When parents are deciding where their children will attend school, their most trusted source for information is usually other parents. Because it is one of the most important decisions a parent will ever make, having a wide range of perspectives is essential to making an informed decision. There are many factors in choosing the best school for your children. Among them are a strong mission, dedicated faculty, and a program designed to guide children while they grow independently.
Parents commonly ask the following questions when looking for the right school:
- How good is the school’s reputation, according to other parents?
- Does it offer the level of experience it suggests on its website?
- Does the school represent itself accurately during interviews and tours?
- How well do students transition in and out of the school?
- Is the investment in an independent school worth the cost?
- Do students at independent schools score well on standardized tests?
- Why would I choose an independent school when I live in an area with such well- regarded public schools?
- For more specific questions and information about the CDS experience, visit our FAQs or Schedule your parents information session and get answers to your questions from Director Karen.
See what current and former CDS parents have to say about their experiences at Countryside Day
Chris & Corrie Carrigan
When we think about our time at CDS we are overwhelmed with gratitude. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that its impact on our family will reverberate for a generation. We couldn’t be more thrilled with your capable and dedicated staff and how their passion, patience, and discipline have laid a strong foundation upon which our children can build their lives.
The effect of your parent ed’s has been nothing short of transformational for our family. Its ripples will continue as we empower our children to take ownership of their lives, make good decisions, grow, collaborate, and hopefully not only solve their own problems, but also take a crack at some of the big ones facing all of us.
These are gifts we will treasure.– Chris & Corrie Carrigan
Andrea and Tom Hawes
We struggled with the decision to move our children from our local public school to a more dynamic setting. While our public school did an excellent job in many respects, we felt that our children were not realizing their full potential in the conventional academic setting. We wanted our children to have a more active role in making decisions about their education and be part of a smaller-school community. We wanted them to take ownership of their academic experience, foster an excitement for learning, and develop a sense of responsibility. Now that our kids have been at CDS for seven months, we feel confident that we made the right decision.
They are eager and excited to learn.
They have developed greater self-confidence.
School has become a joy for them!
In addition, much progress has been made in developing respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness in our children; all qualities that will serve them well throughout their lives.– Andrea and Tom Hawes
Bobbi Ann Fulk
At the end of sixth grade, Renata was starting to develop a good sense of who she wanted to be, but it wasn’t fully formed nor focused. By having an opportunity to stay at CDS for Middle School, she was able to continue to nurture that growth.
Over the last two years I have watched Renata make good social and community choices. For example, Renata trains at a gym that also offers gymnastics programs for special needs children called “Superstars”. Last summer she approached the program coordinator for the Superstars program to ask if there was anyway she could volunteer to help work with the children during their camp. Renata was a junior peer helper for the camp and truly embraced the roll. At the start of the new year, the gym offered any eighth graders the opportunity to be junior coaches with the Superstars on a more regular basis. Renata stepped right up and asked what she could do. The Superstars train Saturday mornings from 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. and then she practices for another three hours. While it a long day in the gym, she takes it very seriously. This has improved both her leadership skills along with a greater understanding of working with a wide variety of children.
In addition to taking her volunteer work at the gym seriously, she is very focused on doing well on her homework and tests. She is self-driven and ensures her schedule reflects all of her commitments to the school and community. I have seen Renata turn down invitations to friend’s houses, parties, hang outs or other, in order to ensure she has enough time to do her homework, study, volunteer and spend time with her family.
Renata also appreciates the efforts of others on her behalf. Her schedule requires a lot of driving on our part. Anytime she is making plans that will impact our schedules, she is very conscientious of trying to minimize our inconvenience. If she has to return to school in the evening, she will try to coordinate with a friend so we aren’t driving back and forth. Anytime our schedule needs to be rearranged on her behalf, she is quick with a genuine “Thanks Mom” or a heartfelt hug. She has even offered to stay home, while Barry and I go out to dinner, because we deserve it for all we do for her.
There are times Barry and I wonder, who is the adult, Renata or us, as the level of her maturity and compassion can, at times, overshadow our own.– Bobbi Ann Fulk
Our daughter, Madison (Maddi), is in 8th grade at CDS. Maddi had been in the public school setting until 7th grade. She and our family made the incredibly difficult decision to move her and give her one year of the Montessori experience. As Maddi was getting closer to high school, we really felt that she would benefit from experiencing a year of school that embraces the idea that there are many ways to learn-not just one. We are so glad that Maddi had the courage to make the change and that CDS was open and accepting to it.
This year for Maddi has been EXCEPTIONAL! Yes, Maddi has benefitted greatly academically as she continues to learn all about her strengths and learning styles, as well as using strategies to work through challenges. We couldn’t be been more thrilled watching the development of her personal character.
