Upper School


Upper School at Saddle River Day School is exciting, life-changing and challenging. It’s a time when forever friendships are made, talents are discovered, skills are honed and the groundwork for futures is laid. Students in grades 9–12 balance rigorous academics, extracurriculars and volunteer work as they evolve into capable leaders and compassionate adults.

Speak to any one of the students in our diverse, talented, engaging student body and each will have a slightly different narrative for their upper school years. But one variation on a theme will emerge for almost all of them: our students felt seen and known as individuals. Advisors work with students to build an academic track that pushes them to the highest levels of scholarship and inquiry while also supporting and validating their interests and passions.

Students have access to a robust selection of AP and Honors classes that prepare them for the demanding workload of college coursework.

Scholars may also choose to participate in our ground-breaking Gateway Honors Diploma program, which offers our most motivated students the chance for career-based exploration that includes research, field experience and an extensive portfolio of work that culminates in a final presentation to a panel of experts and academics from the SRDS community.

Saddle River Day School is renowned for tailoring enrichment and extracurricular activities to the unique talents and needs of our students. Programs like our equestrian and crew partnerships, our top-notch drama and theater productions, our academic and STEM clubs and teams and our competitive athletics department have been developed in response to the changing landscape of the educational experience at independent, college preparatory schools as well as to the varied interests of our student body.

All of this hard work is intended to culminate in a post-graduation path in which our students can continue the pursuit of knowledge they started with us. Our knowledgeable and empathetic college counseling team begin their work with 9th graders, starting with a series of self-discovery exercises aimed at clarifying their goals and intentions. This personalized planning continues through the 12th grade as our staff inspires and motivates each student to achieve their potential.

Finally, a word about community: A recent Saddle River Day School graduate noted that not only had she found friendships among her graduating class, but she had also built lasting relationships with students in other grades, as well as with many members of the faculty and administration. Small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio enable this familiarity, but it’s the collective character of our close-knit community that makes Saddle River Day School such a unique and special place.

We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful campus and sharing more information about our school and our programs. Please join us for one of our upcoming admissions events or call us to arrange a visit.

Dr. Shai Zacaraev, Head of Upper School

Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Upper School by the Numbers







There are advanced courses in artificial intelligence, global learning and entrepreneurship. With a curriculum so interactive and inquiry-based, your student will develop the skills they need for a successful future.

Explore Curriculum

Beginning in ninth grade, our program emphasizes college readiness, goal setting and planning.

We work closely with families to identify their skills and interests.

College Counseling

Students in the Upper School build dynamic transcripts and discover passions through clubs and activities like RoboRebels Robotics Club and Future Business Leaders of America.

Student Life

Our Gateway Honors Diploma Program gives students the opportunity to explore career-based interests, culminating in skillsets for both college and life success.

Gateway Diploma Program

Early Childhood
Pre-K 3 - K

Lower School
Grades 1-4

lower school

Middle School
Grades 5-8

Upper School
Grades 9-12