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The Country Day School

13415 Dufferin Street, King, Ontario, L7B 1K5

Grades (Gender):
JK to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$24,850 to 28,825/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 760 (Gr. JK - 12)

School Address
13415 Dufferin Street, King, Ontario, L7B 1K5



About this school:


Situated on a 100-acre campus north of Toronto among the rolling hills of King Township, The Country Day School is a leading JK-12 co-ed, non-denominational independent school. Since 1972, the dynamic and friendly CDS community has been nurturing student talent and fulfilling promise. Our innovative approach to learning integrates leading-edge technology, sophisticated facilities and exceptional teaching. We offer a superior educational experience that is sensitive to individual needs, enables learning and equips students for life. Emphasizing education with balance, CDS provides diverse opportunities in academics, athletics, and visual and performing arts. Plus, students of all ages also love to explore our sprawling campus for outdoor education activities. This is a place of possibilities where students unearth their passions and everyone feels known, supported and inspired. This is a school where each graduate can answer the biggest question of all: Who will you be? Learn more at www.cds.on.ca.

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Building experience and leadership
Liz Diaz - Parent   (Feb 03, 2018)
Balanced education which means his receives great education and many options to participate in other...

Our Take: The Country Day School

our take

The Country Day School (CDS) began, literally, over a dinner one evening in 1971. The region was in the process of amalgamating schools, which meant that students who had been attending local schools would be bussed to larger, more suburban ones. That didn’t sit well, in part because of the bussing involved, but also because of the sense of community that students had and, presumably, would lose by going to schools further afield. Seven families decided to do something about it, to take things into their own hands, and to build a school that would continue what had been developed in the rural, country schools that their children had been attending. (The name refers to that, as well as to the country day school movement that had been developing in the US since the late 19th century, with a period of renewed growth in the 1960s and 70s.) They didn’t have any experience building a school, but they turned to those who did, including Dick Howard, then head of Upper Canada College. “You’ve got to get a feel for the community,” was Howard’s advice, “who’s in it and how they perceive education.” And, for the next two years, that’s exactly what they did, speaking with families, and building a conceptual outline for what the school could be.
When CDS opened its doors in 1972, it was, in every way, an expression of the community that created it. The school has grown since then—enrollment has grown from 49 in that first year to over 700 today—and the community it sits within has grown and changed, too. Nevertheless, the school remains very much an expression of the families that turn to it. The size of the school allows for a very rich, robust extra-curricular program, and students are gently required to experience all aspects of it. The physical plant of the school has been significantly augmented through a recent and very sizable capital campaign. The core program continues to be underwritten by the values that the founding families intended to express, namely a sense of belonging, empathy, inclusion, and respect. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a vibrant, diverse, student-centred environment.

School busing:

Country Day School offers bus transferring. Service options offered are regular rider, occasional rider.
Additional notes: The annual expense is $1,900 per child for York, Halton and Peel Regions and $2,600 per student traveling from Barrie. Bus passes may be purchased for students who ride the bus less frequently for $8.50 per trip. Visiting our busing page at www.cds.on.ca/busing

Principal's Message


John Liggett, Head of School

What do I love most about The Country Day School? That’s a good question. It is the overwhelming sense of community I discovered the first time I visited.

Community still remains at the core of all that we do here at CDS. In 1971 a group of committed parents first conceived of the idea to start a co-ed private school in King and worked tirelessly to open our doors to 49 students just a year later. CDS has since grown to 760 students with offerings in JK-12 and beautifully situated in the original 100-acre country setting.

This is a place where your children can come be themselves and feel encouraged and supported in everything they do. Our tagline – Education with Balance – speaks to our balanced offerings of a wide range of individualized academics, athletics, arts and extra-curriculars that will cultivate a passion in every student and help them achieve a healthy balance. I encourage you to experience some wonderful examples of this by watching our Portrait of a Graduate videos.

Are you just starting your search for an independent school? Or are you well on your way to making a decision?

