Upland Country Day School is rich in traditions

- some date back to the school's early days, others are more recent.
They bond students, faculty and alumni through their years together at Upland and beyond. On campus you can’t help but feel the warmth, openness and enthusiasm of our vibrant community.The sense of community and belonging that each student and faculty member feels is the glue that connects us. These bonds and our school spirit are strengthened through the varied and cherished Upland traditions that take place during the year.

List of 25 items.

  • The Ninth Grade Year

    The whole ninth grade experience is among the most important Upland traditions and is one that alums look back on with pride. Ninth graders are officers of the Student Council, editors of the yearbook, captains of sports teams and leads in plays. They run school assemblies, plan school events, have their own student lounge and set the pace and the tone for the whole school. 9th grade activities include camping, whitewater rafting and of course the Finnish trip.
  • Curriculum Enriching Field Trips

    In support of programs and learning taking place on campus, students go on several field trips a year for hands on experience in areas they are studying. Our field trips are local or global depending on the grade level. A sampling of field trips include bay and ocean studies at Echo Hill on the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Henlopen, Delaware; reenacting Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg; Ashland Nature Center; Harrisburg; Longwood Gardens; Williamsburg; Shakespearean Renaissance Faires and trips to Finland, England and Germany.
  • Spirit Days and Tag Days

    Sponsored by the Student Council to promote school spirit and support worthy causes, students and faculty enjoy Tag Days and Spirit Days throughout the year. On Spirit Days, students and faculty donate a dollar and show their Upland Pride by wearing school colors and spirit wear. On Tag Days, students support causes both locally and globally by donating to set aside our dress code and dress casually for the day.
  • Collaboration Projects

    Throughout the year older students mentor younger students through various events, projects and activities, providing an opportunity for students to interact and foster bonds across grade levels. Collaboration projects are great opportunities for our older students to develop leadership skills and for our younger students to see our motto of Understanding, Trust and Responsibility modeled in the older students they look up to.
  • Back to School Picnic & Parent Child Games

    At the start of every school year, Upland students, parents, teachers and former alums converge on campus for our annual Welcome Back Picnic and Parent and Child games. We kick-off the new school year with field hockey and soccer games and a school picnic. The highlight is always a chili cook-off hosted by the Upland Parents' Association.
  • Grandparents' Day

    We love grandparents at Upland. One morning each spring we invite grandparents to campus to celebrate and share the Upland experience with them. Grandparents join kids in class, share in work the kids have done and are treated to a special fine arts performance.
  • Halloween Parade and Jack O'Lantern Alley

    Pre-K through fifth grade, as well as faculty and staff, dress in costume for the annual Halloween parade across campus. A favorite ninth grade tradition is the carving of pumpkins for Jack 0' Lanterns alley.
  • Friday Night Lights Hockey Games

    With our own campus ice rink, hockey is big part of life at Upland, whether you're a player or a spectator. Throughout the hockey season, the entire school is invited to come to the rink for Friday night home games to cheer on the girls and boys varsity teams. It's an exciting tradition and Upland pride builder!
  • Winter Weekend

    Upland just celebrated the 20th Anniversary of this school tradition. One weekend each November, alumni from far and wide travel back to campus for the annual ice hockey tournament with our varsity teams, volleyball game and luncheon.
  • Annual Hockey, Lacrosse and Field Hockey Tournaments

    Upland competes throughout the year with area schools and often takes top honors in ice hockey, lacrosse and field hockey. We also host and participate in several tournaments throughout the year to hone our team skills and participate with organizations from a broader area.

    Each year, Upland varsity teams participate in and also host a series of regional tournaments, including the Upland Boys' Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament, the oldest middle school ice hockey tournament in the country. These long-standing traditional match-ups are the highlight of every season and eagerly anticipated by students. Teams from the Chester County area, Maryland and New England travel to Upland Country Day for the weekend and stay with Upland host families. We also travel to participate in the Valley School of Ligonier Soccer and Hockey Tournaments as well as the Greenwich Country Day School Lacrosse tournament in Connecticut.
  • Santa's Visit to Primary School

    Every winter, Santa brings his reindeer to the world renowned New Bolton Center for a check up. While he's in town, he never forgets to make a stop to visit with the kids in Upland's Primary Center. The looks on the kids faces as Santa arrives are pure magic.
  • Dinner with Someone Special and Valentine's Tea

