Upper School

Greetings and Welcome to the Upper School:

When I turned ten years old, my grandmother told me I had "...better get ready, because double-digits is when the fun really starts." My grandmother was right, and in the Upper School we create a fascinating, challenging, and rewarding world for our fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.

One reason that life becomes so fun in the double-digits is the development in cognitive abilities. Young people become more curious and better equipped to handle sophisticated academic work. At RCDS, we develop a foundation for this scholarship. We foster their communication skills. We encourage analysis and critical thinking, and we cultivate logical and creative approaches to problem solving. And we achieve these goals by addressing the needs of each student, so that every child is both challenged and nurtured.

Another reason why life is so fascinating is the abundant energy of fifth through eighth graders. We believe this energy is our greatest resource. It allows us to combine a traditional academic program with unique learning opportunities, such as yearly outdoor trips, experiential courses in many areas, and extra-curricular opportunities in athletics, service, and arts.

These programs do more than provide a robust scholastic experience. They address the final reason why life becomes so interesting when a child begins the fifth grade: social awareness. Over the next four years, that child's worldview will change in remarkable ways, and by eighth grade, that child will have become a young adult. Our culture fosters the dignity of every individual and focuses on the inherent worth of each stage in a young person's development. Being a sixth grader is much more than preparation for being a seventh grader; being a sixth grader is a rich and valuable experience in its own right.

At RCDS, we are not only preparing our children for success in secondary school and college. We are also helping our children to accomplishment in that moment, and we are starting them on a thoughtful, independent existence that extends beyond their school experience. My grandmother was right: ten years old is indeed when the fun starts, but it is only a start. We work hard to be the wonderful start to an enjoyable and rewarding life.

Bill Lamb, Head of the Upper School

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