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“Words cannot do justice to what happens to a child’s confidence in a multi-age classroom in which they are allowed to be a mentor, a leader, even an expert in some areas. By being with the same teachers and learners, a comfort level – a family feeling – allows a child to take risks a learner, grow as a person and become all he/she can be. Themes are changed every year and by choosing their own themes, guiding the unit of study with their questions, and finding those answers, children are invested and captivated by the journey. They learn how to find out information they are interested in – NOT just learning random facts, memorizing answers and regurgitating teacher expectations. They find learning meaningful and F-U-N!
I love watching children enjoy school. I love facilitating their learning journey. I truly believe Chance School is the best school in Louisville. The small teacher-pupil ratio allows children to receive attention in many areas they require. It is such an amazing benefit. I believe Chance gives every child confidence, success, problem-solving skills, leadership opportunities and instills a love of learning. Aren’t these precisely the tools we want our children to carry with them as they face the challenges of their world?”
Resource Teacher – Early Intervention Specialist for Reading and Math
“Chance’s ‘no grade’ system takes off the invisible pressure of testing. Students are assessed continually, and the teachers are very well aware of the student’s level of learning and retention.
Tyler is testing well at their next school because he is comfortable with his ability to learn and retain, and his good grades are reflective of the independent learning habits he gained at Chance.”
Parent of Tyler and Coley, Chance graduates
(update 2016- Tyler is now a Junior at Princeton and Coley is a Freshman at Brown)
“I have taught Art over the past 30 years in many parochial and private schools in the Louisville area and inspired each child over the past 20 years at Chance. Never have I found an environment as enriching as Chance School. The teachers and children enter the building each day with smiles and are challenged with a stimulating and challenging curriculum that develops the whole child. Whether it is Math, Language Arts, Music, PE, Science or Art, the child challenges social, physical, cognitive and creative skills.
It’s ‘home away from home’ and we all love working in this environment. With a class size of 8-12 students, art students are allowed time for brainstorming + hands-on activities + critiques and sharing artwork, which ensures success and growth for every child in the classroom. As the Art Specialist, it brings me great joy to watch my students blossom into amazing young artists. My resources are plentiful and the administration values the Arts as an essential building block to education.”
Art Specialist for Preschool through Intermediate 5
Excerpt from email 6/27/16 from Parent:
Here’s a great story for you. Ariana is now in Year 9, which is a tough year for girls here (attending overseas). Friendship trouble, teacher drama, all of that. Two of her friends are fighting right now, and Ariana was helping one of them respond to some pretty nasty texts.
Ariana: I kick some serious butt at arguments!
Me: (laughing) How did you get to be so good at fighting?
Ariana: I learned it at Chance School!
Me: What happened? Did a teacher sit you down and teach you how to fight fair?
Ariana: No, I learned how to respect people.
So yeah, Chance is an incredible gift and I am so grateful to you, Debbie, and the BOT for stewarding this treasure so gracefully. It brings tears to my eyes to think of the years of more students who get to receive this gift.
Ariana M. – Chance Graduate (Mother, Lopa wanted us to share)
“I have been at Chance School all my life and it truly is an amazing experience from preschool to the cottage. Some of the people who were in the twos with me are now in the cottage (fourth and fifth graders) with me.
The good thing is that there are two rooms in each class level. The outdoor time is also terrific. Mr. Stevens takes kids outside to the garden to experience nature. Every day we have specialists, like art where we learn about different mediums of art, how it is made and the name of the artist. In music, we learn notes and play instruments. In Spanish, we learn about holidays celebrated. In P.E, we run laps, play games and jump rope. In library and media, we read and check out books and also have computer class and typing classes. We also have Girl Scouts, chess and flamenco dance.
Chance kids are always nice and they have an important reason – they feel the nice Chance family around them and feel welcome. Graduates from Chance School have moved on with smiles on their faces, soon to be best of their class.”
Stella M. – Intermediate 4 (fourth grade) Student
“I like a lot of stuff. The teachers are so caring, and I’ve been there for so long that everybody knows me and everybody is really nice. When I first went there, I thought this is so cool because this is the perfect size for me. And all of the classrooms are big enough, you get to sit by your friends, and there are no uniforms.
There are two teachers, so every teacher gets to pay attention to every kid. You get to spend two years with the teachers, so when you really like the teachers, like Mrs. Farmer and Mrs. Linde, then you will be excited when you come back the next year, and you won’t be sad. My pre-school teachers are usually sitting, waiting for the pre-schoolers so I get to say “hi” since I don’t get to see them a lot. Then sometimes I sneak when I am returning a library book, and it’s just nearing lunch, I sneak up to my kindergarten teachers classroom so I can see them again.
When summer comes I get sad because I miss going through the hallways, and I miss doing art, and music, and Spanish, and media, and all of that stuff.”
Olivia C. – Primary 3 (Grade 3) Student
“As far as I can remember my Chance School experiences were very special to me. The office staff and teachers were always very nice. The class rooms were always good environments to learn in. Learning was made fun because you were allowed at some times to play games to help understand the material.
My favorite thing about Chance was the Intermediate classroom. I liked this classroom because we always did fun subjects for learning, and we went on very fun field trips.
