12th Grade students work on a chemistry project.

Upper School

Grades 9-12 at a Glance

The upper school prepares students with a challenging education that requires them to think critically, communicate effectively and engage fully in their intellectual growth and personal development.

A well-rounded education offers students opportunities for advanced work that meets their strengths and interests. NSCD has a rigorous curriculum with a broad emphasis on liberal arts that prepares students for college. Each of our courses is taught at the highest level or what would be considered the honors level at many high schools; as such there are no separate designations for honors courses on our transcript. 

North Shore Country Day believes the high school years are critical to identity formation and developing one’s sense of self. We believe participation in academics, arts, athletics and co-curricular activities ensures all students leave our school prepared for college with an understanding of who they are, how they learn and their ability to succeed in this ever-changing world. 

Distinctive Programming

NSCD offers unique programming with an innovative emphasis on project-based learning, which fosters students' creativity and problem-solving abilities across disciplines.

Co-curricular Programming

Learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. NSCD has a variety of opportunities for students to expand their interests and pursue their passions.


Our athletics program helps students understand the integration between mind and body. Students are required to participate one season of athletics per year in grades 9-11. All ninth graders are also required to play on a fall athletic team, which helps with the transition into upper school.

Clubs and Affinity Groups

NSCD has over 28 student-led clubs and affinity groups. Club and affinity group times occur during the school day and offerings vary each year to meet the needs and interests of the students. Clubs include service club, Model United Nation, Student Council, Diller Street Journal (school newspaper) and more. 

Service Learning

In classes, teachers implement service learning, a practice that links classroom learning and service activities to empower students as ethical citizens. Other projects are student driven, taking place outside the classroom through student government, clubs and activities. 


During the four-year upper school experience, students are required to perform onstage for one production and on or offstage for a second production. Casting is selected by the director and students who wish to participate are given roles.

College Counseling

At North Shore Country Day, 100% of seniors who apply to four-year colleges and universities receive offers of admission. The 54 members of the Class of 2023 were admitted to 115 colleges and universities and enrolled in 43 of them—located in 20 states, Canada and the United Kingdom. The colleges range in size from as small as 1,000 to as large as 40,000. LEARN MORE

Upper School Stories: Ella Capozzi '23

Immerse yourself in Ella Capozzi '23's journey and see firsthand the transformative power of a North Shore Country Day education. Discover how NSCD prepared her for Syracuse University and beyond, igniting a passion for lifelong learning and growth.

Alumni Chats with Michael O. '23 & Jonathan Segal '15

Michael O. '23 sits down with Jonathan Segal '15 to talk about his journey after NSCD, creating his startup Zeno Power, and advice for this year's graduates. Don't miss out on this electrifying conversation.

Meet the Head of Upper School

Dave Potter has served as head of upper school at North Shore Country Day since 2005. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Bucknell University, M.S. in Educational Administration from Teachers College at Columbia University and Ph.D. in Physical Education with a focus on Educational Leadership and Management and Organizational Theory from The Ohio State University. Previously, he served as the assistant head at the Webb School in Tennessee, dean of students at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Virginia, and as area coordinator for residential life and director of housing at Carnegie Mellon University. He also taught history and coached at the Hun School in New Jersey.

Have more questions about Upper School? We are here to help!


First Name
Last Name

Dave Potter
Head of Upper School