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Upper School

The Upper School at Savannah Country Day School endeavors to create an environment where each student can find an area to shine.  While all students will benefit from our rigorous college preparatory curriculum, we don’t limit our pursuit of excellence to the classroom.  

The cornerstone of our Upper School experience is balance, and we strongly encourage students to find interests beyond the classroom to augment their academic experience. The typical Country Day upper school student is not only engaged in the classroom, but is also eager to make an impact on the playing fields, on the stage, in the art studio, or in the larger community. While we are preparing students to be successful in college and in life, we are also preparing them to be the sorts of citizens who will carry our region and nation forward.  Country Day students will be the leaders of the next generation, and by encouraging critical thinking, creative problem solving, and independence of thought, the Upper School helps to form these leaders.


2023-24 Upper School Course Catalog

Because of our size, which is small by design, students have lots of opportunities to participate and engage in all different aspects of school life. The size also allows our students and teachers to form close relationships with each other, fostering a sense of trust and encouragement in the different things they try."jonathan day, head of upper school

A Day in the Life: Upper School

Upper School At a Glance

359 students in the Upper School

Average class size of 15, student/teacher ratio 8:1

Of the 45 Upper School faculty members, 33 hold advanced degrees. The average teaching experience is 16 years

80% of Upper School students participate in athletics

A robust curriculum including Honors, Advanced Placement, and Advanced classes

Over 70% of students taking AP tests achieve 3+ scores

Seniors participate in off-campus research or career education project during the month of May

Upper School News

Emiline Baxter '24 Named Chatham County STAR Student

Congratulations to Emiline Baxter '24, the 2024 Chatham County STAR Student! Emiline earned the highest score on the SAT in a single sitting among all high school seniors in greater Savannah. She selected Upper School math teacher AJ Goldman as her STAR Teacher. Sponsored locally by the Kiwanis Club, the Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program honors Savannah's highest-achieving high school seniors and the teachers who have been most instrumental in their academic development. Emiline will now advance to the regional round in March. Congratulations to Emiline and Mr. Goldman

Mock Trial Advances

Congratulations to our Mock Trial teams on a fantastic showing on February 10 at the Chatham County Courthouse. Our gold team placed 2nd in the region and will advance to the district competition, which will be held on March 2 at the Chatham County Courthouse. The following students won individual awards: Jessica Elkin ‘24, outstanding attorney; Selene Zhao ‘24, outstanding attorney; Mollie Macfadyen ‘25, outstanding witness; Emily Moretz ‘26, outstanding witness; and Caroline Semones ‘26, outstanding witness. Well done, Hornets!

Faculty Explorations Finale

We wrapped up this year's Faculty Explorations with a fantastic presentation by Meg Haston, Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Life, on "The Stories We Tell" on February 7. As a licensed therapist and author of four young adult novels, Mrs. Haston provided a unique perspective on how and why our personal experiences color or influence the stories we create in our minds about others or ourselves.

Mrs. Haston shared an example of getting cut off on the highway by a car going 90 MPH. The stories we create in our heads about this person are likely not something along the lines of, "Oh, he must be rushing to the hospital—I hope he's ok!" Rather, you *might* be thinking something a bit more sinister. Mrs. Haston led us in a discussion and workshop about the psychology behind this thought process, and shared her own experience of creating and writing stories for publication.

If you missed this year's Faculty Explorations, we hope to see you back in the classroom next winter for the 2025 series! Thank you to David Elliott, Neil Gabbey, Laura Santander, and Meg Haston for another successful year!

Literary Savannah Field Trip

Literary Savannah students recently took a field trip to two sites made famous by their appearances in John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Mercer-Williams House and then to Clary's Cafe for pancakes!

Cleo Shelton '26 Wins 2024 Congressional Seminar Essay Contest

Congratulations to Cleo Shelton '26, winner of the 2024 Congressional Seminar Essay Contest sponsored by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Her 750-word essay on "Why did the nation's founders choose a government with separated powers rather than a parliamentary system?" earned her a trip to the NSCDA Congressional Seminar held in Washington DC, from June 24-28, 2024!

Curriculum, Advanced Classes, and Electives

The Upper School offers its students a wide array of co-curricular activities.  Virtually every teacher sponsors some club, activity, or sport. 

College Counseling

Working with students for all four years of Upper School, our College Counseling Office helps find the best fit for every student. 

Advisory & Class Deans

All Upper School students have faculty advisors assigned in the ninth grade. The groups stay together for four years, which allows students and faculty to create the kinds of bonds that can only be forged over time. 

Leadership, Clubs & Organizations

Students are encouraged to explore their talents and interests beyond their classroom experiences. 

Global Online Academy

GOA offers SCDS students the opportunity to learn alongside peers from around the world. GOA courses further enrich the Country Day experience by allowing students explore their passions with classes that are outside of the traditional course catalogue.

Social & Emotional Wellness

The Upper School Counseling program is tailored to address the unique needs of the Upper School student as he or she develops independence, a stronger sense of self and identity, and personal values and goals in preparation for life both in Upper School and after graduation