Almaden Country Day School

The Mission of Almaden Country Day School is to discover the gifts in every child.
We provide a balanced, safe, and affirming environment for learning --empowering children to strive, explore, and build a sense of personal value.
Our teachers create a rich academic foundation that corresponds with the developmental stages of childhood.
We offer a wide variety of opportunities for children to extend their intellectual, social, and personal potential.
Our students become delightful people--confident, kind, concerned, and ready to make significant contributions to our world.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-8
  • Enrollment: 420 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $35,600
  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Average class size: 20 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Almaden Country Day School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:


School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Prekindergarten-8
ADD/ADHD Support
Learning Difference Programs
Learning Programs Supported
Dyslexia / Language-based or Mild Learning Differences, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia
Year Founded
Summer School Offered
Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students
420 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 51%
Students by Grade
Almaden Country Day School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
81 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
20 students
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
Classroom Dress Code
uniform-navy pants/skirt and polo shirt

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
Tuition ranges from $23,910 for 5-day, half-day Pre-K to $35,600 for middle school (includes books, 1:1 laptops, and iPads)
Summer Program Cost
Summer Program Cost Notes
$300 per week for half-day for most camps and $600 per week for most full-day camps. Camps are available for grades PreK to 8th and include makerspace, arts, coding, Pokemon, world languages, speech & debate, sports, STEM, robotics, and more!
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Mary Jo Heindel
Admissions Associate
Amber White


Total Sports Offered
5 sports


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
18 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Book Club, Chess Club, Community Service, Competition Speech & Debate, Dungeons and Dragons Club, Environmental Awareness Club, Girls on the Run, Girls Who Code, Makers Club, Math Club, Pokemon Club, Robotics Club, Spirit Squad

Arts and Music Programs:
ACDS Choirs, Arts and Crafts Club, Band Program

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Sports Clinics, Team Sports

School Notes

  • Small class sizes
  • Over 98% of graduates attend high schools of their choice including private high schools (10-year average)
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Extended care programs available (including complimentary morning care)
  • No-cut Athletics program
  • Competition Speech & Debate led by a 4-Diamond Coach (NSDA rank)
  • Library
  • Makerspace
  • Foreign languages
  • Performing Arts offered such as theater arts, band, and music
  • Fine Arts offered such as ceramics, 3D sculpture, painting, drawing, and more
  • Clubs and Activities
  • A dedicated program for students that have dyslexia (The Learning Center)
  • Established since 1982
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Tucker Ricchio '04 - Chef and 2023 Season 1 winner of Next Level Chef (Ramsey)
    • Deena Shakir '00 - Lux Capital (VC) partner, lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Top 30 under 40 in Healthcare (Business Insider), Top 9 Women to Watch in Venture Capital (Wall Street Journal), Alumna of both Harvard and Georgetown. Learn more at
    • Hunter McKown '15 - US Team Hockey, signed with the NHL's club Columbus Blue Jackets in March 2023.
    • Matt Hunt '12 - (2022) Indianapolis 500 Car Race, (2021) IndyCar championship with Chip Ganassi Racing
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Almaden Country Day School cost?
Almaden Country Day School's tuition is approximately $35,600 for private students and $600 for summer students.
What is the acceptance rate of Almaden Country Day School?
The acceptance rate of Almaden Country Day School is 79%, which is lower than the national average of 84%.
Who are famous alumni from Almaden Country Day School?
Almaden Country Day School famous alumni include: Tucker Ricchio '04, Deena Shakir '00, Hunter McKown '15 and Matt Hunt '12.
Does Almaden Country Day School offer a summer program?
Yes, Almaden Country Day School offers a summer program. Visit their summer school page for more information.
What sports does Almaden Country Day School offer?
Almaden Country Day School offers 5 interscholastic sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Track and Field and Volleyball.
What is Almaden Country Day School's ranking?
Almaden Country Day School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for: Largest student body and Most extracurriculars offered.
When is the application deadline for Almaden Country Day School?
The application deadline for Almaden Country Day School is rolling (applications are reviewed as they are received year-round).

