Throughout its history Country Day has thrived thanks to the dynamic interplay between enduring tradition and exciting innovation. GCDS FIRST: The Campaign for Tradition and Innovation is an opportunity for members of our community to enhance these complementary—not oppositional—forces. It is a way to both strengthen tradition—that which connects every generation of Country Day students, such as excellence, character, and the spirit of family—and to support innovation in the form of curricular initiatives, pedagogical best practices, and modern facilities explicitly designed to meet the unique imperatives of a 21st-century education.

Tradition and innovation. Constancy and change. Together they move us forward, and GCDS FIRST shows the way.




Throughout our history, families have acknowledged and celebrated the importance of Country Day in their lives by making GCDS a philanthropic priority. GCDS FIRST sustains what is timeless and essential to our school and spurs the innovation that moves Country Day forward for each new generation.




Our founding mothers envisioned a family day school that could provide the academic rigor of a top boarding school. To this day, we proudly maintain a broad, balanced academic curriculum that includes art, music, physical activity, and play. To this day, we value applied learning and skill building through such traditions as public speaking and service. To this day, dedicated educators engage students in ways that inspire intellectual growth and the love of learning.

Students at Country Day today might be better described as thinkers and doers, experimenters and explorers, presenters and leaders, teammates and problem-solvers who approach their education with a sense of ownership and agency.




The morning handshake is a tradition from our past, a gesture that symbolizes our sense of respect and integrity, and a reminder that at Country Day we value much more than academic achievement. Caring about character is fundamental to who we are. From the polite interactions in the Dining Hall to the inclusiveness of sports and arts endeavors, from the enthusiasm students demonstrate in the classroom to the empathy behind community service, our students make us proud with their TIGER PRIDE.

Our founders and first leaders would recognize in GCDS today the same family school and values they knew and cherished.




What Country Day’s founders believed to be true has been unequivocally proven by research: No factor of schooling is more important to student learning—not programs, not facilities—than being taught by an effective teacher. Who teachers are and how they teach matters. Country Day’s talented faculty boasts a teacher of the year, an author of a book on writing, numerous adventurers who have taught and volunteered abroad, and many recipients of academic honors. What they all share is a dedication to their craft and a penchant for lifelong learning.

“Some of the best teachers I’ve ever had were at Country Day. A lot of them really go above and beyond and become mentors. That shaped who you became over those years. They’re teaching you how to problem solve and collaborate.” —Field Failing ’97



From the first day of school to graduation from Country Day, children experience innumerable formative moments: The first homework assignment. The first best friend. The first lab report, five-paragraph essay, unicycle ride, and first “Danza de los Viejitos.” As a nursery to grade 9 school, Country Day is often central to families’ lives for more than a decade, a hub of family activity, a place where siblings cheer for each other on Field Day, where the tireless efforts of parents make such events as Family Chess Night and the Speaker Series a success, and where hundreds in our extended community come out for the fall Walkathon.

Students do discover what is finest in themselves at Country Day, and when they return to campus after graduation they are often greeted with: “Welcome home!”


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