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Last Chance to Register!

There are a few spots remaining in our summer camp programs that begin the week of June 17.

Upper School

Grades 9–12
The Upper School embodies our fundamental approach to education: gifted students should be given opportunities to explore their passions and engage in authentic work.

Advanced courses with expert teachers, engaging electives in a variety of fields, a four-year student research program, and the opportunity to curate a professional portfolio–these are the cornerstones of Grayson’s Upper School experience. We challenge students to tackle real problems, take risks, and persevere in the face of failure. Immersed in a rigorous yet supportive environment, Grayson students benefit from a close-knit community that loves to innovate and push academic limits.

Gifted high school classroom at The Grayson School

Academics

Whether they are conducting public policy research, studying quantum mechanics, translating ancient texts, or discussing the impact of philosophy on modern literature, our students are deeply engaged in their learning.

Gifted high school classroom at The Grayson School
Gifted high school classroom at The Grayson School
Our core courses in English, History, Mathematics, Lab Science, and World and Classical Languages provide an advanced academic experience with no curricular ceiling, preparing students for top undergraduate and graduate programs of study. Students also choose electives from among dozens of offerings including computer science and robotics, aerospace engineering, literature and composition, social sciences, art history, and a wide range of visual and performing arts classes.

Mathematics

Courses are offered at all levels, including for students who are ready for undergraduate- or graduate-level work. Above and beyond the standard progression, we also offer electives in set theory and cryptography. No gifted student ever “runs out of math” at Grayson!

English & History

Syntopicon is a two-year integrated approach to the humanities that blends history and literature, inspiring students to explore the roots of contemporary civilization. Students use primary source materials and engage in deep discussion and analysis, with a strong focus on developing high-level academic writing skills commensurate with these advanced topics.

Computer Science

Our program offers several courses roughly equivalent to undergraduate-level work and rigorously prepares students for independent project work and further study. Courses and electives such as Game Development, Data Structures & Algorithms, and Machine Learning allow students to explore current developments in the industry. This prepares them for a fast-paced and ever-changing technological landscape.

Laboratory Sciences

Grayson’s program integrates authentic practice across traditional core courses and electives. Students are challenged to hypothesize, test, and iterate ideas in courses that range from Bioengineering and Chemistry to Environmental Science and Calculus-Based Physics, including Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Quantum Physics. Advanced electives offer unique opportunities for students to pursue original research or explore Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Aerospace Engineering.

World and Classical Languages

Grayson offers a choice of six languages: German, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin, and Ancient Greek, as well as accepts proposals for independent study. Students master authentic communication and translation skills in their language of study, whether they are giving a persuasive speech in Mandarin, translating an ancient text from Latin, or discussing contemporary literature in Spanish.

Visual Arts

Students with a passion for the visual arts may choose from electives that allow them to build a comprehensive studio art portfolio or develop their talents through fine arts workshops that include digital art, illustration, and 3D printing.

Music

Upper School students have a choice of music electives that allow them to hone songwriting skills, score films, or explore advanced music theory and composition. They may join Gryphonix, our a cappella singing ensemble; instrumental and chorale ensembles; or audition for advanced chamber, jazz, and chorale ensembles.

 

Open Studio

Real World Products

As the Upper School expression of our Projects program, Open Studio gives gifted high school students extended blocks of time every day to puzzle through a question or problem they care about and fall deeply into their ideas. Working with faculty mentors, students create independent projects of their own design, developing their vision into a real-world product for an authentic audience.

In leading the execution of their project, they must learn how to manage their time and resources, construct a budget, deal with setbacks, and incorporate feedback from peers and teachers. They exhibit their final products in professional-level presentations. Students develop into scholars, researchers, and creators: they conduct experiments, produce working prototypes, apply for patents, start businesses, create original media, and found legacy projects.

Open Studio sparks students’ creativity, pushes them to make connections across disciplines, teaches them how to respond to failure, and gives them the tools and confidence to aim ever higher in their vision of what they can do and become. Our graduates are experienced, independent learners who are prepared for advanced scholarship in post-secondary education and beyond.

Building a Greener Future: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania

A National History Day award-winning documentary produced by two students who are passionate about environmental protection and restoration. They uncovered primary sources, interviewed experts, and navigated the intricacies of film editing using professional software.

Gifted science curriculum designed by students at high school for gifted children

Introduction to Genetic Engineering Summer Camp

A student developed a complex and rich curriculum including biology, genetic engineering, lab techniques, and scientific ethics. She led this 2-week summer camp program for underserved gifted middle school students after securing grant funding for materials and scholarships.

Seussical the musical set design at gifted high school in PA

Set design and construction for Seussical, Jr.

After researching productions of Seussical Jr. from all over the country, this student crafted whimsical sets for our Lower School production that were easy for students to move and use: circus cages for Circus McGurkus; a spinnable nest for Gertrude McFuzz; and, of course, a field of truffula trees!

College Counseling

Gifted students are out-of-the box thinkers, so Grayson does not reduce them to fit into one—whether that box is shaped like a number or letter grade or class rank. Our students apply to college with a Mastery Transcript: a portfolio of work unique to them that communicates the depth and rigor of their academic experience.

Curated by the students themselves working closely with teachers and advisors, the transcript includes two kinds of credits: Foundational Credits, which are fundamental skills and competencies required of all students; and Advanced Credits, which reflect areas where the student has chosen to invest more time and energy.

Evidence is attached to each credit, offering admissions officers authentic work products and creating a compelling, holistic portrait of each student’s intellectual capability, creativity, leadership, and engagement.

College counseling, planning and preparation are built into our program beginning in 8th grade, supporting students and families throughout the process of exploring and applying to colleges and universities. We work with students to help them describe their activities and craft essays that reflect their personalities, interests, and goals. Juniors have weekly meetings with the college counseling team to further refine their goals for life after Grayson, with ample time dedicated to planning not only for college but also for graduate school and career development.

Most importantly, our college counseling process helps students think carefully about their priorities and identify the audacious goals they want to pursue. We equip them for a smooth application process that pays particular attention to their social-emotional wellbeing during what many students experience as a high-pressure and stressful time.

Just like our students, no two transcripts will ever look alike.

The Grayson Mastery Credit Universe consists of 5 credit domains:

Scholarship

The ability to analyze and evaluate information

Design

The ability to plan and execute an idea

Communication

The ability to convey and interpret meaning

Creativity

The ability to draw on the imagination

Ethos

The ability to manifest ideals that transcend academic work

Extracurriculars

Our extracurricular offerings are diverse, ranging from the traditional to the truly specialized. At any given time, there are about 30 active organizations that provide leadership opportunities and foster a sense of community and friendship.

Beyond the Classroom

Grayson embraces the world as our classroom, incorporating regular field trips as opportunities for experiential learning—including trips to museums, cultural centers, and research laboratories.

Learning Excursions

Upper School students have the opportunity to travel to MIT programs and participate in excursions to New York or Philadelphia that relate to their studies. Through our annual international trip, they gain a better understanding of themselves, different cultures, and their communities.

Clubs

Grayson’s clubs change yearly because they are organized and led by students for students to reflect their interests and passions. Recent examples: Gryphons & Gryphlings (G2) mentorship program; Rainbow Club, for LGBTQ+ advocacy and allyship; and Venturing Club, for outdoor enthusiasts.

Student Leadership

Our Upper School students take on leadership roles in many school organizations including Grayson Gearbook Yearbook Committee; Community Service Committee; Grayson Astronomical Society; the Grayson Globe student newspaper; and Student Council.

Social Events

Students plan and participate in a variety of social activities including Prom, Fall bonfire, alumni events, Junior/Senior dinner, and Senior Fun Day.

Morning Options

Our Upper School program has a later start, but for those students who do arrive early, there are writing labs, academic workshops, musical ensembles, Mastery Transcript office hours, college planning, yoga and meditation, and more.

Academic Teams

Students may participate in VEX Robotics, Esports, Model UN, and World Language and Mathematics Competitions.

Athletics

Our growing high school program includes ultimate frisbee, soccer, archery, fencing, and cross country.

Musical Theater

From lead roles to the chorus, and from front of house to back of house, students take on every aspect of putting on a full-length musical. There is something for everyone, including choreography, costume design; lighting and sound; property and set design; marketing and promotion; and even assistant directing.

Community Service

Students are encouraged to participate in school-sponsored service opportunities as well as out-of-school service projects.

Upper School Faculty Member

“Grayson is a unique intellectual playground that takes full advantage of passionate, creative teachers who love to be able to collaborate, imagine, and invent new curriculum alongside students who engage fully and throw themselves into their work.”

— Upper School faculty member