Chartwell was founded over 25 years ago to meet the needs of students with a wide range of language-related learning variations, including dyslexia. These are bright students, but they find that learning to read well is extremely difficult and they struggle in traditional academic settings. Since 1983, Chartwell has been the only school of this type serving California’s Central Coast region. Accredited at the highest level by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Chartwell offers a full mainstream curriculum that meets or exceeds California state standards. All classes use well-structured, diagnostic, multi-sensory approaches and implement research-based best practices. Chartwell places special emphasis on accessing higher order cognition, creativity and problem solving skills through language development, hands-on science, the arts, the social and emotional foundations of learning, and environmental education.
In 1982, the federal government commissioned a major study of literacy and education in America. The resulting report, A Nation at Risk, painted a sobering picture. A record number of high school seniors were functionally illiterate, and mainstream education was doing an increasingly unsatisfactory job of addressing the issue. At the same time, two women, discouraged by the failure of schools to cope with the learning needs of their own and other children, decided to take action. They founded Chartwell School in 1983. Since then, more than 600 students have attended Chartwell and successfully transitioned back into mainstream education.
At Chartwell, we treat each child as a unique and valuable individual. We carefully tailor our classes to meet the educational and emotional needs of the students. The emphasis is on each student acquiring necessary skills and rediscovering the self-confidence that is sometimes lost during struggles with learning variations. We expect our students to become active, responsible learners. We equip them to meet that expectation by helping them identify and develop their areas of strength. Our faculty carefully addresses individual learning styles and helps students use all of their senses and their strengths in a structured learning environment.
Enrollment in Chartwell’s Day School is typically 126 boys and girls ages 7 to 14 in grades 2 to 8 at our LEED Platinum campus. Our students come from Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and southern Santa Clara counties. Even though students often enter Chartwell performing two or more years below expected grade level, they are frequently gifted in the arts, conceptual mathematics, science, design, drama, or entrepreneurship. Here, they experience small classes and caring faculty who help them discover and build on strengths, address gaps, understand the ways they learn, and become successful self-advocates. After an average of three years at Chartwell, the typical student can return to mainstream education as a capable learner.
Chartwell’s Center for the Advancement of Language and Literacy (CALL) acts as a resource for education professionals, students, and parents. Our mission is to advance the understanding of diagnostic teaching and increase student literacy skills. Many of CALL’s programs serve predominantly low-income and minority students. CALL’s programs are designed to benefit children, families, schools and communities. CALL offers free community workshops and professional development opportunities. Our summer Teacher Training Institute focuses on current educational research and its applications in the classroom. CALL also offers a variety of on-site staff training options in language and literacy, as well as strategies for teaching children who struggle in the classroom. Lastly, CALL engages in long-term collaborations with regional schools and school districts designed to institute system-wide changes and elevate student literacy levels.
Unlike other independent schools, education at Chartwell is not optional for our students – it is a necessity. Chartwell’s annual tuition covers 95% of the cost of educating one child. The remaining necessary funds come from fundraisers, caring donors and generous foundations, all of whom also support our financial aid program. Financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. About 40% of Chartwell families receive financial aid. Each year we strive to raise needed funds to make financial aid available so that children from all walks of life are able to access the education they need. Please click here to see this year's tuition.
One by one, Chartwell School helps children with learning challenges reach their full potential. We can do the same for your child. Please take the next step and contact us:
Douglas Atkins, Ed.M., Executive Director
Nora Lee, M.Ed., Head of School
2511 Numa Watson Road, Seaside, California 93955