Explore Grades 7-9
What are the academics like in the Upper School?
There is a lot of variety in projects and assignments. You might be building cable cars in science to test out principles of Newtonian physics, head to an English class for a Harkness-style class discussion on poetry, re-enact a key WWII battle in history, and then kick off math class with a blazing fast algebra team challenge.
Classes are challenging but there's a lot of support if you have questions. Students find the writing lab, study lab, and math lab helpful--and teachers are great about meeting with you to answer questions.
What sports does GCDS offer?
Students in grades 7-9 can choose between 16 different sports options. Everyone plays sports and there's something for every level of interest. At GCDS, there's a big focus on participation, trying your best, and having fun as a team, but there's also a chance for serious athletes to play for coaches and teams that push them and help them prepare for playing at top levels in high school and college.
Are there trips?
Yes! At the beginning of the year, the eighth grade heads to Philly for 3 days, the ninth grade has a 4-day adventure in Washington, D.C., and the seventh grade tackles a team-building water challenge on Long Island Sound.
All students in grades 7-9 can go on the summer language trips to Spain (Spanish), Italy (Latin), and France (French). Students who study Mandarin, as well as all ninth grade students and their parents have the opportunity to travel to China during spring break. Though full of fun, these trips are designed to be cultural and language study experiences that give you a broader sense of the world.
Can I play a sport and take art?
Absolutely! Everyone participates in both sports and arts. The arts are popular at GCDS and a great way to be creative and get involved. There are 8 arts electives to choose from: chorus, band, piano, art, graphic design, music technology, woodshop, and sewing and design. Students can also participate in the after-school dance program.
Are there fun events?
There are tons of fun events. In the fall there is homecoming/reunion weekend. Everyone gets decked out in orange and black for spirit day and the bonfire, and then on Saturday everyone comes to campus for the Walkathon and to cheer on the varsity sports teams.
Throughout the year there are fun nights, casino night, dances, sports events like Pack The Rink and Hoops Night, bowling, spring fair, a seventh-grade high ropes course adventure, and after exams finish at the end of the year everyone goes to Rye Playland for an afternoon of fun.
Where do GCDS students go for high school?
From each graduating class, about half of the students go on to attend local day schools (both independent day schools and public schools) and the other half attend boarding schools throughout New England.
Throughout eighth and ninth grade, you and your family will be able to work with the Secondary School Advising Office to figure out what type of school best fits your interests. They will work closely with you to prepare for steps in the process, help you practice for school interviews, and be there to answer any questions you have.