At Country Day School, students in kindergarten through fifth grade begin the school day with an assembly in the library. Morning assemblies provide a time for birthday celebrations, announcements and the sharing of special projects, class events and school values, all of which enhance a sense of community.
Although Country Day School is non-sectarian, chapel is an important part of our overall values and principles, helping to develop the moral compass in our students. Each Thursday morning, students in grades 1-5 gather in the chapel to hear stories, share ideas and sing together. PK and K students attend chapel once a month. The time spent together in the chapel connects us as a community and provides a forum to celebrate our shared values.
Our in-school buddy system pairs students from two different grades to interact socially, complete projects together and enjoy playground time. Older students become mentors to younger children and help them feel special and cared for as important members of our community.Fifth graders have kindergarten buddies, and fourth graders have senior pre-kindergarten buddies, and these pairs come together twice a month for a variety of shared activities, including lunch, art projects, creative writing, games and reading. Fifth graders also have second grade buddies, and third graders have first grade buddies, with whom they meet once a month to read and discuss books. Other grades pair up for learning experiences, physical activities, science classes and recess.
Fourth graders also have a special program with the Presbyterian Home in Oakmont, where students “adopt” a grandparent each year and spend time visiting that person, creating projects together, and getting to know someone in a different phase of life.
In addition, all incoming families are paired with buddy families to help them navigate their first year at Country Day.
Community service is integral to Shady Side Academy's mission, and there are multiple opportunities for Country Day students to help those in need. Some of our annual service projects include book and clothing drives, Backpack for Hunger and Jump Rope for Heart with the American Heart Association.