Our Graduates Performance

We have completed a three-year comprehensive search and survey of the Middle Schools of our graduates to collect data – the empirical and the anecdotal – to track our graduates from the last three years. We have compiled their grades, test scores, teacher comments, report cards, and information about their student activities and involvement.  These results are from children who have attended other independent, public and parochial schools.
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What Is Progressive Education?

Progressive Schools, traditional schools, boarding schools, day schools, college-prep schools, parochial schools, public schools, private schools, magnet schools and home schools…the choices are many! Making the right choice for your child can be a bit daunting for parents. As a Head of an independent school, I get to answer the question, “What’s so special about your school?” and “What does it mean that Virginia Chance School is a progressive school?”
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Gratitude Attitude in our Children: Why and How?

Thanksgiving is the time when we all pause to count our blessings, to give thanks, to be with family and friends, and to be grateful. While it is always good to stop and focus on gratitude at this time, it is even better to continue this attitude of gratitude all year long if we are to experience the benefits. Why? The benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude are many. Studies by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, reveal health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing risks for depression and anxiety, and improving immune functioning. Additionally, there are positive impacts on choosing healthy behaviors. People who practice gratitude are happier people.
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Play-Based Early Childhood Education: Are Children Playing or Learning? A Resounding YES!

Today, I saw an engineer building a robot, an artist painting a masterpiece, an explorer going into the woods, a mathematician measuring volume and gardener planting seeds. Today, I witnessed a doctor taking care of patients, an athlete running and jumping, a musician singing and playing an instrument, a dancer performing, a negotiator working out a problem. Today, I watched an architect building a skyscraper, a king giving a royal decree and a sculptor manipulating clay.
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Positive Play: How intentional inclusion builds the foundation of healthy friendships!

“You are not a member of our ‘club’!”- “Go away!” – “You were not invited to play this game!” – “We don’t want you on our team.”

Positive Play, this is not. These powerful words of exclusion, even while reading them now as an adult, can evoke a strong emotional response. There is a way early on in childhood to change that dynamic in a profound way, but first, think back- were you ever the recipient of these types of remarks? Were you possibly the child who sometimes made these comments to others? There were times when I landed on both sides of this kind of exclusion during my childhood, and I am sure I am not alone. The school playground or after school neighborhood gatherings were the prime locations for these types of exchanges during play.
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How to Respond When Your Child Says, “I hate you!”

You probably don’t need a bit of help pouring out that love or responding when your child says, “I love you!” and “You are the best mom ever!” (I saw both of those on a written note today for one of our moms). We all know how to respond with “I love you too” or “I love you on Valentine’s Day and every day that is not Valentine’s Day too”. I wonder though, would you like to think a bit more about how to respond when your child screams, “I hate you!” (Or perhaps, “I hate Billy!” I hate Martie!”).
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Worry Free Unstructured Play: The Hummingbird Approach

For most parents traditional unstructured play seems pretty unrealistic in today’s society. Justified unease has lead to unrealized positive outcomes for children- until now. There is a happy medium: the hummingbird approach, observing from a distance, but always keenly. While the hummingbird parent is vigilant in observing, the idea is that the child doesn’t feel the full presence of the parent and thus free to develop those positive benefits of unstructured play.
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