Frequently Asked Questions

We have attempted to address many of the questions that arise during the admissions process. To gain a better insight into our curriculum, philosophy, the atmosphere at the School, and the admissions process, please read the following information carefully. We hope you will also take the opportunity to visit the School.

List of 23 frequently asked questions.

  • Why attend an independent school?

    The reasons cited over and over again by the 400,000 families who send their children to independent schools include individual attention, small classes, teacher excellence, and high academic standards. But the main motive for families looking into independent schools can be summarized in one word -  quality. They want, quite simply, the best for their sons and daughters. Larger percentages of students in independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, or other private schools. Independent school enrollments are increasing at double the rate of all other schools in this country. Independent school students:
    • Do twice as much homework as their counterparts.
    • Watch only two-thirds as much television.
    • Are significantly more likely to participate in varsity or intramural sports.
    • Are more likely to agree that students and teachers get along well, discipline is fair, and teaching is good.
  • What type of accreditation/affiliations does Cape Henry have?

    The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and is recognized as an accredited school by the Virginia State Board of Education.  In addition we are affiliated with the following:

    ACCIS - Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools
    AISAP - Association of Independent School Admissions Professionals
    CASE - Council for Advancement and Support of Education
    ERB - Educational Records Bureau
    GEBG - Global Education Benchmarking Group
    INDEX - Independent School Data Exchange
    NAIS - National Association of Independent Schools
    NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling
    NBOA - National Business Officers
    NHS -  National Honor Society
    PCACAC - Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling

  • Does Cape Henry offer scholarships?

    Cape Henry Collegiate offers several academic merit scholarships to students entering Grades 6 and 9 through the Distinguished Scholars Program. Cape Henry Collegiate does not offer athletic scholarships. For more information on academic merit scholarships, please visit the Merit Scholarships Programs webpage.
  • How competitive is admission to Cape Henry Collegiate?

    Our small class size and our 10-to-1, student-to-faculty ratio, which are such assets to our students, become liabilities to applicants whose admission must be limited by the number of spots available. Because the number of applications increases significantly each year, there has been increased competition for these openings.
  • What is your boy-to-girl ratio?

    It varies somewhat by grade, but overall we have 50% boys and 50% girls. All classrooms include both boys and girls.
  • Do you consider more than just quantitative factors?

    Yes. Standardized test results are an important factor for Grades 3-12, yet not the determining one. We realize that standardized testing fails to measure a student's motivation, creative writing, research ability, and character. This does, however, provide us with a common denominator among students applying from a wide variety of schools and differing educational backgrounds. When a student has done well in a solid academic program and has recommendations that are positive and insightful, less importance is placed on standardized test scores. If we are unfamiliar with a student's school or the school does not grade and provides us with only vague recommendations, more weight must be given to test results.
  • What types of schools do most of your students come from?

    The majority of our Middle and Upper School students attended Cape Henry Collegiate during their Lower School years. There is no preference given to students from certain schools at any grade level. We consider how well students have grown from and maximized the educational opportunities and the environment offered them prior to their application to Cape Henry Collegiate. Newly enrolled students come from both the public and private sectors.
  • Do siblings have preference?

    Yes. Cape Henry Collegiate considers itself a family school and because of this, it is desirable to have members of the same family involved in our educational program. Yet, what is right for one child is not necessarily the correct choice for a sibling. If all other things are equal, we will give first consideration to enrolling a sibling.
  • What should we expect during the visit/interview?

    The parent(s) and student(s) will be met by a member of our Admissions Committee or Admissions Staff. The visit provides an opportunity to meet a representative of the School and, in most cases, to see the School in progress. We feel the visit should be fun and informative for both parties. Each visit includes a tour of the campus.
  • We as parents hear about how much pressure exists at independent schools like Cape Henry Collegiate. Is this true?

    There is a difference between a stimulating learning environment where "learning and thinking" are of the utmost importance and a school where only grades and test scores are stressed. Our students do work hard as the curriculum is rigorous and challenging. Because there are many bright and highly motivated students at our school, there does exist a competitive atmosphere in the higher grades. What keeps it from being a highly pressured situation is the warm, collegial, and friendly nature of the campus, the small class size and the support each student finds available from administrators, faculty, and peers. There is always someone to go to with a problem, be it academic or personal. Most Middle and Upper School students average 1½ to 2½ hours of homework per night. Lower School students average between ½ and 1 hour each evening depending on the grade level. In assigning homework, faculty members strive for stimulating assignments which serve as extensions to classroom learning.
  • How big are classes?

    Class sizes average 14-16 students. As a student moves into upper level language classes, electives, and Honors or Advanced Placement classes in Upper School, class size may decrease to 8-12 students. Cape Henry Collegiate maintains an overall 10-to-1, student-to-teacher ratio.
  • How would you characterize your faculty?

