Charter High School for Architecture and Design

CHAD Approach to Integrating Design in Teaching and Learning
CHAD was launched in 1999 in collaboration with local educators as part of AIA Philadelphia’s Legacy 2000 Project, CHAD’s mission is to educate the urban poor (half its students are on welfare and 90 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches) and use design instruction to achieve that goal. 

Curriculum Mapping
CHAD introduces students to the design process across the school’s Curriculum exposing them to the building industry and urban planning issues, and calling attention to a set of professions they might not otherwise consider.

CHAD's priority may be less on becoming an architect or designer than on sticking through college, a task that can seem daunting when 90 percent of CHAD’s entering ninth graders read, write, and quantify at a fifth- or sixth-grade level. It’s not just about architecture-it’s about the students’’ lives.

21st Century Skills
CHAD's mission is to use architecture and design as a mode of instruction, not just to groom architects. The majority of CHAD’s students do attend colleges that focus on architecture, design, or the arts, with 60 percent of graduates over the past five years entering the design field.

Performance Outcomes
The ACE (architecture, construction, engineering) mentorship program offers CHAD students the opportunity to become involved with the annual Spooktacular, in which young local architects and CHAD students pair up to design environments for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia patients who can’t leave the hospital on Halloween to trick-or-treat.