Ours is an intentional school community founded out of the progressive education movement, guided by a strongly held belief in our mission and core values, and supported by the careful stewardship of generations of alumni, families, faculty and staff.
We take tremendous pride in the community ethos and vibrant school culture we have cultivated over a century. Our aspirations for our students and our school demand that we always view our school as a work in progress.
Our goal is an inclusive community where all people are treated with respect and dignity, where multiple perspectives and experiences are welcome, and where students from all cultures and backgrounds can succeed.
North Shore Country Day’s annual 10-minute play festival “Take 10” returned to the stage on April 13. For the first time in three years, students performed their original plays in front of a live audience with performances in the NSCD Auditorium.
All seven plays were written, produced and directed by students in the upper school directing class. Some were based on personal experience, observations and media events, while others stemmed from pure creativity. Once the scripts were finalized, the student directors held auditions, cast the roles and ran their own rehearsals.
A new visual arts show has opened in the North Shore Country Day John Almquist Gallery featuring the work of all students in junior kindergarten through fifth grade. Included are examples of how NSCD integrates STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) into its curriculum. The show runs through March 18, 2022.
NSCD upper school visual arts students enrolled in the mark-making class created grided self-portraits. Using a range of graphite pencils, students worked methodically, one square at a time, left to right, row by row to achieve their final self-portraits. While everyone used the same process, each portrait has its own unique mark-making style.
As a junior at Middlebury College, Sophie Hiland ’18 has another title—Overeasy CEO. The company makes a wearable called a HoodE that is a unisex, helmet-compatible hood with a built-in face panel that is great for, but not limited to, keeping warm on the ski slopes.
A recent Morning Ex community gathering celebrating Black History Month was led by students and featured guest Ashlyn Sparrow. Ashlyn is a game designer and helps lead the Weston Game Lab at the University of Chicago, using video games to illuminate real-world problems.
NSCD middle school students took part in a spelling bee preliminary round on January 14 during class meetings. The goal of the event was to have a fun and lively competition.
The NSCD middle school student council hosted a raffle in January featuring a selection of experiences and tangible items donated by middle school faculty and students. The raffle raised $871 used to purchase laptop computers for two boys from Afghanistan who recently arrived in Chicago with their families. The students are in high school and desperately need computers for school and to learn English.
Students at NSCD celebrated the Lunar New Year with traditional activities like making dumplings and creating cut paper decorations. Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, is the most important holiday in several East Asian countries, marking the start of the Chinese lunar calendar. The holiday starts anytime from mid-January to mid-February depending on the year.
The Middle School Winter Performing Arts Showcase was held on January 27 and shared with the school community via livestream. Performances and presentations were presented by the middle school acting, dance, technical theater and improvisation classes, along with highlighted performances from a select group of instrumental ensemble and chorus members. This is an annual celebration of the process each of these classes journeyed through during the first semester culminating in a livestreamed performance.
During the Colby College exploratory term in January, Hillary Swimmer ’18, now a senior at Colby, interned with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), a nonprofit pioneering collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. During her time there, she co-authored a first-ever report that synthesized how GMRI projects directly address more than half of the state’s sweeping climate goals. Swimmer co-authored her report with Dave Reidmiller, the director of the climate center at GMRI.
Middle school Chinese language students have new pen pals in Taiwan. The connection came from a friend of NSCD Chinese Teacher Yun-Chu Chen, who is a high school English teacher in Taiwan. Students in Taiwan sent letters written in English and pictures of themselves to North Shore Country Day students, who wrote back in Chinese.
On Monday, December 6, author Kyle Lukoff talked to North Shore Country Day middle school students about his new book, “Too Bright To See,” a 2021 National Book Award Finalist. The book is a haunting ghost story about navigating grief, growing up and growing into a new gender identity.
Last November, fourth graders in Linda Kiracibasi’s lower school music class studied Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on the eve of his 250th birthday. As part of the project, they looked at new lyrics, written in 2008 by the late Pete Seeger, an American folk singer and social activist. Then they took a stab at writing their own verse—using words that would be easy to understand and appropriate for younger children in lower school.
A group of NSCD middle school students participates in the Illinois Music Educators Association District 7 Junior Chorus Festival, while two others each sing solos as part of the Village of Winnetka's Veterans Day ceremony.
This fall, upper school social studies classes incorporated a monuments project as a response to protests around certain statues and monuments. Teachers challenged NSCD students to first recognize how monuments reflect historical agendas, not just the past itself. Then they asked them to create a monument that reflected a just and complex view of the past.
The NSCD junior kindergarten (JK) class collected 29 pairs of pj’s for the Pajama Program, a national nonprofit organization that promotes and supports a comforting bedtime routine and healthy sleep for children to help them thrive. For every pair of pajamas collected, Scholastic Book Clubs contributes a brand new book to accompany the donation.
