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Notes for Prospective Students

Far Hills Country Day School (FHCDS) is a co-educational, PreK-grade eight school for 440 students that is guided by a dual mission to provide each child brilliant beginnings for success in the modern world through academic excellence and character development.
The school is situated on 54 verdant acres that include learning gardens, computer labs, media centers, state-of-the-art performing arts center, large athletics center including a climbing wall, outdoor fields, tennis courts, a ropes challenge course, meadows, ponds, and woodlands.

FHCDS is dedicated to creating an educational experience that fosters a genuine love of learning, collaboration, creativity and an engagement with family, friends, and the local and global communities.
 The school develops young people who excel not only in the academic world but also become extraordinary human beings with a desire to contribute and make a difference in society.

In their journey from pre-kindergarten to grade eight, graduates develop a keen balance of interpersonal and leadership skills with the confidence and poise that will translate into their secondary schools, colleges, jobs and throughout life.
 From outstanding teachers (over 80% of whom hold Masters degrees or higher) to superior educational resources that include sophisticated technology and state-of-the-art performing arts center, students find a perfect balance of the mind and heart that encourages them to understand their world and place in it.

FHCDS’ rigorous and traditional core curriculum provides a solid foundation in reading, writing, math and science.
 A dedicated math specialist directs math curricula and a dedicated language arts specialist directs reading curricula.  Additional subjects taught vary by grade.
  Both Mandarin and Spanish instruction begin in pre-kindergarten.  In Upper School, Latin is mandatory and French is offered as an elective.
 Community Service is integrated into the curriculum at all grade levels.
 All students participate in physical education in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and in the interscholastic athletics program in sixth through eighth grade.
 The athletic program includes basketball, cross-country, cross-fit, fencing, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track, and volleyball. 

ERB Testing begins in third through eighth grade to benchmark students’ academic progress against other independent school students.
 As a result of their high test scores, many FHCDS students qualify for the John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Youth Program.
 In fourth and seventh grade, the Writing Assessment Program is used to provide a comprehensive and direct analysis of students' writing ability benchmarked against other independent school students.
 Upper School Students also take the SSAT, a standardized test used for secondary independent school admissions. 

Character development is a hallmark of a FHCDS education and includes public speaking, manners and comportment.
 Respect, responsibility, honesty and leadership form the basis of the FHCDS Honor Code, which students are encouraged to strive toward throughout their lives.
  In collaboration with Educational Testing Service and the Elementary School’s Research Collaborative, FHCDS is also part of a pilot assessment program that measures essential skills for success in school and life.  Qualities measured include teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity and time management.

Believing that children learn, communicate and affect the world in different ways, FHCDS’ curriculum employs a variety of teaching methods that include: small group instruction, hands-on learning, enrichment groups, service learning, public speaking, student partnerships, independent projects and class trips.  An academic learning lab is designed to differentiate instruction in grades four through eight and help to customize education for students.

FHCDS believes that the key to a student’s continued academic success is to select a secondary school that is the proper fit for each student.
 A full-time Director of Secondary School Counseling works with every family and student to help identify interests, strengths, and goals, and to develop a list of schools early during the eighth-grade year while serving as a guide and advisor through the entire secondary school process.  Exclusive to FHCDS families, the school makes the secondary school process a positive learning experience that helps students develop important life skills such as reflexive writing, effective test-taking strategies and interview skills.
 For over 80 years FHCDS has consistently placed its students in the finest boarding and day schools and students graduate with a solid foundation to continue successfully building their academic career.
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