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Upper School

Group of upper school students, boys and girls posing for a photo with arms around each other. 

The RCDS Upper School Program prepares students in 5th–8th Grade  for success in secondary school – and beyond – by developing lifelong skills through sophisticated academics that emphasize problem solving, communication and organization.

Welcome to the Upper School, where we create an engaging, challenging, and rewarding world for our fifth through eighth graders. In these grades young people become more curious and better equipped to handle sophisticated academic work. We develop a foundation for this scholarship. We foster communication skills, encouraging analysis and critical thinking, and cultivate logical and creative approaches to problem solving. We achieve these goals by addressing the needs of each student, so that every child is both challenged and nurtured.


Over these four years, a 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 accomplish in the moment, and we are starting them on a thoughtful, independent journey that extends beyond their school experience.

Bill Lamb Headshot.
"We are helping our children to accomplish in the moment, and we are starting them on a thoughtful, independent journey that extends beyond their school experience."

– Bill Lamb
Head of Upper School

Below is a sample schedule of what a day in the life of an RCDS Upper School student could look like. 

A sample schedule of a day in the life of an Upper School student. 
Upper school girl student smiling in class with a pencil in her hand.

What do we learn?

Skills

Self Advocacy

Curiosity

Organization

Public Speaking

Creativity

Resilience

Collaboration

Time Management

Listening

Reading

Writing

Problem Solving

Empathy

Imagination

Presentation