Browsing the robust website gives ample information about the Kentucky Country Day School (KCD), but touring the KCD campus is the most impressive way to see why rankings website Niche.com has rated the school the very best in Kentucky the past four years.
Founded in 1972 as the confluence of four schools (Kentucky Home School for Girls, Louisville Country Day School, Kentucky Military Institute, and Aquinas Preparatory School), today’s KCD sits on a sprawling 85-acre campus in the east end of Jefferson County. The school offers a rigorous college preparatory academic program as well as a wide variety of fine arts, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities. The Independent, coeducational school has 860 students in grades Junior Kindergarten through 12.
KCD averages 16 students in a class, ensuring the amazing faculty that every student can be actively engaged in the learning process. When touring the campus, visitors can see vast expanses of athletic fields and playgrounds outside. Inside, families can walk through buildings for the Lower School (JK – 4th grade), Middle School (5th – 8th grade), and Upper School (9th – 12th grade).
The motto at KCD is Citizen, Scholar, Steward, but is more than just words. KCD focuses on the whole child and engages and strengthens each student’s passion for learning. Ample opportunities are available for students to live the motto and mission. Beyond academics and civic connection, students are deeply involved in local community service opportunities, and can expand their horizons through global service projects abroad in Haiti, Costa Rica, Ghana, etc. Students can also direct fundraising efforts by being a part of the Artemis Fund, a student-led charitable fund. During class, students review grant requests and consult experts from local non-profits to guide their decision-making.
Reflective of KCD’s emphasis on global citizenship, forward-thinking Middle School students complete interdisciplinary capstone projects. For example, 8th grade students research an endangered species and explore environmental policy in light of the relationships between governments, local communities, and the biosphere. Another example of KCD guiding innovative forward-thinkers was demonstrated recently by 6th graders Hailey Hertzman and Katie VonderHaar, who were recently selected National Entrepreneurs of the Year in a national contest.
“We are more than a college preparatory school with a 100% graduation rate,” said Barnard Baker, KCD’s Associate Director of Marketing and Admissions. “We offer paths for all of our students to look beyond college. Whether it’s in medicine, business, art, theater, athletics, global studies, politics, etc. – We give them the tools to pursue their passions.”
Those tools include academic opportunities that go far beyond the basics. In the Lower School, as part of its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) initiative, students begin learning about robotics in third grade. This technology study continues through the Upper School, where they have access to their own Fabrications Laboratory, a “maker space” where students use advanced creative tools like 3D printers and laser cutters.
The campus also includes a Visual and Performing Arts Center, showcasing a 300-seat theater. The arts are abundantly represented and explored at KCD, with all grade levels involved in music and visual arts, as well as opportunities for performing arts. Students not only have active front-of-house opportunities in plays and musicals, they also have active back-of-house roles, designing costumes and creating the sets for each production. Individual practice rooms are available for piano, drums, violins, and other musical instruction. Ceramics and graphic design studios bridge the art-science continuum, and give students a valuable opportunity to learn design skills.
In addition to academics and the arts, KCD students are also given tools to compete and succeed on the athletic fields and courts. State-of-the-art facilities aid State Championship-winning coaches to raise the bar for their student-athletes to compete from intramurals to the NCAA Division I level and beyond. A full-time strength and conditioning coach is on staff to help build bigger, faster, stronger student-athletes. Lower and Middle School athletics help set the foundation for young student-athletes to learn teamwork and to compete for something bigger than themselves.
“We want our students to be leaders in the classroom, on the playing field, on the stage, and in the community,” said Baker. “One of our greatest differentiators is that we teach students to be critical thinkers, who are truly empowered to advocate for themselves. What they learn at KCD, they will carry throughout their lives.”
Learn more about what KCD could do for your family here.