Berkshire Country Day School

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Berkshire Country Day School
BCDLogo.JPG
"Where you Belong"
Location
Stockbridge, MA, USA
Information
Type Independent
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Founded 1946
Head of School Paul Lindenmaier
Faculty 32
Enrollment 210 total
Average class size 10 students
Campus Brook Farm
Color(s) Blue and White
Athletics Interscholastic League, Farm, Junior Varsity, and Varsity teams
Sports Soccer, Lacrosse, Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Basketball
Mascot Penguin
Yearbook The Penguin
Website
the playground at the front of the campus in front of SESL and Fitzpatrick.
One of the playgrounds at the front of the school.

Berkshire Country Day (BCD) is an independent school for students in pre-kindergarten through ninth grades. It is located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts near the town of Lenox.[1]

History[edit]

BCD was founded in 1946 by a group of local parents who wanted to give their children a certain style of education which they felt was not available in the area. It began with 12 students in one building on the campus of the Lenox School for Boys, an Episcopal all-boys boarding school.[2] Initially, the school covered only grades 1-6 and tuition ranged from only $150 to $310, depending on the grade. In 1957, the school expanded to include a seventh and eighth grade and kindergarten and preschool, and moved into two new buildings. The school's main building, housing the pre-k through sixth grade, was moved to the Starks' former family home on Walker Street in Lenox. The seventh and eighth grade, on the other hand, were housed in Bassett Hall, a building close by, which is now Kemble Inn. BCD's enrollment soared from 58 students in 1958 to 183 in 1963.

Brook Farm, circa 1891

Then, in 1963, the school purchased its current campus, the Brook Farm Campus. Initially, the campus was only used by the younger students for classes, while the older students continued using the Walker Street Building, but frequenting the new campus for sports and co-curricular activities. However, this arrangement lasted for only a year, as the Walker Street building was destroyed in a fire. In the academic year 1967-'68, the school again expanded to include a ninth grade. In 2000, the school opened Berkshire Country Day Secondary School (BCD2s), a high school division of the school consisting of grades 9-12. BCD's ninth grade was separated from BCD and became a part of BCD2s. The high school was located on Winthrop Campus, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute which the school rented from Boston University during the academic year. However, in June 2007 at the end of the academic year, BCD2s was closed—although the ninth grade class option was kept and added back to the BCD student body. Currently the school solely resides at its Brook Farm campus, serving students in Pre-K through ninth grade. Even though the Winthrop Campus is no longer used by the school, BCD is still permitted by Boston University to use the West St. Theater for its upper school theater productions, talent show, and film festival.

Brook Farm Campus[edit]

Kayaking on Barrett Pond

Berkshire Country Day School is currently wholly located at its Brook Farm campus near Lenox, Massachusetts. The campus dates back to the 1890s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as it was once a working farm on Anson Phelps Stokes' Shadowbrook estate. Mr. Stokes built the 1,000 acre estate, complete with its mansion that encompassed 100 rooms and stretched 410 feet, as a summer cottage in 1892–1896. However, after only ten years (in 1906) the family sold the estate to Mr. Spencer Shotter. It was then leased to Mrs. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt in 1916 and 1917 before being sold to Mr. Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie inhabited the estate until 1919 when he passed. The New England Province of the Society of Jesus purchased the estate in 1922 and used it as their seminary. Unfortunately, in 1956 the entire Shadowbook mansion burned to the ground in a tragic fire. The Society rebuilt a new brick building on the site of the previous mansion and maintained it for their society until 1970. The estate laid vacant until 1983, when the Kripalu Center[2] purchased the mansion's section of the property.

Meanwhile, the farm section of the ex-estate had been passed down through the family to Stokes' son, Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr., who lived there with his family. The old Shadowbrook farm is now the current campus of BCD. It consists of the original farm buildings, as well as new additions recently built. The fields that were once farmed and used for animal pasture are now sports fields and playgrounds, and much of the woodland is traced with hiking trails. Also, in 1972, a house for the head of school was built at the rear of the property.

Art[edit]

The many different arts courses offered to the classes at BCD range from regular art and music classes to classes such as Black and White Photography and Caribbean Music. Kids in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and grades 1-6 participate in art, music, and chorus classes two times a week (per class) throughout the course of the year. The middle schoolers (grades 4-6) also partake on Shop/Pottery class. and have the option of participating in the Middle School Band.

Once in grades 7-9, kids are able to choose from a list of arts classes two courses to study for their "Arts Blocks" periods, the two last periods of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students take two Arts Block courses for the first two trimesters of the year, and then at the beginning of the spring trimester the first two classes finish, and the students choose two new classes for the spring trimester.

Division structure[edit]

The school is sectioned into four divisions:[3]

  • Early Childhood

Early Childhood includes the Pre-Kindergarten (B3s, B4s) and Kindergarten. Their main classrooms are located in Albright Building, whose upper floor also serves as the Administrative Offices.

  • Lower School

The lower school includes grades 1, 2, and 3 and is based in Oakes Building, which also includes the school's Technology Classroom. They also have classes in Furey Hall, Piaseckis, Fitzpatrick, Albright, Peterson, and Sesl.

  • Middle School

Grades 4, 5, and 6 constitute the Middle School of BCD. The Middle School grades' homerooms are located in Peterson, thought they use most of the same classrooms as the Upper School-ers, alternating between Peterson, Ryan, and Piaseckis for their academic classes and Fitzpatrick, Oakes, Clemens, Albright, and Furey Hall for arts and technology classes.

  • Upper School

BCD's Upper School consists of its 7th and 8th graders as well as its Senior class, the 9th grade. These three grades have their homerooms in Ryan as well as some of their classes, but they also have classes in Furey Hall, Peterson, Piaseckis, Oakes, and Clemens.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Videos[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′04″N 73°20′03″W / 42.301°N 73.3343°W / 42.301; -73.3343