Rye Country Day School

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Coordinates: 40°59′23″N 73°40′50″W / 40.989712°N 73.680514°W / 40.989712; -73.680514

Rye Country Day School
Rye Country Day School logo.jpg

United States
MottoNot for Self, but for Service
Head of schoolScott Nelson
Number of students886[2]
Average class size14 students
Student to teacher ratio8:1[3]
Campus26 acres
Color(s)Blue and Gold
MascotWilly the Wildcat
RivalHackley School
NewspaperRye Crop

Rye Country Day School, also known as Rye Country Day or RCDS, is an independent, co-educational college preparatory school located in Rye, New York. Its Upper School (grades 9–12), Middle School (5–8), and Lower School (Pre-Kindergarten-4) enroll a total of 886 students on its 26-acre campus.[2] Rye Country Day attracts students from over 40 school districts in the tri-state area. Rye Country Day School is actively committed to diversity and inclusion. The School's $5.6 million financial aid budget provides significant tuition grants to the families of 143 students (16%) in the school. 31% of RCDS students self-identify as people of color.[4] The School is known for excellent academics, providing opportunities for a well-rounded education, a strong commitment to service learning, and its college placement record.[5]

Mission Statement[edit]

Rye Country Day School is a coeducational, college preparatory school dedicated to providing students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 with an excellent education using both traditional and innovative approaches. In a nurturing and supportive environment, we offer a challenging program that stimulates individuals to achieve their maximum potential through academic, athletic, creative, and social endeavors. We are actively committed to diversity. We expect and promote moral responsibility and strive to develop strength of character within a respectful school community. Our goal is to foster a lifelong passion for learning, understanding, and service in an ever-changing world.[6]

Core Values[edit]






RCDS has three divisions, each focused on the different cognitive and emotional needs of students; the Lower School offers a nurturing environment that focuses on citizenship skills; the Middle School is structured to be responsive to students in a transitional time; and the Upper School models an intense but affirming environment that prepares students to achieve excellence at the college level. Each RCDS student gradually and surely achieves ever-evolving levels of sophistication in a given subject as he or she progresses through the School’s three divisions.

School-wide Initiatives[edit]

School-wide initiatives focus on advancing the school's curricular and programmatic offerings :

  • The Institute for Innovative Teaching & Learning
  • STEAM: cross-disciplinary, project-based learning
  • Public Purpose: Critical Service Learning:
  • Diversity & Inclusion for the entire community
  • Sustainability
  • Global Studies
  • Character, Leadership, Ethics
  • Balance & Wellness
  • Educational Technology

Learning Outcomes[edit]

Portrait of a Graduate[7]: Students emerge from RCDS with strength of character, ready to engage in continuous learning, to show kindness and empathy, to adapt and thrive within a changing global context, to contribute meaningfully to their communities large and small, and to find joy and fulfillment in life. Experiences that promote these outcomes are woven throughout the program with increasing complexity and expectations.

Character: RCDS students cultivate strength of character through the development of social and emotional intelligences, strong and positive moral compasses, and passionate and principled actions.

Knowledge: RCDS students acquire and use knowledge in complex and meaningful ways. They transfer and apply their understandings beyond disciplines to address novel, real-world questions.

Skills: RCDS students practice skills and habits essential for wellness and success in college, in work, and in life, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability.

Citizenship: RCDS students make a positive difference in the world as aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens.

College Matriculation[edit]

In the past five years, the three most popular college choices for RCDS students have been Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, and New York University. RCDS only posts matriculation decisions once they are final, and the school does not share acceptance lists. Additionally, posted matriculation lists are complete and represent both the prior year and the previous five years, both unabridged.

In the past five years, the 20 most popular college choices for RCDS graduates have been as follows, with parentheses indicating the number of students from the Classes of 2015-19 who have matriculated.

  1. Cornell University (30)
  2. University of Pennsylvania (28)
  3. New York University (18)
  4. Harvard University (17)
  5. Duke University (16)
  6. Brown University (15)
  7. University of Michigan (15)
  8. Colgate University (14)
  9. Georgetown University (14)
  10. Vanderbilt University (14)
  11. Washington University in St. Louis (14)
  12. Bucknell University (10)
  13. Stanford University (10)
  14. University of Southern California (10)
  15. Dartmouth College (9)
  16. Yale University (9)
  17. Northwestern University (8)
  18. University of Chicago (8)
  19. University of Wisconsin, Madison (8)
  20. Wake Forest University (8)


