The acquisition of a second language is a competency to which CDS is strongly committed. Our focus is on conversational Spanish, so our Spanish teachers speak only in Spanish to our students. The only time a person can acquire a second language as a native speaker is early in life. Learning Spanish begins in the Toddler class where one of the teachers speaks only Spanish. In the Pre-K/K classes our full-time Spanish teacher visits every class every day. This continues the Elementary Level where we have two Spanish teachers who work at with elementary students every day. By Middle School, students have a high level of comprehension, and many students are confident speaking the language. Spanish at Middle School is twice weekly. All Spanish teachers are native speakers.
Fine & Applied Arts and Music
Art and music are an integral part of our students’ experience. In the Toddler and Pre-K/K classes, classroom teachers teach both art and music. In the elementary class, our art teacher teaches students twice weekly, helping students master the use of various media so they in turn can teach others in the class. Students most often are creating artwork that reflects subjects they have been learning in the classic subjects areas. In Middle School, the art teacher also teaches twice weekly. The artwork produced in Middle School varies between content that is integrated into other course work and self-expression in which students choose what they want to create.
Countryside has a Music Director who works with all of the teachers to help them continue to develop their skills as music teachers in their classrooms. The elementary students perform an annual Winter Concert and an Annual Children’s Opera. Middle School students are responsible for all back stage support for the Opera including set design, costumes, props, sound and lighting. Middle School has music class twice weekly with the CDS music director, and as is art, the work varies between lessons related to work in other subjects areas to self-expression.
Physical Education is an integral part of the CDS daily experience. Students in the Toddler, Pre-K/K, and Elementary classes have physical education every day. At the younger ages, the focus is on the individual development of physical skills and strength. The Elementary students begin work on sports skills, eventually working toward actual game situations where they learn the rules of particular sports, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Middle School students take gym twice weekly at the YMCA across the street from CDS. At the Y, they work in various physical education domains from yoga, to strength conditioning, to volleyball.