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Notes for Prospective Students
What you do here at CSW matters.
To you, to us, to the
world. You matter.
You’re an essential part of a
close-knit community that supports each member in taking creative
and academic risks—which means you’ll do your best work
You’ll benefit from meaningful relationships with
inspiring peers and mentors from across the globe as you engage in
deep, experiential learning.
Together, we’ll ask big
questions and craft imaginative solutions to tangible problems.
We’ll think critically, question sources, and seek multiple
Every member of our kind and inclusive community
helps shape the CSW experience—whether by speaking up during
classes and discussion assemblies, starting new clubs, or by
serving on the Curriculum Committee, Judicial Board, or Board of
So you quickly get the sense that your voice counts.
what we’re doing here together is important work.
This is not
about busywork, scantron bubbles, and going through the motions of
what’s expected of you.
Your time at CSW will connect you to
teachers and peers who know you well and will engage with you in a
joyful process of active learning and growth.
As a result,
you’ll discover who you are and how you can contribute: to
your school, the community, and the world.
You’ll leave here
with a deeper sense of self, a healthy disregard for the
“impossible,” and the resourcefulness and skills to
build a meaningful life and a better world.CSW's longstanding
dedication to—and leadership in—progressive education
is what sets us apart from other independent schools.
In fact, CSW
has partnered with three other progressive schools to form The
Progressive Education Lab, an organization committed to furthering
progressive education by training new teachers to become powerful
educators and change agents. The following elements of a
progressive education at CSW constitute our key points of
- The Module System: The Module System has been a cornerstone of
our academic approach since 1973.
During any given module, students
focus intensively on just three academic subjects a day. The
longer class periods allow teachers to use a variety of teaching
techniques to engage all learners.
Taking fewer classes at one
time—yet more courses over the course of a year—allows
students to build a solid foundation of applicable skills from a
true liberal arts core, and to dive deeply into the artistic and
academic subjects covered in our more than 300 course
Creative Thinking: At CSW, creative thinking isn't
confined to the Art Department.
Students are challenged to explore
new ways of thinking and fresh approaches to problem-solving in our
process-oriented approach to learning.
Our faculty members are
practicing writers, artists, mathematicians and researchers who
bring their own passions to the classroom, building an innovative
curriculum that is responsive to emerging and interdisciplinary
Students learn to explore the intersections of these
disparate subjects and to find imaginative solutions to tangible
problems.Experiential Learning: Active, participatory learning
is central to the student experience.
Classes connect students with
course content in a personally meaningful way through livelydebate,
hands-on experiences, laboratories, studios, service-based
learning, collaborative projects and off-campus research.
are asked to reflect, revise, and wrestle with complexity.
way, learning is an active and immersive process of discovery that
leads students to develop and refine academic skills and passionate
interests.Meaningful Relationships: CSW's community cultivates
meaningful relationships characterized by respect, compassion, and
open and honest communication.
Everybody is on a first-name basis.
Faculty and staff are approachable and committed to supporting and
witnessing student growth in and out of the classroom.
form close relationships with advisors, who are available to meet
with them daily.
As a community, we are invested in getting to know
each other as individuals, soliciting and listening to each
other’s opinions and celebrating each other’s
We take care of each other, and the powerful
relationships established here last well beyond graduation.
A Mindful Community: A CSW education inspires a heightened
awareness of issues that transcend the individual, such as social
justice and global connectedness. In fact, we are proud to be
the first high school in the country to institute a Social Justice
Graduation Requirement! Students discover how to make
substantive contributions to their school, their community and the
world through school and community service, off-campus study,
social activism, and on-campus workshops and events.
involvement in Town Meetings, the Board of Trustees and various
committees, students also play an essential role in school
As such, they become socially responsible citizens
who honor the values of participation, inclusion, compassion and
sustainability.Passionate, Powerful Students: Students take an
active role in shaping their classroom environments, their academic
schedules, and school policies.
They learn that questioning the
questions and forming a distinct point of view are both expected
And they appreciate that CSW is a place to explore
their passions and to take risks.
As a result, students develop a
strong sense of independence and self as they discover more about
their character, passions, goals and ability to contribute to their
Our unique Module System fosters deep learning and innovative
teaching in all disciplines.
Classes are an hour and a-half long,
and students concentrate intensely on three subjects at a time.
curriculum is diverse and interdisciplinary, combining demanding
academics with extensive offerings in the visual and performing
Students are encouraged to explore new educational experiences
and areas of study, and to be proactive in planning their academic
No two student schedules are
Each student works with an advisor and the Academic Office
to create a unique academic schedule that balances personal
interests with college expectations and the school's requirements
Ultimately, each student schedule aims to provide
balance, rigor, and stimulation throughout the year.