Welcome to the high school at Country Day School in beautiful Costa Rica!
The High School Students:
The high school at CDS is an exciting and vibrant learning community that prepares students to attend the top colleges and universities in the world. Academically, our students are critical thinkers and writers who are motivated to succeed. The students regularly demonstrate persistence, an ability to learn from their mistakes, and they have a global mindset that embraces inclusion and diversity. Outside of the classroom our students are engaged in many activities that enrich their lives. This year we have a record number of students enrolled in our Band and choir programs. We also have an active Drama club, an internationally recognized Model United Nations club and we compete at AASCA sports events for boys’ and girls’ teams in basketball, track & field, soccer and volleyball. Furthermore, students are encouraged to create leadership opportunities that reflect a commitment to contribute meaningfully to build community locally, nationally and globally. We are very proud of our students and the leadership traits they demonstrate on a daily basis – empathy, self-confidence, integrity, enthusiasm, optimism, authenticity, perseverance, passion, and critical thinking. For a small high school of 200 students we’ve got a lot going on!
The High School Faculty:
As a high school faculty, we share the school-wide goals of a commitment to the academic development of each student and to develop personal qualities that encourage meaningful contributions and leadership to a global society. Our talented and highly-experienced faculty seeks to provide the best educational opportunity for each student at CDS in accordance with our Profile of Graduates. We strongly believe that the single greatest determinant in the academic and emotional growth of each child is a highly skilled, compassionate, knowledgeable and caring teacher in each classroom. Our high school faculty meets all of those criteria at the highest levels.
The Academic Program:
The academic program is a challenging and engaging curriculum designed to prepare students for entry to the top universities and colleges in the world. Students take courses in social studies, English, Spanish, mathematics, science, PE and the arts to foster a love of learning in a broad range of subjects. Students also take the PSAT exam in grades 9 &10 which requires the same testing strategies needed to succeed in the SAT, which is the external exam that we prepare our students to take. This leads to our HS offering 18 Advanced Placement courses for students in their junior and senior year. The majority of four-year universities in the United States have an AP policy that grants incoming students credit, placement or both for qualifying AP Exam scores. Through taking the challenging AP courses and exams, students also demonstrate to universities that they are academically ready for the rigor of a university level education. Of note, we are very proud of the 58 students who received recognition as AP scholars in 2016-17. As well, we offer the Costa Rican Bachillerato courses which prepare students for the MEP exams in their senior year and thus, qualify for university studies in Costa Rica.
The academic program is enhanced by our 1:1 laptop program, a model replicated by leading secondary schools worldwide. This program equips our students with the skills for effective communication, research, and individual projects. Our teachers integrate technology into a philosophy of “learn-first, tech-second,” in other words we want technology to be more than an expensive pencil, we want it to enhance the learning experience.
The School Theme:
The school-wide theme at CDS is “Courage to Grow.” This is an expansive theme that can speak to each student individually and to our collective community of students, teachers, faculty and parents. The research by Dr. Carol Dweck on growth mindset dovetails nicely with our theme. We seek to develop students with ‘grit’ – that is the passion and perseverance to accomplish long-term goals. Within this, we can take advantage of our collective wisdom to accomplish great things as a community of learners. In the high school, this is often reflected in our commitment to service learning opportunities through the elective program.
Our students’ parents are a wonderful resource to their families and to our school, and I encourage the parents of our new students to become involved in the parent and school community. Working together will ensure that we nurture in our students the character, motivation, and skills that are necessary to make the most of the rich opportunities available to them.
Whether you are a current member of our community, or you are a prospective student looking for a great educational experience, I welcome you to come visit the CDS campus and share in the energy and enthusiasm of the high school.
High School Principal
THE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL COSTA RICA