Explore Grades 4 - 6
What will my day be like?
School starts at 8:00 a.m., but most students arrive between 7:30 and 7:50. The morning is a good time to meet with teachers. In the Middle School, your schedule is based on your grade. Fourth and fifth graders have homerooms, while sixth graders have different teachers for each subject.
What classes and projects will I have?
Fourth and fifth graders take math, science, language arts, social studies, technology, and Spanish, as well as several arts and PE. In sixth grade, you continue those classes, but you get to choose between Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, or Latin as your world language and you start interscholastic sports.
There are all kinds of different projects. There are math projects like "Race for the Presidency" where you have to strategize how to spend funds as your team tries to beat the teacher. There are projects like the fourth grade Fiesta Mexicana that bring together social studies, art, music, and Spanish. In science, there are all kinds of cool experiments, and in sixth grade you build a whole working electricity project that lights up. Everyone gets comfortable writing and presenting their ideas in language arts, and if you like figuring things out, you'll really enjoy the engineering and coding projects in technology.
Where do I sit for lunch?
Lunch tables are assigned, and they change every month. Each table has one teacher sitting at it. Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders have lunch together at noon. All meals are served family style, which means that one person goes and gets the food from the kitchen, and then everyone passes it around, just like you would at home! There is also a salad bar, a yogurt bar, and a soup option at every lunch.
What sports can I play?
Fourth and fifth graders get to try most of the team sports—and climb the rock wall and swim in the pool! Sixth graders can choose between two or three sports for each season. When you get to the Upper School there are 16 different sports to choose from.
Sixth grade sports:
Can I do an art AND a sport?
Yes! Arts and sports happen at different times. In Middle School, everyone takes studio art, music technology, woodshop, computer graphics, and music—and you also have the option to take band, chorus, sewing, and piano. Arts are really popular at GCDS. It's a great way to get involved and be creative.
Are there field trips?
Yes! There are day trips to museums and the zoo, and beginning in fifth grade you go on an overnight trip to Gettysburg as part of studying the Civil War. In sixth grade, there is a fun trip to Camp Ashokan for three days of team-building adventures on high ropes courses and climbing walls, as well as marshmallows around the campfire.
Are there fun events?
There are TONS of fun events at GCDS! In the fall, there is Homecoming/Reunion Weekend. Everyone comes to campus and watches the dance team, and then walks around the school as part of the Walkathon, which is a big event to raise money for a charity. There is a big barbecue, a bake sale, and all the fall varsity teams have games!
Later in the year there is the Halloween parade, Middle School field day, the sixth grade dance, Spring Fair, Maker Space events, and the Art Show, as well as lots of great performances like the holiday concert, Middle School musical, and dance showcase. Lots of Middle School students have also joined JUT (Juggling and Unicycling Tigers) and get together before school and during recess to practice.
Who can I ask if I have questions?
Fifth graders have homeroom teachers they can go to for extra help, and sixth graders have advisors. Your advisor is a teacher who will be checking in with you throughout the year. You can always go to your advisor with questions, whether they’re about your grades, sports, arts, or anything else you need to get off your chest!
If you have any questions about your homework, teachers are always able to help you during study hall, and you can go to the Spanish lab, computer lab, and library.
How will I make new friends?
GCDS loves new faces! Between classes, sports teams, lunch, and advisory groups, you’ll make new friends in no time! There are a bunch of new students who join us in Middle School, and most new students forget they were new after a few weeks of school—they feel like they’ve always been here!