A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Upper School

This is your time.

Grades 9 through 12 at Rye Country Day School are a time for you to discover your passions, explore new opportunities, and pursue interests to depths unavailable elsewhere. At RCDS, you will think, create, and contribute every day in a community with people who will challenge you and, more importantly, support you.

Rye Country Day is not your typical high school experience.

At the core of our Upper School is a commitment to discovering each learner’s potential, and students routinely push the faculty to redefine and rethink perceived bounds of teenager capacity. When you visit the Upper School, you will find classes of diverse students engaging in discussion and debate; you will see students and teachers working one-on-one between classes to further their learning; and you will sense a community in which each student's educational journey happens in partnership with teachers and peers. 

Academically curious and capable students thrive in an atmosphere of challenge and support.

The RCDS Upper School is a place where students discover, develop, and refine their interests in remarkable ways. By design, the student body is large enough that the School is able to provide a broad range of opportunities, but small enough that the only limiting factor for student participation is time. Students do not have to choose which of their passions to pursue: they can be a varsity athlete and in the a capella group, they can be on the robotics team and direct a school play, they can be a sculptor and in Model UN, they can participate actively in service learning and machine learning. Further, students are not expected to discover their passion right away; to the contrary, we encourage learners to try as much as possible, and to take full advantage of the opportunities of the School.

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I created extremely strong friendships and bonds with my classmates that will last the rest of my life.

Young alumna

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The best thing that happened to me at RCDS was discovering what I am truly passionate about.


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We promise, if you take advantage of the opportunities at RCDS, you will find something that grabs you, something that makes you think: Wow. This is really for me.


Our Curriculum

To learn more about the Upper School curriculum, click on any of the sections below or read the complete Upper School Curriculum Guide.



Upper school principal

Peter Quagliaroli

Upper School Office Phone

By the numbers

Average class size: 15

50+ Upper School clubs

2 deans per grade

full-time College Counselors

Learning specialists

In a recent survey of young alumni, 97% say they were well prepared for college

Living Our Mission

Teachers are supported by the directors of each of the School’s strategic initiatives in integrating our school-wide values into the program at every level. This lays the foundation for a lifelong understanding of and commitment to our motto of Not for Self, but for Service.  


Health and Wellness in Action 

Students in Grade 9 and 10 take a Life Skills course, which is team taught by faculty members and Peer Leaders in Grades 11 and 12. Peer Leaders participate in extensive leadership training and are put into teaching teams with a faculty advisor. The teams are assigned a Life Skills class to teach throughout the year on topics ranging from nutrition, mindfulness strategies, healthy relationships, identity, gender and sexuality, mental health, tools for difficult conversations, body image, and drugs and alcohol.


Diversity & Inclusion in Action

Each year, Upper School student leaders gather with over 200 students and faculty members from local independent schools to participate in the annual Saturday Summit on Social Justice, a student-led event coordinated by RCDS Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ali Morgan and Masters School Director of Equity and Inclusion Karen Brown. The all-day event includes student-facilitated workshops and affinity groups about racism, classism, gender oppression, activism, and more. 


Public Purpose in Action

The Community Engagement Fellowship Program at Rye Country Day School enables RCDS Upper School students to partner with a community organization to develop and implement innovative, sustainable projects that address the needs of the organization. The Upper School students who are accepted as Community Engagement Fellows spend the summer completing their service projects at community partner organizations with funding provided by the RCDS community. 


Global Studies in Action

RCDS arranges two to three global experiences annually with the goal of giving every student the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of immersive and experiential global learning during their high school years. Recent global programs have included learning about environmental issues in Iceland, diving into the history of Classic languages in Sicily, and exploring border issues in El Paso, among others.


STEAM in Action

Students in Advanced Topics in Physics work throughout the year to prepare for the United States Invitational Young Physicists Tournament (USIYPT). The annual event is a physics research and debate tournament that provides high school students with the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and application of physics. Teams are evaluated by a team of judges, mainly physics professors and professionals, on their demonstrated understanding of the problem, as well as their ability to ask and answer questions. RCDS teams have been proud YPT winners three times.


Educational Technology in Action

In the Coding for a Cause course, RCDS student coders partner with community organizations to design and develop real-life applications that have a positive impact on others. One example of a Coding for a Cause project is building an online application to allow administrators at Caritas, a food bank in Port Chester, to easily track the number of meals served each day for planning and reporting purposes. 


Sustainability in Action 

Students in AP Environmental Biology collaborate through hands-on learning opportunities both on campus and off campus. They grow and harvest vegetables from campus gardens, visit sustainable farms, and create their own experiments to analyze data to understand the interrelationships of the natural world and identify and analyze environmental problems.