Upper School (9–12)

Upper School (9–12)

Preparing Students to Take Charge of Their Futures

Upper School offers a strong academic program and a unique culture of learning. Here students can explore what they love and find the support needed to take risks: intellectually, creatively, and athletically.

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.

CDS upper school course offerings 2022-23

CDS Upper School Course Catalogue 2022-23

CDS Graduation Requirements

Upper School Tour

“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.

Trip Cogburn

Upper School Principal

Student Work Highlights

2022 Literary Magazine 

Carolina Day School's SLAMM (Society of Literature, Art, Music, and Media) published this year's literary magazine, Crocus Vernusa professional, 146-page compilation of Upper School students' poetry, prose, art, and music.

2022 Crocus Vernus - Cover

Honors Papers

Honors Papers recognizes exemplary academic writing across Upper School disciplines. 

2021-22 Honors Papers - cover

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.

BEAM Virtual Civic Engagement Museum

The Scratching Post, Carolina Day’s student newspaper

The Scratching Post: Volume 6: Issue 2 - March 2021