    Qualified, enthusiastic, and caring. Many of our faculty coach and sponsor activities and are available to tutor or counsel any student who requests or needs help. Our diverse faculty combines both youth and the wisdom of many years of teaching.
  • Do you have a gifted program?

    The Cape Henry Collegiate academic program is accelerated across all grade levels and disciplines.  For those students whose academic interests and readiness extend beyond the core curriculum, opportunities to take enriched or honors level classes are available in each division, with Advanced Placement (AP) courses also available in the Upper School.

    In the Middle School, students have the opportunity to take honors level courses in Math and English. Students schedules are created in partnership with teachers, advisors, parents, and students. 

    In the Upper School, all classes are taught at a rigorous, college preparatory level. Honors and AP classes are available to qualified students in Math, English, Science, History, World Languages and in the Visual Arts. Students are scheduled appropriately in consultation with the Office of College Counseling in order to ensure each student is appropriately challenged and pushed toward their goals. 
  • What is the Academic Center?

    Cape Henry admits a diverse student body whose commonality is the desire and the cognitive ability to do college preparatory work. The Academic Center provides support for students with learning differences to help them be successful in our challenging curriculum. This support program, which is available to a limited number of enrolled students, is integrated into the school day. This program is an alternative to "the tutoring solution" so often adopted in the past. English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is another component of the Academic Center. ESL instructional programs are tailored to give academic assistance for international students not yet proficient in English.
  • Do your students participate in community service?

    Yes. Cape Henry's Mission Statement includes a commitment to volunteer and community service. The Cape Henry Collegiate Service-Learning Program is designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to become socially responsible and active citizens within their local and global community. We believe that community service enhances awareness of responsibility to school and community and broadens student education through involvement with those in need. For examples of student participation in service learning, please visit the Service Learning webpage.
  • Do you have a Parents' Association?

    Yes. The Cape Henry Parents' Association (CHPA) is very active, sponsoring numerous fundraising events as well as bringing programs into the School that entertain and inform the students. Officers are elected annually by the parents in the Association.
  • Do you have a dress code?

    Yes. While our students are not required to wear uniforms and while dress is viewed as a means of individual expression, students are asked to adhere to certain standards of dress. The guidelines with regard to personal appearance and dress are neat, appropriate, and in good taste.
  • Do you have before and after school day care?

    Yes. Cape Henry Collegiate provides day care with a difference. Our Extended School Day Program (ESDP) is for students in Prekindergarten through Grade 5. The program hours are from 7:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Enrollment options are available, including complete and partial academic school year sessions and drop-in care. For costs, hours, and other details, please refer to the Extended School Day Program section of this website or contact the Extended School Day Office at (757) 963-8254.
  • Do you have any afterschool activities for Lower School students?

    Yes. Cape Henry offers a variety of afterschool programs for students in Kindergarten through Grades 5. The auxiliary programs provides exploratory opportunities to students in the arts, athletics, and academics. Auxiliary offerings are available each semester with additional “mini-mester” options as well. Please visit the After School Enrichment page to read more about these opportunities!
  • Do you provide transportation?

    Yes. Transportation is available throughout South Hampton Roads, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. There is a transportation fee for this service.
  • What is the Tuition Protection Plan?

    When a student is enrolled for the full academic year, no refund or reduction in tuition and/or fees can be made by the School for withdrawal or dismissal. This policy is followed by virtually all independent schools. To plan and provide for continuing expenses such as faculty salaries and plant maintenance, it is essential that income from tuition and fees be stable. The Tuition Protection Plan, provided through A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., provides a partial refund of remaining tuition and fees in the event of withdrawal of a student for medical causes or for withdrawal for other reasons including dismissal by the School. Payment for the Tuition Protection Plan is due with the first payment of tuition and fees.
  • Are Cape Henry Collegiate parents expected to contribute to various fund-raising activities during the year?

    Yes.  Since its founding, philanthropy has been a cornerstone of Cape Henry Collegiate   This tradition continues today through the generosity of alumni, current parents, parents of alumni, faculty and staff, grandparents, Trustees and friends.  Your gift, no matter the size, has a profound impact on our commitment to providing excellence in all areas of Cape Henry life.  
  • Do you offer a Need-Based Financial Aid Plan?

    Yes. Financial assistance is available to students accepted for admission whose families clearly demonstrate financial need. Need is determined by the information available from the Parents' Financial Statement form provided by the School Student Service for Financial Aid. A copy of the family's most recently filed Federal Income Tax Form 1040, with attachments, and the W-2, must be submitted to the School. All family financial information is held in the strictest confidence by the School. Please refer to the website area on Need-Based Financial Aid for further information.
A Leading Independent Coeducational College-Preparatory Day School | Prekindergarten through Grade 12
1320 Mill Dam Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454-2306 | Phone: (757) 481-2446 | Fax: (757) 481-9194

We know, value, and challenge each student. We commit to building a diverse and inclusive community. We graduate independent thinkers and globally aware citizens.
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