Upper School

Never be satisfied

The Upper School is the pinnacle of the PCDS educational experience. The Upper School offers students a balance of breadth and depth, with ample opportunities to pursue individual intellectual interests through a variety of course choices and independent research. Students are afforded opportunities and responsibilities, while supported by strong bonds with each other and their faculty.

Schedule & Advisory

A student-centered approach to learning

Course Catalogue

An array of engaging, challenging courses across disciplines

Signature Experiences

Time-honored traditions in
the Upper School

At a Glance


different Upper School courses


independent studies in Spring 2018


average Upper School class size


Lisa Culbertson

Head of Upper School

Ms. Culberston leads the Upper School, which she describes as a type of laboratory where students are given immense freedom to grow and make mistakes.

The incredible Upper School faculty stand nearby to catch anyone that falls, but not too close to prevent all stumbles. Allowing students to take on real responsibilities and risks, academically, athletically, and socially, in this safe environment prepares students for the next challenges they will face as young adults.  Ms. Culbertson appreciates the community’s dedication to students and the willingness to do what is best for kids and she is grateful for being able to work alongside individuals who care so passionately about children, who are unafraid to try, even if it rocks the boat.


Class of 2019

When he joined PCDS as a four year old in Pre-K, Jakob just wouldn’t stop moving.  And, now as an upperclassman, he is on the run still.

From the Chemistry lab to the basketball court to practicing his cello with Ms. Fleming, his days are always active and exciting.  He is captain of the PCDS varsity basketball team and loves the competition and camaraderie with his Eagles teammates.  “Playing at PCDS has taught me so much about leadership and how to handle adversity,” Jakob says.  “I try to be the rock of the group and try not to be fazed by a challenge.”  Jakob is, indeed, a solid member of the PCDS student body, and deftly balances his academics with sports, music, and leadership on campus.