By Sandra Zunino
What began as a one-room school in 1934, The Country School in Easton has been steadily growing and providing children from Talbot and surrounding counties a standard of excellence in education for kindergarten through eighth grade.
“What The County School provides is a challenging and rich academic program,” says Headmaster Neil Mufson. “We promote the strongest possible preparation for further schooling while simultaneously providing a warm and nurturing atmosphere to foster confidence in the students.”
The Country School strives for a very personalized kind of education says Headmaster Mufson. “Because we have 300 students, we are large enough to offer a diverse and broad program, but also small enough to know every student in the school and their families.”
With classes comprising an average of 17 students, the student/teacher ratio is 10 to 1. Because of small class sizes, teachers at The Country School can give an abundance of individual attention as well as the appropriate level of challenge for each learner in the school.
Additionally, teachers work closely in partnership with parents through constant communication such as detailed written reports, formal parent conferences and telephone calls to ensure a student’s progress. “We try to get the parents involved and informed at an early stage so nothing can fester and develop into a difficulty,” assures Headmaster Mufson.
Positive reinforcement is emphasized at The Country School promoting an atmosphere that is very enthusiastic, engaging and child centered. According to Headmaster Mufson, the students are focused, respectful and care a lot about what they do.
While academic achievement is a primary goal at The Country School, moral values, character and leadership are equally important. Great emphasis is placed on environmental education and stewardship as well as community service. Each month of the school year, instructors incorporate a particular value in their lessons including honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, generosity, commitment, cooperation, fairness and moral courage.
“We very much believe we are educating the whole child,” says Headmaster Mufson. “Ultimately, we are helping families raise good people and feel the school must take an active role in that.”
However, The Country School also promotes a balanced childhood. “While academics, arts and athletics are important, we think it is also very important for kids to have time to just be kids without a high-pressure environment,” says Headmaster Mufson.
For this reason, homework assignments are constantly monitored. “We think homework is important,” he says, “but the right amount and not too much.”
Academic and developmental screenings are used for student admission. “We want to sense the child’s skill level and if he or she can comfortably function in a setting like ours,” says Headmaster Mufson. As diversity is important to the school, students from all racial, religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds are considered for enrollment. Additionally, financial aid is available and provided to 25 percent of the students.
The Country School is an accredited member of the Association for Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS). AIMS is a statewide association of over 100 independent academic, college preparatory schools. For more information about The Country School, visit www.countryschool.org or call 410-822-1935.