There are so many leadership opportunities at Fairfield Country Day School, however, the greatest opportunity to steward the School and student body is through the 9th grade experience.

All that Means to Be a Crusader

Whether a young man enters in the middle school years or has attended FCDS since Kindergarten, our 9th grade program elevates their role at the school. As presidents of the Student Council, role models for the boys, and ambassadors of Fairfield Country Day School, the 9th grade students exemplify all that it means to be a Crusader.

Along with the advanced curriculum which includes physics, geometry, world languages and western civilization, the boys lead all-school debates seeking solutions for global issues of poverty and refugee crisis. Leadership is reinforced through off-campus adventure programs and special privileges and responsibilities afforded to these oldest boys to best prepare them for their future secondary school experience.

List of 3 items.

  • An Opportunity to Lead

    The ninth-grade year is a unique one for FCDS boys. As the oldest students in the school, they are expected to serve as role models for the younger boys as well as accept certain leadership roles within the school and throughout Fairfield County. The academic work is more demanding than in the past. Truly, it is their first year of high school. As all those in the FCDS community know, there is more to the experience here than just academics.
  • An Opportunity to Grow

    While the ninth graders are delegated increased responsibilities, there are numerous benefits as well. Some are immediately evident: leading positions in the student council, yearbook, and the art and literary magazine; access to certain dining room options; and the use of the Blue Door, long an FCDS tradition. Other benefits may be less tangible at first, but are valued highly by both faculty and alumni. Interactions with teachers take on a different tone, as the dynamic shifts toward mentorship. And a conscious effort is made by the faculty and administration to assist the boys in understanding and appreciating their new role as the school’s leaders. While many friendships established at FCDS become strong ones, the 9th grade experience often cements those friendships into lifelong ones.
  • An Opportunity to Contribute

    Boys who opt to experience ninth grade as “seniors” learn how best to approach the academic rigors they face in a small group environment. This creates the ideal dynamic in which young men can engage themselves, their peers, and their teachers in intellectual discussion. At the Commencement ceremony in June, one ninth grader is awarded the Blair Award, voted on by the faculty and awarded by the Board of Trustees. The Blair Award is given to that boy that best exemplifies the qualities that FCDS values: integrity, scholarship and respect.

Hayden Zelson ’12, Choate

The decision to remain at FCDS for my 9th grade was formative in my growth as a character, student, and person. The 9th grade experience is an excellent mixture of good times, and challenging academics. When I arrived at school following my 9th grade experience, I was prepared for the challenges that high school would bring.

Tom Balamaci ’93, Phillips Academy Andover, Brown University, Wharton School of Business

I would stress that ninth grade gives you the chance to lead: whether it's captain of a team, editor of the Blotter, president of the student council. That's a rare opportunity for a 14-year old to have at school. I went into sophomore year at Andover more confident (where the class size almost doubles anyway.) You don't miss anything by not starting as a freshman; in fact, if I was in their shoes, I'd weigh leadership at FCDS against "starting at the bottom" again as a freshman. To me, there was no question it was the right choice.