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Welcome to San Domenico Upper School

Engaged Student and Teacher

Welcome and thank you for your interest in San Domenico Upper School! San Domenico was founded as California’s first independent school in 1850, the same year California became a state. Since then SD has been providing an exemplary education - 167 years strong. We have a great deal to be proud of.

Throughout our long history of progressive education, SD has never wavered in its commitment to our core values of Study, Reflection, Community and Service. In study, students learn to use their minds well, in reflection, they gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, in community, they acquire a strong sense of place and an understanding of the greater good, and in service, students achieve a civic-minded sense of purpose. Our Upper School program is stronger than ever.

Upper School Students with Teacher Outside

From freshman through senior year, SD students are engaged in a relevant and dynamic academic program that encourages and advances a genuine interest in learning. We appreciate our students both for who they are and who they will become, while challenging them to further develop as active learners. San Domenico provides a vibrant learning environment that fosters each student’s personal and intellectual growth.

Academic excellence is the foundation of a San Domenico education. Our students work with an outstanding faculty who take a strong interest in student-centered learning, provide high expectations, and balance daily interactions with an understanding of adolescence, both its challenges and its joyous experiences. A San Domenico education is a liberating experience as it opens doorways to new worlds, systems-thinking, and countless possibilities so our graduates can live fuller, more purposeful, and resourceful lives.

Upper School Digital Video Class

San Domenico has always been about academic excellence and a sense of purpose, and it is these two working in concert that intentionally leads to graduates who are confident, joyous, inquisitive, motivated, and self-aware. SD provides an intellectual journey that remains dynamic and purposeful, and relentlessly in search of the truth. The best way to get to know San Domenico is to come for a visit.

We hope to see you on campus soon!

Shape Your Future, in the Classroom and Beyond!

Upper School Classroom

Academic excellence is at the heart of a San Domenico education and we believe that your education doesn’t stop at the simple pursuit of facts and figures. What you as a student do with your education is as important as your academic performance.

The San Domenico curriculum emphasizes effort, resilience, persistence, and continuous growth so that we can better inspire and equip you for excellence in school and in life. In keeping with our core values of study, reflection, community and service, we encourage you to examine the interconnectedness between academic subjects and systems of knowledge to guide you in imagining and building a better world.

In small classes, with dedicated and knowledgeable faculty guiding your inquiry, you will study subjects in context, preparing you to both master foundational knowledge and challenge yourself to uncover your passions and move beyond your perceived limitations. Our extensive catalog of AP offerings gives you the opportunity to explore subjects in depth and at a college level.

Upper School Students & Faculty

Upper School Classroom

San Domenico's high school will have approximately 320 students for the 2018-19 academic year. 36% of our community identify as students of color. 40% of students receive financial aid. The class size averages 18. We have 97 full and part-time faculty members, many of whom hold advanced degrees. Learn more about our amazing Upper School faculty!

From their freshman through senior year, our students are immersed in a rigorous and relevant academic program that promotes and instills an authentic love of learning. We appreciate our students both for who they are and who they will become, while challenging them to further develop as learners. San Domenico provides a vibrant learning environment that fosters each student’s personal and intellectual growth.


At San Domenico classes often resemble a college seminar: students and teacher grappling with ideas, sparking new insights, caught up in the give and take of reasoned arguments. Rarely will you see a straight lecture; Information is presented with intentional methodology, utilizing a myriad of platforms to engage all learning styles. These are the pursuits that forge a mature intellect, and prepare young men and women for all the conversations that lie ahead. Small class size, use of the Harkness method, and encouraging teachers, allow every voice to be heard.

Click here to learn more about SD Upper School Curriculum.

Interested in learning more?


SD Upper School Facts

We Are SD

The SD Difference

Upper School Viewbook

All-School Viewbook

Curriculum Guide & Course Catalog

Recent Student Achievements

2017 - First Place National Shakespeare Competition in New York

2016 - First Place Clyde Childress Award

College Acceptances

Colgate University
Cornell University
Eckerd College
Harvard University
Juilliard School
Lehigh University
Loyola Marymount University
Manhattan College
Marlboro College
Mills College
Montana State University
New York University
Northeastern University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Rollins College
Syracuse University
Stanford University
UC Davis
UC San Diego
University of Washington
Whitman College
More college acceptances


Learn more about our amazing Upper School faculty!


We look forward to meeting your family and introducing you to our community! Tour our campus or participate in a student visit. Plan your visit

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