Upper School

Support SRDS - Ways to Give Top Banner Image

Students in the Upper School study a wide range of integrated topics grounded in our five academic majors – English, social studies, mathematics, science and world language. They engage in innovative cross-curricular activities, focused Advanced Placement courses, and specialized electives that allow them to pursue their unique individual academic interests. In collaboration with our academic majors, an expansive Arts program and the latest video, graphics, and design technology combine to enhance student creativity and the design thinking that is essential to the SRDS core model for learning.

A safe and nurturing school community provides opportunities for our students to learn responsibility, pursue their individual interests, and become thoughtful, independent citizens. Each student graduates with the tools and skills to succeed within a variety of college and real-world 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.
With guidance from their teachers, advisors, department chairs, school counselor, the Director of College Counseling, Dean of Academics, and the Dean of the Upper School, students are encouraged to discover their unique paths and become their best selves. We emphasize enhancing the student experience through a personalized process that starts with the new student orientation and continues all the way through the intricacies of the college admissions process. Upper School students feel supported when they are with us and prepared when they leave us.

Intellectual curiosity and learning.
Integrated technologies, interdisciplinary instruction, and extended teaching blocks allow students the opportunity to explore deep questions and develop the intellectual curiosity essential for lifelong learning in the 21st century. Our students become conscientious and effective citizens through the study of world languages and a global humanities curriculum. They use problem-based learning, laboratory settings, and real-world applications to advance math and science understanding while enhancing their written and oral communication skills.  Students take risks in visual and performing arts, and produce stunningly high-quality works of personal expression. Teachers of all disciplines engage students through the use of essential questions – pushing learners to contemplate and critically analyze the world around them. 

Digital citizens.
We have a 1:1 Bring Your Own Device program and our students utilize their devices as tools to further their own unique learning experiences.  Through our proactive technology program and applications such as Google Docs, Upper School students collaborate, communicate, and learn responsible use of technology.
Learning beyond the classroom.
Our students actively pursue their personal interests and explore new opportunities in community service, athletics, visual and performing arts, clubs, and a variety of co-curricular activities that take them beyond the borders of our campus. Students reach beyond their comfort zones and further their leadership skills by participating in special activities, such as TEDx, Math League, and Mini-course Week, accessing the expertise of content specialists and industry leaders beyond their classrooms. One of the best parts of learning at Saddle River Day School is that the learning never stops at Saddle River Day School.

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.