All Countryside teachers have completed teacher training from the Association Montessori Internationale for the level of students they teach. This training offers a complete complement of content in the curriculum areas which are then taught in a manner that has been found to most effectively help students learn, including:
Hands on materials
Student choice throughout the day
Short periods of direct instruction followed by collaborative and individual work
Constructive creation of content rather than... READ MORE
To start, students in the Middle School program do in fact take tests, receive grades and reports cards in the core curriculum areas. In addition, they have student led conferences twice per year. Additional communications are conducted on an as-needed basis. In all other Countryside programs, our experienced teachers are cognizant of benchmarks for every developmental and grade level, and they are constantly assessing student learning in informal ways. Because work with students is always... READ MORE
All students have different levels of freedom to direct their own days. Teachers are not simply following the child. Students who do not demonstrate readiness to direct the course of their own days will receive more direction from the teacher including collaborating on work choices for the day, working near a teacher’s lesson table for more oversight, checking in after each work is completed, etc... However, the ultimate goal is helping students to internalize these... READ MORE
The truth is that students don’t need to be prepared for conventional education. Transitioning from conducting the course of their own days, managing mentoring responsibilities, caring for the environment and keeping up with class assignments to essentially following direction is not difficult for our students. They have high expectations for themselves; they value education and learning. With the emphasis placed on the three Rs: respect, responsibility and resourcefulness, our students are prepared to figure out... READ MORE
The overwhelming majority of our students transition into high school very successfully. Some feel a sense of loss of the community that CDS fosters, but that does not stop them from achieving and creating the community they desire in their next schools. One of our graduates stated it best:
“Countryside is definitely worth it. The transition wasn’t easy, but you get over it once you find your friends. Besides it’s good experience to have some... READ MORE
Our faculty takes public school curriculum into account and incorporates subject and content areas when appropriate. But our goal is not to recreate the public school curriculum. We are not a “better public school.” We offer a qualitatively different educational experience in countless ways that are explained throughout the website and instantly evident when visiting CDS classrooms. ... READ MORE
The classrooms are mixed aged. Students “practice life” in micro societies that emulate real life giving them a significant head start on the transition into adulthood.
Students choose their own activities, with varying levels of direction from and oversight by teachers, from a range of options and have uninterrupted blocks of work time fostering independence.
Immediately following introduction to new material—when a student’s interest is at its peak—is the optimal time for deep and... READ MORE
We give students choices so they learn to think and make choices independently. This also helps students to know their strengths and areas for improvement.
We give them responsibilities, so they learn the importance and value of contributing. Our goal is for all of our students to understand their relationship with the world and that their actions matter.
We all learn most from our mistakes. Setting students up for constant success is not preparing... READ MORE
While our approach is quite different than traditional school, we understand the pressure to “achieve academically.” Our students do exceptionally well as they transition to high school and score competitively on all standardized tests. We ensure they are still learning the core curriculum taught by our public school counterparts. Our Faculty take public school curriculum into account and incorporate subject and content areas when appropriate.
Students also take national standardized tests twice a year... READ MORE
Countryside Day School understands education in a deeper and more complex way than conventional education. At CDS, we balance the highest academic rigor with the development of critical qualities of character. Education can no longer simply transmit academic content. CDS gives students an educational experience that allows them to “practice life” in classrooms that are micro-communities that emulate real life. Every day is different. Every day presents new opportunities and new challenges. Students are constantly... READ MORE