Detroit Country Day School

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Detroit Country Day School
Detroit Country Day School
22305 West Thirteen Mile Road

Beverly Hills

School typePrivate
FounderF. Alden Shaw
HeadmasterGlen Shilling
GradesPreK 3-12
Color(s)Navy and gold          
RivalCranbrook Schools
Endowment$37 million
Tuition$31,000 per year

Detroit Country Day School (also known as DCD, DCDS, or Country Day) is a private, secular school located in four campuses in Oakland County, in the U.S. state of Michigan, north of Detroit. The administrative offices, facility services, safety and security services, and the upper school (Grades 9-12) are located in a campus in Beverly Hills, along with the middle school (6-8). The Lower School (PK-2) and Junior School (3-5) are located in two separate campuses in Bloomfield Township, near Bloomfield Hills.[1][2]

DCDS was founded in Detroit in 1914 by Alden Shaw inspired by the Country Day School movement. The school's motto is Mens Sana in Corpore Sano, a Latin phrase meaning "Sound Mind in a Sound Body". The school colors are blue and gold.[3]


The Detroit Preparatory School was founded in 1914 by F. Alden Shaw, based on an educational philosophy espoused at the Country School for Boys in Baltimore, Maryland. The original school opened with four pupils, was briefly taught out of Mr. Shaw's mother's dining room, and stressed both academics and athletics. By 1923 the school had acquired a new name - Detroit Country Day School - and moved to a new campus on Seven Mile Road in the upscale neighborhood of Palmer Woods.

During the immediate pre-war era and World War II, DCDS took on some aspects of a military academy. The school brought in Army instructors to teach physical education, and students were encouraged to enlist upon graduation. The school reverted to a civilian footing with the end of the war.

The period 1950-1980 marked a large expansion in DCDS's student body and facilities. By the mid-1950s the school had outgrown its Palmer Park campus, and the school's directors designed plans to expand into the northern suburbs. In 1957 the school moved into a considerably larger new campus on Thirteen Mile Road in the suburb of Beverly Hills. Shortly thereafter, further growth necessitated the split of the school into three (later four) campuses: the Lower School at Fifteen Mile and Lahser, and the Middle and Upper Schools at the 13-mile campus. In 1986 DCDS added a fourth (Junior School) campus, and the Middle School moved into its own building behind the Upper School in 1991. In 2008, DCDS began construction on its third full-sized gymnasium, which was completed in 2009. Furthermore, the school began construction of a full-sized multipurpose field house in 2010. The 120 X 70 structure is one of only two in the entire state of Michigan. Construction on the field house was completed in February 2011.

Until 1940 DCDS was strictly a boys' school. Girls were first admitted to Grades K-6 in 1940, but were not allowed admission to the Upper School until 1972.

With the completion of the World Campus capital campaign in 2000, the 13 Mile Campus underwent a comprehensive program of expansion and upgrading. Improvements included a larger, renovated library, a new computer laboratory, two new wings of classrooms, a renovated Common Room, and a new Performing Arts Center (previously, morning assemblies were held in the gym and dramatic productions staged in the cafeteria). Other upgrades included new landscaping, and improved student and faculty parking. Additionally, the building was completely wired for Ethernet and partially for Wi-Fi connectivity in preparation for the pioneering "Knowledge Technologies" student computing program, which kicked off in the 1999-2000 school year. The above construction of athletic facilities was also part of this same campaign.

Former Assistant Headmaster Glen Shilling became the school's new Headmaster in July 2007. Former Headmaster Gerald Hansen retired from the Headmaster position to take over as President of the Country Day Fund, where he now concentrates on fund raising for Country Day. Shilling is the school's fifth Headmaster in its 101-year history.[4]


