How to Apply - The Admission Process

Learn more about GCDS!

The Admissions Team looks forward to welcoming you to our beautiful, 92-acre campus. We invite you to join us for an optional campus group tour led by a current parent to learn more about our Nursery through Grade 8 program. Tours are offered on select Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. and last approximately 60 minutes. Group tours are for parents, only.

The group tour is helpful, but not required. All applicants and their parents will have the opportunity to see the Old Church Road campus, as well as view virtual renderings of the new Upper School campus for Grades 9-12 (Opening 2019), during the required parent Talk and Tour and student visit.

Click here to schedule

To learn more about the signature elements of the GCDS Upper School (Grades 9-12), curricular and co-curricular offerings, and renovations of the Stanwich Road campus please join us for a Fireside Chat with Dr. Chris Winters, Head of Upper School, on one of the dates below. The GCDS High School will open September 2019.

Tuesday, January 22 at 9:00 am
Tuesday, January 29 at 9:00 am
Tuesday, February 5 at 9:00 am
Tuesday, February 12 at 9:00 am

RSVP for a Fireside Chat


Please note that the application deadline of December 15 has passed. Please contact the Admissions Office before submitting an application or scheduling a Parent/ Guardian Talk and Tour to learn more about our second-round admissions process and space availability at each grade level.

The application deadline for the 2019-20 school year is December 15, 2018. The application should be completed online with the $75 application fee. Fee waivers are available for those families applying for financial assistance. Please call our office for details. Applications should be submitted prior to the scheduled date of the Parent Talk and Tour. Be sure to confirm the age requirements for your grade level of interest before submitting the application.

In addition to the application, students applying to Grades 6 and higher must submit a completed student questionnaire and a graded writing sample

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Schedule Parent/Guardian Talk and Tour

At this time, Parent Talk and Tour appointments are only available for applicants who met the December 15 application deadline.

The Talk and Tour is a required part of the application process for those families who do not currently have a child enrolled at GCDS. If you are a current GCDS parent, an additional tour and interview is not required but may be requested.

Parent Talk and Tours are offered Monday through Thursday from mid-September through January at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. Parent Talk and Tours are also offered on Fridays at 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Please allow approximately 90 minutes for your visit. At this time, you will speak with an Admissions Director and also have the opportunity to see spaces of interest on campus.

Please note: We want each family to have a productive, enjoyable visit to campus. If any member of your group may benefit from a specific accommodation, such as an interpreter, please notify the Admissions Office as soon as possible at (203) 863-5610.

Complete Testing

Entrance tests are one of many pieces of the application that we use to determine the most appropriate placement for each student.

Grades 3 and 4

  • All applicants for grades 3 and 4 are required to take the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) CTP 5 test.
    • CTP 5 Testing will be offered at GCDS on:
      • Saturday, November 10, 2018
      • Saturday, December 1, 2018
  • Please note:
    • The CTP 5 is administered at several participating independent schools in the Greenwich area. Families may register to test at any school serving as a test site and request that scores be sent to any of the participating schools. CTP 5 testing should be completed by January 15. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited at all test sites.
    • To register for the test, send the Common Admissions Testing Program registration form and $75 fee to the school where the testing will take place. Fee waivers are available for GCDS applicants who test at GCDS; contact the GCDS Admissions Office for additional information.

Grades 5–12

  • Students applying for grades 5-12 are required to take the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) or the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT). Applicants may take the ISEE or SSAT at any test site. To register, visit or When registering, please list GCDS as one of the schools to which your child is applying so that test results will be sent directly to us. Our ISEE school code is 071009. Our SSAT school code is 3580. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited at all test sites.
  • ISEE testing will be offered at GCDS on:
    • Saturday, December 1, 2018

Student Visits

We look forward to getting to know each applicant and giving students the chance to discover more about us and experience what it is like to be a GCDS Tiger. Each applicant will be invited to spend time with us on campus to meet and work with faculty and students. We will do everything we can to make your child feel welcome and comfortable.

  • Nursery through Kindergarten: Each applicant for Nursery, Prekindergarten, and Kindergarten participates in an admissions assessment in January. This assessment occurs in a group setting and is designed to evaluate a child’s readiness for our academic program. It is not a diagnostic assessment, but instead is an evaluation of developmental milestones that are appropriate for your child’s age.
  • Grades 1 through 3: Applicants will spend time during the academic day visiting classes and meeting individually with one of our learning specialists.
  • Grades 4 through 12: Applicants will spend time during the academic day visiting classes. Applicants for Grades 6 and higher will have an admissions interview during his or her student visit.


Current Teacher Recommendations help us better understand your child as a learner.

All recommendation forms should be sent directly to the GCDS Admissions Office by your child’s school no later than January 15.

Please note: If the applicant’s current school does not allow teachers or school officials to provide recommendations, please give the Extracurricular Recommendation Form to at least one individual who has worked with your child in an educational setting outside the classroom (eg. a sports coach, a religion teacher, or music instructor).

Nursery: If your child is currently enrolled in a preschool program, please have your child’s current classroom teacher or head of school complete the School Recommendation form. If your child is not currently enrolled in a formal preschool, please disregard this step.

Nursery School Recommendation Form

Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 5: A recommendation from the applicant’s current classroom teacher is required.

Recommendation Form for Pre-K & K
Recommendation Form for Grades 1-5
Extracurricular Recommendation Form

Grades 6-12: Recommendations from the applicant’s current English and mathematics teachers are required.

Math Teacher Recommendation Form
English Teacher Recommendation Form
Extracurricular Recommendation Form

School Records

Please sign the Report and Transcript Release Form and give it to the principal or director at your child’s current school. All official school records must be sent directly to the Admissions Office by your child’s current school no later than January 15.

Report and Transcript Release Form

Check Your Application Status

You may log into your online application at any time to check the status of your application items. The items we have received will be reflected on your checklist.


GCDS will notify families of admission decisions by mail in late February. We appreciate the time and attention that your family will devote to this process and your interest in GCDS. Our Admissions Team looks forward to working with you and your family as you make this important decision for your child.