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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Charlotte Country Day School

by Richard Rankin, 2006

Dr. Burton, Country Day's founding headmaster, with Jesse Ward Page III. Image courtesy of Charotte Country Day. Charlotte Country Day School, the oldest independent school in Mecklenburg County, was founded in 1941. The school began with 18 students in the preschool through sixth grades and met in the home of Stuart Cramer. Over the next several years, classes were added through the ninth grade, and enrollment grew steadily to 126 students in 1951. To accommodate growth, the school moved several times during its early years before settling on its Sardis Road campus from 1945 to 1960.

From 1955 to 1969 headmaster David L. Howe led Country Day through important changes. In 1960 the school moved to a new 30-acre campus, later expanded to 60 acres, on Carmel Road. The successive additions of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades between 1960 and 1962 completed the upper school. In 1969 the school included eight administrative staff members, 52 faculty members, and 557 students.

Charlotte Country Day experienced tremendous growth pressures in the 1970s as it was flooded with "white flight" applications in the wake of the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education decision (1971), which imposed busing to achieve integration in the public schools of Mecklenburg County. In 1980 Country Day merged with Carmel Academy, one of three independent schools established in the county after the Swann decision.

In the early 2000s enrollment figures showed approximately 1,600 students in grades K-12 attending classes on two campuses. With the vast majority of its graduates attending college, Charlotte Country Day possesses a reputation for academic rigor and excellence. Its alumni have been notably successful in public life and particularly influential in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.


Julia Moody Britt, Charlotte Country Day School: The First Fifty Years (1991).

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Charlotte Country Day School:

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Dr. Burton, Country Day's founding headmaster, with Jesse Ward Page III. Image courtesy of Charotte Country Day. Available from   (accessed November 8, 2012).

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