” — Nyheim Tucker ’16
MANY TEACHERS AND THEIR FAMILIES live on campus, creating a warm, small-town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone and people take care of each other. At Christchurch, your teachers are your neighbors, your best friend is just down the hall, and you’re as likely to run into the headmaster walking his dogs as you are to see him in his office. CHRISTCHURCH | 23
“I’VE LIVED IN VIRGINIA MY WHOLE LIFE. To be able to meet people from all over the world and thousands of miles away helps me better understand my own place in the world. When you’re taking a class about another country, you just don’t get to know that place the same way you can when someone from that country is sitting next to you in art class.” — Sophie Scott ’19
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CHRISTCHURCH FIELDS TEAMS IN: Baseball Boys and Girls Basketball Field Hockey Football Golf Boys and Girls Lacrosse Sailing Boys and Girls Soccer Swimming Volleyball
THE CHRISTCHURCH MASCOT IS THE FIGHTING SEAHORSE.
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YOUR SPORT AT THE RIVER
SPORTS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CHRISTCHURCH EXPERIENCE. EVERY STUDENT HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY, FROM ASPIRING COLLEGE ATHLETES TO THOSE WHO JUST WANT TO HIT THE FIELD FOR FUN.
A TRADITION OF SPORTSMANSHIP
Athletics and sportsmanship have been a part of the Christchurch curriculum since the school’s founding. A 1922 account of Christchurch’s inaugural basketball game noted, “Though fortune did not favor them in their first game, they showed the qualities which it is hoped will always characterize the school throughout its career – undaunted courage and true sportsmanship.”
OVER THE PAST DECADE, Christchurch has fielded state championship teams in football, basketball, and lacrosse, with both soccer and volleyball regularly advancing to the state playoffs. The school’s coaches and college counselors offer sound guidance and networking with connections at colleges and universities for Christchurch athletes considering offers to play at the college level.
ON AVERAGE, STUDENTS PLAY two competitive sports per year. Competing at a high level teaches students sportsmanship, teamwork, and the value of hard work and perseverance – life lessons that last long after the final seconds tick off the game clock. CHRISTCHURCH IS A NATIONAL POWERHOUSE IN competitive sailing and is consistently ranked among the top five high school sailing programs in the country. The school’s 42-boat sailing fleet is the largest high school fleet in the nation. A member of the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association, Christchurch is recognized far beyond its home waters, capturing multiple regional and national championships in both fleet and team racing.
CHRISTCHURCH’S CLOSE-KNIT community gives student athletes in every sport a competitive advantage. At Christchurch, many coaches are also teachers who are also dorm parents. Coaches who know their players in the classroom, in the dining hall, and at home in the dorm are better equipped to coach the whole person, not just the quarterback or the lacrosse star, and are in the best possible position to bring out the best in every player. EVERY ATHLETIC VICTORY finds the team racing to the bell tower that stands watch over the campus. The ringing of the bell lets the entire school community know that the Fighting Seahorses have claimed another victory.
“OUR FOOTBALL COACH IS ALL ABOUT GROWING UP AND HELPING US GROW OUT OF THAT ‘BOY’ STAGE. PLAYING FOOTBALL HAS REALLY HELPED ME GROW AND MATURE INTO A YOUNG MAN.” — Connor Gordon ’19
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has fielded state championship teams in football, basketball, and lacrosse, with both soccer and volleyball regularly advancing to the state playoffs.
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THE ARTS AT CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL help each student find his or her unique voice and share that voice confidently with the world.
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YOUR CREATIVIT Y AT THE RIVER
A CRITICAL PART OF SETTING YOUR OWN COURSE IS LEARNING HOW TO EXPRESS YOURSELF. CHRISTCHURCH’S FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAM ENCOURAGES STUDENTS TO USE THE ARTS AS A FORM OF SELF-EXPRESSION.
MUSIC AT THE RIVER
VISUAL ARTS STUDENTS draw inspiration from the natural beauty surrounding the campus, using pen and ink, graphite, or digital technology to present the timeless landscapes in ways never before imagined. Their works might then be presented to other students as the prompt for a creative writing project, proving that one student’s art can inspire another’s. THE SCHOOL’S ANNUAL MUSICAL is an original show written and performed entirely by the students. Students develop a theme, write the script, choose the music, and develop the choreography that complements their vision for the performance and its message. Students also design and build the stage sets, design the costumes, serve on the lighting and sound crews, and assist with direction. THEATER STUDENTS bring their diverse backgrounds to the stage, performing Shakespeare in languages from the Bard’s own English to Chinese to Spanish for audiences who might not understand every line, but clearly understand the emotion conveyed.
Music students at Christchurch explore the power of music to stir the brain, and perhaps the soul. Students visit a local care facility for Alzheimer’s patients. Each student is paired with a patient, and spends the first visit getting to know that patient. Some patients respond; others simply sit and stare. The students’ next assignment is to make mix tapes for the individual patients, choosing songs popular when the patients were teenagers. When the students play the music, many of the patients become lucid, some for the first time in years. • “When I played the music for Mary, she laughed, and I did, too,” Evan Pausic ’17 says. “We held hands, and it was joyful. Even if she forgets them, I hope that Mary feels the moments and the music we shared.”