Whatever stage you are at in this important process, I invite you to explore our website and social media presence, and then attend an Open House or request a personal visit. A virtual tour will give you some insights, but can’t possibly replace the connections made during a face-to-face visit, which will allow you to experience firsthand the feeling of community I talked about earlier.

Thank you for your interest, and I sincerely look forward to meeting you soon.

John Liggett,
Head of School



Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Country Day School says: At CDS we are mindful that as students enter the final stages of their educational journey with us, they will be confronted with very difficult life choices, not least of which are post-secondary destinations. We offer the Ontario Secondary School curriculum, as well as some Advanced Placement courses. As students move through their Senior School years, the number and range of optional course offerings increase to reflect greater levels of independence and choice, so that by their final year students have over 20 optional courses from which to choose. Our Senior School staff is committed to a yearly academic renewal process in which new courses are vetted for consideration to ensure students have the opportunity to fully engage their interests and cultivate the skills necessary for future success.

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • French • Spanish

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Sex and Health Education Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Country Day School says: A successful kindergarten program encourages curiosity and imagination. Our full-day developmental program provides our students with a balance between academically appropriate activities covering math, language, science and social studies, and fosters a sense of mutual respect, responsibility and a positive attitude toward learning.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Country Day School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Country Day School says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What Country Day School says: CDS provides an intellectually challenging, diversified and balanced academic program that is learner-centered. At the heart of The Country Day School’s academic vision is the belief that all students can achieve success and meet their learning goals. A one-size-fits-all approach to learning does not serve the best interests of most students who approach their studies from various learning styles and preferences and at differing stages of skill development. To this end, we diversify our instructional strategies, the content of our curricula and our assessment methods to create an overall approach that focuses on how students are learning and ensures success.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Country Day School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Country Day School does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Country Day School says:
    • The CDS Public Speaking and Debating Club has sent a student to the World Championships 10 years in a row and brought back a World Champion in 2016 and 2017.
    • Although still a fairly young team, the Cyclone Robotics Team has become a force to contend with at both recent VEX and FRC competitions.
    • CDS Sports teams regularly win medals at CISAA in Boys' Hockey, Girls' Volleyball, Boys' and Girls' Rugby, Snowboarding and Track & Field. This past year the Boys' Snowboard team brought home their first OFSAA banner and the Track & Field team smashed all previous CDS OFSAA records, bringing home two Golds in Midget Boys hurdles and a Bronze in the Midget Boys Relay.
    • Drama, Music and the Visual Arts are alive and well at CDS and offer ample opportunities for our students to showcase their talents on the stage and in the galleries. Visit www.cds.on.ca/page/balance/arts

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Downhill skiing
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Mountain biking
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Online Magazine
      Outdoor Education
      Poetry/Literature club
      Robotics club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid



    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications
    To apply for a bursary at The Country Day School, families are required to complete a Financial Aid for Canadian Students (FACS) application through Apple Financial Services, an independent third party. Apple Financial will review the information and make a recommendation to the School. The School’s Financial Assistance Committee then reviews the recommendation and determines the amount of bursary. Families must apply for a bursary on an annual basis in order to demonstrate continued financial need. In order for a bursary to be renewed, the student must contribute as an active and positive member of the school community. Unfortunately, not all requests for assistance can be accommodated and recommendations by Apple Financial are not a guarantee of a bursary. A family must be prepared to invest in their child’s education to a significant level. Additionally, CDS offers two merit-based entry scholarships for students in Grades 9: the York Scholarship Bursary and the Eberts Entrance Scholarship.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Eberts Entrance Scholarship
    Amount: $10,000
    Deadline: 02/28/2016
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 10—

    This $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming Country Day School student in Grade 9 or 10 who best exemplifies the CDS commitment to education with balance. The award will be renewable each year provided the student maintains high academic achievement (honour role/80%+) and contributes as an active and positive member of the school community.

    CDS awards all financial assistance, including entrance scholarships, at least partly on the basis of financial need.

    Application Details:

    In addition to engaging in the comprehensive admission process, candidates are required to submit:

    By applying for the Eberts Entrance Scholarship, you are also eligible to be considered for the York Scholarship Bursary.

