Upper School

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Students in the upper School engage in five academic majors each year: English, social sciences, mathematics, science and world language. Through engaging, student-centered teaching, each of the five majors includes innovative cross-curricular activities and integrates the latest technology into the classroom. Each department offers Advanced Placement courses and unique electives for students to pursue their academic interests. Upper School arts extend our creative, design and process-oriented approach to learning. 

Within a close-knit, nurturing school community, we provide opportunities for our students to learn responsibility, pursue their interests and become thoughtful, independent learners. Each student is equipped with tools and skills to succeed at a variety of college environments.  A few of our core tenets include:

Students are known and supported
A frequent description heard from our families is that our teachers, advisors, and staff know and support each one of our students.  Small class sizes, classroom settings that foster discussion, passionate teachers that challenge and mentor their students, and peers that enthusiastically encourage each other all contribute to this sentiment.
Students are well-counseled by their teachers, advisors, department chairs, school counselor, the Director of College Counseling, Dean of Faculty and the Dean of the Upper School in their academic and social pursuits.  Our emphasis on enhancing the student experience is a personalized process, from new student orientation to the intricacies of the college process.

Intellectual curiosity and learning
Our students learn advanced writing skills and become more globally aware through study of world languages and an internationally focused humanities curriculum. They use inquiry, laboratory settings, and real-world applications to further math and science skills.  Students take risks in visual and performing arts, and produce stunningly high-quality works of art.

Our teachers engage students through the use of essential questions and push students to contemplate and critically analyze the material being studied.

Extended teaching blocks of 90-minute classes twice weekly also promote a more in-depth approach in all of our disciplines.

Digital citizens
We have a 1:1 Bring Your Own Device program.  Our students and teachers utilize devices as tools to further the learning experience.  With applications such as Google Docs, our Upper Schoolers collaborate, communicate, and learn responsible use of technology through our proactive technology program and with emphasis on our Honorable Use Policy.
Learning beyond the classroom
Our students learn time management and how to take advantage of resources such as extra help from peer tutors and teachers outside of class.  They actively pursue their interests and explore new opportunities in community service, athletics, visual and performing arts, clubs and a variety of academic and interest-driven activities.   They learn and further their leadership skills in clubs such as TedEd and through peer leadership. Students develop an ethical and caring approach with participation in Community Service, design art and literary sources for our Mimesis publication, as well as participate in Math League, audition for a role in a theater production or play on a team.  


Curriculum Grades 9-12


Through the analysis of literary works, the craft of persuasive writing and practice of oral presentation, the English program seeks to provoke deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understandings within its students, as well as spark meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences. At the heart of all the English Department's activities is the conviction that reading, writing, speaking and listening demand a high degree of intellectual sophistication, emotional conviction and personal discipline, which we address in developmentally appropriate ways as students progress through the Upper School.

  • Freshman Seminar English - World Literature for Ninth Graders
  • Freshman Seminar English Honors - World Literature for Ninth Graders
  • English 10 - Creating the World
  • English 10 Honors - Creating the World
  • English 11
  • English 11 Honors
  • English 12
  • English 12 Honors  
  • AP English Language and Composition 
  • AP English Literature

Social Sciences

The purpose of the study of history and the social sciences is to help students understand themselves and their relationships to history and culture through an investigation of the varieties of the human experience. The curriculum emphasizes a world perspective, which asks students to appreciate the global connectedness that has existed for most of human history. The curriculum in the upper school provides opportunities to investigate many areas of this experience: intellectual, aesthetic, religious, philosophical, political, economic, social and psychological. 

  • Foundations in World History - Freshman Seminar in History/Freshman Seminar in History Honors
  • Modern World History (Grade 10)
  • United States History (Grade 11) 
  • Psychology​ (Grades 11 or 12)
  • AP U.S. History (Grade 11)
  • AP Macroeconomics (Grade 11 or 12)
  • AP U.S. Government and Politics
  • AP World History (Grade 10, 11, or 12)
  • AP European History (Grade 10, 11 or 12)
  • Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship Course Grades 
  • Business and Entrepreneurship II 


At Saddle River Day School, we teach students to embrace math and understand the importance of mathematical concepts in everyday life. We provide multiple levels of each course, allowing students to learn at their own pace and remain engaged in the classroom. All students are required to complete the following three courses of mathematics for graduation: Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Students continue their preparation for college through additional math offerings and electives. 

  • Algebra
  • Algebra I Honors
  • Geometry
  • Geometry Honors 
  • Algebra II
  • Algebra II Honors
  • Precalculus
  • Precalculus Honors
  • Financial Algebra 
  • Statistics
  • Statistics Honors
  • Calculus Honors
  • AP Statistics
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Calc AB/BC 


Our comprehensive laboratory courses provide a strong foundation in the sciences and prepare students for further scientific discoveries in college Biology and chemistry are required for graduation and physics is strongly recommended as the third lab science. All of our science courses make use of the most up-to-date equipment and technology to further inquiry so that students transition smoothly into college-level science classes. 

  • Biology  (Grade 9)
  • Biology Honors (Grade 9)
  • Chemistry (Grade 10)
  • Chemistry Honors (Grade 10)
  • Physics (Grades 11 or 12)
  • Physics Honors  (Grades 11 or 12)
  • Anatomy and Physiology Honors (Grades 11 or 12)
  • Forensic Science (Grades 11 or 12 - yearlong)
  • Environmental Science (Grades 11 or 12)
  • Engineering and Design (Grades 11 or 12 - trimester long or yearlong)
  • AP Biology (Grades 11 or 12 - not offered in 2019-2020 school year)
  • AP Chemistry (Grades 11 or 12)  
  • AP Physics C (Grades 11 or 12)
  • Computer Science I (yearlong)
  • Computer Science II (yearlong)
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles

World Language

We instill a love of language and an appreciation of different cultures in our students. By stressing listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, we encourage students to achieve an excellent level of communication at the end of their level three requirement in either Spanish, Latin or French. Exchange programs and trips abroad immerse students in a new culture and further enrich the language experience.

  • Spanish I-IV
  • Spanish II - IV Honors
  • AP Spanish Language
  • French I-III
  • French II - III Honors
  • AP French Language and Culture
  • Arabic I
  • Arabic II
  • Arabic III


We provide each student with the opportunity to experience the enrichment, fulfillment and joy that producing and experiencing art brings to life. Over the course of an SRDS education, each student will explore many types of artistic expression from studio to performance arts, and each student will be given the opportunity to excel in a chosen artistic discipline. Artistic expression is also furthered through interdisciplinary topics.

  • Orchestra (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Concert Choir (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Jazz Ensemble (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Guitar Ensemble (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Chamber Ensemble (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Rebel Tones Ensemble (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Acting (Grades 9 – 12)
  • Studio Art
  • Art Major
  • Portfolio Art Honors 
  • Graphic Design I (Grades 9-12)
  • Graphic Design II (Grades 9-12)
  • Graphic Design III (Grades 10-12)
  • Digital Photography
  • Videography I: Broadcast Journalism and Video Production I
  • Videography II: Multi Camera Studio Production
  • Videography III: Broadcast Journalism and Video Production advanced

Visit the Arts Page


Physical Education

At SRDS, ninth through twelfth grade students participate in a physical education program and/or competitive athletics. Both benefit their mental, emotional, physical and social competencies. Selected physical activities help each student find a pattern for living and an appreciation for sport, which will serve them well today and in their future.

Our Health course in grade 10 aims to expand our students' knowledge, understanding and ability to make personal decisions concerning their health.