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Chadwick School is a nonsectarian independent K-12 day school located in an unincorporated area on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County, California, United States.[2][3][4] Specifically it is located at the top of the neighborhood referred to as Academy Hill, which is bounded by a canyon, a precipice, Crenshaw Boulevard, and Palos Verdes Drive North.

Chadwick School
Chadwick School Logo.jpg
26800 South Academy Drive


United States
Coordinates33°46′36″N 118°21′40″W / 33.77667°N 118.36111°W / 33.77667; -118.36111Coordinates: 33°46′36″N 118°21′40″W / 33.77667°N 118.36111°W / 33.77667; -118.36111
HeadmasterDal Sohi
Enrollment830[1] (2013-2014
  • Village School(K-6): 320
  • Middle School(7-8): 150
  • Upper School(9-12): 360
Campus size45 acres (18 ha)
Color(s)Navy blue and white
Athletics24 CIF Varsity teams
Athletics conferenceCIF Southern Section Prep League
MascotPacific bottlenose dolphin


The school was founded in 1935[5] by Margaret Lee Chadwick and Commander Joseph Chadwick in San Pedro, California.[6] In 1938, the school moved to Palos Verdes, California.[5] In the beginning, Chadwick was an open-air day and boarding school for 75 students. After the retirement of the Chadwick family in 1963, the school created a board of trustees[5] and in 1968 discontinued its boarding program. In 1972, Chadwick joined the Cum Laude Society.[5] Up until the 1970s, the school owned all of the hill leading up to it, which was sold off to establish the school's endowment. Since then, the school has opened more buildings, a gymnasium, and a performing arts center.[7] It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[8] The movie adaptation of the book Mommie Dearest was filmed at Chadwick in 1981.[9]

Student and faculty profileEdit

Chadwick is divided into three schools: the Village School (K-6), the Middle School (grades 7-8), and the Upper School (grades 9-12). Sixty-three percent of the faculty members held advanced degrees in the 2014-15 school year.[10]

Chadwick InternationalEdit

Chadwick International's four-story atrium

On January 13, 2010, the school announced that it would be administrating and integrating a sister school in South Korea. Chadwick was the third school chosen to administrate the new school after a deal with Vancouver International Primary and Secondary School fell through. Prior to that, the International School Service had submitted plans to run the school but withdrew them.[11] Later in the process, the school's opening was delayed by Chadwick administrators when they failed to submit paperwork on time.[12]

The school is located in the Songdo International City, a city renowned for its efforts to "go green"[13] and is administratively a near replica of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes.[14] Headmaster Ted Hill has stated that the sister school will remain in contact with the originating school through the use of Telepresence equipment supplied by Cisco.[15]

The school opened on September 6, 2010, and completed its first year in June 2011. As of the 2013-14 school year, Chadwick International enrolled 780 students in grades pre-K through 10. Eleventh grade was added in September 2014, and the school graduated its first class in 2015-16. There are now frequent exchanges and visits between the two Chadwick campuses.[16][17]

Study abroadEdit

In addition to sending students to Chadwick International, Chadwick frequently exchanges students with other schools that participate in the Round Square program. Chadwick students also travel to other schools through additional programs such as ones through the Community Service program.

Sperm whale skull fossilEdit

On February 5, 2014, a fossil of a sperm whale skull embedded in a boulder of Middle Miocene Era Altamira Shale located on the grounds of Chadwick School was removed to be studied at the L.A. County Natural History Museum.[18][19] An expert from the museum believed that the skull might be of a previously unknown species.[20][21] This event was widely covered by Los Angeles area news outlets.[22][23][24][25]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


Commander field in preparation for a game

Chadwick's main rivals are Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California[26] and Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, California.[27]

Chadwick participates in 23 Varsity CIF sports. They include boys' football, tennis, volleyball, waterpolo, basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, and girls' tennis, volleyball, waterpolo, equestrian, basketball, soccer, golf, lacrosse, softball and cheerleading. They also include coed cross country, swimming, and track and field.