    For more details, visit: www.cds.on.ca/page/Admission/Affording-CDS/Eberts-Entrance-Scholarship
    York Scholarship Bursary
    Amount: 65%
    Deadline: 02/23/2018
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to —

    CDS awards all financial assistance, including entrance scholarships, at least partly on the basis of financial need.
    All applicants must demonstrate strong academic aptitude (minimum 80%/A average) and be actively involved in their community and/or current school.

    In addition to engaging in the comprehensive admission process, candidates are required to submit:

    The York Scholarship Bursary application.
    An essay of 500 words or less on how you plan to demonstrate “education with balance” during your time at The Country Day School.
    A list of significant awards, distinctions and extra-curricular activities.
    The online Financial Aid for Canadian Students (FACS) application.

    By applying for the York Scholarship Bursary, you are also eligible to be considered for the Eberts Entrance Scholarship.


    Application Details:

    The Country Day School is pleased to announce the creation of the York Scholarship Bursary available to three incoming Senior School students for the 2018-19 academic year. These renewable scholarship bursaries will provide support for up to 65% of tuition and additional fees throughout the student’s high school career. They will be awarded to students based on financial need and a demonstrated balanced approach to academics, the arts and athletics. Students must complete and submit this application by February 23, 2018 as part of the process.

    For more details, visit: www.cds.on.ca/page/admission/tuition-and-fees-/financial-assistance/york-scholarship-bursary


    Total enrollment 760
    Average enrollment per grade51
    Average class size17
    Gender (grades)JK to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewJK - 12
    SSAT7 - 9
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)4 - 6
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Country Day School says:

    Submit completed Application Package

    • The completed Application Form including the Confidential Teacher Report Form
    • Current school Report Cards and final reports from the previous two years
    • Photograph of the applicant
    • Birth Certificate or passport (photocopy)
    • Application fee of $125 (non-refundable) made by cheque, payable to The Country Day School


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student The Country Day School is looking for: The Country Day School recruits students who have the desire and potential to engage in their studies and embrace all facets of school life. A balanced education includes academics, athletics, the arts, service and opportunities to learn otuside of the classroom. The admission process identifies students who will thrive in the CDS environment so that we will continue to meet our objective of developing students who are confident, independent, intellectually curious, morally responsible, appreciative of the arts, physically fit and globally aware.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size75
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements36
    **Ivy+ placements10

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    What The Country Day School says:

  • The Class of 2017 has Canada covered from the University of British Columbia to St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia stretching our representation from coast-to-coast. In total, 20% of CDS graduates are leaving the province or the country, including a duo heading across the pond to the University of Oxford. In yet another example of the balance that we strive for here at CDS, there is a broad range of academic and professional disciplines being pursued by this group. Science leads the way with 38% of our graduates pursuing Life Science, Physical Science or Engineering degrees. The Humanities and Social Sciences follow close behind with 35%, Business at 19%, Design and Visual Arts 4% and Professional Programs representing 4% of the placements.

  • Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Mike  Cammalleri 1999 Mike Cammalleri is a professional ice hockey player currently playing in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils.
    Elvis Stojko 1991 Elvis Stojko is a three-time World champion (1994, 1995, 1997), two-time Olympic silver medalist (1994, 1998), and seven-time Canadian champion (1994, 1996–2000, and 2002).
    Adriana Leon 2010 Adriana Leon is a Canadian professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women's Soccer League and member of the Canada women's national soccer team.
    John Celenza 2001 President and Co-founder of Biosteel Sports

    Alumni Highlights

    • 1500 CDS Alumni worldwide
    • Growing CDS Alumni Mentorship Program

    Stories & Testimonials


    Congratulations Cast & Crew of Ahead by a Century!

    In March 2017, CDS student actors and musicians took the stage by storm in four spectacular, sold-out performances of Ahead by a Century, a theatrical experience inspired by the words and music of Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip. The show was the world premiere of an original CDS production, created and written entirely by the cast and directing faculty – a stunning achievement.

