Welcome to Seattle Country Day School (SCDS), a school for gifted children, grades K–8. We are very glad you are visiting, and we imagine that you might have some questions about the school. Including:

Should my child go to a school for gifted children?  *  What is your school’s perspective on diversity?  *  Can my family afford an independent school?  *  Can you help my child become more social/make friends?  *  What is the school’s approach to learning?  *  Will your school be right for my child?

These are good questions, and our admissions team is here to help. Here’s a brief overview.

Recognizing gifted children. Gifted children are part of every community, race, and social class, but they sometimes go unrecognized. That is, in part, because giftedness can take a number of forms. For instance, a child might be logical, imaginative, verbal, and/or observant. They might enjoy tinkering, or they might be coasting along in their current class.

When we asked one of our colleagues, a psychologist who administers assessments for families interested in gifted programs, he noted that different professionals have different definitions of giftedness. In his experience, however, gifted children often display the following attributes: curiosity, intensity, a drive to learn, enjoyment in playing with ideas, and the ability to pull together concepts, make associations, recognize patterns, and note disparities.  

School admissions. Given that SCDS works with gifted children, the school requires that children take the WISC IQ test. Their score serves as a basic metric (but not the only metric) for admission. Read more about the admissions-application process and IQ testing

Our teaching ethos: anything but rote. Our classes are small, and our teachers are dedicated to their subjects and their students. What really sets our close-knit, welcoming campus apart, however, is our focus on guided inquiry-based learning. We want to challenge our students — to have them use their natural curiosity to keep them interested and focused. As a result, teachers shape their classes around series of questions that puzzle and stimulate students, rather than around rote learning and textbooks.

Academics and emotional intelligence. SCDS has a strong academic program — one based on inquiry and in-depth learning — as well as a vibrant arts and sports program. Importantly, we also focus on social and emotional learning and diversity, equity, and inclusion through a K–8 course called Synapse. We want our graduates to be lifelong learners, creative and empathetic problem-solvers who care about others and the world around them. 

A good community. Children learn and thrive at SCDS — and we want parents to thrive, too. The school has a strong Parent Council that brings adults together for social and educational activities. SCDS is also fully committed to increasing diversity and equity throughout our community, and we want our families to know that the school is here to help you succeed. Read more on the Just for Parents page.  

Learn More

You can learn more about the entire school by exploring the website. For a fuller picture of the admissions process, please take a moment to review this section of the website, which explains topics from financial aid to transportation. Or email the admissions team. We look forward to hearing from you!

Meet the Team

Upcoming Admissions Events

There are no events to display

Register for admissions events or email the admissions team with any questions or concerns!

Students and Identity at SCDS

Students consider — in Synapse and in other classes —
questions related to identity and belonging.


My family came to SCDS in search of a rigorous curriculum to keep our daughter engaged while challenging her to dig deep and think for herself. What we weren't expecting was the wonderful way in which learning alongside a peer group of like-minded students would amplify that experience. Anne, Current Parent