Questions about Chatham Hall LD program


We are considering BS for DD going into 9th grade in the fall. She received some LD diagnosis, primarily in math, EF and slow processing speed. We are trying to figure out if keeping her close to home (Chatham Hall) or sending her to BS that specializes in LD’s is a better option? She does have some anxiety which makes me worry if she is more than just a couple hour drive away from us.

Does anyone have experience with LD’s at Chatham Hall? How are their services for a student who needs a lot of hand holding, especially with math and getting started with writing assignments?

Thank you for any advice! We are going back and forth between Chatham Hall (close to home) and Eagle Hill (for their LD support).

We were in your shoes about four years ago with DS.

We were deciding between schools that offered academic support and a school that was solely for those with learning differences.

Close to decision time I had decided that I wanted him in the LD school as I wasn’t sure that he would thrive in the other setting and I also wasn’t sure he’d actually show up for his academic support sessions. He always hated anything that differentiated him from his peers. Around the same time, he came home from (his very small, private school where he had great relationships with his teachers) and stated that he thought that the LD school was the better decision as his life was so much easier when his teachers understood his learning style/needs (he had a few teachers that didn’t while most were excellent).

I don’t know anything about Chatham Hall, but you could send them her neuropsych and ask how they would meet her needs. I looked at their math curriculum and it seems pretty intense. Ask for a specific plan of how they would support her. Do you think she would thrive in an all girls school? Are there non academic activities there that she is interested in? How does she feel about being "identified? .

I have some experience with Eagle Hill. How would she feel being so far away? They do have a summer camp that might be a way to “test the waters”. They have a lot of interesting academic offerings. Do any of those excite her? Would she have a chance to visit? Their students are very different from the students she would be with at Chatham Hall.

Thank you so much, Vwlizard. Very helpful info and contemplation. I have spoken with my DD and she really doesn’t know what’s best for her however she has expressed how nice it would be to be in a community of peers who are all “different” making her actually “the norm.” It’s so tough not knowing if she will do okay so far from home though. Eek! I really wish we had options near us like Eagle Hill. We are in the triangle area of NC.

You don’t know me from Adam, and I have no experience with either school, but unless a child with anxiety or other issues has successfully spent at least a few weeks away from home without your supervision, say at a sleepaway summer camp, mighty risky for her at attend a school so far away. I do notice that Eagle Hill appears to have a summer program you may want to consider before signing up for a full year: Summer Programs - Eagle Hill School | School for Diverse Learning Profiles

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You can also check out this pinned thread about schools with academic support. Schools with Academic Support - #98 by vwlizard

I know Emma Willard, Mercersburg and a few other boarding schools over summer sessions for prospective students at a more reasonable price. Some of the other school summer programs are costly, however.

If she has anxiety she really needs to test the waters away from home. I saw in my DC area a couple of kids return from boarding school 9th grade last year from homesickness.

Look at the Christchurch school near Richmond, VA. It’s co-Ed and has a well established Learning center. We looked at it for my son and I was impressed, but we chose a school a bit closer to us that also has a learning support program.

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My daughter goes to Chatham Hall and we absolutely love it! I do not have any first hand experience with LD, but the classes are small and every teacher she has had has been wonderful and available for individual help. If she will be in Geometry as a 9th grader, the Geometry teacher is fantastic and the 9th grade English teacher is my daughter’s favorite teacher so far. I expect both would be very accommodating.

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Just FYI, Mercersburg has a great summer camp program - several sport camps, writing camp, theater camp, STEAM, and an adventure camp. But not a “summer session” per se, in that there is not a summer term for classroom learning.

Totally agree that summer sessions and sleep away camps are great ways to see how comfortable a student feels with a residential experience before applying to boarding school. “Camp kids” (there’s a great This American Life on “camp people”, BTW - “you either are a camp person or you’re not”… lol) I’ve known at boarding school have thrived in part because they’ve had that semi-independent experience each summer for years.

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When my son applied to BS, one of the questions he was asked at one school was if he’s ever gone to “sleep away camp”. I am guessing that interviewers found the response to that a good indicator of how they’d deal with a boarding situation.

I need to listen to that This American Life segment!