Country Day students take at least one course that isn’t even in the curriculum – time management.
With more than 3,000 living alumni across the world, and a traditional college acceptance rate of 100 percent, Fort Worth Country Day School prides itself on a multifaceted curriculum intended to produce well-rounded young adults.
But Country Day students are required to do more — whether participating in a school play or joining a sports team, the school demands versatility.
"They can handle it, and we want them to handle it because they won't be successful if they can't," said DeAnn Hall, Country Day head softball coach, said.
Margaret Harper, a senior film television and digital media major at TCU and a 2009 graduate of Country Day, said she would not have it any other way. Harper was a four-year letterman in tennis as well as a cheerleader for four years while at Country Day.
During Harper's time in school, students were required to gain course credit through physical education. Students had to receive 20 points every year in sports for curriculum credits. This included the option to be a team manager or trainer.
Harper said she credits her success in college to her involvement at Country Day.
"The sports program can be pretty rigorous. Depending on what sports you had, sports take a big chunk out of your afternoon," Harper said.
Unlike many public schools that include team practice in the class schedule, Country Day does not. With practice after school, students have to prioritize class work and being a team player, Hall said.
"That's the No. 1 thing that Country Day taught me," Harper said. "Taking five classes every day and theatre and practice, and then driving to Dallas some nights for games, I really had to learn to get organized."
Tutors help students adapt and get organized, Harper said. She recalls hiring a tutor who also worked with many students from private schools in the metroplex.
Hall said learning to prioritize puts Country Day students ahead in college.
"Most of our kids come back and they say, 'Yes, we were prepared academically, but we were also prepared on time management, being accountable, responsible,’" Hall said.
Hall added that these students often find that their college roommates and friends are initially frazzled and struggling to get a grip on things that Country Day students are already accustomed to.
Harper agreed, and added that during her time living in her sorority house at TCU, she often heard students complaining about juggling course loads, extracurricular activities and studying.
"They already do it all here [at Country Day] and normally in college, you pick the one thing that you're going to do outside of studies," Hall said.
TCU professors are a lot like Country Day teachers as well, Harper said, in that they push students to succeed and instill the importance of never missing class, a philosophy that she does not believe every college student comes in possessing.
"Country Day taught me a lot about health and leadership, and you learn how to manage your time," Harper said. "I'm glad that Country Day instilled such a disciplined worth ethic like that."