Upper School
Grades 9 - 12

At GCDS, you're the author of your own story: your interests, your choices, and your future.

We're here to help you build the resources, knowledge, and inspiration to map it out—and then help you realize it.

Chris Winters talking with students

Dear Future GCDS Students,

If you have had the good fortune to see the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, you know the refrain: "How lucky we are to be alive right now."....

Read welcome from Dr. Chris Winters, Head of Upper School, Grades 9 - 12

Signature Learning Experiences

Our signature learning experiences are core to your time in the Upper School. They help you make connections within your academic classes so that you can make sense of why you are learning what you are learning every day.

Check your compass:
Grade-level themes

Each year has a different theme as a foundation for learning and exploration to help you put the knowledge you're building in context.

9th grade: Identity
Engaging with self and community

10th grade: Global perspectives
Systems and intersections

11th grade: Leadership
Expertise, empathy, and purpose

12th grade: Stewardship
Connecting mission and action

Set your own course: Intersession

For three weeks each January, you'll take a deep dive into a particular area of study. You can explore your interests through intensive courses, trips, internships, and/or a project of your own design—gaining experience, knowledge, skills, and new perspectives along the way.

See the big picture: Thesis Project

During your junior or senior year, you'll complete a Thesis Project to explore a Humanities, STEM, or Arts topic through a rigorous, research-driven process. The end result will be as personal as it is intellectually rich.

Make it personal:
Integrated seminar, college counseling, and advising

Seminar is a full-credit class where you'll connect what you're learning in the classroom with what you're experiencing in your day-to-day life.

The integrated approach to Seminar and College Counseling also gives you the time and the guidance to take stock of your ambitions, strengths, and challenges. We believe this self-reflection should be at the core of each eventual college list, and our College Counseling Office is there to help you every step of the way.

Find the meaning: Presentations of Learning

At the end of each year, you will present and defend significant work and accomplishments to GCDS faculty, professionals in your field of study, and classmates to demonstrate your new knowledge mastery, debate findings, and receive constructive, meaningful feedback.

Build connections: Internships and service learning

At GCDS, you will build relationships with service and not-for-profit organizations, businesses, academic institutions, professionals, and visiting scholars. Each relationship presents an opportunity to apply learning in the real world.

make the journey yours

Opportunities abound at GCDS. The close-knit, inclusive community at GCDS is possible because we make our school a place for everyone to be themselves and pursue their interests.

Student government, clubs, and extracurricular activities are a great way to make new friends, discover new talents, and just have some fun!



Grades 9 - 12
upper school arts


Grades 9 - 12
upper school athletics

College Counseling

Meet Mr. Ramirez
college counseling

Upper School Facilities

Designed for Learning
upper school campus

Our program is designed to help you discover what is finest in yourself and set your path for your future. We invite you to visit campus and learn more.

Visit GCDS

Apply Now