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Why Choose A Pre-k to Grade 8 School?

The Learning Environment is Healthy and Safe

  • Children stay younger longer in a protected elementary school setting which is becoming particularly important in today’s fast-paced digital world.
  • Pre-K to 8 schools focus on what is developmentally appropriate for children at each grade level therefore reducing the influences of “cultural acceleration” which can lead to anxiety in children and pressure for parents.
  • Entry into adolescence is less stressful because the social currents are less dramatic and more easily managed when 12 or 13 year olds are not influenced by high school aged adolescents on a daily basis.
  • Children can take risks and practice “mastery” in a safe environment free from judgment of older peers.
  • Relationship development can happen easily and organically which is critical to creating a healthy young adult.
  • Older elementary school children are age-appropriate mentors for younger children.
"There is so much going on in a child’s life, in their minds, their bodies and everything feels so out of control. It's so good to be in a place where you feel you have some control and support!"
 - Kristen Cloonan, DCD parent

Continuity and Collaboration are Key

  • Collaboration among teachers and administrators enables every child to be known as they move through the school community whether they enter in pre-kindergarten or in middle school.
  • When individual children are known from year to year, their academic, social, and emotional needs can be met.
  • With continuity in curriculum and collaboration among teachers there are no gaps in learning from grade to grade and for the individual child.
  • Support systems that have been established for amplifying strengths or supporting struggles remain in place.
  • A critical mass of human, financial and capital resources are dedicated to the educational journey of the pre-K to grade 8 student.
"Learning happens not in a vacuum.  Each year is not an individual school year where you check things off the list that you need to learn. The pre-K to grade 8 model enables this whole learning experience to be a total project – the development of a child from 4 years to 14 years of age."
 - Fadie Coleman, DCD parent

Transitions Are Not Trivial

  • Transitions take time and energy away from learning
  • When children are comfortable and feel a sense of place, there is more mind-space for curiosity, collaboration, and creative thinking – critical success factors in today’s world.
  • Without the stress of a transition, adolescents benefit significantly from staying put at a developmentally and socially tenuous time. (Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging) 
  • A pre-K to 8 school allows children to experience transition but in a space and with people that they know and that know them, leaving their support systems intact.
  • Research has demonstrated the advantages of the pre-K to grade 8 model. With time to develop self-esteem and earlier access to leadership opportunities, students have better social and emotional outcomes, healthier attitudes toward school, and higher academic achievement. (Do Middle Schools Make Sense? ED. Magazine,Harvard Graduate School of Education)

A Grade Configuration that Works for Children

At DCD, We know it works...

By the time DCD 8th graders reach the secondary school search, their teachers and coaches have helped them to grow their passions and interests, their advisors know and love them, and they understand themselves, so the process of finding a match for their next school is a comfortable one.

DCD students are accepted to the top day and boarding schools in New England – and they thrive there. Our alumni distinguish themselves as students who are willing to try new things, are capable of handling the challenges of a high school curriculum, and have the emotional intelligence that makes them happy, engaged and connected members of their new communities.

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  • Secondary School Matriculation 2014-18

    Beaver Country Day School
    Needham High School
    Belmont High School
    New Hampton School
    Belmont Hill School
    Newton Country Day School
    Bishop Feehan School
    Newton North High School
    Brimmer & May
    Noble and Greenough School
    Buckingham Brown & Nichols
    Oxbridge Academy Florida
    Cambridge School of Weston
    Phillips Andover
    Concord Academy
    Phillips Exeter
    Cushing Academy
    St. Joseph’s
    Dana Hall School
    St. Sebastians School
    Dedham High School
    Tabor Academy
    Deerfield Academy
    Thayer Academy
    Dexter Southfield
    The Kent School
    Ethel Walker School
    The Rivers School
    Groton School
    The Winsor School
    Medfield High School
    The Woodward School
    Middlesex School
    Ursuline Academy
    Milton Academy
    Walnut Hill School
    Miss Hall’s School
    Walpole High School
    Miss Porter’s School
    Westwood High School
    Moses Brown School
    Xaverian Brothers High School
  • DCD Student College Matriculation 2009 to 2013

    Boston College
    Connecticut College
    Harvard University
    Trinity College
    Bates College
    Middlebury College
    Syracuse University   
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Williams College  
    Bentley University
    Brandeis University  
    Bridgewater State University
    Brown University
    Bucknell College
    Cornell University
    Dartmouth College  
    Hamilton College  
    St. Lawrence University
    University of Miami
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Yale University
    Auburn University  
    Babson College
    Boston University  
    Bryant University
    Bryn Mawr
    Clark University       
    Clemson University
    College of Charleston  
    Colorado College  
    Columbia University
    East Carolina University  
    Emerson College
    Emmanuel College
    Emory University
    Endicott College
    Fairfield University  
    Fordham University
    Franklin and Marshall College
    George Washington University
    Gordon College
    Hobart and William Smith College
    Keene State College
    Lake Forest College  
      Lehigh University
    Lesley University
    Loyola University
    Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    McGill University
    Northeastern University
    New York University  
    NYU, Tisch School of Arts
    Oberlin College
    Occidental College
    Princeton University
    Quinnipac University  
    Savannah College of Art & Design
    Sewanee, The University of the South  
    Smith College
    St. John’s University
    St. Michael’s College
    Southern Methodist University
    Suffolk University  
    Tufts University
    University of Connecticut
    University of Delaware
    University of Hartford  
    University of Maryland  
    University of Michigan
    University of New Hampshire   
    University of North Carolina, Wilmington
    University of Richmond  
    University of St. Andrews, Scotland  
    University of Virginia  
    Villanova University
    Virginia Tech
    Washington University, St. Louis
    Wesleyan University
    Wheaton College
    Read More
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