NSCD held a Fall Day of Service on Saturday, November 13, benefiting The Bloc in Chicago and Connections for the Homeless. More than 200 food items were donated on Saturday for The Bloc, supplementing what had already been collected by an upper school student-led food drive.
Earlier this month, NSCD welcomed singers, drummers and dancers from the American Indian Dance Center of Chicago (AIC), who performed for the entire school at Morning Ex. The program was a cultural demonstration in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
The NSCD upper school troupe, The Duff Players, will perform “You want some lunch? You betcha!” on November 18, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium. The Duff Players is a cast of upper school students tasked with bringing to life a collection of third and fourth grade stories through movement, music, costumes, props and much more.
Almost 150 children received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Friday, November 12, during a vaccination clinic held on campus. The school partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide pediatric doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11, as well as booster doses of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for faculty and staff. The clinic was open to NSCD students and their families, even if siblings attend school elsewhere.
The fall John Almquist Art Gallery features the works of 17 members of North Shore Country Day’s faculty and staff. Artwork on display includes ceramics; fiber arts including felting, knitting and quilting; photography; painting; and more. The show runs through November 19.
Each year, Middle School Science Teacher Lee Block requires his eighth graders to build and launch bottle rockets. The goal of this project is to apply what they have learned during their study of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
The friendly competition is designed to see who can launch a bottle into the air and keep it afloat for the longest period of time. Students must follow specific rules about the type and size of the bottle, the design of the nose cone and fins, the parachute and the amount of pressure (PSI) pumped into it.
NSCD is a sponsor of this upcoming Family Action Network program on November 4, at 7 p.m.
For more information and to register visit the FAN website.
North Shore Country Day's senior kindergarten class recently paraded around the school dressed as monarch butterflies, singing songs and displaying their handmade wings with their parents and our community. The students learned all about monarchs through an integrated curriculum that incorporated literacy, math, science, social studies and art.
The junior kindergarten recently painted rocks with inspirational words written on them and hid them in various spots around campus for students, faculty and staff to find.
Each year, NSCD hosts the Harold H. Hines Jr. Visiting Fellowship that brings to campus a distinguished individual who exemplifies the school motto, “Live and Serve.” This year’s visiting fellow was Rajiv Vinnakota. Raj has dedicated his career to supporting students from underserved communities and to building a stronger democracy.
The upper school has a new student club this year with a goal to bring therapy dogs to campus once a month to reduce stress and depression. Mac Devereux ’23 decided to start the Paws for Patrick club because his dog Gigi, a Bouvier des Flandres, is a certified therapy dog involved with the local organization.
Congrats to former Raider Paige Forester '19 on her 100th collegiate point in field hockey at MIT.
Sylvia Kelly '25, wrote a reflection for the Diller Street Journal, the student newspaper, on what it's like to be a "New Kid" at North Shore Country Day.
The NSCD Raiders nearly pulled off a miraculous day-2 comeback, trimming a six-stroke deficit to one, to finish in second place in IHSA Class 1A at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington, Illinois, on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
North Shore Country Day graduate Kali Pfannerstill, Class of 2020, was recently featured in the Lawrence University athletics news. Kali played volleyball at NSCD where her mother, Jen Pfannerstill, was a science teacher and volleyball coach. Jen was a Lawrence graduate and also played on the volleyball team.
North Shore Country Day upper school students take to the stage October 8 and 9 to present the fall play, “Drop Dead!” by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore.
North Shore Country Day’s annual Homecoming festivities cautiously returned to campus October 1-2, 2021, after a pandemic hiatus last year. Students celebrated all week long with spirit days, decorating the campus and an outdoor pep rally for the entire school on Friday. Later that afternoon, the entire school community—from junior kindergartners to parents— participated in a series of one-mile fun runs that zigzagged through campus.
One of the distinguishing characteristics that sets North Shore Country Day apart from other local schools is our JK-12 program. Our academic curriculum offers continuity as students progress from one grade to the next, building a solid foundation.
Three students at North Shore Country Day were named semifinalists for 2022 National Merit scholarships among more than two dozen high school seniors at schools in New Trier Township. The NSCD students are Peyton Hudson, Andrew Xing and Emily Yoo.
North Shore Country Day welcomed 20 new faculty and staff members for the 2021-22 school year, introducing them at the first Morning Ex gathering of all students and faculty/staff.
North Shore Country Day’s first community gathering of the school year—known as the opening Morning Exercise or Morning Ex—took place on Sept. 10 and began with a reading of two poems, “Our Own Path” by Nikki Giovanni and “Dawn Revisited” by Rita Dove.
