Upper School

Emerging from the lower school as active learners, students have a strong foundation of skills and a great enthusiasm for investigation, reading, learning, and discussion. In the upper school, students move from class to class, with a core of homeroom teachers and advisors overseeing their progress. Academic subjects include science, mathematics, social studies/history, English, foreign language (French, Spanish, Latin), computers, art, music, and physical education. Dutchess Day School emphasizes independent thinking and exploration, a strong academic foundation in the key disciplines, writing and speaking skills, social and community responsibility, and integrity. As in the lower school, projects and field trips augment classroom study and provide many opportunities for interdisciplinary learning. Fifth and sixth graders experience an in depth two year water study and marine biology curriculum which incorporate many field explorations and culminate in a week long environmental and biology field trip to Cape Cod. Seventh and eighth graders explore history and art in a week long trip to Washington, D.C. Historical landmarks in the Hudson Valley are excellent resources for students as they study American history. Local museums as well as the proximity to New York City provide rich opportunities for students to explore the arts. These learning adventures are exciting and highly anticipated traditions at Dutchess Day School.
“Dutchess Day School emphasizes independent thinking and exploration, a strong academic foundation in the key disciplines, writing and speaking skills, social and community responsibility, and integrity.”

Upper School Curriculum

List of 6 items.

  • Science

    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.
  • Math Program

    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.
  • History & Social Studies

    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.
  • English Program

    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.
  • Languages

    Dutchess Day offers three languages in upper school: French, Spanish, and Latin. Latin is required in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. 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 many aspects 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.
  • Co-Curricular Programs

    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 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.