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North Shore Country Day School

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Title: North Shore Country Day School  
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Subject: Kenilworth, Illinois, Winnetka, Illinois, North Shore, Loyola Academy, Carmelita Hinton, Country Day School movement, List of high schools in Illinois, Pete Wentz, Jessica Harper, Aaron Swartz
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North Shore Country Day School

North Shore Country Day School
Diller Street Theater
Live and Serve
Winnetka, Illinois, United States
Type Suburban, Private school
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established 1919
Head of School Tom Doar III
Enrollment 500 students
Color(s) Purple and White
Athletics 19 interscholastic sports teams
Nickname Raiders

North Shore Country Day School, is a small private school founded in 1919 and located in Winnetka, Illinois.[1] It consists of a lower school, a middle school, and an upper school.


North Shore Country Day School was founded during the Country Day School movement with the goal of providing a progressive education with the advantages of a boarding school but with students able to live at home. There are no class rankings and no academic awards.[2] The founder and first headmaster was Perry Dunlap Smith, a disciple of Francis Wayland Parker.

The school was one of 27 schools selected from a group of 250 candidate schools in the U.S. chosen in 1933 for alternative admission standards for admission to 200 selective colleges. As a progressive country day school, there was to be an enriched core curriculum with independent study.[3][4] The school sought to fit the curriculum to the students' needs, rather than to require a fixed course of instruction.[5][6]

At the height of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, in 1963, the school was one of 21 schools that publicly supported the Kennedy administration's policies of racial equality, stating that independent schools must offer the benefits of a quality education to all qualified students.[7]


Upper School

Most of the classes for high school students (9th to 12th Grade) are held in the Upper School building. For arts or science, students attend class in the Arts/Science Center. The Upper School also contains the admissions and college counseling offices.

At the start of the 2011-12 school year, the Upper School reopened after an eighteen month long renovation of the old building. This includes a new area called the "V". The V is an area where students can relax before school, during lunch or free periods, and after school. The "V" is also where the Upper School gathers to hear announcements from teachers and students.

Arts Center

The Arts Center caters to the entire student community. There are classrooms for wood shop, chorus, ceramics, middle school and upper school band, practice rooms, and art rooms. In addition, the Arts Center has a photography lab and a scene shop.

In the fall of 2012 North Shore Country Day School announced a renovation for the Arts Center and Theater that would bring better technology, professional lighting, and more.

Middle School/Science Center

The Middle School contains class rooms for the Middle Schoolers (6th Grade to 8th Grade). A recent addition on the roof of the Middle School now serves as the Science Center. The Science Center contains the Biology Lab, Chemistry Lab, Physics room, Multipurpose Room, teachers lounge, meeting rooms, and a computer lab. Equipment is state of the art and up to date with state codes. The Middle School also contains the West Gym, which is used for many different purposes, and the library.

Lower School

The Lower School is the building which contains most of the classes for Junior Kindergarten through 5th graders. One of the things they do in the lower school is afternoon ex, located in the Multipurpose room. The lower school students present things they have done in class that week.

Mac Gym

Named for noted teacher and coach, Mac McCarty, the Mac Gym is directly east of the Upper School. It is the biggest gym and it has an outdoor pool next to it used for summer camp. The Mac Gym is where all of the basketball and volleyball games are held. It also has a weight room and fitness center on the first floor used for student athlete strength and conditioning.

West Gym

The West Gym is North Shore Country Day School's smaller gym. It is older than the Mac Gym, and is above the Cafeteria. The West Gym is used for P.E. and sports practices.

Diller Street Theater

The Diller Street Theater is where most of the plays are performed. The students go to the Diller Street Theater every week for Morning Ex. Many choral and musical pieces are performed here.

Student meetings

Morning Ex

Once or twice a week all of the students in the Upper, Middle and Lower School come together in the Diller Street Theater to view a presentation. Plays and concerts are previewed here. This time is commonly known as Morning Exercise or Morning Ex to the students and faculty.

Community Gathering

Every Tuesday, the whole Upper School meets in either the "V" or the Dillar Street Theater and makes announcements, such as birthdays, club meetings, and sports. The gathering is led by Student Council Co-Presidents. The meeting is a chance for students to let others know about when things are happening. On occasion the dean of the school or teachers inform the upper school about what they need to work on or how they should act.

Town Meeting

Some weeks North Shore has Town Meeting rather that Morning Ex. Town Meeting takes place in the library or Diller Street Theater. Students usually listen to a speaker where issues such as life, death, AIDS awareness, drug and alcohol awareness are discussed.

Class Meeting

On Fridays, students go to their homerooms to talk and discuss current events. It is like Community Gathering, except it takes place in each homeroom class and each grade meets separately.

Student clubs

There are many student run organizations and clubs at North Shore Country Day School. Every Tuesday and Friday at 2:10, students have forty minutes of clubs time to do different activities. Below are clubs and classes are very important to the students and school.

  • Student Council - Students are elected for the council by their classes to discuss different things throughout North Shore.
  • The Mirror - School yearbook. Students and teachers actively contribute, taking pictures of advisories, clubs, and events at North Shore.
  • Instrumental Ensemble - students and their teachers in the music ensemble perform for the school during Morning Ex's or designated nights.
  • Chorus - Students and teachers practice singing songs. Several times a year, they perform for the school.
  • Community Service Club - Students and teachers create ideas about how to help the needy and will have many different types of "drives."
  • Diller Street Journal - Students and teachers print a newspaper that is comprised, usually, of op-ed pieces by both students and faculty, but will also include pieces about what is going on around school.
  • Gay-Straight Alliance - Students meet together once a week to discuss Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual related issues.
  • Dance Club - Students, with the help of some teachers, work together to create dances for school events.
  • Ultimate Frisbee Club - Students meet on one of the fields of North Shore and play pick up games.
  • Anime Club- student meet together twice a week to watch anime related T.V. shows and films
  • Photography Club - Students develop black and white film, critique each other's prints, discuss techniques and talk about all things photography.
  • Kaleidoscope - Students and teachers meet together to discuss social problems.
  • International Club - Students and teachers learn about different cultures and serve corresponding ethnic foods.
  • P.I.L.L.O.W.S. - Students and teachers get together in the Senior Lounge and do what they want, whether it's a poem, music, or nothing. The acronym P.I.L.L.O.W.S stands for Poetry In the Literary Lives of Worldly Students.
  • Environmental Club - Students and teachers discuss ways to clean up the Skokie Lagoon, forest preserve, and recycle around the school. Every Tuesday and Friday during clubs time, students volunteer to wear blue and green capes and roam around the school recycling.
  • Prosody - The school literary journal. Students submit their pictures or stories to Prosody. It is then published and distributed among teachers and the student body.
  • Cereal Club - Students meet every Wednesday and Friday mornings to eat cereal.
  • Ping-Pong Club - Students meet every Tuesday and Friday to play a casual game of ping-pong.


North Shore is a member of the Chicago Independent School League and competes against eight other independent schools in the Chicago area.




Service learning

The school's dedication to service learning extends throughout the campus into other continents. In 2007, the junior class, (class of 2008), decided to raise money for helping a village in Tanzania. They organized a read-a-thon, and succeeded in raising almost $30,000 used towards buying land in Tanzania. Some of the students organized a trip to go to Tanzania at the end of the 2008 school year. Seniors are required to perform a Senior Service, which is a community service project lasting for two full weeks. They can work with friends at any community service place. After the Senior Service has ended students create powerpoint presentations and show the parents and students the result of their community service. This occurs in the last few weeks of the school year.

Notable alumni


External links

  • North Shore Country Day School
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