New Canaan Country School

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New Canaan Country School
New Canaan, Connecticut
United States
Coordinates 41°07′54″N 73°31′20″W / 41.13167°N 73.52222°W / 41.13167; -73.52222Coordinates: 41°07′54″N 73°31′20″W / 41.13167°N 73.52222°W / 41.13167; -73.52222
Type private, day
Motto Fortes fortuna adiuvat
(Fortune favors the bold)
Religious affiliation(s) No Affiliation
Established 1916
Headmaster Dr. Robert P. Macrae
Campus 75 acres (300,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue and white
Mascot Cougar
Yearbook Beginners End
Tuition $27,200 to $35,050

New Canaan Country School (abbreviated NCCS) is an independent, private day school in New Canaan, Connecticut for students in Beginners (age 3) through Grade 9 from Fairfield and Westchester Counties. The current head of school is Dr. Robert P. Macrae.

At A Glance[edit]

A private, independent school for Beginners (ages three and four) through Grade 9, New Canaan Country School offers outstanding academics, taught by exceptional faculty in a creative and engaging environment. The stunning 75-acre campus, five academic buildings and state-of-the-art facilities have been designed with children in mind to encourage curiosity and collaboration and foster a sense of community engagement. The 30-acre woodland trails naturally become an extension of our classrooms. New Canaan Country School understands that childhood is a vital but fleeting period in life and therefore design our curriculum to be age-appropriate.

A bus program enables the school to serve families in surrounding communities of Darien, Norwalk, Stamford, Ridgefield, and Wilton, as well as New Canaan. Financial aid is available to families who qualify. The school is committed to maintaining a diverse student population, with the belief that educating children in a diverse community will better prepare them for success in the global marketplace. The athletic program is mandatory for the Middle and Upper School. In the fall trimester, students can choose from soccer (boys and girls teams), boys football, girls field hockey, or co-ed cross country. In the winter trimester the options are basketball (boys and girls), co-ed squash, co-ed yoga, co-ed fitness and co-ed paddle tennis. A drama program is also available to students in place of playing a sport for a season, and has always been an option for Upper Schoolers. In the spring, the options are lacrosse (boys and girls teams), boys baseball, girls softball, and co-ed cross country.

Number of students: 640
Student to teacher ratio: 6 to 1
Financial aid awarded for 2014–2015: $3,310,000
Students receiving financial aid: 24%
Students of color: 20%
Average teaching years: 17
Percentage of faculty with graduate degrees: 65%
Student to computer ratio: 1 to 1
Students reside in: 20 area towns[which?][1]

Blue and white are the primary colors of the school. The mascot for Middle and Upper School athletics is the Cougar.


There are four divisions within the entire campus: The Thacher Building (preschool–kindergarten) named for former headmaster Nick Thacher; The Welles Building (Grades 1–4; also called "Lower School"); The Middle School (Grades 5–6); and The Stevens Building (Grades 7–9; also called "Upper School"), as well as one administrative and functional building, the Grace House, or Main Building. The ninth grade year is a unique pre-preparatory program that emphasizes teaching leadership and independent thinking skills. A fully staffed placement office works with students to coordinate placement in top boarding and day schools.

The Stevens Building was opened in September, 2007, with science labs, art studios, and expanded classroom and meeting facilities for use by students in Grades 7–9. The building was recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council with the LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) Silver Award. On Earth Day, Senator Judith Freeman presented a proclamation from Governor Jodi Rell in recognition of its being the greenest school building in the state of Connecticut.


New Canaan Country School was founded as the Community School in 1916, under the leadership of co-principals, Miss Effie Dunton and Miss Edith Dudley. Ten members of the Board of Trustees administered the school, assisted by teachers’ and mothers’ committees. This tradition of parent support and involvement has been the wellspring of the school’s vitality and perhaps is its most valued heritage.

In 1936, the Community School moved to Ponus Ridge and established itself as the New Canaan Country School. Soon after, Henry Welles became headmaster and set the school on a course that has always been directed toward the “pursuit of excellence.”

Henry Welles retired in 1963 and was succeeded by George E. Stevens. Under his resourceful direction, the school’s curriculum and organization were gradually changed to meet the needs of modern life. Mr. Stevens was also instrumental in the creation of the Horizons Student Enrichment Program and helped the school to focus greater efforts toward enrolling students from diverse backgrounds.

In 1979, Nicholas S. Thacher became the school’s third headmaster. During Mr. Thacher’s tenure, the school’s enrollment reached 500 students. In 1994, Country School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Exemplary “Blue Ribbon” School for Excellence in Education.

In 2000, Timothy R. Bazemore was named the school’s fourth head. Under his leadership, the school’s enrollment, faculty, and commitment to excellence have been as strong as ever. In 2007, in recognition of the school’s environmental commitment, the first LEED-certified building opened on campus.

Throughout its history, Country School has emphasized the value of childhood and the role of experience in learning. For nearly 100 years, teachers have blended an outstanding academic program with an appreciation for patience, simplicity and the power of imagination. The longstanding tradition of parent support and involvement continues to be a vital element of the school. The character and accomplishments of New Canaan Country School alumni provide powerful testimony to the success of the school’s approach.


Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Country School Website
  2. ^ Handbook of Private Schools: An annual descriptive survey of independent education, 86th edition, 2005 (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers Inc.) p. 151
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Alumni Award". New Canaan Country School. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 

External links[edit]