    The success and reach of this play exceeded everyone’s expectations. News of this production spread like nothing our school has witnessed before. Our promotional video reached people we never dreamed it would, with audience members attending from as far east as Kingston, west as Waterloo and south as Stoney Creek and Pittsburgh.

    Gord Downie’s brother, Mike Downie, was among them. Mike, a filmmaker, attended the final dress rehearsal on Thursday, as well as Opening Night. He brought a camera crew with him to film and interview our students about their journey working on this project for a documentary he’s creating on projects inspired by the Secret Path album and graphic novel and steps toward reconciliation.
    Mike also brought along his friend Redfeather, a residential school survivor, who came to watch our students perform some of the Chanie Wenjack scenes just for him following the final dress rehearsal. Redfeather was so impressed with what he saw that he returned with his partner to watch the Saturday evening show. When Mr. Garbe introduced him at the conclusion of the performance, the audience rose to their feet to give Redfeather a standing ovation. He spoke to the crowd and urged that “this shouldn’t stop here, it should be produced in other schools.” He (and all of us) hope that this project will continue to educate students throughout Ontario and Canada about this painful part of our history.
    This production was a potent reminder of the power of the arts to make a difference in our world and how the theatre can open our hearts and minds to voices that had been silenced by cruelty and indifference.
    The current generation is not responsible for creating the destructive system of residential schools, but if we remain idle and uninformed, we become complicit in its legacy. We are so proud that the cast and crew of this production, through their creation of this piece of theatre, declared its determination to not remain silent and instead, to actively set a course to reconciliation and healing.
    To Gord and The Hip – thank you for your music and inspiration.
    To Chanie and our First Nations brothers and sisters – we love you. We see you. You’re not invisible to us.


    Student Wins Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Medal Award

    Grade 11 student Victoria McIntyre has a passion for creative writing, journalism and literature. She comes by her desire to pursue a good story honestly as her grandmother was a widely published journalist and has always been a strong female role model for her.

    Victoria's writing abilities were recently recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ International Writing Region-at-Large after she submitted 10 pieces in a number of categories, including journalism, poetry, flash fiction and short story. In February, she learned that seven of her 10 pieces had been awarded regional awards, and deemed among the most outstanding work submitted among her peers.
    A month later, she received further word that a panel of creative professionals in New York City had awarded her a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Gold Medal for her journalism submission - Combatting the Crisis: Poisonous Water on Native Reserves - as well as an invitation to attend the National Ceremony at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on June 8.
    These prestigious awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent. In being recognized, Victoria has joined the ranks of other celebrated writers who have been teenage recipients of these awards since the program’s inception in 1923, including Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and Truman Capote.
    Americans in Grades 7-12, as well as international students from English speaking countries or who attend American international schools, may submit works of art and writing for a chance to earn scholarships and have their work exhibited and published. This year, more than 330,000 artistic (visual, film, photography and fashion) and assorted writing pieces were submitted across 29 categories.
    Victoria has been submitting writing pieces since Grade 9, and won several regional awards last year. Her older sister has also won regional recognition through the Scholastic Awards program for her artwork and is now pursuing an Arts degree at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Victoria is considering attending university in the States as well, and believes this honour will help attain that goal.
    Watch the attached video to hear why Victoria chose the theme of her journalism piece that won the Scholastic National Gold Medal Award and her reflections on the overall experience.

    You can read Victoria's entire piece here. (© Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Used with permission.)


    Dynamic Duo Crowned 1st & 2nd in the World

    Our top two debaters, Natalie Ganzhorn ’16 and Olivia Railton ’17 made history on Monday evening, winning 1st and 2nd place in overall scoring at the 28th annual World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Pittsburgh, PA. This was Natalie’s fourth and final World Championship, having previously traveled to South Africa, Lithuania and Hong Kong, and Olivia’s second.

    Approximately 100 high school students from 10 countries travelled to Shady Side Academy from March 30-April 4 to compete in this unique, global event, including students from Australia, Canada, China, Cyprus, England, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Pakistan, South Africa and the United States. The 14-student Canadian team represented students from other GTA schools, including UTS, Branksome Hall, Havergal, BSS and St. Clement’s.

