Mission


The Country School honors our students’ creativity, sense of wonder, and intellectual curiosity. Our integrated curriculum aligns rigorous academics with a commitment to character and leadership development. We nurture every student’s unique role in the community, empowering each to serve the common good. Graduates of The Country School face the future with confidence and an education that lasts a lifetime.

Voices

I largely credit The Country School for cultivating the desire to explore, discover, and continue to learn from an early age. It was an education that provided the foundation to keep looking toward the goal — much like the Times’ mission itself — of better understanding the world we live in.

— Harry Bradford ’00, deputy editorial director for The New York Times’ T Brand Studios

Teachers at The Country School really cared, and it wasn't just caring about test scores. Everyone had their own thing, and that was okay. I’m learning in psychiatry that every kid is in a different place. Country School teachers taught to where we were individually. I’m very lucky to have had that. The Country School was so ahead of its time.

— Ally Picard '07, a registered nurse specializing in pediatric psychiatry who is studying for her doctorate at Columbia University

Combine the the confidence to get out there and the knowledge that it’s okay to fail — and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today: a sports anchor at a local television station, in a position where I am in front of a camera, seen in households all over West Texas — without The Country School.

— Jake Gadon ’08, weekend sports anchor at KOAA5 in Colorado Springs, CO, former sports director and anchor at CBS7-KOSA in Odessa, TX

At The Country School, my coaches, my advisors, everyone there had my best interests at heart and I didn’t feel like just another person in the crowd. Those are some of my most cherished memories. It’s rare to say when you’re in Middle School that you have that.

— Kat Lauer ’06, development specialist at Motion Picture & Television Fund, former director of UCLA Athletics’ Bruin Varsity Club

You should never be afraid to be yourself, and part of being yourself is pursuing what you love. Country School created an environment where students could be whoever they wanted to be and never had to worry about being judged for it.

— Marissa Irwin ’05, founder of her own jewelry company, Marissa Irwin Designs, and former associate in business strategy and management at BlackRock in London

I have always loved making art, and I can confidently attribute a lot of that adoration to having been in Mr. A’s classes. For my entire 10 years at TCS, being in art class was always as serious a part of the school day as being in Physics or Algebra. However, I didn’t always think I would grow up to become an artist myself. I think that realization hit me when I was able to recognize that the kinds of challenges creating artwork presented me with every day were ones that I had endless motivation to overcome. Making art consistently pushes me out of my comfort zone, and allowing myself to exist in that space never fails to be deeply rewarding. Now, I really can’t imagine doing anything else.

— Whitney Lorenze '10, professional artist

"I have a lot of fond memories of TCS and in particular am a strong believer that we need more young students motivated to go into the sciences (they seem to have this bad reputation of being difficult with little to gain).... I've noticed that the hard sciences are something of a one-way street where people only drop out of them into other subjects/majors (you never hear of somebody getting fed up with their history major and signing up for physics), so having a good foundation is really key to success."

— Tyler Jorgensen ’02, a consultant at BCG and graduate of Yale (BS) and the University of Pennsylvania (MBA)

"I became the person I am today because of The Country School."

— Bianca Salkin '06, a graduate of Villanova University now working in the fashion industry

"My teachers gave so much of themselves to me throughout my time at TCS, inspiring me to be the best that I could be. They taught me such incredible lessons that I will take with me forever. I could never forget the kind of passion they devoted to me during my four years. I see myself teaching in the future, and if I could be half the teacher that my TCS teachers were to me, I could change the world."

— Liz Walbridge '03, speaking when she was in college. She went on to teach English at Andover and Choate, received her Masters at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and now works for WGBH helping produce children's educational programs

"The Country School made such an important impact on my life that in many ways I attribute who I am today to this school. There are very few people who can say that their school became their home, but I believe alumni of TCS are among those few."

— Mary McGee ’05, a graduate of Muhlenberg College now working as an analyst for Pramana Collective

"It was at The Country School that I found a love for academics that I never had before.... The academics at TCS marked a pivotal point in my life. Although my parents assure me that I would have done fine without it, I don't believe them at all. Simply put, TCS was the most important and influential school I have attended."

— Zef Konst '04, a graduate of Haverford College (BA) and UC Irvine (PhD, Chemistry), now working as a medicinal chemist

"The Country School provided my three children with an incredible education from PreKindergarten through 8th Grade. They took their classroom on the road on their overnight Outdoor Education trips, collaborated with peers in the STEAM labs, confidently recited poetry, and demonstrated themselves to be true leaders and self-advocates. Throughout their years at TCS, they lived the school's three simple rules to 1) Be kind to others, 2.) Respect everyone’s right to learn, and 3.) Take responsibility for yourself and your world. My children - one now heading off to college - are prepared for any challenge that comes their way because of the foundation they gained at The Country School."

