Even before arriving at Commonwealth, each new student is paired with an advisor—a teacher who will be a guide, an advocate, a mentor, and a fan.
Teachers Ready to Help
The relationships between outstanding teachers and bright, motivated students are the core of a Commonwealth education. Ask students what sets this School apart, and they usually begin their answers with “great teachers.” Our small classes and 5-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio permit frequent individual conferences between students and teachers—for questions about material or assignments, to explore further a point raised in class, or to discuss other matters pertaining to School or to the world outside.
Advice and Support
Beyond the classroom, teachers also serve as advisors to an average of six students. In this capacity, they meet regularly one-on-one with advisees to discuss academic matters, to develop strategies to manage time and work, or to share ideas, interests, or concerns. For students who may need more support, Commonwealth offers some accommodation, including tutorial help and twice weekly monitored evening study halls. The school also maintains regular contact with specialists who provide testing and counseling.
Attending to Every Student
The School carefully assesses the progress of its students. Four times a year, for one or two full days, the faculty assembles for “grading meetings.” Advisors gather teachers’ comments and run short discussions, asking relevant questions pertaining to each student’s curricular and/or extracurricular performance. In the school report sent home, a cover letter from the advisor accompanies the grades and comments. Advisors, who know their advisees well, thus act both as advocates for their charges and as point person for communication between parents and the School.
In recognition of the high standards of the School, the volume of work, and the sophistication of its curriculum, the school offers a variety of learning supports and a limited menu of accommodations which vary according to the needs of each student. These include:
- The Homework Project, a twice-weekly evening study hall for students who need a quiet place to work.
- Entering Commonwealth, for students whose backgrounds are likely to mean they have a more difficult transition to Commonwealth's culture and expectations than many of their classmates do. This program offers carefully targeted support when school begins.
- On-site tutoring in the academic disciplines and in organization and planning. Tutors who work with our students are familiar with the Commonwealth curriculum and maintain collaborative relationships with our faculty.
The Homework Project and tutoring are available at additional cost, with subsidies to accommodate families who receive financial aid.