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News & Events

Your source to stay involved and informed with topical early childhood education research, what's going on in the classrooms and on the grounds, and upcoming events and projects.

The Buzz Around Campus

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"Fall into Reading" Book Fair Events

Make sure you mark your calendar for the CDS Book Fair and Family Fun Day on Sun. Oct. 22 from 2 pm – 5 pm and "fall" in love with reading.

Our annual Book Fair is approaching with a new, exciting format and fun for all.

Join us for a Family Fun Day on Sunday, Oct. 22 from 2-5pm on the CDS grounds. There will be singing with Mrs. Olson, reading with Ms. Mary, crafts and a performance by the PRO Players. The CDSl Book Fair offers a wonderful selection of quality, engaging, and affordable books for your children, provided by our local Child's Play of McLean. Motivate your little readers even more by giving them the opportunity to choose their own books. Plus, you can get a jump on your own holiday shopping! In addition to the items available for home purchase, families may make a special donation to the CDS Library from our Wish List table of books requested by CDS teachers and our librarian.

Mark your calendars for a Parent's Night Out on Wednesday, Nov. 8. Held after regular business hours at Child's Play in McLean, join us for wine and cheese while you meet other CDS parents while you get a head start on holiday shopping. A portion of all sales benefits CDS on this special evening.

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Back to School Planning Just Got Easier

Simplify back to school labeling while supporting Country Day

Order Your Labels Today

We are excited to begin a new school year! As every parent knows an annual request from any school is to please label everything from water bottles and lunch containers to jackets and hats with your child's name, so we are pleased to announce our partnership with Mabel's Labels to help simplify this process. Simply visit the link included and select "Country Day School (McLean)" as the school choice for an easy way to support CDS while streamlining the back to school checklist.

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Reminder: CDS Weather Closure Policy

In the event of weather closure, CDS may announce that school is closed for the full day, cancel morning classes, or dismiss early. Please refer to our Inclement Weather Policy in the full news item or your CDS Family Handbook for more details regarding each possible schedule adjustment.

With our first possibility of inclement weather on the horizon, please take a moment to review our inclement weather closure policies.

Inclement Weather Policy
In the event of snow or other emergencies, CDS makes decisions about early closings or late openings that may be independent of other schools. Announcements of CDS school closings or delays are posted on the countryday.org home page. If it is at all possible, the school aims to post one of the following decisions on the CDS website by 6:00 am for mornings and 9:00 am for afternoons. We also list closings on WTOP (103.5 or www.wtopnews.com) and NBC4. In the event school is closed for inclement weather or other emergency situations or the afternoon classes are cancelled, all evening activities are cancelled. We follow the procedures below:

When CDS is closed for the day, there are no classes or evening functions.

When there are no AM classes
  • Parent/Child classes, Lunch Bunch and ACE Programs are cancelled
  • Part Day PM afternoon classes are on time
  • Full Day Classes and Kindergartners arrive from 10:30-10:45 am with their lunches

When CDS closes early

  • An all school e-mail notification will be sent to parents by 10:30 am
  • Afternoon classes, Lunch Bunch, Do Drop In, ACE Programs, Extended Day and evening activities are cancelled
  • Full day classes and Kindergartners are dismissed from 12:15-12:30
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Birthday Book Program

Our new Birthday Books program is now underway- read more about this special way to celebrate your child's birthday at CDS

We are pleased to introduce our new Birthday Books program. We invite you to commemorate the occasion with the donation of a book to be added to the CDS library with a special book plate in your child's honor. Please see our Birthday Books page for more details.

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The Formative Years of Early Childhood

A Researcher's Perspective on the Value of Play

Dr Alison Gopnik, a leader in the study of how children learn, discussed with NAEYC her findings about how young children learn best. Read her take on the value of play and developing social and emotional skills in the full article.