- Beth Coyne, P '15, '18

"Best education, caring teachers and a community that fosters friendship, leadership, respect and empathy for others. My two boys love going to school every day, and they are excited to come home and share what they learned. My boys learn very differently and since TCS focuses on the whole child approach to learning, it has been wonderful each and every year. The kids are taught to solve problems which is a life skill that will go way beyond TCS. In addition, the outdoor education is a huge bonus to their growth and development. Check it out for yourself. You will be impressed."

- Mary Didiuk, P '22, '24

"Extraordinary school with caring compassionate faculty. In the last four years TCS has become a true extension of our home and family."

- Fred Leiss, P '25

"A Country School education provides a beautiful balance between rigorous academics and upholding the sense of wonder and creativity in the child. TCS embraces the whole child, allowing him or her to grow and blossom in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. The leadership, public speaking, and outdoor education programs foster an authentic sense of self-confidence within the classrooms and beyond. A Country School education is truly an education that lasts a lifetime."

- Adrienne Sharon, P '21, '24

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    Founded in 1955 by a Group of Parents and Educators

    Founded in 1955 by a group of parents and educators, The Country School is a private day school in Madison, Connecticut, where learning comes alive through hands-on exploration and discovery. Incredible teachers and small classes encourage meaningful and lasting relationships between children and faculty. Emphasizing all aspects of student growth ― academic, social/emotional, physical, creative, and moral ― The Country School educates the whole child.

    Students and faculty spend much time outdoors on The Country School’s 23-acre wooded campus, one that provides freedom to safely celebrate, explore, and learn about the natural environment. Here learning and discovery take place year-round during summer camps as well as throughout the school year in before and after care and enrichment programs.

    Since its founding, The Country School has relied on its community to support the Mission, which honors our students’ creativity, sense of wonder, and intellectual curiosity. The Country School’s integrated curriculum aligns rigorous academics with a commitment to character and leadership development. We nurture every student’s unique role in the community, empowering each to serve the common good. Graduates face the future with confidence and an education that lasts a lifetime.

    Buzzing with Energy

    From PreSchool through 8th Grade, the hands-on curriculum focuses on reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, and global languages enhanced by the arts and physical education offerings that provide challenging opportunities for individual growth. Throughout the campus, classes are filled with buzzing energy as students and teachers engage in dialogue, exploration, and discovery. Signature programs such as STEAM (cross-curricular science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), Outdoor Education, Elmore Leadership, and Public Speaking are some key areas in which seek to advance 21st Century skills. Complementing an academic program that challenges our students, we also value play; every student every day enjoys outdoor recess. This shoreline school is a treasure for residents of New Haven County.

    Beginning in the Primary Years, PreSchool - 3rd Grade, children experience traditional academic subjects as well as the arts, physical education, STEAM, and global language. Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. The children are provided with various chances to participate in their community through classroom jobs, service opportunities, performances, and class meetings. All the while Primary teachers attend to the developing social/emotional life of each child.

    Continuing in 4th and 5th Grade, the Intermediate Grades, students gain more independence in preparation for Middle School. Academic and extracurricular responsibilities increase as students have countless opportunities to practice self-advocacy and leadership skills.

    Culminating with the Middle School is rigorous academic program that is rich and diverse in its offerings. Middle School students develop and pursue their interests through clubs and other extracurricular and enrichment offerings.

    Students Make Positive Contributions

    The Country School students make positive contributions to the community through academics, the arts, athletics, and service. In addition to the traditional disciplines during this 11-year experience is an education in the arts. At The Country School, the arts are a vital component to our signature STEAM program. Visual and performing arts provide students with opportunities to collaborate as they build their self-esteem in a welcoming environment.

    The Country School seeks to prepare students to confidently meet personal and ethical challenges as well as foster respect for all kinds of differences. Teachers craft lessons that allow students to accept others’ differences and to assume their responsibility to serve the common good. Through regular community service projects students of all ages learn that they can and do make a difference in our shoreline community and beyond.

    Also in sync with The Country School’s Mission is our athletics program. All students are expected to give their top effort as they represent their school through their kindness and sportsmanship. The Middle School athletics program focuses on skills development, teamwork, and enjoyment of the games. The student-athletes learn to work together toward a common goal and support their teammates.

    The Heart of Country School

    The Country School prepares students to excel in high school and beyond, and our alumni attend some of the finest secondary schools and colleges in the country. Despite the prestigious degrees and diplomas they earn, our graduates consistently maintain that what they hold most dear is the person they have become on a journey that began at The Country School, the independent day school in New Haven County, where they spent their formative PreSchool, Lower School, Intermediate, and Middle School years.