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.