Christian Heritage Academy Upper School offers a challenging academic program based on biblical values to students in Grades 9-12 who are either already committed Christians or actively seeking to discover how Jesus Christ can transform their lives.

Christ Centered

Students are mentored by “Living Curriculum Teachers” who serve as Christ-like role models. They are taught to analyze issues with biblical discernment and begin to develop a sense of God’s call on their lives. As they grow in their relationship with Christ, students are encouraged to place Him at the center of their high school experience, to cultivate a deep faith, an upright character, and a servant’s heart to the glory of God.

Creative and Innovative

We are committed to the unchanging truths of Scripture as well as a continual, systematic evaluation of educational methods. Drawing from the latest educational research, innovations in pedagogy are woven into all disciplines. For example, our science classes are offered in “PCB” sequence (Physics, Chemistry, Biology); students attend a Winterim term in January; and each student receives a personal laptop along with remote access to school software and data.

College Preparatory

Structured to prepare the student for academic achievement in college and post-graduate work, our innovative curriculum meets all college requirements. Throughout their four years of high school, students can expect a rigorous course load with honors-level and Advanced Placement courses offered, crafted to prepare students to excel in college and beyond.

Communications Focused

Students learn to effectively and appropriately incorporate a wide range of communications media in their work. Whether crafting well-researched papers, delivering an inspiring speech, or editing a class video to be posted on the Internet, students develop a thorough comprehension and command of electronic and traditional media at all levels of the curriculum.

Critical Thinking Emphasis

In a world that requires students to understand and exercise advanced critical thinking skills, our curriculum is focused on developing students who can think creatively and logically to solve problems and analyze disparate information effectively. Students are challenged to respond according to a biblical worldview and learn to exercise wisdom as they acquire knowledge.


CHA’s Upper School is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)  and AdvanceEd. We are also recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education and are an approved member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

Upper School Awards & Qualifications

“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”  2 Timothy 4:8

At Christian Heritage Academy it is our greatest desire that whatever we do, whether in word or deed, that we do it all for the glory of God. Additionally, we recognize that “all that we have accomplished…You have done for us” (Isaiah 26:12).  Thus, at the end of each school year, we recognize and give thanks to God for excellent works that have been accomplished by our students in the areas of academics and character development.

President’s Award for Educational Excellence

The President’s Award for Educational Excellence, sponsored by the United States Department of Education, recognizes academic success in the classroom. 

Qualifications: CHA is awarding graduates who have at least a 3.5 unweighted GPA and a composite score of at least 28 on the ACT or 1300 on the SAT.

CHA Heritage Scholar Award

The Heritage Scholar Award is an award established by CHA. This award is given to graduates who have achieved a cumulative weighted grade point average of 4.3 or higher.

Qualifications: Cumulative weighted grade point average of 4.3 or higher.

CHA Soli Deo Gloria Award

The Soli Deo Gloria Award is given to the graduate who demonstrates character that seeks to glorify God alone in all aspects of life through servant leadership, spiritual growth, and a transformed heart for the Kingdom of God.

Normally this award is given to one graduate

Qualifications: The focus of the Soli Deo Gloria Award is one that centers on student transformation over their tenure at CHA Upper School and is separate and distinct from academic or other (athletic, etc.) success.  This award seeks to honor a student who has demonstrated a transformed heart over their four years at CHAUS:  growing in spiritual maturity, servanthood, and exemplifying the character of one who earnestly seeks God.

Teachers nominate one senior who they believe qualifies for this award.  The student with the most votes is given the award.

ILMEA Awards (Illinois Music Education Association)

This is the Illinois state-level affiliate of the National Association for Music Education. Students audition to perform in an ILMEA ensemble (band, chorus, orchestra, jazz band or vocal jazz ensemble) within one of nine geographic districts. The Illinois Music Education Association exists to advocate for universal access to comprehensive music education; deliver exemplary professional development for educators; and provide outstanding musical experiences for all Illinois learners facilitated by licensed music educators.

Qualifications: Students choose to participate and then audition for the ILMEA judges.  ILMEA selects those students who qualify.

National Honor Society

The National Honor Society is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious student recognition program.  CHA’s chapter of the Society conducts many service projects throughout the year, including coordinating the Monday Morning Announcements and our annual food drive for the Northfield Food Pantry.

Qualifications: Criteria for election to the National Honor Society are: scholarship, character, leadership and service.  An invitation for membership is extended to all students meeting the minimum standard regarding scholarship after completion of their sophomore year (or two semesters at CHA for transfer students): cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.  Additional standards include character, leadership, and service, which are reviewed in a variety of ways: an application from the student (listing extracurricular activities, academic honors and leadership awards, community and church service, other activities/hobbies/work experiences); a personal statement written by the student; and observations from the faculty and by the CHA NHS Faculty Council.  The Faculty Council determines final admittance into the NHS.

Illinois State Scholars

The State of Illinois recognizes academically high-achieving high school seniors through the Illinois State Scholar Program administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for seniors who are attending approved high schools.

Qualifications:  State Scholars are determined by a formula which uses a combination of ACT/SAT test scores, unweighted GPA, and class size. Data is taken from the end of a student’s sixth semester, which is usually the end of junior year. Then, using the results of this formula, approximately ten percent of all Illinois high school graduates are named State Scholars. In addition to the certificate each scholar will receive, their names have been listed on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s website at

National Merit Scholarship

The National Merit Scholarship Program reviews the results of the PSAT/NMSQT administered nationally in the fall of a student’s junior year.  Each year approximately 1.5 million juniors take the exam and approximately 50,000 are identified as qualifying for some level of recognition.  Results are released progressively throughout the year, with the full National Merit Scholars (approximately 8,000 students) being released in the spring.

Qualifications:  Take the Preliminary National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and meet requirements to enter the yearly National Merit Scholarship Program.