Academy Profile


To inspire each student to approach learning with curiosity and creativity, pursue excellence in all endeavors, and act with integrity–so each can make our community and world a better place.


Located in historic Irvington, Virginia, where the Rappahannock River meets the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Academy is a school dedicated to preparing each student for future academic, ethical, social, and physical endeavors in an intellectually challenging environment.

Bound by common goals and aspirations, Chesapeake Academy students experience an academically challenging, traditional liberal arts curriculum taught by teachers who model creativity, commitment, flexibility, teamwork, and a love of learning. Intellectual curiosity is valued, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning, growth, and achievement. Our caring and supportive environment guides children to develop confidence in their abilities. In all aspects of school life, teachers know their students well. This relationship allows teachers to address differences in learning styles and teach in ways children will experience their greatest achievement.

In keeping with our heritage, Chesapeake Academy students are an interconnected community of learners. Our school, guided by a purposeful social and ethical curriculum, is a place where friendships and consideration for others thrive and responsibility and leadership develop. We embrace each other’s beliefs and differences and discover that our diversity enriches us. The school’s community, formed by a unique partnership of parents, students, teachers, alumni and neighbors, works together to help children achieve academic excellence and personal growth. We believe students learn best when teachers, parents, and children work in harmony.

From Pre-K 3 & 4 through Eighth Grade, Chesapeake Academy students develop and articulate ideas. The inclusion of visual and performing arts in the curriculum encourages self-discovery and creative expression. The physical education and athletic programs promote life-long personal fitness and character development. School-wide experiences and community service opportunities encourage students to be comfortable expressing their ideas in front of others as well as assuming future leadership roles.


Chesapeake Academy believes that an enriched and challenging academic curriculum, within a nurturing, child-centered environment, provides the foundation for future successes.

We seek:

  • to prepare each student for his or her future academic, ethical, social and physical endeavors

  • to provide a nurturing environment where students build confidence as they rise to the challenge of developing new skills

  • to model creativity, ignite curiosity, demonstrate commitment and flexibility, work as a team, and lay the foundation for life-long learning in our students so our students demonstrate the same values

  • to foster strong relationships between students and teachers to allow teachers to know students well and address each student’s learning style

  • to cultivate an interconnected community of learners where friendship, consideration, responsibility, and leadership thrive

  • to embrace each other’s beliefs and differences and discover that diversity enriches us

  • to work in harmony with parents, teachers, and students for the students’ academic achievement and personal growth

  • to encourage self-discovery and self-expression through the integration of the arts

  • to promote life-long fitness and character development through athletics

  • to engage in school-wide and community service so that students are comfortable expressing their ideas and assuming leadership roles

  • to develop global citizens who value a pluralistic society and who have the skills to tackle 21st century challenges.

Differentiated Instruction

This instructional philosophy helps our teachers nurture and develop confident, competent, and engaged learners. Our teachers recognize that students have different ways of learning, different interests, and different ways of responding to instruction. Teachers vary learning activities and materials by difficulty, by topic, and by students’ preferred ways of learning or expressing themselves. By implementing Differentiated Instruction (DI) strategies, our teachers create a classroom learning environment that builds upon each student’s strengths.

How does DI increase student learning and develop 21st century skills?

Teachers focus on concepts and student’s understanding of essential ideas. DI emphasizes high level thinking and communication skills as students apply their knowledge to real world problems. DI tasks cultivate an inquisitive mindset so students seek patterns, connections, and more complex relationships among ideas. Our students are able to take facts and go way beyond them: they analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information to gain a deeper understanding of questions, themes, and concepts.

What are DI strategies?

Based on student readiness, interests, and learning profile, teachers can differentiate within a lesson or unit by:

Content: What essential concepts the student analyzes
Students working on different sets of information within a unit can become experts for the group as a whole. Peer teaching and collaborative work ensure that all students end the unit connecting with the “big ideas” and supporting information.
Process: How students work with essential concepts
Students can approach information in different ways, making choices based on their learning preference or interests.
Product: How students demonstrate their understanding of essential concepts. Students can show mastery of material in a variety of ways, including projects, presentations, technology, and other assessments.

Chesapeake Academy believes that an enriched and challenging academic curriculum, within a supportive, child-centered environment, provides the foundation for future successes.  Our DI approach ensures that each child’s strengths are valued and utilized for maximum academic and personal growth.


Chesapeake Academy is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, and is, also, a member of the Educational Records Bureau. The State Department of Social Services certifies Pre-K 3 & 4, and licenses the Extended Day Program.

Learn More About Independent School Education

Benefits of Private Schools (Council of American Private Education) 

Virginia Association of Independent Schools

National Association of Independent Schools


Students whose assessments, interview, prior academic record, and recommendations indicate that they can succeed within the framework and curriculum of Chesapeake Academy are admitted. The Academy seeks to enroll students who are:

  • Committed to learning and being a part of a community dedicated to honesty, respect, citizenship, and integrity
  • Of strong ethical character
  • Well rounded, with varied interests and talents
  • Excited about becoming part of a close-knit community
  • Developing themselves to the fullest through academic challenge, athletics competition, and artistic exploration
  • Chesapeake Academy does not discriminate in admission or financial assistance on the basis of race, gender, physical challenges, religious affiliation, ethnic background, or country of origin


140 students Age 3 through Grade Eight. Average class size is 12 students. Student to Teacher ratio is 9:1. Chesapeake Academy is an independent, co-educational day school, in Irvington, serving the following counties in Virginia: Lancaster, Northumberland, Middlesex, Mathews, Richmond, Gloucester, and Westmoreland.

