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Madison Country Day School

Private | PK-12 | 365 students

Our school is best known for our status as the area's only IB World School.
 
 

 
 

Living in Waunakee

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $277,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $790.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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17 reviews of this school


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Posted December 5, 2013

Our daughter is in 3rd grade at Madison Country Day School. When we approached the school for admission in 1st grade, they bent over backwards to get us in. They offered us financial assistance, which we needed. The year after, all that changed. They had someone ready to pay the full tuition so they were not interested in us any more. Now, about academics. The teaching quality is erratic and teachers range from mediocre to pretty good. If you are not significantly wealthy, you are going to be under a lot of pressure given the unequal treatment kids and parents are given by the Business Development office and the school management depending on the donations received from parents. Our other child graduated from Van Hise and Hamilton in Madison and I would say the level of academics is not significantly better at MCDS. But as parents, we felt much more at home in Van Hise and Hamilton than we do at MCDS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2013

Absolutely amazing! Our daughter is getting an education far beyond what the public system offers. It's the way school should be, a place kids love to go, rather than a dreaded institution lacking a sense of community. MCDS is all that they say it is, and our daughter is skyrocketing. I'm simply amazed and can't believe school can be this good. Way to go MCDS! Keep it up you're making a big difference.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 26, 2013

Excellent school. We have 2 kids at MCDS for the last 10 years and very pleased with their progress. The tution is expensive but the quality of education is worth it. Excellent IB program for all around development of students. Highly recommended.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2013

I cannot recommend this school for any family who values academics. The leadership of the school is horrible. They say the right things but do none of them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 29, 2013

We chose to come to MCDS after experiencing a public school in our neighborhood that is known to be one of the best. The teachers we had were good but very stretched with children who needed extra attention behaviorally or academically. Because my child did not he didn't get a lot of attention. Since coming to MCDS a couple of years ago he truly has blossomed as a result of the teachers really getting to know him, being academically stimulated and challenged and being part of the strong community here that truly is not just lip service. Coming to MCDS truly has been one of our best family decisions and now he has two siblings following in his footsteps and we couldn't be happier!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 15, 2013

We're entering our 3rd year at MCDS, with 1 child currently enrolled & another on the way. We spent a lot of time researching prior to enrollment. I cannot say enough good things about the faculty, staff, curriculum and culture. The students are engaged and inspired -creatively and intellectually - on a daily basis by wonderful, caring, thoughtful teachers. The arts and music emphasis is second to none. There are many things that set MCDS apart but what stands out most is its character education. Every morning, the students gather for assembly with their peers and focus on a character trait: generosity, tolerance, kindness, cooperation, etc.They learn from one another & share thoughts, ideas & opinions, becoming comfortable speaking in front of others at a very young age. Contrary to other posts, we have seen an abundance of concern and effort dedicated to problem-solving if there is a social or behavioral issue. The teachers listen and work very hard and ensure an environment that is free of bullying, one that encourages and embraces individuality. If you are considering MCDS, please take a tour. You'll find yourself inspired & ready for your child to experience all MCDS offers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 20, 2012

Our child is in her third year at MCDS and we couldn't be happier with the school. It is academically challenging -- no doubt -- but a child need not be a genius to succeed. Motivation to learn, with strong parental support, is really the key. Because of the low student-to-teacher ratio, teachers are able to meet each child's individual needs. If a child needs help in a certain area, s/he will get it. Just as important, kids who are stronger in certain subjects don't get a pass on being challenged. Our daughter has never been stressed about her schoolwork, nor has she been bored because it's too easy. We feel very at home in the school community. There are families from a wide range of backgrounds, including income levels, but we have never experienced snobbiness from anyone. Parents don't send their kids there for social status reasons, but for the rigorous academic training in a nurturing environment. The kids are genuinely nice to each other, including across grades. Recently, at an all-school assembly, kindergartners read short essays they had written (yes, written), and the biggest cheers of support came from the high school kids. We are so thankful for MCDS.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2012

We have lived in other areas of the country, and our child has attended private and public schools. This was by far the worst experience we had. The principal and administration are unable to handle very serious disciplinary and legal issues but are quite good at writing dress code manuals. I would like to be more specific but cannot because of legal issues.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 13, 2012

