GCDS High School
Opening September 2019

Reimagining High School

GCDS will set a new standard for excellence with an innovative, co-educational, college-preparatory program.

At GCDS High School:

  • Learning will spring from inquiry, the pursuit and application of deep content knowledge, and the challenge of solving complex problems with real world relevance and impact.
  • Core academics will be organized around the Humanities (English, History and Philosphy, World Languages, and Visual and Performing Arts) and STEM (Science, Math, Technology, Engineering, and Design).

  • Advanced coursework will be applied in real-world experiences:
    • Internships in sophomore, junior, and senior years
    • Annual four-week intercession for research, projects, and expeditionary experiences
    • Integrated Advisory and College Counseling Program
    • Exhibitions of student work to an audience of experts, peers, and community members
  • Vibrant co-curricular, arts, and athletic programs will be integral to the learning experience.
  • Students will reach their highest potential in a diverse learning community where:
    • Character and civic engagement are cultivated
    • Health and well-being are essential to success
    • Everyone is known and valued

GCDS High School will have grades 9 - 12 and 400-450 total students once fully enrolled: 100-115 per class year. For 2019-2020 school year, we anticipate approximately 175 students enrolled.


Early Summer 2018 Phase I Construction begins on new GCDS High School campus

September 2019 GCDS High School opens

September 2019 Stanwich students fully integrated into GCDS grades N-8 and GCDS High School

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Why Reimagine High School?

Education, from early childhood to secondary and advanced learning, is responding to fundamental shifts in the global economy, the accelerating pace of technology, and new research on learning and the brain.

Never have our uniquely human capacities been more important. We must prepare students to thrive personally and professionally in a world that is being reshaped by automation, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things.

As we design the GCDS High School, our aim is to help young people develop into leaders, citizens, and learners with the knowledge, mindsets, and skills that matter most.

At GCDS, we believe our learners must be ready to:

  • Think critically and creatively within and across disciplines and subject matter
  • Pose and pursue meaningful questions and solve complex problems
  • Work collaboratively in order to plan, manage, and produce high-quality work
  • Communicate with purpose, clarity and insight
  • Explore interests, build purpose, and persist through setbacks
  • Understand how they learn and know how to direct their own learning
  • Effectively integrate and provide feedback
  • Demonstrate the social, technological, and cultural literacies to collaborate with others in a global context
  • Value their own and others' physical and emotional well-being
  • Engage in their communities as empathetic and active citizens
  • Act with the highest standards of character and integrity

Expanding the Role of Great Education

Schools were not designed for this age. The role of a great education has expanded with the recognition that students cannot be prepared with content knowledge alone. Students today need the foundational knowledge and skills to learn continuously, to make connections across disciplines and domains, and to construct new knowledge. Most important, they will need the ability to collaborate and create across cultures and time zones - powered by the curiosity and flexible thinking that allows them to thrive in a world where change is constant.

It is helpful to see how quickly our needs are changing and how essential it is for our schools to respond thoughtfully and with urgency:

List of Top 10 skills in 2015 and 2020
Source: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

Preparing Students to Succeed

“OECD societies and economies have experienced a profound transformation from reliance on an industrial to a knowledge base. Global drivers increasingly bring to the fore what some call ‘21st century competences’. The quantity and quality of learning thus become central, with the accompanying concern that traditional educational approaches are insufficient.” - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2010 report

“We found widespread agreement that America's schools must shift focus dramatically in order to prepare all of our children to succeed in a fiercely competitive global economy and tackle the complex issues they will inherit.” - Hewlett Foundation, 2010

"Today’s employees need to think critically, solve problems, innovate, collaborate, and communicate more effectively—at every level within the organization. They must excel at the ‘four Cs’: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity." - American Management Association Critical Skills Survey, 2012

The Surprising Truth about Learning in Schools
Most Likely to Succeed

High School Planning & Design

Join us as we consider the most important questions, outcomes, and kinds of learning experiences.

Share your questions and ideas >>



Better Together: N-12

Announcement Letter