This special gathering of the entire JK–12 academic community, which started in 2012, celebrates the promise of a new school year, along with the value of setting goals and working hard. The ceremony begins with the senior class walking hand in hand with the junior kindergarten and kindergarten classes and ends with the senior class president presenting an oak tree sapling to them.
In 2002, Country Day piloted a high school mentoring program for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Since that time, about 50 percent of each junior and senior class has volunteered one lunch hour a week to read, talk, play, and be a friend to a young child at Rama Road Elementary. This defining program of the Upper School has a positive and lasting impact on both the "Bigs" and the "Littles." Read More
Since 2011, Country Day has hosted an annual exhibit open to the public featuring works from special artists, such as Romare Bearden, W. Louis Jones, Cundo Bermúdez, H.H. Adams, Sylvester Britton, Sam Gilliam, Rebecca Haworth, Cheryl Warrick, and others.
"Overseas trips are practically routine at Charlotte Country Day School, a private school with a strong international studies program. But a recent student trip to Cuba, a communist country that has just begun opening to America trade and travel, is not only a first for the school but possibly for the state." This quote is from a Charlotte Observer article detailing the students' November 2015 trip.
"Come as you are." That's the essential message created in 2007 when our school became one of the first in the country to adopt an Affirmation of Community: "Charlotte Country Day School is committed to living as an authentic, inclusive community. Our pursuit of this commitment to community recognizes and affirms the richness brought by difference and discovered through commonality."
Every August, just prior to the start of school, seniors kick off their final year with a camping and rafting trip. This memorable tradition began in 1992.
One way we recruit some of the brightest young teachers in our region is through the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Teaching Fellowship, a grant awarded to Country Day in 1993 by the Hearst Foundation. The grant attracts recent minority graduates from Davidson College to our school, including our current History Department chair Zhenya Arutyunyan.
Country Day hosted the Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Spring Games for the first time in 1984, thanks to the vision of Dean of Students David Ball. Every April since, the entire Upper School—students, faculty, and staff—has taken a two-day break from the rigors of academia to welcome more than 1,200 athletes.
Here's something to cheer about. In 1987, we were the first school in the area to create comprehensive, onsite Sports Medicine services for student-athletes. And while our facilities are comparable to that of a college, it's our talented athletic trainers who really make the program stand out. Read More
In 1975, the varsity baseball team won its first state championships and began an amazing run with additional titles in 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1992, and 1993. Among all programs, the Buccaneers have been state champions more than 125 times.
In 1960, the late John Cook coached Country Day's first varsity football team when our biggest cross-town rival was Charlotte Catholic. Since 1985, we have played Charlotte Catholic for possession of the Cook Cup in this Country Day legend's honor.
It's called Big Saturday, because, well, it's big, and it's always held on a Saturday in April. Started by the Parents' Association in 1961, the event has evolved and grown over the years, but what has remained constant is the fun and fellowship enjoyed by children and adults, alike. A typical day at Big Saturday includes games and prizes, carnival rides, a talent show, a bake sale, a car raffle, an art show, and the extremely popular International Food Pavilion, in which Country Day families prepare delicious dishes from their native countries.
Aquilifer, a service club for girls, is our longest lasting club. It was established in 1961. Today, the Upper School has more than 80 clubs to suit multiple interests. And whether students meet to play Frisbee, promote social justice, create jazz music, build robots, or tend a garden, they all incorporate community service.
Since the early 1950s every Country Day student has had a chance to shine on stage in a class play. Woven into fun story lines told through dance and song, you might also learn a thing or two about what the children are studying in class.
In 1952, we are still a small school with less than 100 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Still, we fielded our first girls' basketball team and we had a cheerleader squad--with every member also playing on the basketball team.
Traditions that build community began early in our history. At our first Holiday Breakfast (called the Christmas Breakfast when it started back in 1955), the school hosted a full meal for the entire school community. This tradition is now sponsored by the Parents' Association.
Country Day's commitment to service began in 1942, with second graders who sold war bonds every Tuesday morning to students, parents, and teachers. By the end of the year, they sold $1,138 worth of stamps and $3,525 in bonds!
Every fall since 1968, three days of rallies, costumes, decorations, and dances take place to determine which Upper School class has the most spirit. It's a week for giving back, too. On the first day of Spirit Week, students collect canned goods for Second Harvest Food Bank and then head to community partners around Charlotte for a day of service.
A strong parent/school partnership is in our DNA. In 1943, the Parents' Council (now called the Parents' Association) was established and chaired by Mrs. W. Frank Dowd Jr.
Early in our history, we were known as "the Rebels" and in 1959, the mascot "Johnny Rebel" was unveiled at an assembly. At the time of our merger with Carmel Academy in 1980, Johnny Rebel was retired and we became "Buccaneers" donning green and gold. Today, "Bucky" keeps the crowd cheering for Country Day!
Country Day's longest tradition—it started in 1948—is a fun time for kids of all ages. The parade route weaves through Cannon Campus as parents, grandparents, and friends cheer on little princesses, sports stars, monsters, book characters, and more. Upper School students take part, too. Aquilifer Service Club members lead each class and band members provide the parade music.

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  • Forward Thinking

    In the spring of 1940, our founding headmaster, Dr. Thomas Burton, rallied Charlotte leaders around a visionary new concept in education—the independent day school. On September 22, 1941, Country Day opened its doors with 18 students. We've been leading the way in education ever since and have always been a community of leaders and doers, who are continuously looking forward.

  • Exceptional Academics

    Over the years, Country Day continued to build on its reputation for educational excellence and innovative thinking that introduced new programs and brought many educational "firsts" to Charlotte that continues today.

  • Going Beyond Academics

    We are proud of our longtime traditions that offer students experiences beyond the classroom in the arts, athletics, and community service.

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Charlotte Country Day School
1440 Carmel Rd Road, Charlotte,
NC North Carolina 28226
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