    “The girls’ performances were absolutely superb,” said their Debating Coach Kerstin Wyndham-West. “Over the years they’ve put in so much time and effort. This year was their crowning achievement.”

    Natalie and Olivia were the only two students to qualify for the finals in all of their four events: Impromptu Speaking, Parliamentary Debating, Interpretive Reading and Persuasive Speaking. Both girls tackled controversial issues for their persuasive speeches: Natalie addressed the topic of female genital mutilation, not just in developing countries, but all over the world, while Olivia spoke about cyber-terrorism. For her reading, Olivia chose a selection from The Day the Voices Stopped about a man who, after 30 years, no longer suffers from schizophrenia. Natalie’s reading was taken from Emma Donoghue’s novel Room.

    Wyndham-West has facilitated the public speaking and debating program at CDS for more than 20 years and has travelled to Worlds with one or two students for the past nine. She is optimistic about the future as her club has grown steadily over the past few years as the older students provide inspirational mentoring to the younger ones.

    Monday’s historic win further demonstrates the power of involvement in extra-curricular clubs. Through their involvement over the past six years, Natalie and Olivia have not only honed their skills as dynamic public speakers, but realized how invaluable it has been in further developing their individual passions: the pursuit of political science and drama for Natalie, and international relations, law and philosophy for Olivia.



    Robotics Team Celebrates Another Great Season

    In April, the CDS Robotics team travelled to Windsor to compete in Canada's largest FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition event. 

    The team had so much fun during the trip, whether it be driving the matches, creating in the pits, watching in the stands, or at the team socials at Kappa Gaming Lounge's escape room and the Adventure Bay Water Park. 

    Despite all of their vigorous efforts, the team did not make the finals at this event. CDS Robotics has learned so much from this trip about building, communication, leadership and problem-solving and is excited to improve for next year's competition!

    Special thanks to the endless support of all of our generous sponsors, to our fearless leaders Mr. Wappel and Ms. Lee, and to Mr. Liggett for traveling all the way to Windsor to cheer us on. 


    Making CDS Track & Field History

    This was an exceptional year for our Senior Track Team as many PBs (personal bests) were set and the most ever school records were broken in one season.

    The CISAA Championships were held over two days in Oshawa. The results were outstanding as most athletes set new PBs in at least one of their events and six school records were broken. The Junior Girls team placed 2nd overall which is an incredible feat considering there were only five girls on the team!

    From the CISAA Championships, 10 athletes qualified for the Metro  Championships in 16 different events. The top four in each event would then continue on to the Provincial Championships (OFSAA). CDS was very well represented, as each athlete put forth their best effort. David Di Paola (Grade 12) finished his last high school race by running a PB in the 110mH. Alessia Masini (Grade 9) and Alessia Pizzimenti (Grade 10) were so close to qualifying for OFSAA, placing 5th in their events. A total of six records were broken at the Metro Championships by Raelle Falkenberg (Grade 9) in the MG 100m, Wilson O’Neill (Grade 9) in the MB 100mH and 300mH, Alessia Pizzimenti in the JG 3000m, Jane Stanton (Grade 10) in the JG 200m and by the Junior Girls 4x100m relay team of Kendall Langston (Grade 10), Raelle Falkenberg, Jessica Faieilla (Grade 10) and Jane Stanton. Overall, the team had a fantastic two days at Metros!

    After further qualifications were met, on June 3, Jane Stanton and Wilson O’Neill headed to Windsor, Ontario for the OFSAA Track & Field Championships. CDS has a rich history of athletes competing at the OFSAA Championships in a variety of track and field events and athletes have always represented CDS well, as some jumped, ran or threw PBs.

    Competing at OFSAA is an experience of a lifetime, as Jane and Wilson were among the top 24 athletes in Ontario in their events. Jane finished her last race of the season by setting a new PB, placing 12th overall in the 80m hurdles. This is an amazing accomplishment!

    The last track and field athlete to win a medal at the OFSAA Championships was Ruthann Gairdner ’00 in June 2000. Ruthann won the Gold medal in the 400m hurdles and went on to run for RICE University in Texas.

