About Us

What makes us unique? We see your child’s potential.

Churchill Academy is an independent, not-for-profit school specializing in delivering a curriculum to meet the educational needs of students with learning challenges. Our school offers students the opportunity to receive the quality educational support they deserve and a chance for a productive and rewarding future. We provide an individually tailored program to students from grades 4-12 by determining their needs and developing strategies that best suit their learning abilities.

Our Mission Statement

Churchill Academy offers students the opportunity to succeed academically and socially by developing their self-confidence, and by providing the specialized, student-centered education they require to achieve their full potential.

Our Story

When Pat Doherty talks about the staff and students at Churchill Academy, there’s a sense of pride in his voice.  What makes it such a special place, he says, is the special group of people drawn to this closely-knit school.   
Since Churchill Academy opened in 2004, Doherty has served as the School Head and inspirational leader. The Grade 4 to 12 school, located beside Saint Peter’s Church on Crichton Avenue in Dartmouth, provides specialized, student-centred curriculum to children and teens who live with learning challenges.
“When students arrive here, school has been a difficult process for them,” Doherty told Hello Dartmouth. “They haven’t had a lot of successes, and they are dealing with learning and behaviour challenges. This is a safe spot, a place where kids don’t have to worry about sticking out because of those challenges.”
Students at Churchill Academy study the Nova Scotia curriculum which is often modified with an Individual Program Plan. Class sizes are capped at nine students, and total enrollment tops out at 88 students. Funding-support is available to students who qualify under the provincial Tuition Support Program (TSP), covering up to 90 per cent of tuition.
The school’s staff of twelve teachers bring considerable experience and specialized expertise in psychology, counselling and social work.  “They work with the students on so much more than academics,” says Doherty.  “The time these teachers spend counselling the kids and giving them coping strategies is so important to their development as people.” Every student experiences daily physical activity and regular small-group field trips.
Some students reintegrate back into the public school system, but a core of students do remain through to high school graduation “We’re always assessing whether a student is ready to ‘leave the nest’,” Doherty says.  Every year students find their wings at this truly special place of learning.

Active learning in unsettling times

Our board of Governors

Since its founding in 2004, Churchill Academy has been guided by a Board of Governors, composed of 12 to 14 members who serve as our lead volunteers.  Members of the Board uphold the school’s mission, decide on school policy, and are elected at our Annual General Meeting.  They support our School Head and staff who oversee day-to-day operations.

Churchill Academy Board Members, 2022-23

Peter Fardy, Chair
Paul W. Bennett, Past Chair
David Boyd, Treasurer
Lynne Pascoe, Board Secretary
Jean Beeler
Peter Boyd
Scott Pettie

Kevin Saccary
Lisa Scott
Claude Thibault
Roger King
Pat Doherty, Head of School
Joseph Starr, Staff Representative
Rhonda Pottle, CAPA

Board Executive Committee, 2022-23

Peter Fardy, Chair
Lisa Scott, Vice Chair
David Boyd, Treasurer and Finance Chair

Lynne Pascoe, Board Secretary
Pat Doherty, Head of School

Budget and Audit Committee

David Boyd, Chair, Peter Fardy, Pat Doherty

Peter Fardy, Board Chair

Lisa Scott, Vice-Chair

David Boyd, Treasurer and Finance Chair

Pat Doherty Head of School

Lynne Pascoe, Board Secretary