Education doesn’t stop at the classroom door – extensions of academic studies are abundant in the life of a Country Day student. Whether on a class trip, working as an intern for a local business or agency, planting in the school garden, creating in the Makerspace, or carrying a research project forward into hands-on community service, students are absorbing knowledge and augmenting it outside the classroom and in the community.
Annual off-campus trips support the school’s curriculum and reinforce the sense of community. Students explore marine biology at Marin Headlands, hike the trails of Yosemite, and travel north to Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival and an in-touch experience with the English language at its finest. The 4th grade overnight adventure at Sutter’s Fort, a quarter-century tradition, invites children to spend 24 hours in an authentic pioneer stronghold portraying characters from the 1840s.
High School Internship Program
Exploring possible career interests with mentors in the professional world is the goal of the school’s internship program for high school juniors. As an avenue for students to explore career options or personal interests, an internship offers worthwhile practical experience in a real workplace. The internship program continues to evolve and expand. Read more.
Several innovative learning environments can be found on campus. Everyone can be a “maker” in the school’s Makerspace. Room 20 is a laboratory for invention, jam-packed with boxes and bins of material, all available for hands-on creations. Behind the gym is the garden, where students plant & nurture young seedlings, learn how to plant and nurture their own food, and enjoy the crop for making soups, salads, and roasted vegetables. Meaningful teaching moments can occur spontaneously in either location.
Service Learning and Community Service
A commitment to instill in our children the values of integrity, empathy and respect for others, and to share responsibility for a better world is at the foundation of our Public Purpose program. Service to a community beyond our own, steered by curriculum development guidelines that reinforce concepts and skills learned in the classroom, is how we hope to connect with others in our local and global communities.
Great classrooms are based on strong relationships between students and teachers; students won’t take risks or ownership of their learning unless they feel supported. Country Day teachers are not only experts in their fields, they care about our students as people first. By discovering the talents of each child, our teachers create an environment where students discover their own passions.
Favorite moments at Country Day for kindergarten teacher Sarah Song are the 100th day of school kindergarten parade, the annual chalk mural, and attending high school graduation ceremonies. Born in Oakland and raised in Sacramento, Sarah graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a minor in American Sign Language. She was a student teacher in David Lubin’s deaf program in East Sacramento while finishing her undergraduate degree.
Sarah has worked at Country Day since 2004, and, along with her teaching responsibilities, coaches the Country Day volleyball teams. Sarah is a certified yoga instruction, and spends lots of hours outdoors roller-skating, cycling, hiking, chasing sunsets and doing head stands in new places.
Sarah believes children need time for exploration, freedom to fail and succeed on their own, exposure to the world around them, and, most of all, love – in order to develop into strong, critically thinking, and compassionate adults. She loves teaching at Country Day because we support the whole child and create positive relationships with families for a lifetime.
Meet Damany Fisher
Dr. Damany Fisher is a graduate of McClatchy High School in Sacramento, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Fisher is new to Country Day this year, having moved back home to Sacramento after teaching at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.
Damany joins the high school history department and is teaching 10th grade World Cultures, U.S. History, and a new senior history course, “The Long Civil Rights Movement.
Meet Aleitha Burns
Middle School science teacher Aleitha Burns was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and moved east for college at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY, where she received her bachelor’s degree in environmental and forest biology, with a specialization in wildlife.
Aleitha says, “My freshman year in college, my ecology professor suggested a job working as an environmental educator in a summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY. This was my first job as an educator and I fell in love with working with middle schoolers.”
The middle school outdoor adventure to Redwood Glen in the Santa Cruz Mountains is a favorite for Aleitha, where students may be shivering one moment and eagerly discovering the outside world in the next moment.
A recent highpoint in Aleitha’s life: for a portion of her honeymoon, she and her new husband hiked the full John Muir trail and then kept walking – 230 miles through the high Sierra mountains ending on top of the highest peak in California – Mount Whitney!