    This year, Wilson O’Neill not only set new PBs and school records, but he did what no other CDS male track athlete has ever accomplished before; he won an OFSAA medal. It was very exciting to watch Wilson blossom into a hurdler at OFSAA as he was able to cruise to the finals in both the sprint and intermediate hurdles.

    Wilson came to OFSAA as an unknown, but left quite an impression on his competitors, other coaches, and even the announcers. He made CDS history as the first male to win not just one but two medals at OFSAA.

    Congratulations to Wilson on placing 3rd in both the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles! Wilson should be very proud of the way he stayed humbled and focused while dealing with the pressure of newfound fame. Well done, Wilson!

    We are so proud of each of you - congratulations on another stellar track season. Good luck to David next year as he graduates. We will miss you next year, but wish you all the best at the University of Waterloo.


    Grade 6s Ponder Mars with Emily Nield '09

    Weather forecasting on Earth isn’t easy, but imagine how difficult it is to determine the weather patterns on a moon far away? This week the Grade 6 classes learned a lot about Titan, one of Saturn’s moons from Emily Nield, CDS Class of 2009. Emily’s interdisciplinary degree in Physics and Geography led her to graduate research in Planetary Science at the University of Tennessee.

    Emily explained to the students that the weather on Titan has similarities to that on Earth, such as wind storms which cause sand dunes. Students were also surprised to learn that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has sent back data showing that huge lakes the size of Lake Superior exist on Titan. However, these lakes are filled with liquids such as ethanol. Imagine what a hurricane on Titan would be like!

    The timing for Emily’s talk to the Grade 6’s was perfect as the next morning they departed on a four-day day visit to Queen’s University where they will experience firsthand what it’s like to be a student on a university campus.

    As for Emily, her plans are to spend a month back at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California this summer before defending her thesis in Tennessee, and then moving to Baltimore, Maryland where she will pursue a PhD in Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. We wish her well!


    CDS Student Awarded Schulich Leader Scholarship

    The last week of May proved to be one of the pinnacles of Lukas Weese’s CDS career. As the Grade 12 CDS student prepared for his final exams, he not only received news of his selection as one of only 40 recipients of the very prestigious Canadian Schulich Leader Scholarship, but was asked by the Head of School to be Master of Ceremonies for CDS’ biggest fundraiser of the year – the 2014 Auction.

    A familiar face throughout the hallways of CDS, Lukas arrived in the Junior School in 2004 joining his big brother RP ’09. Initially on the shy side, Lukas’ confidence has soared at CDS and his booming broadcast voice and comfort level in front of a crowd have served him well both in debating competitions across Canada, as well as on the stage starring in numerous school drama productions. A dedicated student, Lukas will finish his high school career as an Ontario Scholar with Distinction (for having a 90%+ average), as well as being the recipient of the Senior Chemistry Award. He has also enjoyed his role as Commissioner for intramural sports (ball hockey in particular) and dedicated countless volunteer hours to Safehaven, a group home in Aurora for physically and mentally challenged youth.

    The Canadian Schulich Leader Scholarships are valued at $60,000 CAD with two awards allotted to each of 20 top universities in the country. The scholarships are designated to undergraduate students pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. It adds to the luster of his selection that Lukas was picked by the University of Toronto, a Canadian science and technology juggernaut. This relatively new scholarship is already considered one of the top scholarships in Canada. Individuals must possess at least two of three criteria: outstanding community, business or entrepreneurial leadership, academic excellence or financial need.

    In September Lukas will be attending the University of Toronto’s Trinity College to study Life Sciences in their Faculty of Arts program. He looks forward to this new adventure, but is now focused on something more immediate. He just landed a job working for Rogers Cable TV this summer doing play-by-play commentary for the local rugby teams and covered his first game this past weekend for the Aurora Barbarians vs. the Oakville Crusaders. If this is any indication of Lukas’ next four years, we better fasten our seatbelts – as I’m sure it’s going to be quite a ride!

    Lukas plans to remain in close contact with CDS as a proud new alumnus. We look forward to following his next four years at U of T as a Schulich Leader as we are sure he won’t disappoint!


