Welcome from the Head of School

Melissa Barrett
Melissa Barrett, Head of School

Through a rigorous college-prep curriculum with the highest educational standards, students at our school gain a strong foundation that emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. At Chapelgate we intentionally apply a Christian worldview in our approach to education.

Each teacher serves as a mentor through example, prayer, and relationship building. It is our goal to challenge each student to learn and grow in knowledge, community, and faith, so they are well equipped for college and beyond.

Outside of the classroom, our students are artists, athletes, volunteers, readers, musicians, club members, dancers, mission workers, engineers, and leaders. Chapelgate offers a wide range of athletics for boys and girls at both the middle and high school level.

Our Fine Arts Department provides enriching experiences for every student in band, orchestra, choir, studio art, dance, technology, photography, and theatre. We want our students to have every opportunity to discover, explore, and expand their passions!

The K-12th grade years are formative ones, and the time a student spends at Chapelgate will inform and influence who he or she becomes in the future. 

The privilege we have of being trusted with the education of your student comes with a tremendous responsibility, one that we take seriously. It is our desire to collaborate with parents and families in each student’s moral and character development.

I encourage you to contact our Admissions office to learn more about our school, or to attend an Open House or Welcome Wednesday event. To know our students, faculty, and staff is to know Chapelgate. We look forward to meeting you!

Our Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

The story of CCA is the story of Chapelgate Presbyterian Church. The church began in 1894 through the vision and ministry of four women who met together over a laundromat in Baltimore City. A founding school board member, Donald Fisher, was married to Doris Fisher, granddaughter of one of those women, providing a living link between the founding of the church and founding of the school nearly a century later.

As early as the 1950’s, the church began praying for a Christian School. Dramatic events unfolded over the following years including the need to literally walk away from a church building and grounds over Scriptural inerrancy and other important issues. For a period of several years, the congregation met in public schools and operated out of commercial office space. The congregation doubled during what could be called the “Nomadic Years” at Chapelgate. Ultimately, the church joined other congregations in forming a new denomination: the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

While worshipping in the St. John’s Lane church location, a committee was formed to discuss the formation of a Christian school. A feasibility study indicated that the greatest need in our region was for a Christian high school. There were no other Christian high schools at that time in Howard County. One of Chapelgate’s sister churches, Liberty Reformed Presbyterian Church in Baltimore County, had a Christian school for students in grades K-5 just fifteen minutes from Chapelgate’s newly purchased land. After further study and a formal survey, the committee decided to begin a school with grades six to nine, adding grades ten to twelve in successive years. CCA would be the only Christian high school in Central Maryland approaching Christian education from the reformed perspective.

A ground breaking ceremony was held in September 1989, launching a substantial building project of over 50,000 square feet. Before moving into the building at 2600 Marriottsville Road, Ron Steel, the new Senior Pastor at Chapelgate preached a sermon on the value of Christian education. Enthusiasm for the school was rapidly building and with the Senior Pastor leading the charge, momentum continued to grow.

In August 1991, under the leadership of Dr. DiVirgilio, Chapelgate Christian Academy opened its doors to seventy-eight students in grades six through nine. The spring of 1995 saw a couple of historic moments for CCA: a second wing of 42,000 square feet was constructed, which included the cafeteria and many more classrooms. Later that spring, CCA had its first high school graduation. Dr. Ben Carson gave the commencement address, punctuating a very important time in the life of Chapelgate Christian Academy.

Due to health issues, Dr. DiVirgilio needed to step down as Headmaster after the first year so a new leader was needed for the Academy. Mr. Rob Van Ness accepted that role in May 1992 and served the school faithfully for 26 years. In spring of 2018, the school board of Chapelgate Christian Academy appointed its first female Head of School, Melissa Barrett.

The past two plus decades have seen growth in the depth and breadth of the overall school program. CCA has a respected and well-established program for international students, which make up 15% of our student population. In 2013, a preschool was established, which has now grown to a Lower School which serves children ages 2 through 3rd grade. In fall of 2021, Chapelgate will expand the Lower School to include 4th grade. By the fall of 2022, the Lower and Upper Schools will be bridged providing with classes serving PreK all the way through 12th grade.

Without question, the story of CCA is one of God’s faithfulness to His people. Both the school and the church have clearly seen the hand of God at work over the past 112 years. It will be exciting to see what God has planned for the next decade and beyond at Chapelgate Christian Academy!

Chapelgate is accredited by:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
  • Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI)
  • National Association for College Admissions Counseling
  • Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling

Chapelgate Christian Academy is a ministry of Chapelgate Presbyterian Church. It operates under the authority of the elders of the church (the Session), which appoints the School Board to establish policies for the school. The Head of School, an ex-officio member of the Board, reports to the Board and is responsible for administering school policies and programs. 

Chairman of the Board

  • Aaron Puckett

School Board Members

  • Eric Sevy
  • Mrs. Amie Litt Decker
  • Rev. Tai Kim
  • Mrs. Debbie Otto
  • Miss Laura Starsoneck
  • Mr. George Umanah

Chapelgate Christian Academy (CCA) serves students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade and preschool programs serving young children ages three, and four.

