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A Smart Choice
Traditionally, all of our High School’s graduates continue their educations at four-year colleges and universities across the nation. Academic excellence, therefore, is central to our mission. In a high school where the average class size is 12, and the student-to-teacher ratio is 9:1, the opportunity for students to thrive intellectually under the close guidance of skilled teachers is the norm.
In addition to a rigorous curriculum, our students’ preparation for college includes extracurricular activities that promote discipline, responsibility, and teamwork. The school-wide focus on ethics and values encourages our students to develop strong moral standards.
Academic challenge, extracurricular opportunity, and participation in a supportive community – these characterize the SCDS experience. We send forth into society independent, self-confident young adults who become leaders in their communities and beyond.
English – Four Years
Mathematics – Three Years through Algebra II (Four Recommended)
Science – Three Years of Laboratory Science (Four Recommended)
History – Three Years (Four Recommended)
World Language – Three Consecutive Years of the Same Language (Four Recommended)
Visual & Performing Arts – Three Consecutive Trimesters of the Same Course
Computer Science – Starting in the 9th grade, students are issued laptop computers. Use of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is embedded in academic and elective classes, and teachers use Google sites for class webpages.
Physical Education – Six Trimesters, Six Seasons of Interscholastic Sports, or Six Trimesters of Independent PE
Community Service – Fifty Hours
Senior Seminars – Seniors participate in life-skills seminars during the last two weeks of school.
Advanced Placement Classes
Advanced Placement classes are widely recognized for their rigor and for the opportunity to earn college credit or advanced standing at most colleges and universities. Advanced Placement classes are offered in English Language (11th grade), English Literature (12th grade), U.S. History, European History, Art History, Studio Art, Microeconomics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics B, Physics C (Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism), Latin (Vergil), French, and Spanish. In 2013, the school administered 176 AP exams in 17 subjects. Most Country Day students take several AP classes, some leaving our High School with college sophomore standing.
All SCDS juniors and seniors take the SAT each year.
SAT Averages for the Classes of 2006-13:
SAT Critical Reading Average – 615
SAT Math Average – 636
SAT Writing Average – 632
Octagon (student newspaper), Medallion (student yearbook), Community Service, Great Books, Nutrition, College Health & Nutrition, Public Speaking/Poetry Out Loud, Mock Trial, Current Events, Music, Drama, Art, Film as Literature, Biology of the B-Movie, Forensic Science, Music Appreciation, World Arts and Culture: Ethnic Voices, and Physical Education
50 hours required for all students. The student community focuses its philanthropic activity in four areas: Breakthrough Sacramento, Run to Feed the Hungry, the Dyer-Kelly K-5 School, and the Rulindo School in Rwanda.
The Outdoor Education program and an annual trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival provide exciting off-campus educational opportunities. A national Pacemaker winner and six-time nominee, the Octagon newspaper is published eight times a year in print and updated more often online. The award-winning Medallion yearbook is distributed to all students. Student government, dramatic productions, dances, a prize-winning literary magazine, the annual Chalk Mural, Mock Trial competition, and diverse instrumental groups round out the extracurricular program.
The most important preparation for college happens in the classroom, where students learn and practice the academic skills necessary for success in university-level classes as well as on college-entrance examinations.
These examinations are the first formal phase of the college counseling process. All sophomores take the PSAT in the fall as practice for their junior year testing (when the scores may qualify them for National Merit recognition), and the college counselor discusses the students’ scores with them. The school encourages sophomores to take the SAT Subject Tests for which they qualify in June. Juniors take the PSAT in the fall and the SAT Reasoning Test in March or April. They are strongly advised to take two or three SAT Subject Tests in June. Seniors take the SAT in October or November and any SAT Subject Tests that they still require in November or December.
Representatives from colleges and universities across the United States visit Country Day during the fall to speak with interested students. Sophomores are encouraged to attend one or two of these meetings. Juniors usually attend more, including a College Fair in the spring. For seniors these college meetings are an important step in the college admissions process. The school informs seniors of larger meetings in the Sacramento area.
The most intensive college counseling begins in the spring of the junior year, when the college counselor meets with juniors and their parents to discuss the college admissions process. The Counselors hold individual college counseling meetings and lunchtime meetings for juniors throughout the spring.
During the summer, prospective seniors write a self-assessment essay and fill out a senior questionnaire. Parents are also required to complete a questionnaire. These forms are designed to assist both the senior and the college counselor in making college choices. Seniors meet individually with the college counselor in the fall and attend a series of lunchtime meetings. In October seniors are given a full school day to complete college applications with the help of the college counselor and other available teachers. Throughout the year the college counselor remains in close contact with seniors, their parents, and college admissions personnel.
Members of the classes from 2009-2012 were admitted to the following colleges and universities:
Bard College, Bennington College, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell University, Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo, Pomona), Carleton College, Carnegie Mellon University, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Colby College, Colgate University, College of William and Mary, Colorado College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, George Washington University, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford College, Howard University, Kenyon College, Lawrence University, Lewis & Clark College, Loyola Marymount University, Middlebury College, Mills College, Mount Holyoke College, New York University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Oberlin College, Occidental College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Princeton University, Reed College, Rice University, Saint Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University, Trinity College, Tufts University, Tulane University, University of British Columbia, University of California (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz), University of Chicago, University of Oregon, University of the Pacific, University of Pennsylvania, University of Puget Sound, University of Rochester, University of St. Andrews, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, Vassar College, Washington and Lee University, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley College, Whitman College, Whittier College, Williams College