    Portrait of a CDS Grad

    As members of the Class of 2017 embark on their next adventure this fall, we have put the final touches on another series of video vignettes that offer a glimpse into what it means to be a graduate of The Country Day School.

    While we only have the opportunity to interview a handful of our new alumni each year, they each tell a different, yet in some ways similar story. Underlying themes included strong sense of community, caring faculty members, a passion for the arts, and gratitude for and pride in their school.

    Olivia Railton (Oxford University) speaks about her passion for music and what it was like to debate on the world stage. Corson Panneton (University of Waterloo) talks about his involvement in drama and computer engineering, and how through his CDS connections he was able to land an internship opportunity that confirmed his decision to study mechanical engineering at university. Ali Iwai (Queen's University) speaks to her experience as a three-term athlete and member of Student Council and what it meant to be selected as recipient of the Al Jackson award. Azeem Ali (York University) shares the pride he felt in being chosen to represent his class as the Valedictorian. Julia Garbe (University of Waterloo) talks about what attending the same school for 14 years was like, her role as President of Student Council this past year, and offers insights into her experience as one of the few girls in Computer Science classes and Robotics Club. And Beau Binnie (University of Ottawa) talks about his involvement and leadership in CDS athletics, his dream of pursuing high-level hockey, and friends made on and off the playing fields. Each one of these students left wonderful lasting impressions on us and articulates the impact CDS had on their own lives as well.

    We encourage you to take a moment to watch our Portrait of a CDS Graduate video collection on the CDS YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/portraitofagraduate


    High-Performance Phys-Ed Program Creates Balance for Top-Level Athletes

    The Country Day School prides itself on teaching its athletes top-level technical skills, with an emphasis on sportsmanship and integrity. With an offering of 57 teams across 21 sports, many CDS students also compete at a more elite-level outside of school. Supporting these athletes as they strive to excel in all areas of their lives is an important part of what CDS does.

    Throughout the School’s history there has been a willingness to customize class schedules specific to the needs of student-athletes to allow them time to compete competitively at a provincial or national level, while still prioritizing their academics. Some of the higher profile graduates to benefit from these accommodations include Elvis Stojko ’91, two-time Canadian Olympic Silver Medalist (1994 and 1998) and three-time World Champion; Michael Cammalleri ’99, left winger for the Calgary Flames; and more recently, Alexandra Paul ’09, member of Canada’s 2014 Olympic figure skating team for Ice Dance; and Adriana Leon ’10, member of the 2012 FIFA U-20 Canadian Women’s World Cup Team and the Canada National Women’s Soccer Team.

    In recent years, CDS has given this individualized scheduling for nationally ranked athletes a name, the High Performance Phys-Ed Program (HPPP). “For those competitive athletes who are training 12 hours or more outside of school each week, CDS offers individualized scheduling accommodations and customized coursework to help balance their busy schedules.” explains Denise Steadman, Head of Physical and Health Education.

    This year there are 10 students enrolled in the program. Three of these students are in Grade 10 and are teammates on the Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA minor midget team; two are currently ranked in the OHL Minor Midget Draft Top 10.

    Victor Mete is the only CDS veteran of the three and is in his ninth year at the School. A defenseman, he has played at the AAA level for seven seasons and is currently ranked 4th in the OHL Minor Midget Draft. Last summer, he was invited to participate in the Allstate All-Canadians National Mentorship Camp run by the NHLPA for the top 40 Canadian prospects in his age group. While Victor has played outside hockey since arriving at CDS, he is also homegrown, having played for school teams from Grade 5 until last year, when his outside commitments became too demanding.

    His CDS hockey coach, Mark Burleigh, says Victor is one of the most gifted and respectful athletes he has ever had the privilege of coaching. “While he has been immersed in a high-pressure, high-performance hockey environment for much of his minor hockey career, he fully embraces the philosophies of school sport and the expectations that come with being a student athlete at a school like CDS. Victor is a selfless player with a rare ability to make everyone on the team feel valued. More often than not, he would prefer a great passing play to an end-to-end rush.”

