Rye Country Day School

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Rye Country Day School
Not for Self, but for Service
Rye, New York
United States
Type Independent
Established 1869[1]
Head of school Scott Nelson
Enrollment PK – 12
Number of students 886[2]
Average class size 14 students
Student to teacher ratio 8:1[3]
Campus 26 acres
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Publication Bulletin
Newspaper Rye Crop
Yearbook Echo

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] Noted for its rigorous academic programs, thriving student organizations, and competitive college matriculation, Rye Country Day attracts students from over 40 school districts in the tri-state area.


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 Lives 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.[4]

Mission and philosophy

According to its website Rye Country Day's Mission is to "provide students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 with an excellent education using both traditional and innovative approaches in a nurturing and supportive environment" The school is "actively committed to diversity" and "expect[s] and promote[s] moral responsibility". RCDS's goal is to "foster a lifelong passion for learning, understanding, and service in an ever-changing world. " In addition the school states in its Philosophy that: "The School offers a comprehensive program enabling our students to think independently, to write and speak with clarity, and to appreciate the values and joys of the humanities, the arts, and the sciences" and that "the education of young people should encompass cultural, athletic, and communal experiences which stress the responsibility of each individual for the life and spirit of the whole community, resulting in a graduate able to face the world with confidence, to compete effectively, and to contribute meaningfully to society.[5]

Community service

RCDS students are involved in a variety of service projects, both face-to-face and charitable fundraising, throughout the year. RCDS offers age-appropriate volunteer opportunities, coordinated across divisions by a full-time Director of Community Service. Representative projects include promoting ecological awareness, visiting nursing homes and collecting blankets, coats, and toys for various charities. In the Middle School, students participate in Community Service projects in all grades. Typical efforts include making lap blankets for wheelchair patients In partnership with the Upper School's Linus Committee, fighting breast cancer through Middle School GOPiNK, fighting lung cancer through the new Lung Cancer Awareness Club in the Middle School, joining the Awareness Club, and participating in the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Math-A-Thon. Both Lower and Middle School students participate each year in Hoops and Jump Rope for Heart. In addition, all students in Grade 8 participate in specially scheduled Service Days during the school year, working at a variety of nonprofits in the local area.

Senior Term is a graduation requirement. During their final two weeks of the school year, all seniors participate in full day, small group service projects for several organizations in Westchester, Fairfield and the Bronx. These projects are initiated and planned by the students themselves, subject to faculty approval. Representative Senior Term service sites for 2010 included East Harlem Little League, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Federated Conservationists of Westchester, Mamaroneck Community Action Program, WestHELP Greenburgh, A.C.L.U., Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Mount Kisco Child Care Center, Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary, Rye Nature Center, Purchase Community House, Jay Heritage Center, Friends of Austic People, Marshlands Conservancy, and Adopt-a-Dog.

In 2011 Rye Country Day appointed a Public Purpose Director to extend and deepen its Community Service program.[6]


Rye Country Day School adopted a "Laptop Program" in 1999 "to make the information processing power of the computer available to students whenever and wherever needed.[7] Students in grades 7–12 are required to have a laptop computer (either Windows or Apple operating systems) and funding is provided to support this requirement. These students use a campus-wide wireless network. Students in 6th grade and below use the computer labs that are located in the Lower, Middle, and Upper school. Smart Boards are used in every classroom.


Rye Country Day offers a variety of sports to both male and female students. In the 2011–2012 season, the Rye Country Day football team made headlines by achieving an undefeated 10–0 season, in which they defeated Massachusetts powerhouse Pingree in the New England Championship. Hailed by some[who?] as the most dominant Fairchester Athletic Association football team of all time, Rye Country Day outscored its opponents 388-93.


Rye Country Day was ranked 21st among US high schools of its size (60+ students per grade) in a 2007 Wall Street Journal ranking of secondary schools.[8]

Notable alumni


  1. "Rye Country Day School". Private School Review. Retrieved 28 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About RCDS". Rye Country Day School. Retrieved 11 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "web author". Private School Review. Retrieved 11 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Nelson. "web author". Dir of Publications. Retrieved 5 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Nelson, Susan. "web author". Dir Publications. Retrieved 5 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Nelson. "web author". Director of Publications. Retrieved 5 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Nelson. "Dir of Publications". web author. Retrieved 5 July 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Ellen Gamerman, Juliet Chung, SungHa Park and Candace Jackson (28 December 2007). "How the Schools Stack Up". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2015. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. Retrieved 1 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Rye Country Day: John Treacy Egan
  12. Amazon.com: Raymond Khoury: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
  13. Burke, Jason (14 October 2001). "Profile: Leila Pahlavi". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links