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (19 reviews)
Our son will graduate from Almaden Country Day School (ACDS) this year after being a student there for 10 years. We LOVE this school so much and it feels like family to us. When we joined the school ten years ago, we immediately felt welcomed and at home. The community in the school is amazing, the teachers are outstanding and the academics and enrichments are remarkable. When our son started junior kindergarten at ACDS, he was a super shy and introverted child, at ACDS he blossomed into a confident, kind, and social young man. He enjoys going to school every day and never said one time, that he didn't want to go to school. When you are at school and see all the kids, they all look genuinely happy to be there. Every teacher is very dedicated and helps the kids thrive at their own level. Our son loves math and he was able to move from the regular math class up to compacted math and then to accelerated math in middle school. The enrichment program helped our son discover new talents and hobbies and drama class in elementary school helped him overcome his anxiety for public speaking and now he is very confident in speaking in front of a large group. The athletic program was another amazing thing, that our son loved. He participated in almost all the offered sports, like basketball, track and field, and flag football. The coaches are very dedicated and help the kids excel in sports.
- Posted by
ACDS is a fabulous school. Our daughter attends ACDS and we are thrilled with the knowledgeable teachers, balanced educational philosophy, and incredibly welcoming community. This school is the perfect blend of academic rigor, social-emotional learning, and the joy of being a kid. As a parent, I can tell that this school truly cares about what is best for my child, and that speaks volumes of their character and integrity. I highly, highly recommend ACDS.
- Posted by
Though I selected "Parent" above when it asked me who I am, I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have experienced ACDS as both a parent and a member of the faculty. And from both perspectives, I can truly tell you ACDS is the best independent school in the South Bay! We are wrapping up our fourth year at this school (our older daughter started in the pre-kindergarten program), and we are crushed to have to say goodbye to this school and its community this summer, as we are moving out of state. So what makes ACDS so special? The leadership is phenomenal and diligently keeps the school focused on allowing these children to stay young through their developmental approach to early childhood and elementary education. The school community is one of the most down-to-earth you'll fine anywhere, especially in an independent school in the Silicon Valley. The teachers have been incredibly caring and nurturing with both of our girls, knowing them deeply as individuals and going above and beyond to help them thrive. And the programs are top-notch - it doesn`t get better than Responsive Classroom, the workshop approach to reading and writing, and Bridges Math! We've learned the hard way through our search for a school in our new city - ACDS is truly in a class of its own!
- Posted by
We love Almaden Country Day School. Our oldest daughter graduated from ACDS last year and was completely prepared for high school. At ACDS, her love of learning was nurtured, she was offered many wonderful enrichment classes and she was taught how to speak confidently. Our youngest daughter is in 5th grade and is inspired by amazing teachers, offered opportunities to try new things in a safe environment and supported by a wonderful community. Great school!
- Posted by
After being increasingly unhappy with our previous school, (a private, for-profit school with a very traditional curriculum that emphasized whole-group, rote learning and automatically accelerated students by one grade level) we decided we needed to make a quick change. We asked every parent who would talk to us, where their kids go to school and what they like/dislike about it. It was by doing this that we learned about Almaden Country School. It was eye opening that every person we spoke to had only positive things to say! We needed to learn more about this school.I sent an email to Mary Jo to see if there was room in the grades my kids were in, and she replied within hours, offering to take me on a tour that same week. My husband and I went with a long list of questions, wanting to see what this school had to offer, and hoping it might be a good fit for our kids. We were so pleasantly surprised at what this hidden gem had to offer. We observed the actual classes that had openings for our kids, so we knew we were looking at the teacher and classmates our kids would have if we moved them there. It was such a stark contrast to our previous school, where the kids sat in desks all day long, listening to the teacher divulge information, taking notes so that they could spit it back out for a test. At Almaden Country School, the classrooms buzz with the collaboration of students and teachers. They are working in groups, having discussions, creating projects, and moving their bodies. At Country School, the kids move to different classrooms for Science, Art, Music, Drama, PE, Library and French. They have a different teacher for each of these classes, so they have opportunities to form relationships with many teachers, and experience the varying styles of teaching as well. Our kids enjoy school now. They`re experiencing a new way of learning, and realizing how fun it can be to learn new things. As parents, this is exactly what we were wanting for them - to develop a lifelong love of learning. As an added bonus, we`ve been warmly welcomed into the wonderful parent community at ACS. What a wonderful, family-oriented happy place to learn!
- Posted by
