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Upper School Curriculum

Upper School Curriculum

Upper school science continues the investigative approach started in lower school, requiring students to observe, measure, experiment, problem solve, and communicate. The curriculum encompasses environmental science, health, chemistry, physical science, earth science and biology.

The goal of the upper school math program is to give students a solid foundation in math concepts so they feel comfortable applying math to the world around them. Fifth and sixth grades reinforce topics introduced in lower school. Pre-algebra begins in seventh grade, leading to a full year of algebra study in eighth grade.

Our history/social studies program seeks to develop skills in analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and making connections. Students develop written and oral skills, learn to conduct historical research, and gain an appreciation of historic perspective as they explore the United States, South America and Asia.

A particular strength of Dutchess Day is its English program. Students read a variety of books as they strive to be critical thinkers and better understand the world through literature. Students become competent writers able to communicate feelings, thoughts, imagination and data on paper using the fundamentals of proper English grammar, mechanics, and spelling. Students learn to be critical readers able to successfully edit and revise their own work.

Dutchess Day offers three languages in upper school: French, Spanish, and Latin. Latin is required in sixth and seventh grades as the study of Latin, as well as the classics in general, helps students understand language and humanities and appreciate the influence that the classical world has had on virtually every aspect of modern life, particularly western culture. The French and Spanish programs (every student takes one or the other) seek to develop proficiency in the four major language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, while integrating cultural awareness.

In addition to classroom learning, DDS offers extra-curricular opportunities to further hone particular skills. Students research, analyze, gain perspective, and debate as part of the school’s model U.N. team. The robotics team competes with other middle schools after programming a Legotm vehicle to perform specific tasks. The ecology club volunteers in the community as they prepare for a biannual trip to Costa Rica while the Tiger Times staff develops reporting, journalistic, photographic and lay-out skills as they write, design, and edit the school’s newspaper. DDS upper school students are busy developing a broad range of skills while pursuing their own special interests and growing in areas of personal talent.