Recognizing Excellence

Academics at RCDS are demanding.

They are also stimulating, inventive, exciting, and fun. The pillars of a classic education - critical thinking skills and a broad knowledge base - coexist with contemporary themes and teaching methods.

RCDS has three divisions, each focused on the different cognitive and emotional needs of students as they progress from early childhood to pre-adulthood.

The Lower School offers a nurturing environment that focuses on citizenship skills; the Middle School is structured to be responsive to students in a transitional time; and the Upper School models an intense but affirming environment that prepares students to achieve excellence at the college level. Each RCDS student gradually and surely achieves ever-evolving levels of sophistication in a given subject as he or she progresses through the School’s three divisions.

Curriculum Guides

The School’s pedagogy is defined by its commitment to excellence.

Curriculum mapping is used to connect disciplines and skills across grade levels and all three divisions. A writing program takes all of our students through a consistent, targeted method that is designed to challenge and deepen their command of expository, analytical, and descriptive writing at all age levels.

Interdisciplinary teaching helps students deepen these connections.

When Lower School students study a particular animal, they learn about its habitat in science class, study its country of origin in geography, and make papier-mâché representations in art class. When Middle School students read Chasing Vermeer in Language Arts class, they also complete a visual arts unit on portraits. When students become seniors in the Upper School, they are required to take Senior Seminar, which examines the links between world cultures from social, political, economic, and artistic perspectives.

The practical uses of technology in all divisions make both teaching and learning more effective.

An iPad program in the Lower School, a laptop program in Grades 7-12, SmartBoards in the classrooms, and a campus-wide wireless network are evidence of the School's commitment to the full integration of technology in the classroom.

RCDS Portrait of a Graduate

Students emerge from RCDS with strength of character, ready to engage in continuous learning, to show kindness and empathy, to adapt and thrive within a changing global context, to contribute meaningfully to their communities large and small, and to find joy and fulfillment in life. Experiences that promote these outcomes are woven throughout the program with increasing complexity and expectations. Read more about the RCDS Portrait of a Graduate:

Portrait in Action

Academic Excellence