Upper School
Grades 9 - 12

A 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.

peru trip
dance showcase
biology
service learning
football
robotics
math
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

By the end of your junior 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.

Grade 9

Grade 9 Courses

Note: All core academic courses are offered for honors designation.

STEM

Science

Biology
Advanced Research and Design (open to 9th graders as a second science course by approval)

Technology & Engineering

Course Offerings: e.g., Computer Science Principles; Principles of Engineering; Robotics; Flight Engineering, Drones, and Rocketry; Cybersecurity; Mobile App Design; Blockchain & FinTech; Business Technology; Machine Learning & AI; Data Science; Video Game Design; Ethics & Technology

Mathematics

Core Courses: e.g., Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Pre-Calculus; Calculus I; Calculus II; Probability and Statistics; Multivariable Calculus; Linear Algebra
Additional Course Offerings: e.g., Mathematical Literacy in the Real World; Mathematics of Games


Humanities

English

English 9: Engaging with Identity and Community

History

History 9: Global History

World Languages

Course offerings: e.g., Spanish I - V; French I - V; Latin I - V; Greek I - V; Mandarin I - V; Survey of Latin American and Spanish Readings; Contemporary Francophone Cultural and Social Issues; Nero's Literary Enemies

Performing & Visual Arts

Course Offerings: e.g., Drawing & Painting; Ceramics; Architecture; 3D Design; Art & Fabrication; Fine Art Photography; Graphic Design; Printmaking; Art History; Drama; Comedy & Improve; Musical Theatre; Acting for the Camera; Theatrical Design & Stagecraft; Foundations in Music Theory; Music History; Electronic Music; Advanced Vocal Seminar; Concert Choir; A capella Ensemble; Concert Band; String Ensemble; Dance

Grade 10

Grade 10 Courses

Note: All core academic courses are offered for honors designation.

STEM

Science

Chemistry
Advanced Research and Design (open to 10th graders as a second science course by approval)

Technology & Engineering

Course Offerings: e.g., Computer Science Principles; Principles of Engineering; Robotics; Flight Engineering, Drones, and Rocketry; Cybersecurity; Mobile App Design; Blockchain & FinTech; Business Technology; Machine Learning & AI; Data Science; Video Game Design; Ethics & Technology

Mathematics

Core Courses: e.g., Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Pre-Calculus; Calculus I; Calculus II; Probability and Statistics; Multivariable Calculus; Linear Algebra
Additional Course Offerings: e.g., Mathematical Literacy in the Real World; Mathematics of Games


Humanities

English

English 10: Reading the American Experience

History

History 10: United States & Its Role in the World
Advanced Social Sciences Research (open to 10th graders as a second history course by approval)

World Languages

Course offerings: e.g., Spanish I - V; French I - V; Latin I - V; Greek I - V; Mandarin I - V; Survey of Latin American and Spanish Readings; Contemporary Francophone Cultural and Social Issues; Nero's Literary Enemies

Performing & Visual Arts

Course Offerings: e.g., Drawing & Painting; Ceramics; Architecture; 3D Design; Art & Fabrication; Fine Art Photography; Graphic Design; Printmaking; Art History; Drama; Comedy & Improve; Musical Theatre; Acting for the Camera; Theatrical Design & Stagecraft; Foundations in Music Theory; Music History; Electronic Music; Advanced Vocal Seminar; Concert Choir; A capella Ensemble; Concert Band; String Ensemble; Dance

Grade 11

Grade 11 Courses

Note: All core academic courses are offered for honors designation.

STEM

Science

Course Offerings: e.g., Physics; Environmental Science; Marine Biology; Advanced Biology; Advanced Chemistry; Advanced Physics; Advanced Research and Design

Technology & Engineering

Course Offerings: e.g., Computer Science Principles; Principles of Engineering; Robotics; Flight Engineering, Drones, and Rocketry; Cybersecurity; Mobile App Design; Blockchain & FinTech; Business Technology; Machine Learning & AI; Data Science; Video Game Design; Ethics & Technology

Mathematics

Core Courses: e.g., Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Pre-Calculus; Calculus I; Calculus II; Probability and Statistics; Multivariable Calculus; Linear Algebra
Additional Course Offerings: e.g., Mathematical Literacy in the Real World; Mathematics of Games


Humanities

English

Course Offerings: e.g., American Literature; Poetry; Shakespeare; Modern Global Literature; Creative Writing; Literature & Law; Advanced Seminar in Literature

History

Course Offerings: e.g., Agency & Liberty; Introduction to Economics; Modern History; World Religions; Psychology; Principles of Business Management; Journalism; Advanced Social Sciences Research

World Languages

Course offerings: e.g., Spanish I - V; French I - V; Latin I - V; Greek I - V; Mandarin I - V; Survey of Latin American and Spanish Readings; Contemporary Francophone Cultural and Social Issues; Nero's Literary Enemies

Performing & Visual Arts

Course Offerings: e.g., Drawing & Painting; Ceramics; Architecture; 3D Design; Art & Fabrication; Fine Art Photography; Graphic Design; Printmaking; Art History; Drama; Comedy & Improve; Musical Theatre; Acting for the Camera; Theatrical Design & Stagecraft; Foundations in Music Theory; Music History; Electronic Music; Advanced Vocal Seminar; Concert Choir; A capella Ensemble; Concert Band; String Ensemble; Dance

Grade 12

Grade 12 Courses

Note: All core academic courses are offered for honors designation.

STEM

Science

Course Offerings: e.g., Physics; Environmental Science; Marine Biology; Advanced Biology; Advanced Chemistry; Advanced Physics; Advanced Research and Design

Technology & Engineering

Course Offerings: e.g., Computer Science Principles; Principles of Engineering; Robotics; Flight Engineering, Drones, and Rocketry; Cybersecurity; Mobile App Design; Blockchain & FinTech; Business Technology; Machine Learning & AI; Data Science; Video Game Design; Ethics & Technology

Mathematics

Core Courses: e.g., Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Pre-Calculus; Calculus I; Calculus II; Probability and Statistics; Multivariable Calculus; Linear Algebra
Additional Course Offerings: e.g., Mathematical Literacy in the Real World; Mathematics of Games


Humanities

English

Course Offerings: e.g., American Literature; Poetry; Shakespeare; Modern Global Literature; Creative Writing; Literature & Law; Advanced Seminar in Literature

History

Course Offerings: e.g., Agency & Liberty; Introduction to Economics; Modern History; World Religions; Psychology; Principles of Business Management; Journalism; Advanced Social Sciences Research

World Languages

Course offerings: e.g., Spanish I - V; French I - V; Latin I - V; Greek I - V; Mandarin I - V; Survey of Latin American and Spanish Readings; Contemporary Francophone Cultural and Social Issues; Nero's Literary Enemies

Performing & Visual Arts

Course Offerings: e.g., Drawing & Painting; Ceramics; Architecture; 3D Design; Art & Fabrication; Fine Art Photography; Graphic Design; Printmaking; Art History; Drama; Comedy & Improve; Musical Theatre; Acting for the Camera; Theatrical Design & Stagecraft; Foundations in Music Theory; Music History; Electronic Music; Advanced Vocal Seminar; Concert Choir; A capella Ensemble; Concert Band; String Ensemble; Dance

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!

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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.

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