Families choose schools for many different reasons. Here we thought we'd give you some things to think about when choosing a school for your family:
Why An Independent School?
There are many reasons and factors in finding the right school. The first question for many is to answer the question "public or private?" This issue has been debated, discussed and researched for some time. The New Jersey Association of Independent Schools provides a great amount of detail and we invite you to visit their website at njais.org. Typically, most people agree that the obvious benefits to independent schools are they:
So, then the question...
Why 8 vs. 12?
This is an easy question for us to answer. Of course, you must choose what is right for your family, but based on our experience, there are many reasons to choose an elementary school through 8th grade rather than one school that provides through high school. Some we have already discussed:
- Leadership - an elementary school provides earlier leadership opportunities for younger students promoting self-confidence and self-esteem
- By eighth grade you know your child's learning style and so do we. This allows us to individually counsel your family for what may be best for each individual student. Some of our families have several children continue on to a variety of secondary schools - because it's what's best for the individual child.
- Having the child participate in the selection process of their next educational environment provides a sense of ownership for their successes and accomplishments. RCDS' secondary school placement team can focus on the middle school years and guide your family through the selection process of the "just right" next step rather than focus only on the college selection and application process.
- Our middle-schoolers are the "seniors" of our school. With multiple programs in place to mix up the grades, it allows our students to stay young a little while longer rather than feel the pressure to grow up quickly.
- It has been our experience that children benefit from a transition between primary/middle school and college. By expanding a student's community for the four-year period of high school, authentic opportunities are presented that increase their ability to tackle the challenges of higher education.
The last question to answer is then...
After years of conversations, polls, and research we hear over and over again that the best attributes of RCDS are:
- Family Atmosphere
- Leadership Opportunities
- Character Education
Rumson Country Day School has been renowned for our warm home-style environment. We hear this time and time again from our parents. Even though we are equipped with state of the art technology, the rustic and quaint feel to the school will have your child feeling safe and comfortable in their learning environment. We treat everyone here as family, from the students to the faculty to the parents, everyone plays a part in keeping a positive attitude throughout the school. The dining program is one of our best traditions and allows the children to feel at home when taking a break from their studies and served a healthy, hearty meal - you guessed it - family style.
Through a range of experiences, all students at RCDS develop their leadership skills and at a perfect age - those middle school years. This is accomplished through Wilderness Adventures (5th- 8th grade), Community Service Leadership Board, Student Ambassadors, class plays and our famous Forensics competition. Many of our Alumni go on to assume leadership positions in student government, team sports and other extracurricular and community service activities. Athletics are one of our proudest programs here, we have a no cut policy but we still hold a competitive standing and allow the older children the ability to mentor the younger players.
Building character is a vital part of any young person’s life and we try to create the healthiest environment for it to grow. The students at RCDS are shown incredible support to build a good self esteem and respect for the other students. Lunch begins everyday with a school prayer, with various grades taking turns as waiters for their lunchmates. Every morning, Headmaster Small stands at the door and shakes each child’s hand with a warm greeting and receives the same respect back.
Our focus is on providing a challenging and exciting academic experience for each child which incorporates different learning styles. The traditional curriculum has been carefully developed so that concepts and material are learned in multiple classes through a variety of methods. Accelerated classes are offered in mathematics, language arts, literature and foreign language in 6th- 8th grade.
With small classrooms, the students are gaining a large amount of attention from the highly trained teachers in all fields of curriculum. Our student/teacher ratio is 7:1. Our teachers have taught an average of 11 years at RCDS and 37% have advanced degrees. They understand the delicacy of a child’s individual learning ability and social interactions. Our staff is supportive, nurturing, and understanding of all our students' needs. We consider the teachers and staff to be a big part of the RCDS family and completely support their endeavors and appreciate their hard work and undeniable talent through various faculty enrichment programs.