CHATHAM, NJ - Hidden up on a hill on Shunpike Road is the Chatham Day School where the students, teachers and administration all know each other. The school has been in existence for 15 years and has been in Chatham for the past eight.
The school was previously in Livingston and Madison, but has finally found its home, in Chatham. It has five principles that are placed in every classroom and they are: put first things first, be proactive, work as a team, be considerate and aim high. The student body primarily comes from Madison, Chatham and Summit, but some kids live in the Oranges, Livingston and Westfield.
Assistant Director of Admissions Eben Gordon, who has been at the school for seven years, said he truly loves his job and he couldn’t think of a better learning environment for children.
“The culture of the school is a very close community,” Gordon said.
When he first started at the school, he was shocked to see the tranquility and cohesion there. Everyone gets along and it’s really a warm and friendly atmosphere, he said. The kids refer to the school as “a cool place to be smart,” he said.
With classes capped at 14, it’s really teachers talking to students rather than lecturing them. The children are active in the classroom and aren’t just a name.
“I think that’s something that’s very hard to find, especially in a public school,” he said.
Gordon said the school has high expectations for its staff to communicate with the parents. The support the school receives from the families is remarkable, he said.
Unlike public schools, Gordon said bullying is not an issue because of the culture at the facility. Also, technology is prevalent throughout the building and there are smart boards and laptops in most classrooms.
Recently, the school finished a major facilities upgrade where they opened a new gym and multi-purpose room, which will be used for lunch, performances, meetings and community events.
“This new space has given us an opportunity to bring people together more frequently and in a greater capacity,” he said.