Class of 2017

Upper School | Grades 9 - 12

Upper School Head:  Sara Rubinstein 
Assistant Head of Upper School:  John Horsington
DP Coordinator: Nancy Hsu 
MYP Coordinator:  Sabrina McCartney
School Day: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The upper school of Carrollwood Day School, opened in August 2006 with grades 9 and 10. We celebrated the graduation of our first senior class in 2009. Carrollwood Day School is recognized for excellence in academics and character education. The upper school continues this tradition, guided by the high academic standards and moral and performance character traits that are central to the International Baccalaureate programmes of study.

Upper school students enjoy the richness of opportunity that comes from being part of a small school with large school programs. With a maximum enrollment of only 400, each student is counted on to come out for a team, help plan and support events, get involved in service initiatives -- simply, be an active, involved member of the community. Academically, the same advantage exists.

International Baccalaureate

All students at the upper school participate in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) through 10th grade. Carrollwood Day School is the only school in the Tampa Bay area that offers the full five-year MYP programme. These final two years of the MYP emphasize analytical and critical thinking and are unequaled in preparing students with the attitudes and skills needed to succeed in the IB Diploma Programme (DP). In each subject area, students develop an ability to apply what they know and support their ideas through speaking and writing. In grade 10 students choose a subject that interests them most and create a personal project that connects academic subjects and areas of interaction. Successful completion of year 5 of the CDS  Middle Years Programme gains the student admission into the Diploma Programme. (Download the CDS IB DP Admission Policy.) While all students are encouraged to participate in the Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12, students can pursue the full IB Diploma or they can choose to be an IB Course candidate and receive certificates for each of their courses.


CDS upper school follows a block schedule that rotates on a two-day schedule ("A" day and "B" day). All core classes meet for 80 minutes each session. The extended periods provide time for more substantive classroom activities and discussions. Twice a week the upper school comes together for announcements, special programs and to meet for clubs. Grade level advisory groups meet four times a week, with two sessions a week dedicated to completing an SAT/ACT test prep program. At the end of each day is a “flex” period for clubs, study hall and individual help sessions.


Students have the choice of bringing a lunch from home or purchasing lunch at school. Beginning in August 2017, CDS will partner with Flik Independent School Dining Services to offer a varied menu of hot and cold, kid-friendly, nutritious lunches. 

Creating Traditions

The upper school at CDS is a young and growing program. This affords students the unique opportunity to be actively involved in the creation and expansion of activities and traditions. Students help plan special activities for the annual orientation program. Homecoming has grown to include an all-school pep rally, girls powder puff football and guys volleyball games and a homecoming dance. Each year, students initiate and gain support for meaningful community service events and are involved in forming and organizing new clubs.


The upper school is a 1 to 1 learning environment with each student owning a personal MacBook laptop. The upper school also has an iMac computer lab equipped with 21 Apple iMac 27″ computers that is designed for students to create and learn computer programming, mobile web development, photography and video production. Creating a digital classroom provides the opportunity for students to develop both academic skills and 21st century skills. This open access to technology expands the classroom beyond the four walls and engages students in authentic learning experiences that have a connection with the real world. According to The Digital Learning Environment: What the Research Tells Us, published by Apple Computer, Inc., “authentic learning moves students beyond memorization of facts by creating experiences that demand sustained, disciplined, and critical thinking on topics that have relevance to life beyond school.” The upper school campus is part of a school-wide filtered, wireless network.


At CDS, students gain a world class education. With a full academic curriculum enhanced by the opportunity of the International Baccalaureate, students follow a rigorous, university preparatory course of studies in an environment where they are personally known and well supported by their teachers. They are challenged to think critically and creatively, to be active learners who see beyond the facts to the big picture.

Please click here to see an overview of the courses offered for students in grades 9 – 12

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