Upper School

Upper School

The Upper School offers an exciting, Christ-centered academic program designed to prepare each student intellectually, physically, and spiritually for college and for life. With a diverse array of course offerings, a wireless campus, and each student equipped with a school-issued device, students have significant opportunities to explore their interests in a wide range of disciplines. In addition to academic pursuits, students are encouraged to participate in various activities spanning the arts, athletics, service, and clubs to become fully immersed in the community and develop their God-given talents.

Luke 2:52

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
At Calvary, upper school is a time when students have the opportunity to expand their interests with a wide variety of programs and activities.

Graduation Requirements

Calvary is a college preparatory school. Core curriculum requirements, leading to an academic seal diploma, are listed below. The Guidance Department assists students with course selection. 25 credits are required for graduation. The credit required for graduation are as follows:
• Biblical Studies - 2  • Foreign Language - 3 
• English - 4  • Physical Education - 1 
• Mathematics - 4  • Public Speaking - 0.5 
• Social Studies - 4  • Fine Arts - 1 
• Sciences - 4  • Academic Electives - 1.5 

Upper School Experience

List of 5 items.

  • Advisement/Small Group

    Each Calvary student is part of an advisement and small group, which is composed of students of the same grade and gender, which meets twice a week and serves as a student's home base. During this time, students will spend time in community with one another and build relationships with one another. Advisement time is focused around the academic development of students and college counseling activities, while small group time is centered around their personal and spiritual development.  
  • Clubs at CDS

    Clubs at Calvary are student-created and student-led and provide the entire student body with ways to get involved. Students are able to share current interests with peers and explore new hobbies and interests. Calvary supports over 20 clubs currently, and students are encouraged to create new clubs that will enhance the student experience for all.
  • Interim Term

    Interim Term is an important part of the CDS student experience and serves to develop well-rounded students whose learning extends well beyond the classroom walls. During this week, students have a number of options to explore interests, develop life skills, and travel domestically and abroad. 
    Students are able to investigate potential careers through internships at various businesses in the community.
    Travel opportunities for the 2023-24 academic year include:
    New York City
    San Diego/Los Angeles
    Dominican Republic - Mission Trip
    Multi-state College Tour
    Life Skills
    Students will learn about developing good financial habits, basic car maintenance, interview skills, and how to leverage social media for good.
  • Student Leadership

    Calvary´s goal for developing student leaders is to nurture and develop leaders who can live out Christian values with boldness and conviction in the CDS environment and beyond. The backbone of the Calvary student leadership program is the Prefect Program. Prefects are selected through a comprehensive interview process and are mentored by leaders among the faculty and staff so they are equipped to be authentic student leaders who shape the culture of the school and prepare them to lead in their adult lives. All upper school students are able to be a part of a Prefect Committee, enabling them to develop their leadership skills and be a part of a group that impacts the CDS campus.
  • Student Life

    School spirit is special at Calvary Day School, and the CDS Student Life leaders set the tone for the rest of the student body. A hallmark of the CDS student experience is homecoming week where students organize and plan an entire week's events ranging from Family Feud to Powder Puff Games to Class Games where all grades compete against one another to win the week. Student Life encompasses many other social events activities that bring students together outside of the normal school day to foster community and build relationships.

Upper School Staff

List of 10 members.

  • Photo of Doug Pesce

    Doug Pesce 

    Director of Educational Strategy & Programs
  • Photo of Jason Mehl

    Jason Mehl 

    Grade Level Dean and English Teacher
  • Photo of Ava Nelson

    Ava Nelson 

    Grade Level Dean and Math Teacher
  • Photo of Vincent Whelan

    Vincent Whelan 

    Grade Level Dean and Bible Teacher
  • Photo of Erin Chadwick

    Erin Chadwick 

    Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Taylor King

    Taylor King 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Daniel Jackson

    Daniel Jackson 

    Grade Level Dean, Asst. Athletic Director, Public Speaking Teacher,
  • Photo of Mikki Thomas

    Mikki Thomas 

    Upper School Counselor
  • Photo of Melissa Vermilyea

    Melissa Vermilyea 

    Assistant to Upper & Middle School Division Heads
  • Kelly Smoltz 

    Counseling Department