I have two children at Almaden Country School, a son in 7th, and a daughter in 5th grade. We are in our 7th year with ACS, and are still so pleased with our decision to move from public to private. Not only is it the smaller classrooms and specialized teachers who make a difference, but also it's the lessons themselves. Prior to ACS, my son was mostly doing common core dittos and worksheets in class with little hands-on or individualized learning. Now there are many experiments, and group and project-based learning that involve real life examples and varying opinions. With the fantastic addition of the new athletic director, Coach Mac has reinvigorated the flag football, basketball, volleyball and track programs over the last few years.To its credit, ACS strives to preserve childhood. I used to worry that by not having gone to a larger public school, my children would be too sheltered when high school came along. However, I am grateful the ACS program allows kids to focus on joyful learning, self-confidence and developing 21st century skills in a safe environment. They are able to make smart and sound decisions for themselves and they have formed bonds and close relationships with friends for life. Plus, I can clearly see how graduates are well prepared for high school and beyond!I also can't say enough for the excellent Drama program at ACS. Starting in 1st grade, through 5th, Drama is a requirement that the children all LOVE (still offered as an elective through Middle School). Mr. Leonard and Miss Leary put on 7 or 8 amazing productions throughout the year - I highly recommend seeing one of the plays if you are thinking about joining the ACS community. It's absolutely incredible to see ALL of the children up on stage and not shy or nervous at all about speaking in front of a crowd. This is what sold us on ACS - public speaking is such a hard thing to overcome and when you start early, it's easy and enables children to become great speakers to each other and adults throughout their lives.
- Posted by
Almaden Country School did an amazing job preparing our daughter for high school. ACS taught her to become an independent young individual. She easily transitioned to Notre Dame High School this year. She had all the necessary skills to be academically successful and also thrive socially. So, of course, we knew our youngest should start kindergarten next year at ACS. Another nine years for us at ACS! We are excited.
- Posted by
We''ve now had children in all 3 of the Early Childhood classes- Begindergarten, JrK, and Kindergarten- and I cannot imagine a better start to their schooling. We''ve had outstanding teachers at all levels, who have prepared my kids both academically, socially, and emotionally. My son entered ACS as a shy student who didn't particularly like going to school, and he is finishing Kindergarten with confidence and a tremendous love for school. The ACS community feels like an extension of family, and we feel grateful to have found this gem of a school.
- Posted by
Of course we feel that Almaden Country School is an amazing school for our children. We have been at ACS for nine years now. The community is welcoming and provides a nurturing environment where the students and faculty thrive. But you can't help and wonder if it is it enough. Are our children learning the skills they need to get into a great high school of their choice? Once there, are they able to keep up with their peers? After recently attending open houses at St Francis HS and Presentation HS, the answers were apparent. Almaden Country School graduates have a presence. They are not only attending these top high schools; they are leaders there. It was reassuring to speak with the ACS alum at both schools. They continue to thrive with confidence and ease. It is not a coincidence that these great kids are doing so well, especially when they refer to their ACS experience as a contributing factor to their success. I could go on and on about the fabulous programs at ACS which have truly enriched our children, but there is great comfort knowing that ACS is preparing them for their long educational journey which lies ahead of them!
- Posted by
I am an alum of Almaden Country School and was one of the first students when the school first opened in the early 80's. I attended the school from Kindergarten through 5th grade and have such fond memories at the school like playing on the blacktop, walking in the annual Halloween parade, and performing with my classmates during the school plays. The smaller class sizes and curriculum coupled with exceptional teachers played a significant role in laying the foundation and building blocks for my educational and professional career. 20 years later and still living in the area it was now my turn to pick an elementary school for my son. Immediately Almaden Country School came to mind, but I felt I had to verify if the core values and overall "feeling" I had when I was a child were still in tact. After a very hospitable tour and evaluation of the school, I walked away with a renewed confidence that my son would be in good hands at ACS. It is hard to put into words, but when you are on the school grounds something just feels "right." Walking through the halls, joyful memories and experiences that were tucked away resurfaced and I felt the same special aura that I had felt years ago. It is pretty amazing that after so many years the traditions, values, and spirit of the school are still there. I now have two sons enrolled at Almaden Country School, and have witnessed them develop into well-rounded people both, academically and socially, as a result of the school's teachings and values. I highly recommend Almaden Country School to any family. The care, development, and individual attention your child will receive is paramount and unmatched in the area.
- Posted by
I have been part of the Almaden Country School community for over 2 years. I could not be more pleased with the teachers'' dedication (and preparation), the administration's responsiveness, the student-teacher ratio, and the school's overall philosophy. The parents are friendly, supportive, and caring. When I joined the school, I immediately felt like a welcome member of the community. I especially like the school-wide events; they are relevant, inclusive, and help bring the school together. When I am in the classrooms, I notice that the children are eager, articulate, and clearly enjoy learning. One of the aspects I appreciate most about the Almaden is that the administration is forward-thinking (Ole's written pieces in the local media are thought provoking) and child-centered. One can tell just by talking with them that they truly care about the students and their development. I am so happy that our family joined ACS. It is an amazing school.
- Posted by
