Countryside Day School, a renowned institution in Northbrook for more than 50 years, continues to fill a niche in the educational market by providing students 16 months through 8th grade with an unique learning experience that emphasizes not only rigorous academic studies but also the development of critical character skills essential for success not just in school, but more importantly in life. Countryside is committed to working in partnership with parents to help young people become more than great students but also exceptional adults.
Faculty at Countryside understand education in a broader and deeper context than conventional schools. They see school as an internship to adulthood in which students develop a strong sense of agency and empathy. Countryside students feel a deep responsibility to make a contribution. This is accomplished in classes that are “micro-societies” designed to emulate real life, with mixed ages, the expectation to take initiative, permission to follow interests which develops deep concentration and an intrinsic love of learning, and room to learn that failing is necessary in order to accomplish great things.
This great work is also accomplished with uniquely strong one-to-one student-teacher relationships where teachers do more than offer academic content but also serve as mentors to their students. Teachers’ knowledge of each individual student is one of the most treasured aspects of the Countryside experience by both students and parents alike. It is also what makes the role of teaching so inspiring that Countryside Day enjoys very little teacher turnover.
The final piece of the Countryside success strategy is a close working relationship with parents in which faculty share observations of their students, seek information from parents about what they see at home, and make recommendations regarding parenting based on the expert, collective experience of master teachers. The CDS faculty is keenly aware of the changes in culture that are impacting children and families and how these changes are affecting the development of young people.
The mission of Countryside Day School is to provide an education that assists students in developing the qualities of Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness so they become great students and exceptional adults.
Countryside’s website, countrysideday.org, is a great place to start your research, but families say, without exception, that it is a visit to the classrooms themselves that reveal the unparalleled and awe-inspiring educational experience. Parents are encouraged to schedule a personalized tour anytime.