Rye Country Day School was founded in 1869, when a group of local parents contacted the Reverend William Life and his wife, Susan, who ran a small school in Pennsylvania; the Lifes came to Rye and established the Rye Female Seminary under the direction of Mrs. Life. During its first year, 1869, sixty students (25 boarders and 35 day students) enrolled in the Seminary, which was located on the present school property on Grandview Avenue. In 1896, the Seminary was purchased by the Misses Harriet and Mary Stowe, two members of the faculty. Upon assuming leadership, the Stowe sisters initiated significant changes in the curriculum. During this period, the Seminary was part of a national trend, namely the introduction of college preparatory programs for women. Conscious of the potential financial risk for a strictly proprietary institution, a group of parents bought the Seminary in 1917 and established it as a nonprofit day school under the direction of a Board of Trustees.

The year 1921 saw the Seminary merge with a boys' school from nearby Harrison, the Rye Country School, and became known as the Rye Country Day Schools. In 1928, the "s" was dropped from the word "Schools". At this time, the School offered a program for girls from kindergarten through grade twelve, and a program for boys from kindergarten through grade nine. In 1964 this pattern of organization was changed when the Board of Trustees extended the enrollment for boys through grade twelve.[8]

Since then, additional property was acquired, buildings were constructed and roads moved. From the construction of the Main Building in 1924, to the additions of the Pinkham Building and the La Grange Field House in the sixties, the Dunn Performing Arts Center in the eighties, the new Lower School classrooms, new dining center and the unveiling of the Athletic Center in the early two-thousands, the turf athletic fields in 2006, the expansion of the Pinkham building to include Memorial Hall in 2010, and the most recent addition of the Cohen Center of the Creative Arts set to open in 2018, the Rye Country Day campus has kept pace with the needs of its community. Today students in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve enjoy a state-of-the-art facility while remaining fully conversant with the traditions and expectations of the School's founders.


At RCDS, athletics are a fitting counterpart to academics, energizing both mind and body. Students in all three divisions take physical education. Starting in Grade 7, students play interscholastic sports. RCDS has a 45,000-square-foot Athletic Center with basketball and squash courts, locker rooms, a fitness center, and an athletic training room; the sports program has full-time coaches, as well as teachers who coach. Both serve as positive role models, developing a student-athlete's sense of sportsmanship and love of the game. In recent years, RCDS teams have won numerous FAA League championships, NYSAIS State Championships, and more. Several students from each graduating class continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Fall Sports: Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football and Soccer.
Winter Sports: Basketball, Fencing, Ice Hockey, Squash and Wrestling.
Spring Sports: Baseball, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field.

Campus Facilities[edit]

The 26-acre campus includes academic buildings; two libraries; administrative buildings; a separate performing arts center with classrooms, music rooms, a dance studio and a 450-seat theater-auditorium; a 23,000 square-foot innovative creative arts center; a 40,000 square-foot athletic center; and 4 turf fields. Two dining rooms serve lunch every day.

Arts Facilities
The Cohen Center for the Creative Arts, a 23,000 square-foot creative arts center, built in 2018. Memorial Hall, built in 2010, seats 125; the Dunn Performing Arts Center with a 450-seat theater, dance studios, and band/choral/instrumental rehearsal spaces. Memorial Hall, built in 2010, seats 125.
Athletic Facilities
Athletic facilities include four artificial turf fields; the Scott A. Nelson Athletic Center (2000), which houses a two-court gymnasium, four squash courts, four locker rooms, an athletic training facility, a fitness center and a multipurpose gymnasium that serves as the home for the wrestling and fencing programs; the LaGrange Field House (1972) with its indoor ice rink/tennis courts.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Rye Country Day School". Private School Review. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "About RCDS". Rye Country Day School. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  3. ^ "web author". Private School Review. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Overview - RYE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL". www.ryecountryday.org. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Rye Country Day School Profile (2018-19) | Rye, NY". Private School Review. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Mission - RYE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL". www.ryecountryday.org. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Portrait of a Graduate - RYE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL". www.ryecountryday.org. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ Nelson. "web author". Dir of Publications. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  9. ^ Gussow, Mel. Edward Albee: A Singular Journey : a Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pg 37
  10. ^ "Barbara Bush Biography :: National First Ladies' Library". firstladies.org. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  11. ^ Rye Country Day: John Treacy Egan
  12. ^ Amazon.com: Raymond Khoury: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
  13. ^ "Elizabeth Weinberg Fiancee Of Peter B. Smith, a Banker". New York Times. 16 March 1980. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  14. ^ Lazar, Emily. "First Woman To Win Engineering Grammy".

External links[edit]