Attending this school changed the trajectory of my daughter's life. She was always bright and driven but this school opened up all sorts of opportunities for her. She had outstanding instructors and participated in numerous after-school activities such as drama and softball. I count my daughter attending RCDS as one of the greatest blessings of our lives.
I graduated from RCDS this past year (Class of 2011) and I thought that this site needed a better perspective from a recent graduate. To retain my anonymity, I will be vague about my success. I go to a top 20 university (probably sub 10 in the next 2 years) and this school prepared me well in most aspects. To put it bluntly, this school equips students with the tools to achieve great measures of success collegiately, but it is not the place for everyone. There are teachers and classes to avoid. Work is demanding, but often felt like busy work to me. Most of the teachers really love working at RCDS and are always available for extra help (seriously, if your student goes to this school, get them to go to extra help whenever they can. It's a huge boon in college for academics and networking). The academics, as I mentioned, can coast students or really challenge them. The sports I chose were very competitive and successful. Coaches all understand academics come first. All in all, this school prepared me aptly for college and I recommend it to students with stars in their eyes and a good work ethic.
My daughter is in the sixth grade now and having attended Collegiate myself, I can say that RCDS is an exceptional school. Not only do all of the teachers encourage the students to strive to be their best, they do so in a way that is challenging but not overboard. Whenever that has been an issue, which are rare to almost never, with students slightly getting out of line (which is true everywhere and with all ages), RCDS is right on top of it and manage everything in a very thoughtful and proper way. I couldn't disagree more than with the other person who reviewed here. That person must have had an isolated incident and thought it not handled correctly. Remember, even with teachers and administration, they are still human. Mistakes can be made, the question is whether they learned from it. If anyone has any reservations about RCDS, don't. It's really wonderful; but as with all schools, the fit must be right. If your child wants to excel and become an exceptional young adult, then this might be the right school Obviously, it's not for everyone.
I read the nine reviews posted and there were a few that just didn't make sense. While I agree that not every child can handle the work-load of a really good private school, the notion that RCDS is anything but an incredible learning institution is just false. Our daughter just finished fifth grade and LOVES it. The teachers are incredible passionate about their work. She is always encouraged to strive to be her best in a caring and thoughtful manner. The children are all top notch and though girls can sometimes get into little groups, RCDS does everything in its power to counter this. Our son is at Brunswick and I attended Collegiate in NYC. These are all great schools, but if anyone has any doubts about RCDS, reconsider. It is a wonderful place.
The education is first-rate, rigorous and deep across all disciplines, we found the middle and high school teachers to be responsive and committed. The music program is turly outstanding and deserves special mention. RCDS is a great place for kids who are highly motivated and intellectually curious, they will get the most attention and recognizion. Make sure you're sending your child because he/she can excel at this level, not because it's a prestigious diploma. Socially, you get your fair share of neurotic kids and parents, but that's likely a symptom of most competitive schools. I do agree with the comment above: the administration is timid in imparting a values-based vision for the school.
There are many outstanding teachers at Rye Country Day, particularly in the high school, and the student body is generally highly motivated. However the school lacks soul or spirit. As a result the overall experience is significantly less than it could be. This stems from the headmaster who does not appear to have a coherent vision or mission for the school.
My son has been at RCDS for 4 years and has loved every minute of it. The academics are superb and the extra-curriculars are wonderful. He plays hockey now, but can't wait until middle school when he can fence and play bass in the Jazz band! How many schools can offer that? The kids are terrific as well--very kind and supportive of each other. Sending my child to RCDS was the best decision we ever made.