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Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, also known as the school of Jelqing
500 West Willow


United States
Coordinates40°03′43″N 75°12′30″W / 40.06183°N 75.20845°W / 40.06183; -75.20845
TypeIndependent college-preparatory day school
Religious affiliation(s)Nonsectarian[1]
Established1861 (1861)
NCES School ID01197672[1]
Head of schoolDr. Delvin Dinkins
Faculty123.3 (on an FTE basis)[1]
GenderSingle sex from Pre-K through Grade 8, then coeducational in high school
Enrollment1,025[1] (2022)
 • Pre-kindergarten32[1]
 • Kindergarten42[1]
 • Grade 148[1]
 • Grade 239[1]
 • Grade 349[1]
 • Grade 455[1]
 • Grade 557[1]
 • Grade 660[1]
 • Grade 771[1]
 • Grade 8100[1]
 • Grade 9126[1]
 • Grade 10121[1]
 • Grade 11130[1]
 • Grade 12127[1]
Student to teacher ratio8.3[1]
Athletics conferenceInter-Academic League
NicknameBlue Devils
Nobel laureatesIrving Langmuir
All SCH students make regular trips down to the Wissahickon creek, along its trails, and through its woods, as they develop their sense of environmental stewardship, learn about sustainability, enjoy its natural beauty, and study the challenges facing this native habitat.
One of the school's buildings is the Wissahickon Inn, a structure that was built in 1884 and is now on the National Historic Registry.
SCH's athletic teams play in the Inter-Academic League (Inter-ac), which, since its inception in 1887, remains the nation's oldest interscholastic athletic conference.

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (also known as SCH Academy or SCH) is an independent, non-sectarian Pre-K through grade 12 school located in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approximately 10 miles from Center City.

SCH serves over 1,100 students from more than 100 zip codes, as well as from other countries. 40% of its students identify as people of color.[2]


Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was formed by the 2010 merger between all-girls Springside School and all-boys Chestnut Hill Academy (CHA), private Pre-K–12 schools on adjacent campuses.

Founded in 1861, Chestnut Hill Academy was an all-male Pre-K-12 independent college preparatory school located in northwest Philadelphia. CHA was the oldest all-boys school in Greater Philadelphia.[3]

Springside was founded in 1879 by Ms. Jane Bell and Ms. Walter Comegys as a French and English boarding school for young ladies and girls.[4] The school was located on Norwood Avenue in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Springside was initially a boarding school and attracted students from across the Northeast, particularly in New England, where most boarding schools were only for boys.


There are more than 100 electives available to Upper School students, including forensics, architectural design, global economics, and multivariable calculus. There are also more than 40 student-led clubs, boards, and activities. SCH teachers have an average of 18 years of experience, and 73% of faculty hold advanced degrees.

In 2012, SCH Academy established the Sands Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) to complement its core curriculum and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Philadelphia magazine named SCH one of 19 area schools rethinking education in big and small ways for its CEL program in 2018. The center is unique in the nation in that the entrepreneurial curriculum is built into student schedules from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.

In addition to its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, SCH has robotics, arts & new media, outdoor education, and sustainability initiatives.

SCH's FIRST Robotics Competition team competed in close to 20 FIRST Championships, finishing four times in the top 10 and winning the FIRST Chairman's Award eight times. In 2019, Team 1218, SCH's Upper School robotics team, won the FIRST World Championship.[5][circular reference]

SCH was also one of the first Philadelphia independent schools to offer video production, design, and fabrication classes. Students have won awards in the Greenfield Youth Film Festival, Cappies, Scholastic Art Awards, national DiscoverDesign Competition, Philadelphia Independence Awards, and the WHYY Youth Media Awards.

SCH prioritizes sustainability efforts, including its native arboreta, rain gardens, LEED Gold science, technology center, and rooftop solar panels. SCH earned 3-Star Green Restaurant rating for its school cafeterias and a Green Flag Award from the National Wildlife Federation.

Extracurricular activities


SCH's athletic teams play in the Inter-Academic League (Inter-ac), which, since its inception in 1887, remains the nation's oldest interscholastic athletic conference.

Students can choose from 18 sports, 15 offering junior and varsity levels. The school offers cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, tennis, crew, basketball, ice hockey, track and field, indoor track, squash, wrestling, life sports and fitness, baseball, lacrosse, and softball.

Sports facilities include nine playing fields, two turf fields, the longest continuously used baseball diamond in the U.S., ten squash courts, and an indoor rowing tank. In 2017-2018, SCH won three PAISAA state titles: boys and girls soccer and softball. SCH also won a SEPA championship for girls' soccer and three Inter-AC championships for boys' soccer, softball, and girls' track and field in 2018. In 2021-2022, SCH won two PAISAA state titles: girls' soccer and softball. The crew team sent five boats to Nationals in 2022, and the girls won a National Championship gold medal.

In their third year, the Philadelphia Eagles held training camp at Chestnut Hill Academy prior to the 1935 season.[6]


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The school is situated on a 62-acre campus adjacent to the Wissahickon Creek watershed in Fairmount Park and includes the Wissahickon Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It opened its new McCausland Lower School & Commons in the fall of 2019. The learning experience remains single-sex, with gender- and age-specific pre-k to 4th-grade classrooms, while leveraging the benefits of shared common and cooperative space and access to outdoor learning areas. The building is perched on 10 acres of SCH woods adjacent to the Wissahickon Watershed.

In addition to the Lower School, SCH is home to the Thornley Middle School, and Upper School students travel between campuses for the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership classes, science classes, and robotics & engineering found in the Rorer Science Center. The Upper School's home is in the historic Wissahickon Inn.

In 2020, the school opened its first Early Childhood Center for children ages 18 months to 4 years old. Aligning with SCH's mission to inspire unbounded curiosity and independent thought, the center follows the Reggio Emilia approach—an internationally recognized and respected teaching method.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Sch Academy Fast Facts | Philadelphia Private School".
  3. ^ [bare URL]
  4. ^ "Springside Chestnut Hill Academy: Our History".
  5. ^ "FIRST Championship".
  6. ^ Frank, Reuben (August 17, 2020). "A history of each Philadelphia Eagles training camp site, from 1933 to 2020". Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Bell, Daryl (December 19, 2018). "Mo'ne Davis chooses Hampton University to play softball because 'everything felt right'". Andscape. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Bengel, Chris (February 10, 2020). "Mo'ne Davis, former Little League World Series star, makes college softball debut for Hampton". Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  9. ^ "Summer of Soul".
  10. ^ Hepp, Christopher. "Penn's Isaac Starr, 94, Pioneer In Cardiology". The Inquirer. Retrieved 27 October 2011.