Class of 2021 hat toss

Founded in 1926, Country Day has many traditions that span our 90-plus year history. From graduation for seniors to out-of-the-box day for 5th graders to Service Learning Day for Lower School students, our traditions connect our past to the present.

The traditions below are just a few of the many that span our entire school community and signify the important milestones, events, and programs that prepare students to become exemplary citizens, confident leaders, and the very best versions of themselves.

Opening Convocation and Closing Ceremony

convocationThe new school year is bookended by two all-school gatherings in the outdoor amphitheater. The head of school welcomes students and teachers back to a fresh start during the Opening Convocation and celebrates the end of another successful year at the Closing Ceremony.

FallFest, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend

homecomingHomecoming festivities begin with the Parents’ Association’s FallFest, a fun event with games, inflatables and sweet treats for students. Alumni enjoy catching up with classmates and former teachers at an outdoor reception on campus, at the Friday night football game and the alumni breakfast Saturday morning.

Out-of-the-Box Day

outoftheboxdayThis much-anticipated event is one of the highlights of fifth grade. The energy and excitement are palpable when students open boxes containing their personal Surface Pro tablets, which they’ll use through high school. 

Turkey Train and Wrap-In

wrapinThese two annual service events teach students empathy by helping others less fortunate. Middle School students bring frozen turkeys and pass them bucket brigade style to a freezer truck, while other students provide non-perishables for a Thanksgiving meal. During Wrap-In, students bring a holiday gift for a child his or her age. Older and younger students are paired to wrap their gifts, one of many ways Country Day intentionally joins students across divisions to work and learn together. The food and gifts are donated to non-profits that distribute them to their clients.

Balloon Drop & Clap-Out

clapoutThe Balloon Drop, when seniors drop hundreds of blue and white balloons over Alumni Commons, is the first of several emotional events leading to graduation. Next is the Clap-Out, when teachers and students from all divisions line hallways and sidewalks to clap as seniors walk by wearing a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hat from the college where they will matriculate in the fall.

Pen Flip

Alumni call this quirky sleight of hand with a pen the definitive way to identify a fellow CCDS alum while traveling across the country or the globe. Many alums report seeing a stranger doing a pen flip and making an instant connection by asking, “Did you go to Cincinnati Country Day School?” Click here to see the pen flip video.


Halloween Parades

halloween walkA favorite tradition of seniors, they dress in costumes and walk through the lower school or stadium track to bestow mass quantities of candy upon students. The young learners, many also sporting their own Halloween costumes, eagerly await this memorable - and tasty! - interaction with their older peers.


Lower School Service Learning Day

service learning dayOn Service Learning Day, after hearing representatives from several organizations, Lower School students in grades K-4 do service projects that benefit the groups’ causes. Last spring, they shredded old t-shirts and braided them into dog toys for the SPCA. They made Boo Boo Bunnies out of wash cloths for children staying at the Ronald McDonald House. After hearing from StarShine Hospice program for kids, they made drums for terminally ill children. Students also made fleece blankets for the SPCA and Project Linus, which distributes them to children in need.

Class Trips

class tripsOvernight class trips have all the ingredients for students to create bonds and make lasting memories. Fifth graders head to Clymer, New York in January for a ski trip that involves teamwork, grit and resilience. Sixth graders work on team building during an April trip to Camp Joy for an astronomy program and ropes course. Seventh graders learn about Native Americans in Culture Studies, so a May trip to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina, brings their curriculum to life. They also go whitewater rafting and hiking in the mountains. Eighth graders travel to Washington, D.C. in October where they visit the Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial and more. Juniors zipline and ride the waves during their whitewater rafting trip to Lansing, West Virginia, in September.