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Getting Schooled at Canton Country Day

A huge outdoor classroom and 57 years of excellence

Article by Chris Watson

Photography by Supplied

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

Tucked away in the middle of Canton, nestled comfortably on 40 acres of outdoor learning potential, is Canton Country Day School, a pillar of excellence in the community for the past 57 years. This independent school, serving children from early learning ages through the eighth grade treasures its rich atmosphere of camaraderie, fostering close relationships between its diverse students and a singular focus on each growing mind. The low student-to-teacher ratio enables each child to explore which learning methods work best for them and supports a more amicable learning environment. Director of Enrollment Management, Becky Stewart, says that the affinity between students and staff makes the school feel like a close-knit family.

“It makes the children feel loved and seen. This kind of character education is so important in daily life. It helps the children to be good friends to others.”

This sense of community is one aspect that draws families to enroll their children at Canton Country Day School. The well-qualified staff knows each student as an individual, and every student participates in a “Buddy Program” that pairs younger and older children for a variety of fun and educational activities each month. Such individualized attention and strong bonds between fellows ingrains a deep-seated love of learning and soaring levels of confidence. It’s the school’s mission to empower its youth to reach their full potential and meet life’s challenges with enthusiasm, all while maintaining high levels of respect for themselves and others.

“Our students leave Canton Country Day School as leaders amongst their peers. They actually care about making a difference in the world around them,” says Becky.

Parents of students are encouraged to join the Canton Country Day School community by participating in various volunteer opportunities through the Parent’s Association. Events like the Great Escapes auction and Trunk or Treat help fold families of the students into the greater family of the school.

When asked about her favorite program, Becky says it is too difficult to choose just one. There are numerous camps and field trips throughout the school year. The arts curriculum incorporates such diverse offerings as digital photography, jazz band, sculpture, filmmaking, drama and musicals. Canton Country Day School also offers a vital sports program to help round out its students. There are three seasonal sports in which to participate: co-ed soccer in the fall, boys’ and girls’ basketball in the winter and co-ed track and field in the spring. Seasons typically culminate in a tournament with the Canton Country Cougars facing off against other independent schools.

In addition to being a National Blue Ribbon School with a

well-rounded and modern curriculum that covers everything from the fine arts to the Spanish language, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division has certified Canton Country Day School as a WILD school site. It has committed to sustaining an environmental educational program that leverages its impressively sprawling campus, replete with nature trails and wetlands, to teach its students about science and wildlife through direct experience. Becky says that this hands-on, outdoor learning is one of the most beloved aspects of the school.

Established by a group of seven idealistic community members in 1964, Canton Country Day School was inspired by the progressive Country Day School Movement that originated in the late 1800s. This movement strives to provide the same sort of academic meticulousness and integrity that motivated the very finest boarding schools across the country, but without separating students from their families, making them more accessible. As such, Canton Country Day School can supply a widely diverse student body with an innovative academic environment that produces well-developed, superlative young adults who are prepared to face the trials of adulthood with gusto and a passion for positively influencing the world. The results truly bear out the school’s motto: “A good beginning never ends.”