The Detroit Country Day Upper School offers a strong and varied program that provides numerous opportunities for students to demonstrate their individual strengths and develop their potential. The rigorous college-preparatory program, which includes Honors and Advanced Placement courses in each discipline in addition to a diverse selection of electives, prepares students for the college and university setting. In addition to a series of honors and Advanced Placement courses, students at Detroit Country Day Upper School may pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma. Most graduating classes consist of 140 to 180 students, 100% of which are accepted at accredited four-year colleges and universities.[5] From the start of Freshman year, Upper School students participate yearly in standardized testing, beginning with the PLAN in 9th grade to the PSAT in 10th and 11th grade to finally, the ACT and/or SAT during the 11th and 12th grade.[6] The College Counseling Office hosts yearly College Night for every grade to keep students and parents informed about the college application process. Every year, numerous Country Day students achieve National Merit Semi-finalist and Finalist status.[7]


Extracurricular activities are required at DCDS. Under the "points system," these requirements are tracked by the accumulation of blue points (athletics), gold points (clubs) and white points (service).[8] All students must play two competitive sports (one point may come from strength training, the debate team, science fair, robotics, drama, or extracurricular activities deemed appropriate), join one club, and perform ten hours of volunteer work.

Detroit Country Day School participates in Class B Michigan High School Athletic Association athletics. The school has teams in many other sports: notably soccer, swimming, basketball, football, tennis, golf, lacrosse, field hockey, ice hockey, baseball, softball, volleyball, skiing, bowling, and track and field. Intramural teams include ultimate frisbee, sailing, and snowboarding. In total, DCDS offers more than 30 athletic programs. The DCDS mascot is the Yellowjacket.

While at Country Day, scholarship basketball players Chris Webber and Shane Battier each won the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award, making Country Day one of only three schools to have multiple Naismith award winners. Webber and Battier are also the only Naismith winners from the state of Michigan.

In March 2004 the Michigan High School Athletic Association recommended that DCDS voluntarily forfeit three state basketball championships won between 1989 and 1991, claiming that former DCDS star Chris Webber had violated his amateur status via his relationship with University of Michigan athletic booster Ed Martin. DCDS declined to follow the MHSAA's suggestion.[9]


Detroit Country Day School offers an active fine and performing arts program, celebrated every April through "Celebrate the Arts" weekend at the Upper School campus.[10] Visual arts are part of the student experience at the Lower and Junior Schools, becoming formal academic curriculum at the Middle and Upper Schools. Similarly, general music and keyboard is part of the student experience at the Lower School, but not formal curriculum. Band, orchestra and choir classes begin at the Junior School level, where they are taken as electives during or after school hours. At both the Middle and Upper Schools, multi level performing classes for band, orchestra and choir meet during school hours. These Upper School classes compete at MSVMA and MSBOA festivals. Bella Voce, a 20-voice mixed ensemble auditioned from the Upper School's Concert Choir, performed in Austria and Germany in 2001, Italy in 2006, and Carnegie Hall in 2008.

The Seligman Family Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2000, houses state-of-the-art digital sound, lighting and projection equipment, allowing for the production of all forms of performing art, including films and lectures. However, due to building height restrictions in the Village of Beverly Hills, the PAC lacks a fly system. The PAC has housed Off Broadway shows such as "The Stoop on Orchard Street" and is the home venue for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit ([4]). The PAC is frequently used for school assemblies and two major school productions, typically one drama and one musical per year.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2009-09-05 at the Wayback Machine." Detroit Country Day School. Retrieved on September 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Bloomfield township, Oakland county, Michigan." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 13, 2009.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Detroit Country Day: Headmaster Announcement". Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  5. ^ "Detroit Country Day: College Attendance". Archived from the original on 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ "Detroit Country Day: The Upper School (Grades 9 -12)". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
  9. ^ Webber's H.S. refuses to return titles - -
  10. ^ "Detroit Country Day: Celebrate the Arts". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Detroit Country Day: Frequently Asked Questions Archived March 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Axiom Book Awards". Independent Publisher. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Aerial Powers".
  14. ^ "Bloomfield Hills’ Michael Russell retires after 17-year tennis career"
  15. ^ Jewish Agency for Israel: "Scott Seligman - Committee Member" retrieved October 7, 2015
  16. ^ Robin Williams' death ruled suicide - CNN

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°30′51.2″N 83°15′52.2″W / 42.514222°N 83.264500°W / 42.514222; -83.264500