Academics

Academic Preparation

Sacramento Country Day School provides a challenging, comprehensive college-preparatory experience to students, from a variety of backgrounds, who demonstrate strong academic potential and good character.  Within a community that affirms positive human relationships and sincere respect for others, SCDS nurtures in students the qualities of self-confidence, creativity, integrity, and responsibility.  We prepare high-achieving, motivated students for admission to the nation’s selective four-year colleges and universities.  In addition to pursuing a rigorous academic program, our students participate actively in wide variety of offerings in the visual and performing arts, athletics, and community service.  As a result, our alumni return to serve their communities as outstanding leaders in the professions of business, industry, medicine, philanthropy, law, education, journalism, and the arts, among others.

Liberal Arts Education

We provide our students with a true liberal arts education that gives students the twin foundations of knowledge and intellectual skills to be successful in college and beyond.  We attract and retain outstanding teachers who develop close mentoring relationships with their students, and we provide those students with full access to every program we offer.  There are no limits to what each child can experience at our schools where we can honestly say that “every student has a front-row seat.”  We encourage our children in the open pursuit of knowledge, unfettered by educational fads or rigid dogma, teaching them to discern fact from falsehood, and helping them to grow intellectually and to find their own “voice.”  We recognize the importance of educating both the left and right sides of the brain, developing our students’ creative, integrative skills as well as their analytical, reasoning abilities.

Measures of Success

We are proud that our graduating seniors are prepared for admission to, and success in, the best four-year colleges and universities, and they have far higher standardized test scores than students at all area schools.  Our graduates perform in college as they do at Country Day, and they report that they are well prepared for post-secondary study.  Research suggests that the single best predictor of college success is the “academic intensity” of a student’s course work. This finding is not surprising, since challenging classes demand high-order thinking skills, the capacity to express oneself clearly, and the ability to manage time effectively. Mastering this combination fosters mental self-discipline, which is strongly correlated to high academic and work-related achievement.  Addressing the question of what distinguishes top students from others, we can conclude that self-discipline has as large an effect on academic performance as does intellectual talent.  Accordingly, we emphasize the development of good study habits.

We promote self-reliance and organizational skills during the school day with the independence we give students to optimize their study, homework, and extracurricular schedules. Middle and High School students learn to manage their own routine of rotating classes without the artificial structure of bells, passing times, and hall monitors.  We maintain high expectations of performance and hold every student accountable for his or her academic progress and behavior. In that way, every graduate enters college well prepared to manage the inherent academic challenges and associated responsibilities.

Preparing for the Future

Our alumni tell us that SCDS was a life-changing experience for them.  The intellectual, ethical, and leadership qualities that we instill in our students, and our emphasis on global education, prepares them well for the 21st century world awaiting them upon graduation. We provide ample opportunities for our students to experience personal growth, exploration, and reflection, and our engaging, inspiring teachers readily encourage, challenge, and nurture each student to reach his or her full potential.  Experience shows that those students who take full advantage of every opportunity available to them will have exceptional choices and will achieve great success in their next level of education and later in life.