Even before arriving at Commonwealth, each new student is paired with an advisor—a teacher or staff member 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 5:1 student-faculty 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 regularly meet 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
Commonwealth carefully assesses the progress of its students. Four times a year, for one or two full days, the faculty assembles for “grading meetings” where advisors gather teachers’ comments and run short discussions, asking relevant questions pertaining to each student’s curricular and/or extracurricular performance. In the 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 at Commonwealth, the volume of work, and the sophistication of its curriculum, the school offers a variety of learning supports and a limited menu of accommodations that vary according to the needs of each student. These include:
- Homework Project, a twice-weekly evening study hall for students who need a quiet place to work.
- Tutoring referrals for the academic disciplines and for organization and planning. Tutors who work with our students are familiar with the Commonwealth curriculum and maintain collaborative relationships with our faculty.
Homework Project and tutoring are available at additional cost, with subsidies to accommodate families with financial aid grants.