A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York


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Ours is a living curriculum—in constant pursuit of excellence.

Rye Country Day's academic program nurtures innovative teaching and engaged learning. We regularly review and revise our instructional design to ensure that we are offering students the most relevant and useful material and training for them to lead lives of achievement and service.

Divisional Curriculum Guides

Curriculum Changes for 2022-2023

Honors English Seminar

Upper School Course Changes

Please note the following changes to existing Upper School courses.

Middle School Course Changes

Please note the following changes to existing Middle School courses.

Curriculum Change Process

At RCDS, we value our academic program, and we regularly review and revise our instructional design. Our mission guides us as experienced educators to present material that is challenging, diverse in perspective, evidence-based, and rich in interest. Further, we are guided to instill in our students the habits of mind and competencies most needed for lives of purpose as outlined in our Portrait of a Graduate.

Faculty and administration engage in a consistent and iterative process of exploring and developing curricular ideas, offering critical feedback and discussion, and, ultimately, implementing curricular change. The process is an opportunity for multiple educators to collaborate, learn, innovate, and impact meaningful change.

Beginning in the fall of 2021, proposals for major curricular change will undergo systematic review involving the academic department, division leadership, and the Curriculum Council (see below). A summary of the process appears below:

  • Faculty member(s) or teaching team crafts a written proposal for the change in collaboration with the Department Chair
  • Proposal is reviewed by the Dean of Faculty & Employees and/or the Division Principal for feedback and approval
  • Proposal is reviewed by the division’s Academic Affairs Committee (US and MS) for feedback and approval
  • Proposal is reviewed by the Curriculum Council for feedback and final endorsement

The approval process must be completed by the end of March for Upper School changes and the end of April for Middle School changes.

Upon final endorsement, the curricular change will go into effect in the fall of the following year. All major changes will be communicated on this page and in the online curriculum guides.

Curriculum Council

The Curriculum Council is comprised of:

  • Head of School
  • Assistant Head of School for Academic Programs
  • Dean of Faculty & Employees
  • Division Principals and Assistant Principals
  • Department Chairs
  • Director of Information Technology
  • Director of Academic Technology
  • Director of Admission
  • Director of Athletics
  • Director of College Counseling
  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Director of Public Purpose
  • Director of Counseling Support Services
  • Director of Learning Support Services
  • Director of STEAM
  • Coordinator of Global Studies
  • Director of Sustainability
  • Dean of Financial Aid
  •  School Librarian(s)

What constitutes a major curricular change?

A major curricular change is the removal or replacement of a significant unit of inquiry. It is not just about text-to-text replacement, but a change in the purpose of study. Curricular change can be viewed through three lenses: subject-centered, learner-centered, and problem-centered design. 

Examples of major curricular change include the following:

  • An entirely new course offering 
  • The change in focus and texts of an entire course 
  • The change in focus and texts of 25% or more of a given course
  • The addition of a significant unit not previously taught in a particular course
  • The addition of units that cover topics typically taught in RCDS’s human development courses (SEEK, Life Skills, Health 10, etc.)

Major curriculum changes do not include the following:

  • The removal or replacement of one text in a given course, so long as that text occupies less than 25% of the course content
  • The addition of materials in response to day-to-day/current events
  • The addition of supplemental materials in any already-established unit of study
  • The replacement of a major textbook, as long as the basic subject matter of the course remains the same
  • Changes in sequencing/ordering of topics