Newton Country Day School

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Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Buildings, Newton Country Day School - IMG 0292.JPG
"Courage and Confidence"
Address
785 Centre Street
Newton, Massachusetts, (Middlesex County), 02458
United States
Coordinates 42°20′37″N 71°11′30″W / 42.34361°N 71.19167°W / 42.34361; -71.19167Coordinates: 42°20′37″N 71°11′30″W / 42.34361°N 71.19167°W / 42.34361; -71.19167
Information
Type Private, All-Girls
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1880
Headmistress Sister Barbara Rogers
Grades 512
Enrollment 400 (2012)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and Silver         
Athletics conference Eastern Independent League
Mascot Falcon
Rival Dana Hall School
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Publication Medley (literay magazine), "The Heart" (online newspaper)
Tuition $42,000
Feeder schools Mother Caroline Academy [1]
Brother school St. Sebastian's
Website

Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart (often abbreviated to Newton Country Day School, Newton, or NCDS) is a private, all-girls Roman Catholic high school and middle school located on the Loren Towle Estate in Newton, Massachusetts, as part of the Sacred Heart Network of 21 schools in the United States and 44 countries abroad.

History[edit]

Newton Country Day School was founded in 1880 as the Boston Academy of the Sacred Heart. It was the twentieth Sacred Heart School to open in the United States, and is a member of the international Network of Sacred Heart Schools, which spans forty-four countries and twenty-one cities in the United States. All Sacred Heart schools are associated with and live by the values of the Society of the Sacred Heart, founded by Saint Philippine Duchesne and Saint Madeleine Sophie in 1800 in Paris. Philippine brought the schools over to America in 1818.

The school was first located at 5 Chester Square in Boston's South End (now the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Washington Street), and subsequently in four Back Bay brownstones at 260-266 Commonwealth Avenue. In December 1925 it moved to the Loren Towle Estate in Newton, where the architectural firm of Maginnis and Walsh added a chapel and a four-story school wing completed in 1928. In 1960 a gymnasium/auditorium was finished, with further additions of the Sweeney Husson building in 2002 (housing a theatre, state-of-the-art science labs, and an enlarged Middle School) and 2007 a new and greatly enlarged library.

Background[edit]

The school commits itself to five goals:

  • A personal and active faith in God
  • A deep respect for intellectual values
  • A social awareness which impels to action
  • The building of community as a Christian value
  • Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

Its motto is "Courage and Confidence". The current headmistress, Sister Barbara Rogers, has been head of the school since 1989.

Academics[edit]

Academics at Newton Country Day School are rigorous and demanding.[citation needed] The school offers 19 Advanced Placement courses, including Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, English, Art, Latin, Spanish, French, Comparative Government, Statistics, and History. Roughly three quarters of students graduate having taken at least one AP course.

Athletics[edit]

Newton Country Day is a member of the Eastern Independent League (EIL) as well as the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) and competes against member schools and other independent schools throughout New England.[2]

The school fields 33 teams in 12 interscholastic sports over the course of three seasons, at the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity levels. Athletics teams include soccer, cross country, field hockey, basketball, ice hockey, squash, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, softball, sailing, golf, swimming, and crew.

Newton's varsity softball team is, as of June 2007, undefeated for two straight years. The team captured the Eastern Independent League regular season and post-season championships in 2006 and 2007.

Newton's varsity hockey team won the regular season title as well as the EIL tournament championship in 2007-2008.

Newton's varsity soccer team won the regular season EIL title in 2009.

Newton's varsity field hockey team won the regular season EIL title in 2011, and placed first in the New England Championships

Newton's varsity dance team won a nationally recognized first place trophy in New York City in 2010

Newton's varsity sailing team won first place overall in the 420 class in the Massachusetts Bay League C division for their 2013 season.

Newton's varsity cross country team won the regular season EIL title and New England Championships in 2013.

Arts[edit]

The school offers various opportunities to take part in the arts, both in and outside of class. Courses in the visual arts are offered through the AP level. Shakespeare performance projects are performed by each grade beginning in grade 6. The school stages at least 4 major dramatic productions per year. Dance classes range from ballet to jazz to modern to liturgical, and the upper school Dance Team performs in competitions throughout New England. The Middle School Chorus and Upper School Chorale are at the core of the music programs, and are supplemented by the Gospel Choir, the Heartbeats (a cappella group), and the Instrumental Ensemble, among other groups.

NCDS performs annually in the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild. In 2007, the group performed an original adaptation of Edith Wharton's short story Xingu,[3] and reached the semi-final round, earning 4 all-star cast awards and an award for best stage design.

The Medley, Newton's annual literary journal, is student-run under the direction of a faculty advisor, and accepts submissions of prose, poetry, photography, and other art. The Medley was named a 2007 National Scholastic Press Association Magazine Pacemaker Finalist, with comments by the judges naming the Medley a "smaller but beautifully focused presentation".[4]

Extracurriculars[edit]

Newton Country Day offers more than 40 opportunities for extracurricular involvement. All students choose one or more "committee" to take part in, which meet at designated assembly times during the week. Committees include Amnesty International, Clowning Committee, Economics Committee, Environmental Awareness Committee, Liturgical Dance, Model United Nations, Mock Trial, Peer Education, Photo Journalism, P.R.I.S.M. (People for a Racially Inclusive Society of Multiculturalism), Service Committee, Speech and Debate, and the Step Team.

Technology[edit]

NCDS has an extensive technology program dating to the mid-1990s. The middle school technology program includes a one period course in which students are introduced to the uses of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Powerpoint, Excel), Macromedia Flash, the Internet, etc. The technology course is often used in conjunction with students' science, math, or history classes in teaching research skills and data analysis. In the upper school, all new students receive a laptop as part of the technology program. Laptops are integrated into most classes, whether it is for note-taking, project presentations, research, data analysis, computer-aided experimentation, or online language labs. All students and faculty have school email addresses via the FirstClass email client, which is used as an additional line of communication for assignments or out-of-class discussions.

Traditions[edit]

Advent Angels: During Advent, students and faculty participate in anonymous gift exchanges known as Advent Angels. During this holy period of anticipation, generosity of spirit is encouraged. Participants make and bake gifts for their Advent Angel in a celebratory atmosphere of secrecy and joy. At the traditional Christmas Sing (held the day before vacation), each Advent Angel presents a final gift and reveals herself to her Angel.

Blue and Silver Teams: Competitive interschool "teams" based on the school colors that offer opportunities for a friendly and constructive rivalry. All members of the Newton Country Day School community are inducted into either the Blue or Silver Team during the fall of their first year at Newton. Throughout the school year, the teams compete for points in various areas of school life, including school spirit, participation and attendance at school events, Halloween costume competition, Congé, etc. At the end of the year, the team with the greater number of points is awarded the traditional Blue-Silver Trophy.

Congé: Congé, a French word meaning "holiday", is a surprise, in-school holiday during which the usual class schedule is suspended in favor of fun activities that help to build community. Planned by the Committee of Games, Congé is traditionally announced mid-morning by Seniors, sparking bursts of excitement and laughter throughout the school halls. Recent Congés have featured game shows and trivia contests, carnival games and other activities.

Goûter: The French word goûter refers to a mid-morning or afternoon snack that is provided on special occasions or celebrations. Students and faculty at Newton Country Day School look forward to goûters, which generally are planned by the Headmistress and kitchen staff as a surprise for all.

Prize Day: A time-honored tradition, Prize Day ritually marks the end of the school year. Held in the Chapel, the formal Prize Day ceremonies (the Middle and Upper Schools convene separately) celebrate students’ accomplishments in the previous semester. Students who earn honors grades receive silver or gold distinction and certificates distributed by the Headmistress. The Headmistress and Head of each school also distribute certificates and awards received for exemplary performance on regional and national exams (such as those for foreign languages, maths and the sciences). In addition to academic honors, each Prize Day affirms the Goals of Sacred Heart Schools by conferring five Goal Awards to a student in each class. Students nominate their peers, describing the ways in which their classmates have fulfilled the criteria set out by the individual goals.

Ring Ceremony: Held in the Spring of each year, Ring Ceremony is one of the most anticipated events in a girl’s career at NCDS. The class ring marks a student’s transition from junior to senior year.

Vespers: Each December just before Christmas, the school community, including students and their families, faculty and alumnae, gather for Advent worship. A popular family tradition, Newton Country Day School's Vespers features the school's acclaimed Schola Cantorum, as well as the Middle School Chorus and Upper School Chorale, Gospel Choir, Liturgical Dancers, and Instrumental Ensembles.[5]

Notable alumnae[edit]

External links[edit]

Notes and references[edit]