She is more courageous, independent, motivated and open to problem solving. The bottom line is that she is beginning to truly believe in herself… which really is the foundation of being a successful learner and community member. The beginning to a wonderful Montessori success story and what a great way to head off to high school! Kudos to the CDS staff and a special congratulations to Maddi… we are so proud!!!!– Linda Horwitz
When our children entered CMS as toddlers, we were looking for a school where they could develop as unique individuals, guided by teachers and staff who really knew them, with continuity. We had to take it on faith that "the Montessori part" would be beneficial. Now that our son is 17 and our daughter is 14, a senior and freshman in high school, we know, absolutely and without a doubt, that it was the best thing that ever happened to them - and to us.
Sixth graders graduate with the core of their adult selves. They are secure in who they are. They know right from wrong. They are self-reliant, compassionate, and honest. They are socially and physically graceful. They know themselves. They are ahead academically. But more than that, they are curious and receptive to new experiences and learning. It's the difference between "fact stuffing" and a thinking, analytical and insightful way of life. Sixth graders graduate with the core of their adult selves. They are secure in who they are. They know right from wrong. They are self-reliant, compassionate, and honest. They are socially and physically graceful. They know themselves. They are ahead academically. But more than that, they are curious and receptive to new experiences and learning. It's the difference between "fact stuffing" and a thinking, analytical and insightful way of life.
Not only are they prepared for the unknowns of junior high and high school, they are prepared for the world at large. CMS gave them the tools. CMS gave them the experience. CMS gave them the courage to be successful and the courage to try again when they fail. We don't worry about how our children will turn out or survive. We already know. CMS allowed our children to become people we admire and enjoy, as well as love, with futures full of promise. Not only are they prepared for the unknowns of junior high and high school, they are prepared for the world at large. CMS gave them the tools. CMS gave them the experience. CMS gave them the courage to be successful and the courage to try again when they fail. We don't worry about how our children will turn out or survive. We already know. CMS allowed our children to become people we admire and enjoy, as well as love, with futures full of promise.
CMS is dedicated to a vision of childhood that is joyful, purposeful, and meaningful. It's a miracle that continues to enrich our lives. CMS is dedicated to a vision of childhood that is joyful, purposeful, and meaningful. It's a miracle that continues to enrich our lives.– Linda Murakishi
Yesterday I met with all of Tess' teachers at NSCD. I had to write you a note because I wanted to make sure you enjoy the fruits of your labor. The first person to speak was her science teacher - he started by saying "Tess is a rock star" she is interested in the material, her work is accurate and on time, and she works with people in the labs collaboratively. In math the teacher said " I wish I had a classroom filled with Tesses." The Spanish teacher said that she has a beautiful accent and her intonation is perfect like she had done language immersion. I mentioned that she was taking Chinese and she said "please keep her in Spanish she has a real chance of being fluent.” Her writing in Spanish is well beyond what they are doing in class, using idioms, etc..
Her Fine Arts teacher praised her ability to work collaboratively and independently and said her drawing was a multi level understanding of shading and nuance. In sports she was an excellent team player who worked hard to learn and improve her skills in field hockey; she became their top "sweeper." They used words like "responsible"; "respectful of herself, teachers and fellow students"; "highly collaborative and willing to help other students who are not getting the concepts"; "always willing to help with anything when asked: even when not asked she steps in and leads"; "always engaged.” I wrote these down and they are direct quotes - they didn't use "resourceful" but some of the comments work that in!
Thanks Wendy to you, Mr. Calise and Mrs Anderson, and all the teachers and staff of Countryside that have had an influence on this outcome. You should be very proud of the work you do and the outcomes you produce.
North Shore is not an easy school; it is competitive to get in AND competitive to stay in. For a kid that has never been in this learning environment, being new to all the kids and the process, she has impressed everyone beyond belief and exceeding expectations and her peers. They thanked me for sharing Tess with them… and said "we are delighted to have her here!”– Jamie Thorsen
My children attend Countryside for so many reasons but there are two that drew me to the school four years ago when they were three.
First, the school's goal of teaching my twins to be resourceful, responsible and respectful.
Second, the passionate commitment of the teachers and staff to instill the love of learning I see developing in my children every day.– Lauren MacBlane
My husband and I have been extremely fortunate that our children are able to attend CDS.
The curriculum along with the great staff have provided them with an environment which promotes the highest standards of education as reflected by their enthusiasm of their school life.
CDS instills the values and ideals of independence, responsibility, and accountability within the school; as these same traits have been clearly exhibited within our home, thanks to CDS.
We are confident with such a strong base provided by CDS, that our children are fully prepared to meet the challenges of their future.– Stella Ullmann