Almaden Country School is an exceptional learning community which prepares students to be responsible & engaged citizens. The school fosters critical thinking, respect and mentoring as evident in a school-wide big buddy program where older students are paired with younger students. Though this might sound a bit "Montessori", it is the perfect example of a program which empowers and engages students of varying ages to break out of their comfort zone while instilling confidence at all levels. The ACS faculty and administration consider parents as partners in the development and character building so important in these early formative years. The teachers are passionate educators who truly love to teach. Though many of the teachers have decades of service, there is nice balance between established teachers and younger educators who really identify with the students; especially in Middle School. Opinions matter, whether you're a parent or a student. When my son wanted to start a club, he had the latitude to do so and the support of his teachers and peers. We're also continuously impressed with the relevant upgrades to the academic curriculum due in large part to the efforts of a progressive, nationally renowned Head of School, Ole Jorgenson. The experiential aspect of both core and elective classes, as well as field trips and weeklong Middle School trips, gave both our sons a platform to explore and learn outside the classroom. In the last few years, ACS Athletics has developed into an excellent program. It's a great pre-cursor to high school athletic competition.
- Posted by
We cannot find the words to express how extraordinary and special ACS is - children flourish in its kind, caring and respectful environment, and teachers and administrators spark their students' love of learning each and every day. Academically, students are well-prepared for high school, and from a development perspective the administration is passionate about ensuring that the talents and gifts of every student are discovered and nurtured. Students genuinely enjoy and care for each other and their teachers, and both parents and students love ACS.
- Posted by
The questions parents asks when deciding on a school for their children is whether that school will provide a nurturing environment, inspire a love of learning, encourage and enable each child to find what makes them exceptional and prepare them for future success. I am a parent of an Almaden Country School (ACS) alumnus that began at in the 4-year old program and attended through Middle School. My daughter was accepted into her first choice West Catholic high school, recently graduated with honors from a prestigious university, captained a Division I sports team and is now a supervisor in Europe for Tesla Motors. She is confident, self-aware, empathetic and hard working. I firmly believe ACS provided a critical foundation for her and many of her classmates who are on a similarly successful trajectory. Test scores are important and ACS students do extremely well on standardized tests. But as we know well, the workplace of the 21st century will be characterized by constant change. It is impossible to know what technical skills will be the most valuable. In preparing the children, ACS focuses on the key ingredients for a successful knowledge worker in an ever changing environment: teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity and time management. ACS is a unique school that places the child at the center of every important decision. The culture encourages family involvement in a strong, caring community of learners.
- Posted by
We are so happy we sent our children to Almaden Country School. Both of our children started their ACS years in preschool and graduated from eighth grade. ACS provided an educational experience that challenged and supported our two very different children, meeting their individual needs every step of the way. The curriculum is excellent and our children were well prepared for the private high schools they are now attending. The enrichment programs like drama and the middle school electives helped them develop their confidence, creativity and knowledge of the world. Our years at Almaden Country School were filled with learning and laughter. ACS has left an impression on both the mind and the heart.
- Posted by
Almaden Country School is a magical safe place where kids get be kids. They become organized, thoughtful, and caring people ready to go out and make a difference in the world. My high school freshman was well prepared by ACS middle school and feels confident in himself both socially and academically. Taking on new challenges is easier with the foundation that he built at Almaden Country School under the guidance of the wonderful teachers and administration.
- Posted by
Our family has been at ACS for nearly 10 years. Before our children started, we visited the school and were so impressed by the confident students who looked you right in the eye and talked directly to you. Now we are watching our children develop into strong students who have an interest in art, music, drama, science, technology and so much more. ACS is an incredible community for our children and our family.
- Posted by
I recently had the opportunity to watch the ACS 7th graders interact at 5:15 a.m. at the San Jose Airport before heading out for their annual field trip. You could imagine the excitement. You also could imagine that with the excitement and very little sleep the night before, they may not have been fully cognitive at 5:15 in the morning. But what I witnessed was a group of excited but respectful children, interacting and following direction of the lead chaperone in a way that he never needed to raise a voice above conversation tone. The respect the chaperone delivered with his words and direction matched the actions of the children. The class has been taught "Definite Dozen" terms, which includes learning to be responsible, respecting differences and using character over reputation. It was obvious that these teachings had moved off the page and into action and you could see the sigh of relief from their parents watching with the comment "this is why we send our child to Almaden Country School." To add, I also witnessed the impact on other travelers at the San Jose Airport thinking to themselves, "I wonder what school that is?" It was a pleasure watching confident, respectful and happy young adults, which is exactly why our family chose ACS.
- Posted by
We have two daughters at Almaden Country School and we are constantly impressed by every aspect of the school. From the strong academics to the incredible enrichment programs, this school offers a warm, caring environment where kids get to be kids. The teachers are passionate, the parents involved and the kids thriving; what more could a parent want?
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-8
  • Enrollment: 420 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $35,600
  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Average class size: 20 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in San Jose, CA is $22,795 for elementary schools and $26,110 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in San Jose, CA is 85% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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