I cannot say enough good things about this school. We actually moved our daughter from the strongest public school district in Dane County after seeing the experience our youngest had in Pre-K at MCDS. And I have to say there is absolutely no comparison between the type of education she has received at MCDS and what she learned in public school. Of course the academics are strong at MCDS, but there is so much more. The teachers are passionate about they do and instill a love of learning in their students that is truly amazing. The attention given to each child is incomparable. Their character education, arts, languages and sports are wonderful. All kids receive instruction in piano. Even in Pre-K, they receive science, Spanish, art and music instruction from specialist teachers who teach higher grades. It's the kind of rich learning environment and nurturing place that every child needs to fully reach their potential. And it is no surprise to me that it has enjoyed significant growth in the last few years. This year alone, they added 70 new students. I guess people are finding out what a true gem this school is. Visit MCDS and you will immediately sense the difference.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 4, 2012

Not a great experience for my child. She was bullied by a classmate but when she reported it to a teacher she was punished for being a tattle tale. They lacked the ability to assess gifted/talented kids. I was told that my child was slow when in reality she was a gifted child. Finally frustrated with the school I removed my child and we are in public school. Funny thing, the public school quickly picked-up on her advanced abilites and placed her in a special program that allowed her to work at an advanced level. She is currently working 3 grade level above her age group.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 25, 2011

This Pre K through High School is a safe place where children are truly engaged in learning. If you walk through any hall you will see students who are actively listening and participating and happy. My 6th grade son loves school and has remained eager and curious through the tough middle school years. You really owe it to your child to take one hour and visit the school. Do not let the cost of tuition scare you. There is a generous scholarship fund and financial aide available. Best of luck to you!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 3, 2011

Absolutely amazing, this is the perfect environment for a child to learn. The teachers are so involved in making sure each child is learning, and go out of their way to provide additional enrichment in strong areas, and additional help in weaker areas, for each student. This is our 3rd year with a child attending here, and I'm still amazed at what a wonderful community this is, for the kids and families. (And the academics are amazing! All teachers believe that every child has an amazing ability to learn, and children live up to those expectations.)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2010

MCDS provides an excellent education in the type of supportive environment all children should have.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 18, 2009

I love this school. My children (5th grade and 1st) have learned so much -- of course academically (WOW), but they also have developed an appreciation of the arts and music, and what it means to be part of a community. The teachers and principal know everyone by name...and the parents rock, too :)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 11, 2009

The school (both teachers and general staff) go out of their way to create an environment where the children learn to appreciate knowledge and learning new things! The handson learning helps foster imagination and curiosity which helps lead the students onto new discoveries as they learn. The staff and teachers go out of their way to greet the children by name and say goodbye at the end of the day. A wonderful environment!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 31, 2008

An amazing school and learning environment that still seems too good to be true after 5 years at the school! We couldn't be more happy, our kids are exceptionally well served at MCDS. Well worth the cost of tuition.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 18, 2004

MCDS was incepted in 1997. We are fortunate to have an extremely well endowed first decade - our campus includes waterfront acreage, forrestation, yet easy access to metro Madison. MCDS emphasizes international community, character development, and college preperatory academics in its program. As parent who has had children enrolled since 1997, I have seen tremendous growth in our campus and enrollment - we started with less tha 30 students PK-3 in 1997 and now have 200+ students PK-10 this year. In two years we will fully reach our intended PK-12 status and graduate our first class. MCDS has a tremendous fine arts program - especially music - and strives to offer the finest curriculum in each subject it teaches; for example, Singapore's math program was specifically chosen by this school - one of the first nationwide. This is also the only non-sectarian private school in the Madison area.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White, not Hispanic 72% 74%
Asian/Pacific Islander 19% 4%
Hispanic 5% 10%
Black, not Hispanic 3% 10%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0% 1%
Asian N/A 4%
Multiracial 0% 2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Percentage of students going to 4-year college 100% (2013)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Science club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Dance club
  • Drama club

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Foreign languages taught
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Girls on the run
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Yoga club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Luke W. Felker
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (608) 850-6006

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • None

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
Girls sports
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Theory
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
  • Crochet
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • Gardening
  • Girls on the run
  • Martial arts (judo, tae kwon do, karate, etc)
  • Papercrafting
  • Prairie Restoration
  • Science club
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School colors
  • Blue, White
School mascot
  • Prairie Hawks
More from this school
  • The mission of Madison Country Day School is to provide an intellectually stimulating, personally enriching, and academically challenging program in the liberal arts and sciences to an able and diverse student body. Furthermore, we measure the curriculum and student achievement against the finest programs in the world. We also contribute to the larger community by developing effective educational programs to serve as models for other private and public schools.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2013-2014 school year
$8000 - $16000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Application fee
Yes. $150.
Fee waivers available

Planning ahead

College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
4 year college - 100%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5606 River Rd
Waunakee, WI 53597
Website: Click here
Phone: (608) 850-6000

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