chatham academy
Chatham Academy Welcome

"Thank you for a wonderful first day of school. I’m SO excited. My son’s first words when I saw him, ‘Mom, I love this school. Reading was SO much fun.’ This brought tears to my eyes."

Sandy, a parent of a Chatham Academy Student Read More

Since 1978 Chatham Academy has educated students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and similar learning differences. Our goal is to help each student reach their potential academically and socially in turn becoming productive members of society. To accomplish this, we offer specialized classes that strengthen reading, math, writing, and study skills. We also teach self-advocacy skills which empower our students to accept who they are, recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and gain the ability to plan a path for success.

We have a unique environment offering every student the opportunity to learn successfully, to find acceptance, and to engage with empathetic educators. When students enter Chatham Academy, they are immediately met with a feeling of warmth and caring. Through the small classes, extra- curricular activities, and close relationships with the staff, our students overcome past learning difficulties, learn from their mistakes, and find the strength to take risks again. As they experience success both academically and socially, they take on new challenges and imagine more possibilities for their future.


Accreditations are an affirmation by professional peer evaluators that a school is what it declares to be, is in accordance with standards set by the academic community, and is committed to continuous improvement. Additionally, Chatham Academy is affiliated with many organizations that are dedicated to educating children with learning differences.

Chatham Academy is accredited by the following organizations:

Chatham Academy is a member of the following organizations:

Thank You to the following Grant Supporters


Title IX Coordinator:
Principal, Cherie Pelli
4 Oglethorpe Professional Blvd, Savannah, GA 31406
912.354.4047  l  cpelli@chathamacademy.com 


    Chatham Academy is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of children with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and similar learning differences.

    Chatham Academy offers:

    • College preparatory or practical studies curriculum
    • Low student/teacher ratio with individualized instruction
    • Caring and supportive professionals who foster self-confident, independent, and responsible individuals
    • Extra-curricular activities


    In the mid 1970’s, a group of parents of children with learning disabilities and business professionals in the community met to discuss the educational challenges their children encountered each day. They recognized that area schools were limited in their ability to address the needs of children who learn differently. They wanted a school to enhance the strengths of children who were bright but who struggled in traditional learning environments. This discussion led to a decision to start a new school.
    After much planning, they asked Carolyn Hannaford, a young and dedicated teacher who studied at Stetson University and The University of Virginia, to interview for the position of principal. They were impressed with her ability to connect with students by immediately earning their respect and focus. She was hired on the spot. There was one big problem; they had no money to hire her and no place for her to teach. The parents turned to the community for support and asked Carolyn to have faith in the vision. Through major donations from The Women of Christ Church and Candler Hospital, Chatham Academy became a reality in 1978. Soon word spread about the the phenomenal school and its amazing students; giving every student a chance at success.

    Carolyn developed a proven method for assisting students and their families to become their absolute best. Over the last forty years, she has built a team of highly skilled, motivated, and driven teachers who love their job in spite of its tremendous demand.

    • Students with LD, ADHD, and literacy needs are our first priority. Our focus is on strengthening the total person while building academic, social, and emotional skills.
    • We have a focused yet flexible academic intervention which remediates weaknesses, teaches through strengths and considers the student’s current and future life circumstances.
    • We place a strong emphasis on self-advocacy, working towards developing students to become independent, productive members of the community.
    • We provide emotional, educational, and social support to our students and our family members.

    Chatham Academy believes that a student’s self-concept, attitude and past experiences affect the daily learning process of the child. Teaching academic skills, appropriate daily behavior and social skills are an important part of the curriculum. In order to teach these skills, daily instruction is on-going and constant. Built into the curriculum, sequence of skills and teaching style is the constant review of key ideas and skills so that the information is transferred from short to long-term memory at each student’s individual level.

    Chatham Academy has designed the classrooms, teaching techniques and curriculum to allow each child to experience academic and social success. Students are grouped in classes by age and skill level, which allows the teacher to provide for academic achievement. Each class is structured so that students have clear expectations and are aware of consequences for inappropriate actions. Basic class rules are the same throughout the school to provide consistency. There are slight variations in consequences based on student age and individual needs.


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