Carrollwood Day School was accepted as a Round Square Candidate School in 2022, becoming part of a vibrant, international network of 230 schools in 50 countries across six continents that connect and collaborate to offer experiences that develop global understanding. As a member of Round Square, CDS is now part of a unique network of schools that promotes six shared IDEALS of global citizenship: International Understanding, Democracy, Environmental Awareness, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. CDS is the 21st Round Square school in the United States and is one of only 3 RS schools in Florida.
Simply said, Round Square is a world-class approach to character education. With Carrollwood Day School’s enduring commitment to “Education with Character” and our mission to cultivate principled global citizens, becoming a Round Square school is a natural fit for CDS. Round Square schools connect and collaborate to develop global competence, character, and confidence in students. This unique network of schools promotes six shared IDEALS of global citizenship: International Understanding, Democracy, Environmental Awareness, Adventure, Leadership, and Service.
Being a Round Square school in the 2022-2023 school year has enabled CDS to provide increased authentic, experiential learning opportunities for our students through international student exchanges, work projects, student conferences, community service, and adventure activities with students from like-minded schools around the world in locations across the globe. This year we’ve had Upper School and Middle School students travel to the UK. Our Upper School students also had the opportunity to go to Morocco with Round Square
Round Square also connected our faculty with a supportive international network of like-minded teachers that share their aspirations, challenges, opportunities, and successes and provide access to professional development opportunities both as workshop delegates and presenters, as well as the chance to visit – and learn from – other RS schools.
While CDS already has developed opportunities around similar principles, Round Square offers a whole school structure and rich collaborative experiences for students and faculty across all three divisions that advance these priorities through immersive and meaningful involvement.
Carrollwood Day School students and faculty visit the UK for the Round Square conference.
On September 15th, 2022, six CDS Round Square student delegates and two faculty chaperones boarded a plane in Tampa, FL with the UK as their destination. After being accepted as a Round Square Candidate School in the Spring of 2022, Head of School, Sara Rubinstein started an internal application process to find a Round Square representative. After receiving several faculty applications, upper school computer science teacher, Brad Hayes was chosen as the Round Square Representative. Then it was on to the student representative selection. Through essays and interviews, upper school students were narrowed down to six delegates to attend the 2022 conference in the UK.
CDS sent these excited representatives across the pond to the Round Square International Conference 2022. Along with more than 1500 delegates from 50 countries around the world, our CDS students and faculty spent three days touring the South of England, stopping at Stonehenge, Bath, the Cotswolds, and then head to Oxford University, followed by home-stays with families of Latymer Upper School on the banks of the River Thames in Hammersmith in Long.
The CDS student delegates, Brooke B., Jago S., Samantha H., Hayden B., Sophie V., and Suma A., along with our faculty representatives, spent time hearing from keynote speakers on topics related to this year’s theme, “Take Less: Be More,” which led to workshop discussions in groups of mixed nationality, to build international understanding and a spirit of cooperation.
Morocco was calling, so our Upper School students, and their chaperones, had to go!
The theme for the March RoundSquare Regional Conference in Morocco was The Future is Now, Today is better than yesterday, Tomorrow will be better than today! The Elaraki International School was the host of the conference. The program consisted of an environmental day discussing water in the North African region and how it is found, diverted, purified, and used. CDS students and chaperones, along with delegates from 13 other schools around the country, spent the day in eco-farm planting trees and learning about the herbs that grow in this region and how they are used for food, oils, soaps, and tea. They also learned how to recycle plastic water bottles to make eco-bricks for housing and other structures and made a traditional meal called Chicken Tajine for lunch, while sharing art, songs, and dancing.
Day two started with a drive to the low Atlas mountains to do a service project at a small rural school. Students began by cleaning and painting rocks to create a beautiful perimeter around the school garden. The groups also painted the school buildings bright vibrant colors and painted hopscotch patterns on the school court. They enjoyed tea and snacks with the local students. This day was very rewarding as we saw the local students’ faces fill with smiles as RoundSquare delegates transformed their white-walled school buildings into a bright, beautiful, and colorful learning environment. Day two ended with a cultural night and dinner. This event was full of dancing, music, and sharing cultural activities from all delegations
The final day consisted of touring the water museum and learning more about the topic of water and how important it is for Morocco and how the flow of water changes based on climate changes. After enjoying the closing ceremony, the conference culminated with an evening in the desert with the first of two camel rides. The Agafay Desert Adventure consisted of a five-mile desert hike and a camel ride returning the participants to a beautiful traditional desert camp where they ate a delicious dinner and the last evening of camaraderie.
CDS Middle School students and faculty visit the UK for the Round Square Conference hosted by Cobham Hall
The theme for the March RoundSquare Regional Conference in the UK was Let’s Talk Rubbish The six CDS middle school students that traveled across the pond, tackled the key questions of “How can we reuse our rubbish? What can we create using global waste? and What can I do?”
CDS delegates were welcomed to Cobham Hall School in Kent England where they listened to lectures by visiting speakers, explored Environmental and Service focused discussions in Baraza groups, and participated in Service and Adventure Days as part of their conference experience.
Another aspect of the conference was getting to know the delegates from other schools and countries. There were ice-breaking activities, sports and games, and even a movie night and final party.
CDS Middle School students were also able to take in some sights around London and saw Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Parliament, the Supreme Court, and Westminster Abbey, and finished the day with Mamma Mia in the west end.
Being a member of Round Square has given the students of this school unique experiences that have broadened their horizons and enriched their lives. They have gained new perspectives, developed skills, and formed bonds with people from different parts of the world. These experiences have not only contributed to their personal growth but have helped open the eyes, minds, and hearts of students here at CDS.
Thank you to Brad Hayes, our International Programs Coordinator and Round Square representative, for spearheading this program initiative and to our amazing faculty and staff chaperones who accompany our students on these trips.