In 2007 Chadwick reevaluated its image and decided that yellow was not an appropriate school color. It also realized that its athletics logo featured a non-native dolphin. After these realizations the school designed a new blue, grey, and white logo featuring a native and more aggressive looking dolphin.

School newspaperEdit

The school newspaper, The Mainsheet, is published in print and online.[28] Online publication was restarted at the beginning of March 2012.[29][30]

Intracurricular activitiesEdit


In 2006 members of the high school community started Wicked Wobotics, team 2150, a FIRST robotics team.[31] The team won the Judges' choice award at the 2008 FIRST Robotics competition in Las Vegas, Nevada and was ranked sixth after the qualifying rounds.[32] The FRC team was discontinued in 2010.[33] The remaining team focused on the simpler and less expensive VEX Robotics Competition.

In 2011 the school added an optional robotics class to its science curriculum and moved into a larger room previously occupied by the maintenance department.

In 2014 the team had 30 members, and had to move to a much larger classroom.

In 2015 the team had 12 students.

Chadwick Robotics also collaborates with the robotics program at the Chadwick International campus in Songdo, South Korea, sharing engineering techniques and innovative strategies for each year's contest.

Notable alumniEdit



  • David Chadwick - clinical research pediatrician, author, founder of Chadwick Center for Children and Autism Discovery Institute-San Diego, 2019 recipient of Chadwick School Distinguished Alumnus




Notable employeesEdit

In literatureEdit


Fictional Chadwick School novelsEdit

  • Mandie by Lois Gladys Leppard
  • Surviving Chadwick: A Novel by Phillip Wilhite[65]
  • THE TRUST: A Secret Society Novel by Tom Dolby[66]
  • White Lines by Jennifer Banash. Several fictional teachers in the novel share their names with Chadwick faculty. For example, the character Mr. Cass in the novel shares his last name with a Chadwick teacher.[67][68] Dr. Banash herself taught English at Chadwick.[69]


Year Film Notes
1981 Mommie Dearest Shot in main parking lot


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  2. ^ "Chadwick School: 404 page not found".
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  4. ^ "Visit Chadwick." Chadwick School. Retrieved on April 13, 2019. "26800 South Academy Drive Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA, 90274"
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  10. ^ Chadwick opens Songdo campus Archived February 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Chadwick Likely to Run Songdo School". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
  12. ^ "Songdo School Opening to Be Delayed Again". 24 October 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Chadwick Likely to Run Songdo School". 31 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012.
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  18. ^ "A Whale of a Find at Chadwick". The Navigator. Chadwick School. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  19. ^ Pappas, Stephanie (January 28, 2014). "Whale of a Tale: Rare Marine Fossil Found at School". livescience. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  20. ^ Mintz, Zoe (January 29, 2014). "Rare Whale Skull Discovered By Science Teacher, 'Remarkable' Fossil May Belong To New Species [PHOTO]". International Business Times. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  21. ^ Littlejohn, Donna. "'Priceless' fossil find on Palos Verdes Peninsula could be 12-million-year-old sperm whale". The Daily Breeze. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  22. ^ Romero, Dennis (Jan 28, 2014). "12-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil Found at Palos Verdes School". La Weekly. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  23. ^ Irick, Whitney (Jan 29, 2014). "Science Teacher Discovers Rare Whale Fossil on School Grounds". NBC4. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  24. ^ Holguin, Robert (January 29, 2014). "RARE FOSSIL DISCOVERED AT PALOS VERDES SCHOOL". ABC7. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
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  27. ^ "News Post".
  28. ^ "The Mainsheet".
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  49. ^ Scott, Cathy (16 June 2019). "Murder of a Mafia Daughter: The Life and Tragic Death of Susan Berman". Barricade Books – via Google Books.
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  51. ^ Olivia Vordenberg 2011 NH POL Champion. "Poetry Out Loud". Poetry Out Loud. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  52. ^ "Chadwick Alum Wins Major Journalism Award - Chadwick School". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
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  54. ^ Hays, Graham. "Press finishes career on top". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
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  65. ^ Surviving Chadwick: A Novel (9780595520947): Phillip Wilhite: Books
  66. ^ THE TRUST: A Secret Society Novel by Tom Dolby
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External linksEdit