Founded by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects as its Legacy 2000 Project, CHAD is a gift of substantial and enduring value to the city of Philadelphia.
Governance: CHAD is a public, independent tuition-free high school, one of 46 charter schools currently established in Philadelphia. Its Board of Trustees consists of architects, designers, community leaders, parents, and educators. Anthony Bracali, currently serves as the President of the Board. There is an honorary board consisting of nationally recognized leaders in design, education and business.
Curriculum: CHAD is the first charter high school for architecture and design in the nation. Design is central to the curriculum, and used as the instrument to help students develop: 1) creative problem-solving skills, 2) visual and spatial literacy and competencies, and 3) an appreciation for and understanding of the physical environment and its impact on our quality of life.
Features: 1) The city as a classroom; 2) access to new and emerging design technology; 3) a variety of service-learning opportunities; 4) exposure to the design professions including the building and construction trades. We currently enroll 600 students coming from over 50 zip codes in the city.
Admissions: CHAD is a tuition-free, independent public high school, grades 9 through 12. CHAD seeks students who have an interest in architecture and design, and earnestly want to learn. It is a challenging, academic, college-prep curriculum thoroughly infused with art, architecture and design studios each day. A personal interview is a required part of the admissions process.
High Expectations: A contract among the parents, students and school includes strict codes of conduct, attendance, and uniform dress. Parents participate in the governance and daily life of the school. CHAD’s average daily attendance rate is 99% (city-wide it is 63%). There is no social promotion; students progress through the school based on performance, not age. CHAD’s passing grade is 70 (versus 65 city-wide).The CHAD community strives to provide a psychologically and physically safe environment.
Emergency School Closing: In the event that school is closed due to inclement weather or any unforeseen emergency, the decision will be released through KYW 1060 AM. CHAD identification number is 125.
Finances: CHAD receives per-pupil allotment (PPA), of $7,248 for each student matriculated. The PPA does not cover all costs. To succeed in its mission, CHAD solicits other support to supplement the PPA.
Location: CHAD is located in downtown Philadelphia’s historic district, one block from Independence Hall, Washington Square, across from the Curtis Building and Jeweler’s Row. The school’s entrance is on the north side of Sansom Street, between 6th and 7th. Parking is available directly across from the entrance, under the Curtis Building.
Administrative: Peter Kountz, Ph.D., Head of School