Why Country Day?
A personal approach challenges and encourages each child
Country Day children interact with more than 50 caring adults every day. This school-wide ratio of four students to one adult is remarkable for any school – public or private. In an instructional setting, the student-teacher ratio can vary. It may be 18:1 in a Middle School history class, 6:1 in a Middle School math class, 3:1 in a Lower School reading group, or even 1:1 in a support or enrichment session.
ACDS is the valley's top academic choice
Country Day is perhaps best known as the Roaring Fork Valley's top academic school, thanks to a particularly talented faculty who teach with enthusiasm in the core academic subects of Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Foreign Language. (French and Spanish instruction begin in PreKindergarten, and in First Grade, students can choose either language for continued study; Foreign Language becomes part of the core academic curriculum five days per week beginning in Fifth Grade).
A family school means children are known and loved
Aside from effective class size, the overall size of Country Day is perhaps the most distinctive feature of our school. The virtues of the small-school model are increasingly recognized nationwide. Many lifelong treasures come from the sense of "home" that children have at a small school. They are guided and inspired by adults who know them and can recognize when they need a boost or a challenge. They are surrounded by peers whose families have made a commitment to education.
Enriching programs give children a world of learning
The ACDS curriculum is designed to foster the 21st-century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. In a world where many schools are narrowing their focus to the basic subjects assessed on standardized tests, ACDS remains committed to a project-based and enriching program.
Children grow up with a wholesome balance
The mission of the school speaks to the ACDS commitment to rigorous academics, creative arts, and outdoor education. This balanced approach provides a foundation that serves our graduates well throughout life. As children grow up into an increasingly stressful and high-stakes world of selective college admissions and shifting career paths in adulthood, the wholesome grounding that they receive at Country Day becomes even more meaningful.
The arts are woven into the curriculum
Children test their creativity and problem-solving schools using a wide variety of technology every day. Each child has a full schedule of Art, Drama and Music, with an wide-ranging electives program offered in Middle School. Performances such as the All-School Play and the Lower School Shakespeare Festival encourage students to reach outside their comfort zones and to stretch themselves creatively.
Authentic outdoor education builds compentence & confidence
Many schools offer outdoor experiences, but at ACDS, outdoor education is part of our DNA. Our program begins in Kindergarten, when the students hike a mountain trail and spend the night in a backcountry hut -- no parents on any trips. The curriculum for our outdoor program focuses on our five core values of character, respect, responsibility, community, and perseverance. Each class takes two trips each year, focusing on leadership and team skills. By Eighth Grade, students are experienced outdoorspeople at home in many landscapes.
Begin here, go anywhere
In recent years about half our graduating Eighth Grade classes have chosen to attend local public schools, where they tend to be among the most academically prepared and leadership-oriented students. Another 50 percent choose independent day and boarding schools around the nation. Our graduates have succeeded at some of the most selective high schools and colleges in the United States. This is a real achievement for any school, particularly in a small town without the competitive admissions process that is common in prestigious big-city schools.
Country Day: a top independent-school experience for the Roaring Fork Valley
Some families are surprised to learn that there is a nationally affiliated top independent school right here in the relatively small town of Aspen. Since its founding in 1969, ACDS has focused on preparing the children of the Roaring Fork Valley to aim high -- to achieve success in high school, college, and a life of leadership. All this while remaining true to the Aspen Idea of balancing mind (academics), body (outdoor education), and spirit (creative arts). We invite you to campus anytime to find out more!