Another reason I liked this classroom was because Mrs. McCormack and Mrs. Starr were really good teachers and were very persistent in making sure everyone was on task.
One thing that is special about Chance School is that all the teachers make learning fun and really seem to enjoy their jobs. The Everyday Math Program that Chance uses is really great and has made me love math.
Another special thing about Chance School is the Fall Festival. During the Fall Festival all of the kids from third grade up play a Steal the Ball game, but the Intermediates play against the Alumni. When all that is over you go across the street and play games, and eat delicious food.”
Kesric M. – 2010 Chance Graduate
“I have gone to Chance School for 5 years. When I was 4 years old, my best friend and I use to draw under the table with crayons. That’s what I remember about my 4 year old experience at Chance.
When I started kindergarten, my classroom was in a Tree house which was the highest point of the school. I loved my classroom and had so much fun with my friends and teachers. Our school work was always fun because we got to choose what we wanted to talked about in class.
My fondest memory at Chance School will always be PE with Ms. Patti and all my other Specialist classes and teachers.. My other memories are all the fieldtrips I have gone on since I was 4 years old, every single Derby Hat Parade, Egg Drop, and Pajama Day.
My most favorite thing about Chance School is that all of my teachers are really nice and care about me. We always have fun no matter what we are doing in the classroom or outside. My favorite subject at Chance is math but I am really starting to like silent reading. The more I read, the more I am realizing how much fun it is to read different books.
Chance School is a special school to me. I have two teachers in my classroom to help me with my work. I do not have many students in class with me. Having a small class is good because the teachers can easily make sure everyone is ok and understand the work. My classmates and I are friends and we try to take care of one another.”
Desric M. – Primary 3 (Third Grade) Student
”When I think of Chance School I think of hands-on learning, caring teachers and awesome specialists. At Chance all the teachers treat students with respect and listen to their opinions.
I came to Chance when I was three years old. My teachers were Mrs. Malthouse and Miss Ann. We had so much fun watching the birds from our classroom window and doing science experiments on science day. Mrs. Malthouse and Miss Ann made learning our numbers and letters fun by putting them to music. I will never forget being the Ringmaster in our Spring Fling and singing Miss Mary Mack.
In the fours I did a lot of building at the blocks center. Miss Kathy and Miss Melissa also taught us manners. We all dressed up one day, had a fancy snack and all ate together at our snack table. I loved going to Miss Melissa‘s house for our end of the year party.
Then came the Treehouse. Wow, there were a lot of stairs! It felt like we were on top of the world. Mr. Stevens and Miss Usher made everyday fun. I met my best friends Kase and Luke in the Treehouse. We always went outside for playtime and finally got to play in the woods. I loved working in the garden and at the workbench. My mom still has a piece of artwork I made at the workbench hanging in our kitchen. I will never forget the cookouts we had at the fire circle with our parents. It was hard to leave the Treehouse but I was excited to see all of my friends who had been in first grade the year before.
The summer before I started second grade in the Lodge I received a letter from my teachers, Mrs. Farmer and Mrs. Linde. They told me how much they were looking forward to having me in their class. Then I also received a letter from my good friend Matthew who was going to be in third grade in the same class. Reading their letters made me very excited. Primary was just as much fun as I had hoped it would be. I will never forget going to Kart Kountry for our Third Grade Day. It rained but we still played Putt-putt outside and had the best time ever!
I was very nervous my first day of Intermediate. I had always looked up to the Intermediate students and thought of them as being the leaders of the school. Now it was my turn. I knew I was going to be given a lot more responsibility and even though I felt ready I was still nervous. After the first day I felt right at home in the Cottage. I will never forget the first time we went out to the woods for playtime and officially got to play in the Intermediate fort! Then at the end of the year we went to Cincinnati for our class trip. The Zoo, Museum and Aquarium were so much fun. We spent the night at Great Wolf Lodge. It felt like we were one big family on vacation.
Now that I am in fifth grade I realize that my time as a Chance student is coming to an end. I have been excited to come to school every day since I have been three. I think that is amazing. Chance has made me a confident learner and respectful friend. It is hard to imagine going to another school but I know I will be ready to tackle any challenges I face because of what I have learned at Chance.”
Jacob F. – Intermediate 5 (Fifth Grade) Student
“The Chance Experience was better than I could have gotten at any other school. There are endless memories I made there.. Chance made learning fun. I always looked forward to going to school.
My favorite memories were how we got to go in the woods. I love how involved I could be, and how I was academically and physically prepared for middle school. Another one of my favorites was all the awesome field trips we went on. I liked how we could choose what to study in science and history, and all the fun things we could do in specialists’ classes. In library we could check out lots of books, and in Media we did lots of fun power points. In Spanish, we learned a lot and I was well prepared for Spanish in Middle School.
I was well prepared for middle school especially for Math, in which I can understand lots of new information. In word study and English my vast knowledge of words from Chance helped me so much. In fact, the Chance Experience probably was one of the best things that I could have ever experienced.
I, indeed, had great learning experiences at Chance. Chance helped me and stood by me on my way to middle school and has made anything I do easier. I truly cherish my memories at Chance.”
Rushil S., 2011 Chance Graduate