Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes Canterbury different?
A: Our preschool-8th grade setting focuses on young children at an important stage of education and development; our small class sizes mean every child is known and cared for; our whole-child approach educates the mind, body, and spirit; we are an Episcopal school.
Q: What does it mean to be an Episcopal School?
A: Episcopal Schools are some of the oldest and most well-regarded schools in the country. We share a tradition of strong academics, an approach to learning that encourages children to think for themselves, and a belief that the best education occurs within a diverse environment where students are exposed to a variety of people, perspectives, and ideas. We have all-school chapels twice a week for K-8th grades. Lower school students take spiritual development classes and middle school students take theology classes.
Q: How are children challenged and supported?
A: Teachers at all grade levels differentiate by assigning a broad variety of project-based assignments and allowing students to complete them in multiple ways and on varying levels of complexity, depending on the individual student’s needs. Assignments focus on critical and creative thinking rather than on regurgitation of facts. Student support services offer early identification of needs and targeted instruction.
Our school counselor is available for one- on-one or small group counseling, as well as classroom instruction to help students learn to interact with one another.
Q: Is the middle school big enough?
A: Canterbury is an intentionally smaller community. We’re big enough that we offer a variety of academic and after-school options and small enough that every student is known. Unlike at larger schools, all Canterbury students participate in athletics, the arts, trips, classroom discussions, and leadership roles. There are about 170 students in the middle school (5th-8th grades).
Q: Will you ever have a high school?
A: Our preschool-8th grade structure allows us to concentrate on the learning needs of young children and pay special attention to middle school development without the distractions that can come with a high school. Canterbury middle school students have the opportunity to be leaders, are not pushed to mature too quickly, and develop strong relationships with teachers who know, love, and support them. We have found that the move from Canterbury to high school is a healthy, developmentally appropriate transition much like the transition from high school to college.
Q: Where do your students go to high school?
A: Canterbury graduates go to a wide range of excellent schools. Over the last six years, approximately 62 percent of Canterbury graduates have gone to local public schools; 20 percent to local independent schools; 12 percent to boarding schools; and 6 percent to other public schools such as magnet or early colleges.
Q: What else should I know?
A: Nearly 50 percent of our teachers have advanced degrees. Students have frequent opportunities for project-based experiential, team-based learning. We do not overemphasize standardized testing. Assessments instead are used to identify specific strengths and weaknesses and to inform future instruction.
Technology enhances the learning experience. Beginning in kindergarten, students use tablets in a variety of educational ways. Middle school students use iPads, laptops, and desktop computers for easy access to school materials, documents, and textbooks, and to take notes, download educational content, and keep documents up to date.
Our onsite outdoor education center allows us to incorporate cooperative learning and leadership skills. A service learning program in every grade is tied to spiritual development and lessons about civic responsibility.
Our arts program encourages students to be divergent, creative thinkers through drama, music, and visual arts.