Norms and Expectations


Students must understand themselves to be the driving force behind their intellectual growth. Counterpane teachers and staff are facilitators for students’ intellectual pursuits; they are not the source of initiative, which must come from within each student.


Self-discipline, not teacher imposed discipline, is the sure sign of a maturing learner. Each student will be given the freedom he/she earns or the structure he/she needs to fulfill the responsibilities to the best of his/her individual ability.

Academic Progress

Academic progress is monitored by the teacher but is driven by the individual student. A student’s progress from one level to the next is based on academic readiness, not chronological age or “seat time.” Upper School students may complete their transcript work in three years, four years, or five years. Counterpane refuses to advance or graduate a student who has not proven academic readiness by an end-of-course grade of at least “75” in all college preparatory work.

Academic Environment

Counterpane offers an academic opportunity not a social opportunity. Therefore, the daily focus must be an intellectual one. It would be counterproductive for students to pursue a social agenda in this environment. Although we encourage social activities outside the school, Counterpane is ultimately a place for academic learning. Building community to that end is our priority.

Romantic Relationships

An environment must be safe before it will encourage intellectual risk-taking. Counterpane is too small an environment for romantic involvement between students. Therefore, we insist that students maintain collegial relationships, which will ensure a dynamic environment in which they may be brave and open with their thoughts.

Academic Integrity

Counterpane students are responsible for completing all work to their best ability and are honor-bound not to lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. They are to ensure the integrity of their own work as well as that of their peers.

Shared Responsibility

The ideal environment is one that facilitates learning, quality work, timeliness, cleanliness, kindness, and quiet, focused work habits. Students and teachers are equally responsible for sustaining and nurturing such an environment.

Parent Support

Your contract with Counterpane implies you have researched our program and our goals, and have made an informed decision to place your child in this environment. It is imperative that the family support decisions made by the school regarding their child, which are made to ready that person for future academic success. Parent support of our program is crucial to the success of the student. Parent initiative to stay in touch with their child’s progress is essential.