Currently a total of 304 students are enrolled in the Upper School. 184 of these students are enrolled in the Academy’s high school, and 64 are in our middle school. Fifty-nine children are enrolled in our kindergarten- fourth grade and preschool programs for 3, and 4-year-olds.

The maximum for most classes is 22 students for middle school and 26 students for high school. In the middle school we currently offer two section for 6th and 7th grade and one section for 8th grade. The high school has more than 2 sections at each grade level. Often class sizes are smaller, especially as students progress through the school and take classes that are increasingly specialized.

The Academy offers a rigorous college preparatory program for both average and advanced students. The curriculum is written and approved by the faculty and administration. Textbooks are selected from both Christian and secular publishers based upon the excellence and appropriateness of each book. Currently, CCA offers 9 advanced placement courses and 8 honors courses. The Christian world and life view is integrated in each subject at CCA. CCA is accredited by both the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

CCA families are responsible for transportation and often establish carpools.

Students are to be in homeroom by 8:15 each morning; they are dismissed at 2:45 p.m. Students may arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and are supervised by teachers until they are excused to go to homeroom. Supervision is available at no additional cost until 4:00 p.m. Students must be picked up by 4:00 p.m. unless they are attending extra-curricular activities under the supervision of designated school personnel.

Student Racial Demographics

Demographic GroupNumber of StudentsPercentage
African American9029%
Asian5719%
Latino62%
Unidentified/Other3110%
White12040%
Total304100%
The chart below shows the numbers and percentages of students, by ethnic category, who were enrolled at the Academy in 2019-2020 including preschool programs, kindergarten-2nd grade, and grades 6th- 12th.

100% of CCA graduates attend college. Chapelgate Christian Academy’s Profile provides additional information, including some of the four-year colleges and universities attended by CCA graduates.

The student wants to attend CCA and is prepared to be successful here. Potential for success is evaluated in the areas of academics, character, and conduct using the following indicators:
Academics – CCA’s admissions test results, teachers’ recommendations, and transcript data from the current school demonstrate the student’s academic performance has been at or above average.
Character and Conduct – Discipline records and recommendations from the current school provide evidence that the student has exhibited positive personal qualities and practiced a pattern of respectful, positive behaviors.

CCA is not the right match for every student, and we are not able to admit all applicants.

Yes! CCA offers the MAG (Mentoring Academic Growth) Program for students with diagnosed learning challenges in executive function, written language, reading, spelling, study skills, and other language-based learning differences. CCA also offers math tutoring services. There is an additional cost for both of these programs. In some cases, participation may be required as a condition of admission. Contact the Admissions Office for more information and details about the admissions process for students with learning challenges.

The best place to start is buy filling out an inquiry form. Mrs. Susan Spisz is available to assist families looking for preschool and kindergarten programs. She can be reached at 410-442-5888, ext. 117 or at sspisz@chapelgateacademy.org.

Chapelgate has been recognized as:

  • National Merit Scholarship Program
  • Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program for Academic Achievement
  • National Achievement Scholarship Program
  • Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program for Talent in the Arts

Post Graduate Outcomes

We are proud of the accomplishments of our graduates. Nearly 100% of our alumni pursue higher education- many at the most prestigious colleges in the United States. Graduates scattered near and far are engaged in widely varying professional pursuits. Even as a relatively young school, our alumni are finding their way to locations around the world working in industry, technology, law, medicine and ministry. Chapelgate has existed for over 25 years and we look forward to the next 25 years of impact on the lives of young people!

Nearly 100% of our alumni pursue higher education- many at the most prestigious colleges in the United States. Graduates scattered near and far are engaged in widely varying professional pursuits. Even as a relatively young school, our alumni are finding their way to locations around the world working in industry, technology, law, medicine and ministry. Chapelgate has existed for over 25 years and we look forward to the next 25 years of impact on the lives of young people!

The following are some of the many colleges and universities CCA graduates have attended over the past few years:

  • University of the Arts
  • American University
  • Baylor University
  • UC Berkeley
  • Binghamton University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Bowdoin College
  • University of Buffalo
  • UC San Diego
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UCLA
  • Calvin College
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Clemson University
  • College of William & Mary
  • University of Colorado
  • The Citadel
  • Cooper Union
  • Covenant College
  • University of Delaware
  • Dickinson College
  • Duquesne University
  • Elon University
  • Emory University
  • Geneva College
  • George Washington University
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Grove City College
  • Howard University
  • University of Illinois
  • Ithaca College
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Liberty University
  • Loyola College of Maryland
  • University of Maryland – College Park
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • MIT
  • McDaniel College
  • Messiah College
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Penn State University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Pratt Institute
  • Princeton University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • St. John’s University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Towson University
  • US Air Force Academy
  • US Coast Guard Academy
  • US Merchant Marine Academy
  • US Naval Academy
  • Villanova University
  • Wake Forest
  • University of Washington
  • Washington University of St. Louis
  • West Virginia University
  • University of Wisconsin