What is the Portrait of a Graduate?

Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, the entire Rye Country Day School community collaborated in developing a compiled set of learning outcomes that tie together the School's mission statement, core values, strategic initiatives, and curricular and co-curricular goals. These outcomes are grouped into four domains, character, knowledge, skills, and citizenship, each of which is then expanded into a list of attributes and habits RCDS students practice. The learning outcomes listed in this portrait are both ambitious and realistic, and they extend across all departments and throughout the RCDS program, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.

The purpose of this document is rooted in a basic concept: agreement on what we want our students to be able to do is necessary if we are to deliver these expected outcomes to the best of our ability. This Portrait of a Graduate provides a cohesive statement of who we are and what we believe, bringing together our existing values and initiatives as both stemming from and contributing to a central vision. This is, notably, a living document. We will amend it as the needs of students evolve, and we will put it to use regularly in the years to come in our teaching, in our strategic initiatives, and in our professional development.

Portrait of a Rye Country Day School Graduate

Students emerge from RCDS with strength of character, ready to engage in continuous learning, to show kindness and empathy, to adapt and thrive within a changing global context, to contribute meaningfully to their communities large and small, and to find joy and fulfillment in life. Experiences that promote these outcomes are woven throughout the program with increasing complexity and expectations.


RCDS students cultivate strength of character through the development of social and emotional intelligences, strong and positive moral compasses, and passionate and principled actions.


RCDS students acquire and use knowledge in complex and meaningful ways. They transfer and apply their understandings beyond disciplines to address novel, real-world questions.


RCDS students practice skills and habits essential for wellness and success in college, in work, and in life, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability.


RCDS students make a positive difference in the world as aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens.