The DC Upper School provides a wide range of co-curricular programs that exemplify our core values. We offer activities in academics, the arts, athletics, and service/leadership. This variety draws almost 90% of our Upper School students to take part in an after-school activity during the school year.
Academic clubs highlight our core value of scholarship. They allow for deeper exploration of academic disciplines, and they provide an extra challenge for students who are eager to stretch and test their knowledge and understanding of various topics.
The chess club is open to all students from grades 6-12 who are interested in learning and improving their chess skills. Novices, intermediates, and advanced players are all welcome. The club meets in the library once a week from late October to early March from 3:15 to 4:30. Most of the learning takes place through playing, while instruction is primarily tailored to the student through rehashing game situations. In addition to holding informal tournaments within the club, the chess team also competes in the ACSI Mid-Atlantic regional tournament in Owings Mills, MD.
Hi-Q is an academic quiz team that competes against twenty area Delaware County schools, both private and public. Criteria for selection to the team include a personal interview and a faculty recommendation. Summer research and participation in Saturday morning practices (Sept. - March) are required. Spring try-outs are open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors; freshmen may try out via advisor's invitation only.
The Mathematics Club is open to honors or accelerated mathematics students in grades 9 through 12 who enjoy mathematics and are interested in improving their problem solving skills. Students will work individually, and in groups, on problems at many different levels of difficulty. Time will also be spent preparing for mathematics competitions. Club members will participate in the Pennsylvania Mathematics League, the local It's Mathematics League, and the American Mathematics Competition. The local meets are held after school 6 times during the school year.
Mock Trial is open to all students in grades 9-12 to introduce them to the American legal system, generally, and to the jury trial experience, in particular. Students study, under the supervision and guidance of practicing attorneys, a hypothetical case file, analyze the relevant legal and factual details, and work together to construct and present live jury trials as the attorneys and/or witnesses. Teams have the opportunity to compete in January and February against other high school teams from throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to qualify for district, regional, and state championship events. Mock trial helps students to develop skills in public speaking, acting, persuasive argument, spontaneity, critical thinking, and working with teammates to accomplish a major goal. Many colleges and universities also have mock trial teams, as do most law schools, so the skills developed in this course can be continued through the students' higher education, whether or not they pursue a legal career.
Robotics is open to all students in grades 9-12 to introduce them to concepts in applied mathematics, engineering, and computer programming. Students plan/design and build a robot, then program it to perform autonomous and user-controlled tasks. Students will compete against teams from across the state in challenges created by the Robotics Education Foundation and VEX Robotics. Teams have the opportunity to qualify for state and world championship events. Robotics helps students to develop skills in collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
This course produces the school's yearbook, Initium, and offers students numerous opportunities to grow in areas of writing, leadership, and service. Students are required to responsibly meet deadlines and utilize the principles of layout, interviewing, and copy writing. Considerable time outside of class will be required to prepare the yearbook for publication. Students will also attend an extended conference at Columbia University for further exposure to modern trends in publication.
DC’s Fine Arts programs are exceptionally strong, epitomizing our core value of excellence. Approximately 70% of the Upper School student body participates in arts activities. In the spring of 2018, the concert band was awarded a Superior rating at the Music in the Parks Festival at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. The band placed first in the Class A division and was named Best Overall Concert Band across all divisions. In a recent Christmas season, the Knight Tones won first place honors in the B101 regional choir competition, granting them the opportunity to perform at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. In the spring of 2015 at Festival Disney - a national choral competition in Orlando, Florida - both the concert choir and the Knight Tones ensemble were awarded Best of Class for Division A schools and the silver medal in the overall choral competition across all classes; and a DC student accompanist won the top award for class A schools.
- Upper School musical - almost 25% of the Upper School student body participates
- DC Players
- Concert Choir and Knight Tones (an auditioned ensemble)
- Chapel Committee
- Worship Team
- Tech Crew
Upper School athletics draws close to 80% of our students each year. This vibrant program enables students and teachers to connect outside of class in meaningful ways, it supports our philosophy of maintaining a sound body and mind, and it fosters teamwork and friendships. Our core values of excellence, community, and impact play out on a daily basis through these teams.
The Prefect Board is a group of seven students who participate in a robust internship program that supports the DC community and provides significant leadership experience. Prefects receive intense leadership training to correspond with the internship they will have with their respective department at DC (Development, Admissions, Student Life, International, Athletic, Arts, and various people for the Head Prefect). The internship begins in the spring semester of junior year and runs through the fall semester of the senior year.
Class boards are made up of four students at each grade level who organize various social and community-building events in conjunction with a faculty member serving as a class advisor. The application process to serve on the board includes essays, a speech, and peer voting.
The National Honor Society was established “to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools” (NHS Constitution). Membership is an honor conferred upon juniors and seniors by the DC faculty in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in the areas listed above. Students in the class of 2020 are required to have a GPA of 4.0 or better to be eligible to apply to NHS. Due to recent grading scale changes, students in the class of 2021 and subsequent classes will be required to have a GPA of 4.3 or higher.
The Multicultural Alliance (MCA) exists to promote a better understanding of and appreciation for cultural diversity through extracurricular events and programming. The objectives of MCA are: to promote meaningful dialogue concerning cultural diversity and to help the DC community become more skilled in these conversations; to educate the DC community on different cultures around the world; to promote community, particularly as a body of people united in Christ; and to emphasize the doctrine of imago Dei and the dignity and worth of each human being.
The Student Academic Advisory Council (SAAC) meets once a month with the Assistant Head of School (Academics) to discuss all things academic: courses, grading, homework, SLA/SAIL, effective teaching, service learning, biblical worldview teaching, the schedule, assignments, and educational technology, among other topics. SAAC members are asked to share insights, impressions, ideas, and perspectives on academic issues. Faculty recommend students for SAAC, based on the following criteria:
- are willing to speak up
- would take a positive, productive approach to discussing academic issues
- are thoughtful and reflective
- collectively, represent a range and diversity of learners and all four grade levels