Building a strong school based chess program
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Building a Strong School Based Chess Program. Description of the T. H. Rogers Model and its Applicability to other Schools. T. H. Rogers. Public Magnet School in Houston, Texas. All Special Ed students …. No neighborhood children. 3 programs: K – 8 Gifted and Talented (Vanguard)

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Building a strong school based chess program

Building a Strong School Based Chess Program

Description of the

T. H. Rogers Model and its Applicability to other Schools

T h rogers
T. H. Rogers

  • Public Magnet School in Houston, Texas.

  • All Special Ed students …. No neighborhood children.

  • 3 programs:

    • K – 8 Gifted and Talented (Vanguard)

      • 180 Elementary Students

      • 320 Middle School Students

      • 500 total Vanguard students

    • Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (Pre-K – 8)

    • Regional Program for the Multiply Impaired (Age 3 – 23)

  • 750 Students total on campus, 221 staff

High maintenance program
High Maintenance Program

  • The T. H. Rogers Chess Program as currently configured is a high maintenance club.

  • You do not have to do all of the things we do to have a successful program.



We are way out here!

Not a reasonable place for most clubs.

Increasing Level of Effort 

Mission statement
Mission Statement

  • Clearly lay out your goals.

  • Your whole program will / should follow from this statement.

  • Be sure achieving those goals is under your / the program’s control.

  • Be succinct.

Original mission statement for t h rogers 2001
Original Mission Statement for T. H. Rogers - 2001

The goals for the chess club were to:

  • Measurably improve each participant’s skill level,

  • Provide opportunity and encourage habits useful for further advancement,

  • Foster good sportsmanship,

  • Have fun.

Mission statement from another school
Mission Statement from another school

  • To teach and enhance basic chess skills for the beginning player and tactical and strategic skills for the more experienced player.

  • To provide information on additional outside resources for enhancing skills, e.g. US Chess Federation material, educational books and CDs etc.

  • To provide fundamentals for participating in area wide tournaments.

  • To encourage good sportsmanship/team play.

Mission statement today
Mission Statement Today

Since 2001, I have added the following to our original mission statement:

  • Systematically recognize excellence.

  • Provide the structure and support necessary to maintain a national caliber team.

  • Ensure that our instructional programs and participation in local chess tournaments are available to all our students regardless of their families’ ability to pay and problems with transportation.

  • Ensure good communication.

Current program
Current Program

  • Small Group Instruction

    • Offer 6 separate after school classes organized by age and ability.

    • Classes meet once a week for 1½ hours.

    • Taught by master / expert level chess coaches.

  • Chess Club

    • Tournament Practice Session.

      • Run two regular 5 week tournaments and two 1 day bughouse tournaments each semester.

    • Meets once a week for 1½ hours.

    • Learn skills and test for higher rank.

    • Chess Tactics for Beginners program available on 24 laptops.

Current program continued
Current Program - continued

  • Kindergarten – 3rd Grade receives chess instruction as part of the enriched math curriculum.

    • Once a week, during the school day, for 45 – 60 minutes per grade.

    • 2 teachers so we can split the rooms into beginners and everybody else.

    • Chess program pays the professional coach. I volunteer.

    • Each homeroom receives 3 chess sets for the year so that the kids are able to play chess during center time and indoor recess.

  • Summer Chess

    • Open to the wider community.

    • Weekly evening lessons and club are available all summer.

    • One week camp.

Measurable improvement
Measurable Improvement

To accomplish this we will:

  • Use a sequenced curriculum and have instruction available on several levels.

  • Track participation and progress

    • Keep attendance records

    • Track homework, rating points, and rank

    • Track tournament participation and results

  • USCF ratings - good metric for ⅓ of club who participate.

  • In-house ranking system for everyone else