Mission, Core Beliefs, & Portrait of a Graduate

Through a strategic planning process, our community developed our mission and nine core beliefs. 

Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire students to become innovative thinkers who communicate with intelligence and clarity, create with vision and purpose, and act with courage and compassion to confidently make a meaningful difference in the world.

Our Core Beliefs

Engage Intellectually

Great schools create opportunities for students to acquire and develop the knowledge, skills and habits necessary to successfully design their own futures. We spark curiosity and ignite intellectual pursuit by asking students to question, explore in depth, consider multiple perspectives, and regularly reflect and evaluate their learning. 

Cultivate Strong Character

Honor, integrity, and empathy, guided by respect and a deep understanding for the people and the world around us, are key to nurturing responsible students of sound character. We share a commitment to integrity, respect, good citizenship and honorable behavior through active dialogue and service to others.

Build an Exceptional Team for an Exceptional Program

Excellent schools attract outstanding faculty members who are highly knowledgeable and passionate about their disciplines and who derive energy and excitement from engaging with students and collaborating with colleagues. We incorporate advancements in technology, authentic experience, and research-based practices to promote meaningful and relevant learning that inspires.

Foster Relationships

Students' lives are enriched by being part of a close-­knit community where meaningful relationships with adults create a safe, caring environment to play, work, and learn. PK3–12, our unparalleled faculty/student relationships are the heart of our school; we know, love and care deeply about our students and are determined to help them find joy and success on their CDS journey and beyond.

Tailor Learning  to Maximize Potential

Each student is a unique learner with strengths, weaknesses, and unlimited potential for growth. Our programs in each division are carefully designed based on a keen understanding of students’ cognitive, social, and emotional development, and we design curriculum, develop programs, and create flexible classroom environments that provide each student with a greater opportunity to find success.

Embrace Challenge and Persevere

Courageous learners embrace obstacles and unlock challenges by designing creative approaches and solutions. Our students engage in inquiry and exploration—both independently and collaboratively—to become self­-reliant, creative, and resilient learners who view setbacks as opportunities to pursue new paths and ideas. 

Reach Beyond the Classroom

Co-­curricular programs reach beyond classroom walls, providing opportunities for students to initiate ideas, collaborate with others, and build leadership skills. Student clubs, community internships, service learning, and programs in the arts and athletics provide students platforms to discover interests, share talents, learn to be leaders, and turn empathy into action. 

Create a Diverse Community

Diversity adds quality to a community by cultivating a richness of ideas, a broadening of perspectives and a respect for others. We are committed to building a faculty, student body, and school culture which reflect the diversity of the greater world around us. Learn more.

Celebrate History & Tradition

History, tradition, and rites of passage instill identity, create a sense of community, and foster school spirit. We value and celebrate our school traditions, which evolve and shape our community, link the past to the present, and help us understand we belong to something larger than ourselves.

Portrait of a Graduate

The portrait of a graduate identifies our loftiest aspirations for our graduates. These goals are cross-divisional and interdisciplinary. We strive to foster graduates who embody:


A Carolina Day School graduate will be able to create original work; think critically to evaluate important and complex issues; communicate effectively in English as well as in another world language; develop cross-cultural competencies; develop an understanding of the foundational knowledge, questions, and methodologies of main academic disciplines; embrace a love of learning; and direct their own learning initiatives.


A Carolina Day School graduate will have a strong sense of self-awareness, self-management, and independence; develop and reflect deeply on personal values; demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity; employ self-reflection as an ongoing process; utilize a toolkit of skills and strategies to adapt to challenges and new situations; act with honor, compassion, respect, integrity, and responsibility; and communicate an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.


A Carolina Day School graduate will be able to collaborate with others in pursuit of a common goal; engage in respectful discourse within a diverse community; model civic engagement; examine global connections; demonstrate an effective and ethical use of technology; serve with confidence, humility, and vulnerability in connection with others; and cultivate community.