Chelsea students are promising, intelligent, often brilliant pupils with the ability to exhibit high-level thinking skills, to grasp information presented in a multi-modal format, to compare, contrast, hypothesize, and analyze information, and to succeed in non-traditional assessments.
Students at Chelsea School have a language-based learning difference and, in traditional school environments, these gifts have not been allowed to flourish. At Chelsea School, our students receive individualized instruction that appeals to the unique ways in which each of them learn. Different learning styles are celebrated, fostered, and developed at Chelsea.
Chelsea School students are middle school and high school students (grades 5-12) with language-based learning differences and ADD/ADHD. The number of students varies from year to year. Our middle division (5th-8th grade) has approximately 20 to 30 students. Our upper division population has varied from 50 to 70 depending on the year.
At Chelsea, we encourage students to embrace the gift of learning differently. We shatter the stereotypes everyday and give our students the tools to thrive. From admission to graduation, children who attend Chelsea School embark on an incredible journey and a lifetime of learning.
At Chelsea, we recognize that each student learns in different ways. That is why our teachers create classrooms that are vibrant, stimulating centers of learning. Chelsea Teachers specialize in remediation through individualized and differentiated instruction. These multi-sensory classrooms draw students into lessons regardless of whether they are visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners.
Our students engage with challenging course material, authentic-learning opportunities and enriching co-curricular activities that support and cultivate their varied interests and talents.
Our students have the potential to be leaders and doers; over 99% graduate with a Maryland high school diploma and for more than 90% of students, the path through Chelsea School leads to either college or vocational school. Our students have potential -- to be artists, athletes, designers, innovators, performers, writers and luminaries.
Chelsea Students earn the same diploma as public school students in the jurisdictions we serve and are held to the same academic standards and educational requirements as set by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
Chelsea School accepts students who are funded by their local school districts in the DC Metro Area as well as students whose families pay for Chelsea School's unique program privately. Approximately 30% of our current student population is private pay families. Our students receive the benefit of attending school alongside other students with diverse cultural and social backgrounds who face the same challenges --learning differently, together.
Chelsea School is led by our Co-Heads-of-School Kristal Weems-Bradner and Frank Mills
Principal, Middle School
Principal, Upper School
The Chelsea Board of Governors is a voluntary board representing a cross-section of interested persons from the community and the population whom we serve. Chelsea's Board of Governors meets monthly with our Head of School, and individual committees meet multiple times during the month.One-third of the members of the Chelsea Board of Governors are elected each year. Each member of the Board is obligated to attend meetings of the Board regularly; to serve on a minimum of one Board committee; to contribute financially to The Chelsea School, either personally or by soliciting others; to volunteer services in the School, and to attend the School’s special events.
As a former investment management professional for a PNC Wealth Management and Finance & Operations Manager for a large charter school network in Washington DC, Autumn has developed a high level of expertise for procuring and cultivating relationships. Most she developed innovative platforms and resources to promote financial inclusion in underserved communities. Beyond her professional work, Autumn has volunteered with a number of non-profit organizations that align closely with her passions. As an advocate for education, Autumn is committed to her role on the Board.
Autumn serves as Chair of the Board
John works as a Counselor in the Disability Support Services office for Montgomery College on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. John has 10+ years working with students with learning differences and other disabilities. He has also been affiliated with Chelsea since 1989 and is committed to its mission.
John Serves as Treasurer on the Board.
Cherise Lesesne is a program manager in the Office of Periodic Assessment within New York City’s Department of Education. She is dedicated to providing guidance and support to urban education and advocating equality among both public and private education.
Cherise Serves as Secretary on the Board.
Rebecca is a local attorney in the Hyattsville area. She is passionate about equitable education that allows every child to excel to their full potential. The is an advocate for community and public engagement in the schools.
Eleanor works in management consulting in the Washington, DC area. She is a leader in her community and also serves on the board for the Junior League of Washington Women. Eleanor, named after her grandmother, is the granddaughter of Chelsea’s co-founder. She has a strong passion for students with learning disability and looks forward to carrying out her grandmother’s legacy and vision for the school.
History of Chelsea School
More than four decades ago, Chelsea School became the first high school in the DC area specifically designed to serve the unique needs of students with learning differences. In May of 1976, founders Betty Nehemias and Eleanor Worthy, two parents of children with dyslexia, began a legacy of inspiring talented young people to meet their learning challenges head on and achieve success in college and beyond.
From the very beginning, Chelsea School's focus was on providing a skill-based curriculum to students organized in small homogeneous groups based on reading level. The teaching methods that were established were individualized and multi-sensory and included intensive reading intervention based on the most current research and findings. As the school’s reputation grew in the 70’s and 80’s, families throughout the Washington, DC area began to look to Chelsea School to help their children struggling with learning disabilities.
By 1989, the school made a major evolutionary shift in its focus by admitting publicly-funded students from Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Chelsea School had always been dedicated to those students who were not adequately served; however, now admittance to the program could be extended to students who would not have had the economic means otherwise. Chelsea School’s program model of educating children with learning disabilities was expanded to include children who would not have had the economic means to attend a school that met their individual needs.
Since its founding in 1976, our school has been through many changes, and has changed the lives of hundreds of students. Throughout, Chelsea's mission and guiding values remain unchanged. Our commitment to small classes, individualized multi-sensory instruction, explicit direction and assessment, and intensive reading intervention based on current research is as strong now as it was then.
Chelsea School continues this vision today. Currently, around 70% of our students are funded by their public school jurisdictions. Our world-class staff of educators is working on the cutting edge of special education research and methodology. The commitment to small classes, individualized multi-sensory instruction, explicit direction and assessment, and intensive reading intervention based on current research is as strong as it was 40 years ago.
Parking on the 4th Floor (Metro Shops Parking, above LA Fitness)
From the Prince George's Plaza Metro:
Exit Metro Station and Cross Belcrest Center Drive
Enter Ground-Floor Door marked 'Chelsea School/LA Fitness'
Take Elevator to 4th Floor and Ring Buzzer
Chelsea School is proud to be a part of the following organizations.