Upper School (9–12)
CDS Upper School is known for its strong academic program and unique culture of learning.
Students select from a wide variety of traditional college preparatory, honors, and AP courses, as well as numerous semester elective courses. Additionally, students have at least one open period each day when they can work with peers, seek extra help from teachers, conduct independent or collaborative research, or engage in off-campus internships. Standardized testing, while important, is not at the forefront of our teaching; engaging students intellectually by stimulating their creativity and curiosity is preeminent. Visitors to Upper School regularly comment about our vibrant, happy students; they are relaxed but intellectually engaged, striving to do their best, not to outdo their peers. We believe that a culture of trust, respect, and close faculty/student relationships creates an atmosphere of safety and personal well-being, and this is critical to student academic success and personal growth. Upper School is first and foremost a place where it is safe to be yourself—to stretch and grow. Our students work hard. Here they can explore what they love and find the support needed to take risks: intellectually, creatively, athletically. Our graduates must be prepared to thrive in an increasingly complex and interdependent global environment. We are preparing students with the skills and mindset to take charge of their futures, and they are finding great success.
“A lot of physics is counter-intuitive, so it is important for students to not only be presented with the laws but also with how the laws are applied.”
Upper School students take an in-depth look at Newton's-Laws.
Student Work Highlights
Bio-social Ethics and Motives (BEAM)
A Blended Bioethics and Humanities Course
Taught by science teacher Dora Nelson and English teacher Susan White, BEAM is an interdisciplinary semester course that explores the relationship between scientific engagement and social responsibility—investigating what is ethical and just (based upon the four principles of bioethics) in terms of life rights, environmental issues, biological concepts, social constructs, and medical rights. Learn more about the course and explore our students’ work in the Virtual Civic Engagement Museum, created by the Carolina Day School students of Biosocial Ethics and Motives.
The Scratching Post, Carolina Day’s student newspaper