    According to his mother, Mary, Victor has always worked hard to balance his time between school, hockey and social life. “Although his hockey takes up most of his time, he still manages to keep up with his school work and maintain his grades. He realizes the importance of this as you never know what road you will follow with hockey.”

    Through Victor’s extensive GTHL travel to tournaments throughout the U.S. and Europe, he and his parents have befriended players and families from around the world, including two high-level players from south of the border; both new to CDS this year.

    Victor is open to playing for the OHL, USHL or pursuing the NCAA route to a university such as BU, Notre Dame or Michigan. Time will tell. But for now, these 15-year-olds potentially have some exciting decisions to make in the not too distant future.


    Meet CDS Artist of the Week: Josh Wilson

    Josh Wilson, a Grade 12 student at The Country Day School, is an accomplished musician, poet, actor, and director – a true creative force.  Since his arrival at CDS in JK, Josh has exhibited a shine to theatre and performing on the stage. According to his drama instructor, Ms. Gisa Bevacqua-Tirone, he has either acted or assistant directed in all of the Middle school and Senior School productions for the past six years. 

    This year, Josh was instrumental as a co-creator of CDS’ first-ever original dramatic production,  ) rounded with a sleep ( ( meditations on living ). He also has a lead role in the CDS winter production of The Rimers of Eldritch, scheduled for later this month.

    Last summer, Josh was chosen by Soulpepper Theatre Company to participate in the Mainstage Men summer program where he was able to work with other youth from across the GTA, as well as with professional actors, directors and fight choreographers.

    Josh is also a talented musician and serves as the foundation of the Senior Music Ensemble as the tuba player, an instrument he has played since Grade 5. He also plays guitar and is a part of the rhythm section for the Senior Jazz Band.

    Josh has helped put on the Senior School Coffee House evenings for the past two years and has won awards for his poetry. As part of Student Council and the Social Justice club, his maturity and dedication to his peers is exemplary.  Josh’s passion for the arts is reflected in his ability to write poetry, perform music and theatre, and in his ability to mentor his peers through direction and leadership. It is through the arts, drama in particular, that Josh feels he has developed a high degree of empathy.

    “I’m not sure if art imitates life or life imitates art, but if I had the words to explain what either of those ideas meant, it would be a start,” says Josh who is very happy that the Artist of the Week title has begun to be recognized at CDS. To him, this means that “poetry, visual art, music and drama are still alive and appreciated in this community” and “that is the most exciting, important thing in the world.” In the words of his favourite poet Anis Mojgani, this makes him feel, “Like I am 17 and running in slow motion through a field lit with light … I close my eyes and everything I see floats.”

    Next year, Josh plans to pursue Literature and Philosophy at either Concordia University or the University of King’s College in Halifax and hopes to continue with writing and theatre.

    Below is an excerpt from a poem Josh submitted for the Senior School poetry contest this year entitled Ascension:

    I am a ghost.

    wrought from the rays of the sun, the touch of the moon and the dust of the earth.

    Possessing painted eyes -

    marred by mirrors and veils.

    On a transparent staircase, seeing only my shadow  

    I move with rigidity.

    Stuck somewhere between stepping and staying

    with each crack in my foundation pulling me and my shadows deeper into darkness

    my footprints stain each stair as I pick up the pieces of glass that fall like teardrops.


    In the News


    August 3, 2017 - CDS Smashes Previous OFSAA Records with Two Golds and Relay Bronz

    Our Grade 10 Midget Boys smashed all previous CDS records at OFSAA in June with Wilson O'Neill capturing two gold medals in hurdles. ...

    August 3, 2017 - CDS Drama Production Raises Funds for Brain Cancer and Reconciliation

    The cast and crew of the Senior School play, Ahead by Century, were joined by community members in raising $11,360 for two worthy causes. ...

    August 3, 2017 - Ten Years of World-Class Public Speaking and Debating at CDS

    For the second year running, a CDS student has won top debater at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship. ...


    • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations
    • The Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario (CIS) Associations
    • The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Associations

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