What makes FCDS different from other schools is our intentional approach to boys’ education. The earliest, more formidable years--Kindergarten to Grade 9--can be overlooked in larger schools, seen as only a means to an end.
That’s not so at Fairfield Country Day School.
We recognize that a “lifer” at FCDS will spend more time behind the Blue Door than he will in high school and college combined. The lessons an FCDS boy learns, the skills he acquires, the risks he learns to take, and relationships he makes provide the building blocks for his future. Few schools shine as strong of a light on the development of boys as FCDS.
I remember walking up the Upper School stairs in 2003, and meeting my first class of seventh-grade boys. I was their new, part-time Study Skills teacher. They eyed me with some trepidation-- their blazers rumpled and ties slightly askew. We dumped out backpacks, sorted loose papers, and disposed of snack wrappers and broken pencils. I was struck by how comfortable the boys were at school. They were at home in their classroom, at ease on the fields and acted like family in the dining room..
From that day on, I was hooked on FCDS. I witnessed boys benefiting from a single-sex environment in ways I didn’t expect. Quiet and shy boys shared personal stories on stage, athletes played the violin in School concerts, teachers and students learned side by side in the classroom, cheered each other on in advisor wiffle ball, and met for extra help before and after school. I appreciated the limited age group at FCDS-- no college admissions process to bog down a boy’s education. I was reminded of the most powerful class I took in graduate school, titled The Middle School. The professor passionately promoted the years before high school as critical and often unrecognized in a student’s trajectory. I could see that philosophy in action here. It became clear to me that FCDS was both a boy’s foundation and his future.
FCDS is where boys belong.
This year has certainly been unlike any other. I am proud that FCDS continues to live its mission, even in the midst of a pandemic. We will not just weather the storm, but we will become stronger for it. We are doing that by redefining health in a way that will have a lasting, positive impact on our boys. Good health means taking measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. It also means attending to social-emotional health and fostering an environment where every boy feels included, valued, and respected. Optimal learning happens when those three strands become one. Moving away from silos to a more integrated approach to health will help our boys connect, flourish, and graduate with competence, confidence, and compassion.
I am excited about the future of our School. We have over 80 years of experience behind us and at least 80 more ahead. Never has it been more important for boys to become good men. I look forward to helping guide and mentor each and every boy, intentionally.