The Country School
The Country School was founded 75 years ago by a couple whose intention was to create a revolutionary preschool program centered on identifying and nurturing children’s developmental stages and the important milestones achieved at each level. Over the years the school has grown to include elementary (in 1972) and middle school (in 2005) and today serves students in preschool through eighth grade.
What steps do you take to encourage inclusivity?
We celebrate differences and respect the individuality of every child and family in our community. Our educators meet biweekly with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team to ensure students receive an education taught through an antibias and anti-racism lens.
What support do you offer students beyond academics?
Our students practice daily meditation in their classrooms. We have a school counselor for students to talk to. Our head of school and principal have an open-door policy, and students feel comfortable talking with adults on campus. All of our teachers and staff have been trained in restorative justice. By incorporating this philosophy instead of punitive consequences, we help students feel heard and give them tools to navigate and repair conflict. Our athletic program is inclusive and encouraging, and we offer enrichment classes in upper, elementary and middle school, along with an after-school extended care program for all students.
Share your thoughts on homework.
Ten years ago we prioritized student wellness by eliminating homework in elementary school, recognizing the stress it caused and its lack of correlation to improvement in learning. Student performance each year continues to prove that our choice was correct. What’s most important is that students feel good about themselves and get time to play, rest and reset each day. In grades 5–8, when homework begins to have a relevant and measurable impact on performance, our gradual and intentional approach helps students develop solid study habits and life skills.
What are some highlights of your academic program?
Our academic program promotes creativity and prepares students for citizenship by bringing together diverse students from varied backgrounds and mindsets. Our classrooms allow students to hone decision-making and problem-solving skills as they consider other perspectives and opinions. We give our kids opportunities to examine the world critically and encourage them to be active and positive change-makers.
What’s the most important thing students learn at your school?
How to be themselves. We work hard to dissolve stereotypes and increase identity safety by affirming all types of identity in our classrooms. Children grow up with a sense of knowing who they are, and that who they are is wonderful and amazing.