    As part of our 4th A - Attitude, students have several special occasions throughout the year to practice their social skills and etiquette, and dress for the occasion. For Dinner with Someone Special, students invite a friend, parent, grandparent - for a special dinner in the Barn. For the Valentine's Day tea, fourth and fifth graders invite a special faculty member to join them for the event.
  • Student/Faculty Ice Hockey

    Interaction and relationship building outside the classroom is a vital part of Upland's program. Each year, the faculty challenges the boys' and girls' ice hockey teams to a friendly game to foster close relationships and forge school spirit.
  • Ice Skating Exhibition

    One of the many benefits of having an ice rink on campus is that ice skating is a regular component of our P.E. curriculum. Upland celebrates the end of the Lower School skating season in February with a skating exhibition with all of the classes performing for the student body, family and friends. The kids always enjoy the opportunity to show off their new skills in front of a full crowd.
  • Black and Gold Competition

    The competition between Black and Gold goes on throughout the year and is culminated with the award ceremony on Class Day. At the start of the year, students are divided into teams of either black or gold. Throughout the year, they have opportunities to earn points for their team by participating in community service and attending events. The winning team in our spirited yet friendly competition earns the bragging rights for the next year.
  • Field Day

    As part of the annual Black and Gold Competition, Grades 1 through 9 compete in a number of athletic and recreational action-packed events including tug of war, egg toss, and a variety of races. Pre-K and Kindergarteners participate in their own non-competitive games including the annual Bike Parade.
  • Class Day

    By the end of 9th grade, Upland graduates are confident students, accomplished artists, compassionate citizens, effective leaders and respectful world travelers. We honor them with a special day where awards are given, honor society inductions occur and other special presentations are made. The day is capped off with a special dinner dance for our graduating ninth graders.
  • Eighth and Ninth Grade Trip Abroad

    One of Upland's oldest and most anticipated traditions, each year a group of either boys or girls from the eighth and ninth graders travel to Finland and various European countries to experience a variety of cultures and history and spend time with our Finnish friends. Some highlights of the trip have included playing hockey and lacrosse with European teams, racing reindeer in the Arctic Circle, a glacier walk in Iceland, and experiencing the Blue Lagoon.
  • Martin Luther King Service Day

    Community service is a cornerstone of the Upland experience. Martin Luther King Service Day caps off a full year of service and philanthropic projects undertaken by students in Pre-K through 9th grade. Upland serves both locally and globally through many organizations including the SPCA, Canine Partners for Life, Kennett Food Cupboard, Pennies for Peace and Power Up Gambia. On our annual service day, most grades leave campus to spend the day serving at local organizations.
  • Primary Center Gratitude Gathering

    A big highlight of the Primary year... the Pre-K, Kindergarten and first graders prepare and serve snacks for the faculty and staff as an expression of appreciation.
  • School Dances

    Throughout the year the student council sponsors, coordinates and even deejays school dances for the Upper School. Many have themes and special dress. Teachers chaperone the events.
  • Spring and Winter Sings

    Each Winter and Spring, students have the opportunity to showcase their music programs on stage for their families and the Upland community. Students from all grades have opportunities to solo and perform in groups and each upper school student performs in two instrumental ensembles: Bell Choir and Orff Ensemble.
  • The Talent Show

    One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Lower School Talent show gives students the opportunity to show off their talents of all types -- from riding unicycles to choreographed dance routines to comedy skits. The event is organized and run by our 5th graders who introduce the acts and run the sound and tech crew.
  • Moving Up Day

    A special assembly to celebrate the end of a memorable year and look forward to the next. The Alumni Association is on hand to welcome 9th graders into their ranks and each advancing grade is ceremoniously moved to the next level with a new teacher and visit to their next classroom. Highlights of the year and student awards are celebrated.
  • Graduation

    Each June, a new group of graduates participates in one of the most special ceremonies of the school year. Former graduates give the commencement address and graduates, family and alumni gather for a celebration luncheon. Graduation is time of celebration for all and a tradition that builds anticipation in younger students. The sense of Upland family and pride is never more prevalent than on this day.