Chapin School (New Jersey)

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Chapin School
File:Chapin School Logo.jpg
4101 Princeton Pike
Princeton, NJ 08540
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Type Private school
Established 1931
Faculty 42.1 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades PreK-8
Enrollment 291 (in K-8, plus 14 in PreK, as of 2009-10)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 6.9:1[1]
See also The Chapin School for the school in Manhattan with the same name.

Chapin School is a private coeducational day school located in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, United States, serving students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade situated on a 13-acre (53,000 m2) campus located 2 miles (3.2 km) outside of Princeton (which is the school's mailing address).

As of the 2009-10 school year, the school had an enrollment of 305 students (in grades K-8, including 14 in Pre-Kindergarten) and 42.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 6.9:1[1]

Chapin School in Princeton, New Jersey, is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[citation needed] The school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.[2]


Chapin School was founded in Princeton in 1931 by Frances Jordan Chapin. The school acquired its first permanent location in April 1951. In 1958, the school moved to its current site, having purchased the 5-acre (20,000 m2) Edgar S. Smith estate, which included the pre-American Revolutionary War Henry D. Phillips House.

The first decade of the "new" Chapin, incorporated in April of 1951, saw a growing student body, administrative stability and the acquisition of a permanent site for the school. Following Mrs. Chapin's death, classes were held for three years in a rented house at 11 Mercer Street. In 1954, the school moved to "Snowden," which it leased from Bernard Kilgore, publisher of The Wall Street Journal and The Princeton Packet. In 1958, Chapin moved to its present location in northern Lawrence Township, having purchased the five-acre Edgar S. Smith estate, the centerpiece of which was the pre-Revolutionary War Henry D. Phillips House.

By the school's 30th anniversary in 1961, with an enrollment of more than 100, Chapin was sufficiently well established to complete a capital campaign that resulted in the addition to the original farmhouse of two classrooms, an office, a kitchen and a multi-purpose auditorium/gymnasium. Subsequent property acquisitions and facilities improvements have expanded the campus to its present 15 acres comprising six buildings and three playing fields.[citation needed]

As the school "grew up," curriculum and institutional procedures matured. In 1991 Chapin received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and in 2002, the school achieved dual accreditation from Middle States and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. In 2012 Chapin was re-accredited for ten years by both accrediting agencies.[citation needed]

Enrollment is over 300 students in grades Pre-K through 8, a large increase over just a decade ago.[citation needed]

On the occasion of the school's 50th anniversary, an institutional history was written by E. Parker Hayden, Jr. P'74,'76,'77 and Herbert O. Hagens '60. Much of this article is adapted from the book, Chapin School: An Idea In Search of an Image 1931 - 1981.


  • Over 30 classrooms in three buildings
  • 3 technology centers
  • 2 mobile labs
  • 2 science labs
  • 1 music lab
  • 2 Libraries/Media Centers with 12000 books and online resources
  • Auditorium
  • Art gallery with professional art shows
  • Full size gymnasium
  • 3 athletic fields
  • 1 business office with conference room
  • 1 dining pavilion[citation needed]

Recent history

Chapin School launched its most ambitious capital campaign in history in 2012. This consisted of a number of Lower School and Upper School renovations and new facilities including classrooms, science labs, library/media centers and the commons area. By 2015, the capital campaign topped $8 million.

Chapin School built a new pre-school and kindergarten building, the Margaret Wilby Primary Building, replacing the old Pre-K building during the 2006-2007 school year.

Notable alumni


External links