Faculty and Staff

26 full and part-time faculty and staff members carry out instructional, operational, and administrative responsibilities.


Designed for a student’s success in a college preparatory secondary school program, the core curriculum includes reading, English, spelling, math, science, and social studies. Co-curricular courses and opportunities include: art, music, library, technology, study skills, Latin, Spanish, overnight field studies, physical education, and interscholastic sports. High School credit is available in Algebra I and Spanish I in Eighth Grade.

Grading Scale

A+ (97-100), A (93-96), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), F (<60)

Sampling of Extra Curricular Opportunities/Selected Features

  • Grades Five through Eight participate in Inward Bound, an overnight excursion to an area camp for team building and leadership
  • Grades Seven and Eight have a week-long comparative ecosystem field trip study every other year, alternating with a community service trip in the spring to Washington, DC.
  • Middle School students participate in the Independent School Athletic Conference (ISAC) and compete in soccer, volleyball, golf, and basketball within that league. Additional athletic opportunities are available in tennis, distance running, and fitness.
  • PALS – (Performing Arts & Lecture Series)
  • Community Service Projects
  • Drama/Musical performances, Ukulele, Tone Chimes, and private instrumental/vocal music lessons
  • Arts & Innovation curriculum and extra curricular opportunities with robotics, design, CAD modeling, STEAM
  • Student Council
  • Summer Programs are available for ages 4-13

Tuition and Scholarship Assistance

For the 2023-2024 school year tuition and fees are:

  • Pre-K 3&4, 1/2 day: $7,300
  • Pre-K 3&4 Flexible Full-Day, care until 5:30: $10,300
  • Lower School  (K-4th):  $13,500; Flexible Full-Day: $15,500 (includes extended day care until 5:30 p.m.)
  • Middle School  (5th –  8th): $14,250

Optional Academy Programs Requiring a Fee Above Tuition

The Extended Day Program is offered for Ages 3 through Grade Eight. This program operates daily when school is in session from 12:00 pm until 5:30 p.m. Special Field Trips are offered as compulsory and may include a fee (i.e., 8th Grade Seacamp trip). Most do not require an additional fee. From time-to-time, field trips will be offered on a non-compulsory basis and may require an additional fee.


The nine and one half acre campus, in Irvington, consists of the following seven buildings: Chesapeake Hall, a 13,800 square foot building housing classrooms for Grades One through Eight, a science lab, technology lab, library, Instructional Support, and all administrative offices; the Wiley Early Childhood Center for Pre-K 3 & 4 and Kindergarten; gymnasium with an adjacent art studio; Academy Hall provides a dining hall, flexible teaching space and a meeting area for parents and community groups;  and The Residence, in which the Head of School resides, and includes the Henry Selby Nature Trail and the Outdoor Classroom overlooking Carters Creek.

Secondary Schools Attended by Chesapeake Academy Graduates (since 1989)


  • Baylor (1)
  • Chatham Hall (5)
  • Choate Rosemary Hall School (1)
  • Christchurch School (188)
  • Episcopal High School (6)
  • Foxcroft School (2)
  • Groton School (1)
  • The Madeira School (1)
  • Oldfields School (1)
  • The Peddie School (1)
  • The Phelps School (1)
  • Randolph-Macon Academy (1)
  • Solebury School (1)
  • St. Andrews School (2)
  • St. Catherine’s School (2)
  • St. Margaret’s School (28)
  • St. Mary’s School (4)
  • St. Timothy’s School (1)
  • Tandem Friends (1)
  • Virginia Episcopal School (4)
  • Woodberry Forest School (22)
  • Woodhall School (1)

Public: Lancaster High School, New Kent High School, Northumberland High School, Middlesex High School, Mathews High School, Gloucester High School, Rappahannock High School, and West Point High School.


Chesapeake Academy Parents and Patrons Association (CAPPA) fosters communication among parents and patrons, facilitates volunteerism, and promotes the mission of the Academy.

Alumni Association

Chesapeake Academy’s Alumni Association fosters community among alumni, facilitates volunteerism and communication, and promotes the mission of the Academy.

Board of Trustees

Fifteen members of the Board serve three-year rotating terms. The two ex-officio members include: the Head of School and CAPPA President.

Annual Budget/Annual Fund/Endowment

Annual Budget of $1,900,000 for fiscal year 2021-2022 (July 1-June 30). CA raised $150,304 for the 2020-2021 Bell Tower Annual Giving Fund. Total Annual Giving for 2020-2021 was $456,372. The $1,000,000 Endowment is managed by the Chesapeake Academy Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.