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Coming Together for School Traditions

Our all-school and student traditions form the backbone of our strong community. We host a variety of rituals, both annual and weekly, where students, parents and family members come together to take part in a learning community. If you have any questions or would like to participate in any of these events, email

Friday Morning Assembly Each Friday our community gathers on the yard under the palm tree to take part in Friday assembly. Led by one class each week, parents listen as students present a project or topic from the classroom. Students also lead a welcome song and birthday blessing, take community announcements and run the Green Task Force raffle. Parents enjoy coffee on the yard and most importantly, make connections with one another. 

Welcome Picnic In September, all families are invited to join fellow parents, students, teachers, administrators and board members for the first community gathering of the year. Families share a potluck lunch, learn about volunteer opportunities, reconnect with friends and meet new members of the CDS community.

One School, One Book Led by division heads, these meetings focus on the school-wide summer reading book. During the summer 2016, the school read I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Unbowed: A Memoir by Wangari Maathai. Parents are invited to discuss the book and its relevance to their child and his/her education.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day Held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, this is a day to introduce grandparents and other special friends to our school. Grandparents are welcomed at a morning musical assembly, tour the school and participate in the child’s classroom.

Annual Performances Each year in December, Lower School students and teachers collaborate on division-level winter performances encompassing all of the school’s arts programs. In March, Pre-schoolers present Bungalow Boogie, and in January, Middle School students and faculty present a showcase for student performers. Parents, siblings, grandparents and friends are invited to attend these performances. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration In January the CDS community pays tribute to the life of the great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a special assembly and march. This year we will honor Dr. King on Friday, January 20.

Harvey Milk Celebration This year, the CDS community will celebrate the life of the equal rights activist Harvey Milk on Friday, May 19. 

FIESTA: Community Celebration & Benefit Auction Each year we hold Fiesta, a benefit auction to raise money for sliding scale tuition. Comprised of an online, silent and live auction, and fabulous community-wide party, this annual celebration brings families, faculty and staff together to raise money for sliding scale tuition, a program that is at the heart of our school’s mission. 

Cesar Chavez Celebration This special Friday assembly event celebrates the life and work of Cesar Chavez, whose activism on behalf of social justice serves as one of the models for our school’s mission.

Earth Day Celebration & Sustainability Fair This Friday assembly event around Earth Day celebrates the difference we can make when we take responsibility for and care about our environment and planet Earth. Plan to stay for our annual “Sustainability Fair,” which takes place in the yard all morning and highlights the work our students do to create a more sustainable planet.

Country Fair Each spring the CDS community comes together to celebrate our community and unique farm and garden program at our annual Country Fair. Attendees eat barbecue, play games, enjoy live music and celebrate homemade arts and crafts using wool from our very own sheep and produce from our garden! 

Passing the Torch Ceremony This special morning assembly at the end of the school year allows each class to impart three pieces of wisdom and advice to the class below them. Classes then officially “rise” to the next grade level for the following school year.

Eighth Grade Graduation Come wish our graduates well at our annual graduation ceremony on the yard. Students speak about one another, honor their accomplishments and send them off prepared for new adventures.

San Francisco Pride Parade Each June, all families are invited to participate in the San Francisco PRIDE Parade, in support of our LGBTQ families. CDS families march with a contingent of local Bay Area independent schools. It’s always a great time!