How to Apply - The Admission Process

Learn more about GCDS!

If you are still in the process of considering GCDS and just want to learn a bit more before applying, we invite you to join us for an optional group tour on Old Church Road (Nursery-Grade 8) or on Stanwich Road (Grades 9-11). The group tour provides a general overview of Country Day, and it is a great way to get a feel for campus life, see students and teachers in action, and learn more about our signature programs and the admission process. The group tour is helpful, but not required. All GCDS applicants and their parents will have the opportunity to spend time on campus during the required visit process. 

Nursery - Grade 8 (Old Church Road)

Group tours are offered most Thursdays at 9:00 a.m. at 401 Old Church Road. Tours are led by a current parent and focus on the Nursery through Grade 8 experience. Group tours on Old Church Road are only for parents. Please allow approximately 90 minutes for your tour.

Schedule my group tour

Grades 9 - 11 (Stanwich Road)

Group tours are offered most Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. at our high school campus located at 257 Stanwich Road. Tours are led by the Admission Office and a member of the Upper School Leadership Team. Parents and students are invited to attend the group tours on our Stanwich Road campus. Please allow approximately 60 minutes for your tour.

Schedule my group tour



Follow these steps to get started!

Submit your Application

Applying to Nursery or Pre-Kindergarten:
Submit your application and request the required teacher recommendation through the GCDS Admission Portal. If you have previously applied to GCDS, please use the same username and password associated with your previous GCDS online application. Applications to Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten may not be submitted through the SAO. Be sure to confirm the GCDS age requirements for your grade level of interest before starting your application.

Note: If you also have a child applying to GCDS for Kindergarten-Grade 11, you will apply through the SAO. Please make sure that the parent or guardian listed first, and their associated email address, is the same on your SAO and GCDS Portal applications.

Applying to Kindergarten - Grade 11:
As a member of the Fairchester Independent School Group, Greenwich Country Day School uses a Common Application through SSAT’s Standard Application Online (SAO). The SAO is paperless, better for the environment, and allows families to apply to several area independent schools using a single application. Be sure to confirm the GCDS age requirements for your grade level of interest before starting your SAO application.

A few notes to get you started with the SAO:

Click here to begin your SAO application. If you already have an account, sign-in using your existing username and password.

Complete the Student Profile (family and student biographical information) and submit the $75 non-refundable fee by December 15. If you are applying for financial aid, please contact the Admission Office for a fee waiver.

Submit the Parent Statement and/or Parent Evaluation (Grades PK-5) no later than December 15 and prior to your scheduled Parent/Guardian Talk and Tour and/or student visit/interview.

You may return to your application at any time to complete the Student Essay (Grades 9-11) and to request recommendations and official school reports and records. These required supplemental forms are due January 15.

If you have additional questions about completing your SAO application, please refer to the Standard Application FAQs or contact the GCDS Admission Office. For technical assistance completing your SAO, please contact the SAO Family Hotline at (609) 683-4440.

Schedule Parent/Guardian Talk and Tour

The Talk and Tour is a required part of the application process for those parents/guardians who do not currently have a child enrolled at GCDS. If you are a current GCDS family, an additional tour and interview is not required but may be requested. We encourage you to schedule your appointment as soon as possible as appointments fill up quickly.

Parent Talk and Tours are offered Monday through Thursday from mid-September through January at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. Please allow approximately 90 minutes for your visit. At this time, you will meet with an Admission Director and also have the opportunity to see classes in action, explore the campus, and ask any questions that you may have. Because our Nursery program ends at noon each day, we encourage parents of nursery applicants to schedule their Parent/Guardian Talk and Tour during one of the morning time slots.

Students applying to Grade 7 or higher should plan to attend the Talk and Tour with their parents/guardians. Students will have the required student interview at this time as well.

Please note: We want each family to have a productive and enjoyable visit to campus. If any member of your group may benefit from a specific accommodation, such as an interpreter, please notify the Admission 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 two sections of the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) CTP 5 test.

  • CTP 5 Testing will be offered at GCDS on the Old Church Road campus on:
    • Saturday, November 9, 2019
    • Saturday, December 7, 2019
  • 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, download and send the Common Admissions Testing and 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 Admission Office for additional information.

Grades 5–11

  • Students applying for grades 5-11 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 7, 2019

Student Visits

Getting to know students, and allowing students to get to know us, is an important part of the admission process. That’s why every applicant has a chance to spend time with us on campus. Knowing what to expect during the visit is helpful, as it allows students to better enjoy their time visiting GCDS. Please read below for details about the student visit experience for each grade level.

  • Nursery through Kindergarten: Each applicant for Nursery, Prekindergarten, and Kindergarten participates in an admission assessment in January. This assessment occurs in a small group setting and is designed to evaluate a child’s readiness for our academic program. It is not a diagnostic assessment. It is an evaluation of developmental milestones that are appropriate for your child’s age. The Admission Office will contact each family to schedule the visit.
  • Grades 1 through 3: Applicants will spend the morning with us visiting classes, interacting with students and teachers, and meeting individually with one of our learning specialists. The Admission Office will contact each family to schedule the visit.
  • Grades 4 through 6: Applicants will spend the morning with us visiting classes and interacting with students and teachers. Applicants for Grade 6 will have an admission interview during the student visit. The Admission Office will contact each family to schedule the visit.
  • Grades 7 through 11: Applicants will have an admission interview and take a tour of the campus with their parents/guardians during the scheduled Talk and Tour. Please select the appropriate Talk and Tour to schedule your family’s official interview and campus tour.


Current Teacher Recommendations help us better understand each child as a learner and as a community member. The SAO makes it easy for parents to email a request for the required recommendation form(s) and school records directly to the appropriate adults and school officials. We suggest that parents initiate requests for recommendations and school records through SAO after November 1. The deadline to receive Teacher Recommendations and School Records is January 15.

Please note: If the applicant’s current school does not allow teachers or school officials to provide recommendations, please send a request through SAO for a Personal Recommendation to one individual who has worked with your child in an educational setting outside the classroom (e.g., a sports coach, a religion teacher, or music instructor).

Teacher Recommendation
If your child is not currently enrolled in a formal preschool, please let us know and disregard this step.

Kindergarten-Grade 1:
Student Evaluation (Grades PK-1)
Official School Reports and Transcripts
Principal/Guidance Counselor Recommendation

Grades 2-5:
Student Evaluation (Grades 2-5)
Official School Reports and Transcripts
Principal/Guidance Counselor Recommendation

Grades 6-11:
English Teacher Recommendation
Math Teacher Recommendation
Official School Reports and Transcripts
Principal/Guidance Counselor Recommendation

Additional Requirements

Students applying to Grades 9-11 should upload a piece of written work submitted during the 2019-20 academic year. The writing sample does not have to be graded.

In addition, although not required, we welcome the submission of any creative work you believe represents your academic or extra-curricular interests. Students can upload multimedia submissions through their GCDS SAO application.

Check Your Application Status

Login to the GCDS Admission Portal (N-PK) or the SAO (K-11) to monitor the status of your application and supplemental forms. 


GCDS will notify families of admission decisions 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.


Request Information

Nursery & Pre-K

Nursery & Pre-K Application

Kindergarten - Grade 11