MUSIC BRINGS the school community together for performances by the chapel choir and the Cantorion, the signature choral ensemble. Student bands feature Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and American members who join together to create a sound heard only at Christchurch. CHRISTCHURCH EQUIPS students to become eloquent speakers and to share their ideas not only on the stage or on the canvas, but also in a college classroom, a job interview, or a boardroom. Far more than just painting a canvas or landing a role in the school play, the arts at Christchurch School help each student find his or her unique voice and share that voice confidently with the world.
“ART HAS HELPED ME BECOME A MORE CONFIDENT PERSON. I used to be quite the perfectionist, but I’ve learned to embrace my mistakes, trusting that they were meant to happen. I create abstract paintings that I often now refer to as a compilation of mistakes, as my original intentions never seem to carry through. But I’ve learned to make my mistakes into something new. Art is not only an outlet for me, it’s a passion that’s allowed me to embrace each part of myself.” — Sydney Pitts ’17
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THE RIVER IMMERSION EXPERIENCE PROMOTES environmental stewardship and, in many cases, fosters a deep connection to nature that continues long after students leave Christchurch.
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YOUR PASSION AT THE RIVER
AN EXCELLENT EDUCATION ISN’T LIMITED TO ACADEMICS. CHRISTCHURCH’S CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES SUPPORT AND COMPLEMENT THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM, WHILE CREATING BALANCE FOR STUDENTS BY ENCOURAGING THEM TO DEVELOP INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF SCHOOLWORK. CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS include athletics, community service, performing arts, student leadership, robotics, and outdoor and nature-oriented programs. THE ROBOTICS CO-CURRICULAR finds students working as a team to design, build, and program their own robots. The robots compete in regional, state, national, and global competitions judged by top engineers and scientists from NASA and other prestigious technology organizations and firms. Students develop engineering and programming skills, as well as make professional connections that could benefit them at the college level and eventually in the workplace. THE RIVER IMMERSION EXPERIENCE connects students physically and emotionally with the Rappahannock River and other local waterways. Students learn outdoor life skills, including map and weather reading, canoeing, and more, all in the pastoral setting surrounding their school campus. The experience promotes environmental stewardship and, in many cases, fosters a deep connection to nature that continues long after students leave Christchurch. ATHLETICS, COMMUNITY SERVICE with a variety of organizations, performing arts, and leadership activities round out an offering of co-curriculars designed to tap into many areas of interest and build diverse skills. STUDENTS PARTICIPATE in three extra-curricular activities per year, a requirement that leads to the discovery of new talents and encourages them to pursue activities outside their comfort zones.
ALUMNI WHO SET A COURSE AT THE RIVER INCLUDE: William Easterling ’72, scientist and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Lewis Burwell Puller, Jr. ’63, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron ’42, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
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SET YOUR COURSE FOR CHRISTCHURCH
“IF I HAD NOT COME TO CHRISTCHURCH, I wouldn’t have met the people I know now. I wouldn’t have the GPA I have now, and I wouldn’t care as much as I do. I wouldn’t have failed as much as I did, and I wouldn’t have learned the lessons that nothing but that failure in a place that holds you accountable taught me. If I had not come to Christchurch, I wouldn’t have the mentors, the role models, or the lesson of learning who I am. I wouldn’t have known my strength as a leader. My Christchurch School experience means everything to me.” — B Pressley ’18 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL, visit christchurchschool.org.
TO SCHEDULE YOUR PERSONAL TOUR OF CHRISTCHURCH, please call 804.758.2306.
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ADMISSION POLICY Christchurch School admits students of any race, color, nationality, religion, creed, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded to or made available to students. As a related organization of the Episcopal Church, Christchurch School respects the applicable policies and governing principles of the Episcopal Church pertaining to nondiscrimination. FINANCIAL AID Christchurch School is committed to addressing the financial need of its students and maintains a $2.5 million aid budget for this purpose. Families in need of financial aid are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for this finite resource. For more information on tuition costs and financial aid, visit christchurchschool.org.
ACCREDITATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS • Virginia Association of Independent Schools • National Association of Independent Schools • The Association of Boarding Schools • Association of Independent School Admissions Professionals • The College Board • Council for the Advancement & Support of Education • The Enrollment Management Association (formerly Secondary School Admissions Test Board) • Episcopal Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia • National Association of Episcopal Schools • National Honor Society
THE CHRISTCHURCH MISSION Christchurch inspires and guides each student’s unique journey to self-confidence, purpose, and identity. Within a caring, structured community, students discover their infinite value and develop the skills to become compassionate, successful, and engaged global citizens.
49 SEAHORSE L ANE • CHRISTCHURCH, VIRGINIA 23031 804.758.2306 • CHRISTCHURCHSCHOOL.ORG