A Conversation with Dr. Alison Gopnik

Now that we are well underway in the new school year and the children have had a chance to settle into new routines, Country Day is busy with hands-on learning and exploration. Our teachers scaffold and guide learning in ways that connect with young children's natural interest in the world around them, for example extending a class interest in fall leaves and apples to include leaf rubbings, sorting apples and leaves by color and size, printing using apples as stamps, tasting and cooking apples, adopting a tree to observe throughout the year, building "Leaf Man" figures after reading a story, and much more. As these units of study shift throughout the school year, every classroom and age level is consistently focused on learning about the natural and social world. Allowing for open ended and imaginative play, using puppets and social stories, practicing cooperation and turn taking are a hallmark of our play-based program. More and more research in the field of child development points to the important role social and emotional development and allowing children to naturally learn through play. Dr. Alison Gopnik is a leading researcher on how children learn. In discussion with NAEYC, she touches on the importance of play in young children's development.

She explains: "I hear more and more from teachers that parents are in a state of panic over academic preparedness. It's hard for both parents and teachers to resist this pressure, which is coming from everywhere. What teachers can say to parents, though, is: "Play is not just some touchy-feely activity. And it's not just that you want to leave children alone and not rush them. There's hard evidence that children learn more things through play than they would in some academic setting." Children are eventually going to learn to recognize letters. But learning how people work and what's in others' minds is a much deeper and more profound learning."

A Conversation with Dr. Alison Gopnik

The Science of Essential Early Childhood Brain Development

See why the caring, dynamic, developmental program CDS offers is so important during the preschool years.

Harvard University Article: "The Science of Early Childhood Development"

Early childhood is a time when hundreds of neural connections are made per second. These connections provide the foundation for early learning and future well-being. The following article provides a brief overview of children's early brain development and how essential building these neural connections is during the preschool years. The Harvard University Center on the Developing Child introduces the topic by stating:

"The science of early brain development can inform investments in early childhood. These basic concepts, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research, help illustrate why child development—particularly from birth to five years—is a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society."

The Country Day School's experienced teachers strive to provide a safe and cognitively stimulating environment in which all aspects of a child's development are nurtured. As the following article notes in a summary of implications: "A balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive, and language development will best prepare all children for success in school and later in the workplace and community." Join us in building a foundation for lifelong success.

Harvard Center on the Developing Child Article: "InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development"

What to Look for as You Select a Preschool Program

Our teachers' strong knowledge of child development allows CDS to provide rich academic, social emotional and physical opportunities for children to develop the skills to succeed.

NAEYC Families Article: "A Good Preschool for Your Child- What You Do and Don't Want to See in a Preschool"

The following article published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) highlights the importance of high-quality, developmentally appropriate education and provides a research-based explanation of appropriate practice across intellectual, social, large motor, small motor and language domains.

NAEYC Families Article: "A Good Preschool for Your Child"

Selecting the Right School for Your Child

CDS offers a developmentally appropriate program which balances child-led and teacher-led discoveries.

EdSource Article: "Tools for Parents: What to look for in a preschool program"

A quality early childhood program encourages development at a pace that is challenging while building on the strengths and interests of each individual child. The teachers at Country Day School provide an appropriate balance of child led exploration and teacher led discovery while utilizing both formal and informal assessments to track a child's development over time. We value low student to teacher ratios, the majority of our teachers have a bachelor's or master's degree in education and we provide on-going opportunity for professional development. As the following article illustrates, these indicators of a high quality program help ensure future success for our young learners.

EdSource Article: "Tools for Parents: What to look for in a preschool program"

The View From Country Day

Catch a glimpse of the natural wonders, student artwork, and magical moments in a child's day at CDS

Too hot outside? Dance party break!

CDS may have been founded in the '60s, but (like the temperature today) our dance moves are stuck in the '90s during a Wiggly Worm class dance party. Check out our rising 4s showing off their coordination, motor skills and memory for the classic "Macarena'"moves.

Keep watching for encore performances of "The Chicken Dance" and "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)"- watch out, Dancing with the Stars!

Muddy Fun at Camp CDS

View a splashy moment in action from the Dolphin class at Camp CDS!

With water play on the agenda daily for the rising 3s campers, every day is a great day for splashing and exploring on our playgrounds! Along with the occasional muddy puddly, our younger campers play in baby pools and sprinklers, use spray bottles and bubbles, and much more.

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