Students, faculty, staff and even a few parents spread out on the playing fields in front of the auditorium for the first in-person all-school gathering in more than 18 months. Head of School Tom Flemma welcomed and introduced new members of the school community—including 114 new students. Of those, 19 hail from outside the Chicago metropolitan area and seven are from outside the United States.
North Shore Country Day has unveiled a new Raider mascot logo. The new design was created by alum Nico Gibson, class of 2006. Gibson is founder and design director of the creative collaborative CRCL, senior brand designer at IDEO and design director at Beyond Athlete Management.
The New York Times published an Opinion video titled "How Life Look Like Through My 'Whale Eyes,'" created by James Robinson, a filmmaker from Maine and a Class of 2015 North Shore Country Day graduate.
North Shore Country Day named Best private school in Chicago suburbs.
The Chicago Sun-Times announced the Grammy-winning musician Richard Marx, North Shore Country Day Class of 1981, release of his debut memoir “Stories to Tell” (Simon & Schuster), which shares its name with a 2010 album.
The North Shore Country Day Camp is back for its 71st season! On June 21, campers arrived on the school's 16-acre campus, ready with sunblock, swim gear and a strong desire to make new friends, learn new skills and push themselves to grow.
At just 23 years old, Ava Suppelsa ’15 has a songwriting career not unlike those writers twice her age. Ava grew up on Chicago's North Shore in a home where she was exposed to music ranging from old-school country to jazz and modern pop.
For the first time in more than a year, NSCD students performed live on the auditorium stage March 11-13 for the spring musical production, “Hindsight 2020: Looking Back to Our Past Selves and Looking Forward to Who We Strive to Be.”
North Shore Country Day held its first-ever virtual benefit on February 25, bringing in more than $350,000 for student scholarships and supplemental support—an ever-increasing need for current and future NSCD students.
Be sure to check out this article about #NSCD alum Blair Bobier '09 from the Chicago Tribune (subscription required).
"A dying man grabbing a nurse’s wrist, asking if God could save him. A patient celebrating a birthday, delighted to find out her nurse also had a birthday that week. A man with his mask on his chin at a Walgreens.
More than 200 NSCD students ages 5-11 received their first COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine on Friday, November 12, at North Shore Country Day. In addition, siblings of students who do not attend North Shore Country Day were invited to receive the vaccine, while faculty and staff could receive boosters.
North Shore Country Day alumnus Stephen Smith, who graduated in 2012, was recognized in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for healthcare, released Dec. 1. Steve is the CEO and founder of NOCD, a digital health startup focused on obsessive-compulsive disorder. He wants to make one of the most effective therapies—known as exposure and response prevention—more accessible. NOCD has a smartphone app that facilitates virtual visits with therapists combined with exercises for patients to reinforce what they're learning in therapy.
Building a relationship-based community requires that we see each other as members of the same group, bound by threads connecting our hearts and minds.
Student Maeve Devereux '21 reflects on how grateful she is for NSCD teachers during the pandemic and their support in helping students adapt to remote and on-campus learning.
For the first time in more than five months, North Shore Country Day welcomed students back into the classroom. The school is beginning the year with a hybrid model, which incorporates on-campus, in-person learning for half the day, and a robust remote learning component for the other half.
North Shore Country Day welcomed a number of new faculty and staff members for the 2020-21 school year.
North Shore Country Day senior Isabella Cho of Wilmette, a 2020 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) award winner in writing, was recently named a 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
The evening of Friday, June 5, seniors and their immediate families drove their cars onto the field and formed neat rows in pre-marked spaces. While the ceremony was slightly pared down from a typical year, omitting a traditional processional, chorus performances and the ringing of the School bell to close out the evening, many of the important elements remained.
The spring 2020 annual benefit took on a different look and feel in honor of its 100th birthday and it was a rousing success, bringing in more than $440,000 for student experiences.
“Participation is a part of the way we do school and it reflects our roots in the progressive education tradition of 100 years ago,” says Tom Flemma, NSCD head of school. “What it looks like is nudging kids into places they wouldn’t necessarily go, gently but consistently.”
One by one, our individual poets went up on stage and wowed everyone in the room. Their words resonated and their performances were impassioned and thoughtful. Our group poets also impressed the audience with their honest portrayal of high school in their piece.”
Anita Rao ’21 and Niabelle Comeau ’23 joined more than 100 high school students from across the country in Iowa where they spent three days in January campaigning for presidential candidates in the lead-up to the Iowa Caucuses.
Twenty-five Lower School students competed in a regional Destination Imagination (DI) tournament in February and one of the teams qualified to move on to the state competition.
"There is an important partnership that is essential for each student's success. That is the connection between faculty, students and parents. Together, students have the support systems and are empowered in the education." Founding Headmaster, Perry Dunlap Smith
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