At CCSA students are given ways to form meaningful, instructive relationships with members of other communities. We guide our children into situations where they are free to observe and to ask questions and to perform alongside experienced mentors – to begin, in other words, to inhabit these professional spaces and to discover the contributions they will make to them.
At every age, as our children grow more fully into their identities as scholars, as artists, and as citizens, we match their growth with opportunities appropriate to their abilities and passions. To do this in a way that meets our own standards of excellence we’ve built partnerships with institutions and organizations in Chester, Philadelphia, and surrounding neighborhoods.
CCSA’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Ballet is intended to further develop students’ understanding of dance technique and the demands of the professional dance community. The partnership is designed to reach each grade level (lower elementary, upper elementary, middle and high school) scaffolding for the next experience with the PA Ballet on a yearly cycle.
PA Ballet writes curriculum guides for classroom/arts teachers to integrate the performance with school curriculum. Additionally, PA Ballet offers free vouchers to each performance for teachers and families to provide opportunities for personal experience and professional development to foster understanding and appreciation for ballet.
We partner through our Health Sciences Elective with the Health Career Academy, a program founded by Main Line Health and supported by Aetna. This career-oriented program gives high school students the opportunity to work with local professionals in the healthcare community through mentorships and internships.
Together with the Health Career Academy we aim to expose our students to the diversity of jobs in the healthcare industry and to equip them with the academic knowledge, practical and interpersonal skills required for success if they choose to pursue careers in this field. The Eugene M. Lang Center for Health Sciences on CCSA’s campus provides two classrooms for on-campus training.
The Lantern Theater Company enriches the CCSA Theatre program through on-campus instructional support. At CCSA, children study literature and plays that are in production at the Lantern, and have opportunity to see the performances in the full-scale theatre environment. The Lantern’s teaching artists come to CCSA to give master classes for our high school theatre majors, which include activities – such as monologizing their own material – designed to develop their passion for performance and oral communication.
We regularly implement digital resources created by the Education Division at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to supplement our core subject lesson plans. By designing lessons that integrate materials from the PMA’s world-renowned Permanent Collections and also its Special Exhibitions, CCSA’s teachers extend the classroom experience, bringing our students into close interaction with the works of great masters as well as with contemporary ideas.
Art On Location
We provide the opportunity for students to further their awareness of specific areas of visual art by visiting special exhibitions at the Museum and its subsidiaries.
Swarthmore Presbyterian Church has been active in Chester for over two decades. CCSA partners with the church to realize student-designed Service Learning projects in the city of Chester, part of an elective study course whereby students work with experienced advisers to identify and undertake impactful community development projects.
SPC members continue to encourage in our children an early passion for reading, by forming part of the volunteer group of ‘Storytellers’ for our Reading Beach Club. The church has also provided a gallery space for an exhibition of student artwork that raised awareness of the school and its mission, and collected donations that support our programming.
For almost a decade CCSA has partnered with the Darlington Arts Center to provide exposure to the arts through performance opportunities, guest artists, and cultural field trips. The Chester Theater Arts Program brings music, dance, and drama training annually to one hundred students aged 5 to 18 living in the city of Chester. It meets every Saturday during the school year on the CCSA campus.
Students visit Ballet X studios to attend dress rehearsals followed by a question and answer session for our Dance majors. BalletX provided master class visits from company dancers to our dance studio to conduct a ballet class.
Students in 3rd through 5th grades participate in multiple visits to Tyler Arboretum each year to engage in thematically focused science curriculum (ecology, environmental studies, plant and animal life cycles) and vocabulary and, for social studies, the culture and history of the native Lenape Nation.
Greener Partners facilitates gardening (plant parts and life cycle), nutrition (information about healthy eating), and science (soil ecology) lessons for elementary students. We hope to grow our budding gardeners through middle school where they will focus on environmental science and justice.
Students from all grade levels participate in focused sessions with teaching artists. Community Arts Center has also contributed to developing a ceramics program that is available for middle and high school art majors.
Students participate in weekly, private, 30 minute voice lessons for 10 middle and high school students based on conversation with the trained, professional voice teaching artist. Student’s progression of goals are developed through conversation and collaboration between teaching artist and student.
Middle and high school students participate in multiple field trips to see theatrical performances each year.