Choate Rosemary Hall
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Choate Rosemary Hall: A holistic education that embraces intellectual curiosities

Nestled in the scenic town of Wallingford, Connecticut, Choate Rosemary Hall is a leader in holistic education. An education here takes a multifaceted approach — preparing students academically as well as for the challenges and opportunities they will encounter in the broader world.

Choate’s academic curriculum is rigorous. It guides students to think critically, communicate clearly, understand various methods of intellectual inquiry and recognise the interconnections of learning. They develop a global perspective on cultural, social, political, and environmental issues as well. Here, faculty members teach children more than just facts and figures, grades and essays; they nurture them to become inquisitive, life-long learners. Simply put, teachers show students how to learn, not what to learn.

Woven into learning and life at Choate is emphasis of the formation of character. Alongside readying students for university, the educational approach nurtures students to appreciate the importance of beauty and grace in their lives and work independently and in partnership with others. In classrooms, playing fields, and residential houses, students sharpen their leadership skills for an ever-changing world. They understand values such as honesty, integrity, teamwork, generosity, and compassion.

It takes a community to achieve such outcomes. What makes Choate unique is how invested everyone is in bringing out the best in each student — nurturing their interests, talents, and experiences to propel them to new and unexpected places. The school fosters a sense of belonging, creating an environment where students and adults from diverse cultural backgrounds come together. Feeling safe and supported, they can do their best in student clubs, guest artist workshops, school-wide affinity group discussions, and off-campus field trips. Teachers and staff are always available to encourage them to be authentic, fostering openness to personal growth and a commitment to bettering themselves and the world around them.

Exploring diverse learning guided by faculty

Within or beyond the classroom, Choate students are always learning. In classrooms and purpose-built, programme-driven academic facilities, discussions transcend traditional subject matter. Choate students explore and debate topics such as climate change, neuroscience, as well as peace and justice. Faculty members guide students on how to think critically about the material at hand.

Choate Rosemary Hall

Source: Choate Rosemary Hall

Given the multicultural makeup of the Choate community, there are always new perspectives to discover. “Our teachers work hard to bring diverse perspectives into the classroom both in their examples in class (i.e. around sustainability, government systems, etc.), and since our courses are so project-based and focused on discussion, students also learn from one another,” says Ashley Sinclair, Director of Global Engagement.

The Global Engagement Programme provides more avenues to explore interconnected issues like education access, healthcare, climate change, migration, and food security. There are study abroad experiences, cultural events, volunteer opportunities, and independent projects as well. At Choate, schedules are always full of opportunities to expand minds and horizons.

During afternoon activities, arts programmes nurture student’s inherent creativity while sports teams pave one’s path to collegiate athletics or foster their love of the game. Teachers, coaches and staff are the heart of these programmes. For example, faculty members play numerous roles in this 24/7 environment, serving as teachers, advisers, coaches, dorm advisers, counsellors, and more. The school recognises this. Its Teaching Excellence Initiative raised millions of dollars to invest in its faculty. “Teaching is transformative and Choate is committed to maintaining the excellence that has been the school’s hallmark,” says Head of School Alex D. Curtis.

Learning well, living well

Choate goes the extra mile to support students’ well-being by hosting wellness days, special programming, weekend trips, and activities. A 24/7 health centre, Spiritual Life Team, Community Conversations, and weekly advising groups further contribute to the overall well-being of every student.

Choate Rosemary Hall

Source: Choate Rosemary Hall

Last spring, Choate adjusted the daily schedule with a mind toward student wellness. Featuring a later start, longer lunch blocks, shorter classes, and a dedicated advising period, this approach aimed to create a more balanced pace of life for students — a success for both its day and boarding students.

International students receive focused support. New students are paired with a student one to two years older and can ask them questions to help with their transition to Choate. “These mentors check in with them each week in the summer and then regularly throughout the academic year when they’re on campus,” Sinclair says. “We also do a pre-orientation for international students, where they get to move to campus a few days early to attend workshops and social events to make those valuable connections.”

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