REVIEW OF The Country Day School BY parent, Jane Cathers
- Date of Review
November 02, 2021
Gr. 9 - Gr. 12
(5) Student Experience
My daughter started grade 9 at CDS last year and right from day one she was very impressed with CDS, for so many reasons. The teachers are enthusiastic, the classes are small and focused with very little disruption, (whether they were online or in class) and her classmates are outgoing and included her when she did not know anyone. She found the online learning engaging and interactive, as though she was right in the classroom, and the online classes were a full day. The meals are not only delicious, they are healthy! There is a daily lunch menu and snacks are always available. The recipes are available on the school website, and the lunches are prepared and served with pride. The Chef uses fresh quality ingredients and the meals look and taste great. The school does not own a deep-fryer! Our daughter looks forward to going to school every day and is proud to wear the uniform. We drive every day from 45 minutes away but there is bussing available. The grounds offer 100 acres to explore and the green space is so inviting. The new architecture in the Senior School is gorgeous and makes the building very bright and airy. Muskoka chairs are placed outside for almost a cottage experience. There are beautiful common areas throughout the school and also outdoor classrooms when the weather is good.
(5) School Leadership
The Country Day School's staff are amazing! The leadership and administration staff are thorough, friendly and go the extra mile in every interaction we have had. The Headmaster, leadership & administrative team are very approachable and have such a positive outlook and are great with communicating with parents and students. The students know what is expected of them and as result, the classes are an engaging and focused environment. The Leadership team can also be spotted directing traffic in the busy drop-off times, interacting with the parents and students. During the time of Covid, the school demonstrated thorough safety measures and procedures, ensuring confidence to both the students and parents that the school is doing everything humanly possible to provide a safe and healthy environment.
The teaching staff at The Country Day School are top-notch! They are very enthusiastic, engaging, and give the students the tools they need to succeed. Whether the students are online or in-class, or outdoors, the classes are small, focused, and the students want to learn. We have been extremely happy with all of the teaching staff. They are passionate and think out of the box, keeping students' attention and using the school's classrooms, equipment and the huge grounds to their full advantage. The teachers' enthusiasm is refreshing and inviting. I cannot say enough about their efforts, helping our child to reach their goals. Every day I hear a positive story about the teachers. The lessons are challenging and the expectations they have in return are setting your child on the road to success. Our daughter feels supported when she has had a particular challenge and feels she can approach any one of her teachers. There are teachers there who also attended the school, they love it so much.
The academics are terrific as it offers many choices and the school is great with guidance and career path direction. CDS has a great reputation with Universities across Canada, USA and Internationally. The courses are enriched and challenging to prepare them to reach their future goals. The extraordinary facilities are an asset to their learning environment. The drama and music programs have incredible facilities, the theatre is especially impressive. The school uses the 100 acres to support their outdoor courses, history courses and they built outdoor classrooms to reduce COVID exposure. My daughter has had several meetings with the guidance counsellor as the school wants to ensure she is taking the right courses to meet her goals. The school strives to ensure a well-balanced education. There is so much they offer!
Our daughter started during the COVID closures so extracurriculars were paused during the closure time. This fall they opened up the extracurriculars, ensuring safety every step of the way. The facilities and options are amazing whether they take tennis, track, soccer, fitness, Cross country running, and more. There are many clubs and teams to join, I believe there is a lot to offer to every child.
The students have been very inclusive as my daughter entered grade 9. The kids are friendly and have great school spirit. They are competitive in class and not disruptive. Inclusiveness was very important to us and we have confidence with the school that they will not tolerate bullying. This is my daughter's second year and all of her interactions with the other students have been very positive. She always looks forward to going and I believe it has been the friendly nature of her peers there that contributes to that. The small class sizes make getting to know the other kids much easier and less intimidating. The peer tutoring is also helpful and lets older students build skills while helping younger students. Our daughter's French mark improved with peer tutoring.
(5) School Life
Country Day School has a lot to offer the students to ensure a well-rounded child. Our daughter loves the school (and we do too!) with every aspect of it, she is proud to be a student. She has always maintained a positive attitude and feels a big sense of involvement to be part of the student life. The school has done a terrific job at keeping us very well informed about every aspect of school life, whether it is academics, sports, and arts, and safety. They offer an online "coffee house" to encourage students and staff to show their musical talents. There is a book club as well. The corridors of the Senior School boast history with past photos of graduation classes, many awards, theatre productions and key events. So many kids to be proud of displayed there and so many more to come.
The school provides many opportunities for parents to be involved with the school and meet other parents. Parents are definitely welcome to get involved whether it's volunteering, using the tennis courts, book club, and socials. During COVID most was paused but they are doing all they can to keep parents involved. The parents have been inclusive and every interaction has been positive. The school also offers informative talks to sign up for, at this time online. School safety has been a priority during COVID so there have not been many in-person activities available but this will change. There are many opportunities to get to meet other parents and share school spirit. The school strives to make all parents feel included not just with their own kids but with the school as a whole. I encourage all future parents to attend any of the drama performances whether their own student is a participant or not. School alumnae are also very involved and they participate in many aspects of the school. They are proud to do so and are living success stories.
(5) School Location
The Country Day School is situated on the outskirts of King City, in King township on 100 beautiful acres of land. The school uses the entire property for teaching, sports and the arts. The sports facilities are incredible with a giant bubble, tennis courts, track, fitness room, and gymnasiums. Bussing is available for students near and far. The school is about 10 minutes from highway 400 (to the west) and Highway 404 (to the east). Students typically stay on campus for the entire day.
The school has an amazing reputation. I have known many who have attended in the past and we have always wanted our child to go there. Watching on social media how the school had responded to covid closures is what triggered us into applying. We found the process to be positive and their staff so helpful and encouraging! There was an interview as well and we found that they are looking for kids who want to be there, want to be challenged, want to reach their goals, and want to enjoy the balanced life the school offers. Did I mention the staff? They are top-notch and really guided us through the process. They answered all of our questions and were always prompt in replying, and kept us informed as to what the next steps were.
(5) University placement and counselling
Our daughter entered the school in grade 9 and already at that time there was guidance offered to ensure career paths of interest were considered with course selections. She has had several guidance appointments and we feel it is a valuable resource of the school. The course selection for grade 10 was greatly considered based on the recommendations the school made so as to ensure the path our daughter is on is the right one for her. The school has staff that are involved in University placement and we look forward to using their expertise! Our daughter has big dreams ahead and we know the school will do everything to help her make them come true as long as she applies herself and works hard. She looks forward to becoming an alumnae success story herself!