Academics

US Class in the Arts Atrium
Families choose Princeton Day School for our faculty and curriculum, and for the level of achievement they see among our students, from confident five-year-olds delivering their first oral reports, to upper schoolers who consistently gain admission to the nation's most selective colleges and universities.

But academic quality is only half our story.

What makes our community special is the inclusion students experience because of our small size, our friendly informality and our tremendous sense of energy.

At Princeton Day School, demanding academics and a warm supportive community enable students to both excel — and thoroughly enjoy — the adventure of learning.

At A Glance

  • Approximately two-thirds of PDS teachers hold advanced degrees
  • PDS faculty members have more than 20 years of teaching experience.
  • Faculty/Student ratios in middle and upper schools is 1:8
  • Average Class Size is 15 students

A Day at PDS

Lower School

A day with Emily Gallagher’s first grade class offers a peek into Lower School life — carefully structured, highly varied, and full of interest and activity.

8:00-8:30 Class Meeting
“My whole class—16 children—sits on the rug together as we say good morning and talk about the day ahead. I write a message on the chart in the front connected to something we’ve been learning, such as, "Did you write a strong ending to your story?’”

8:30-9:15 Reading
“We start with a 10-minute mini-lesson, for instance focusing on how important it is when retelling a story to get the events in the right sequence. Then we practice the skill, working individually or in small groups as I circulate and help.”

9:15-10:00 Word Work
“This is the phonics component of our reading program. We might look at spelling or play Sight Word Bingo—anything connected with the more mechanical aspects of literacy.”

10:00-10:30 Snack and Recess
“We have our snack—today it was apples—and then go to the lower school playground.”

10:30-11:30 Writing Workshop
“Just as with reading, we start together with a mini-lesson, then work independently. In first grade we write about our own lives, whether we are writing stories or poetry. Now we are working on writing small moments with lots of detail.”

11:30-12:30 Lunch
“We walk together down to the cafeteria for lunch and sit as a group.”

12:00-1:00 Art
“The class goes to the art room once a week for an hour. We also do quite a lot of art here in the classroom, whether we are illustrating our stories or a concept from science.”

1:00-1:30 Science
“Twice a week the children go out to the science lab. Some of the things they are studying are simple machines, seeds, the decomposition of a pumpkin, and the hatching of chicks.”

1:30-2:30 Math
“Whether we’re learning about addition and subtraction, two and three dimensional geometry, or the number line, we involve the students in a variety of games that center around these concepts.”

2:30-3:00 Read Aloud
“As we read together, I model approaches the children can use in their independent reading. Right now, we are reading one of our favorite chapter books, My Father’s Dragon.”

Middle School 5th & 6th

Middle school balances structure with variety and choice as students gradually become more independent.

In fifth grade, students have a single teacher for math and science; in sixth grade, they have different teachers for these subjects. In both grades, another faculty member teaches Humanities, which combines English and history and sometimes meets in a double class period.

8:00-8:10
Homeroom with Advisor

8:10-9:00
Math with Mrs. Ortiz

9:05-9:50
French/Latin with Madame Evans

9:50-10:15
Recess

10:15-11:05
Physical Education with Mr. Adams

11:10-12:00
Science with Mrs. Klingman

12:00-12:35
Lunch

12:35-1:20
Humanities with Mr. Reilly

1:25-2:15
Band with Mr. Buckelew

2:20-3:10
Shop with Ms. Hillmanno

3:10-3:15
Check-in with Advisor

Middle School 7th & 8th

In seventh and eighth grade, students have different teachers for each subject and can either play a sport or take Physical Education. Eighth graders have a choice of electives in several subjects.

8:00-8:10
Homeroom with Advisor

8:10-9:00
Algebra with Ms. Koerte

9:05-9:50
French with Mr. Marcuard

9:50-10:15
Recess

10:15-11:05
Science with Mr. Madani

11:10-12:00
Architecture with Ms. Hillmanno

12:00-12:35
Lunch

12:35-1:20
History with Ms. Yakoby

1:25-2:15
Chorus with Mr. Beja

2:25-3:15
Sports

Upper School


Most students take five major subjects and one or two minors, although some choose the extra challenge of six majors. When you add sports, clubs, and community service, it makes for days that are full and exciting.

8:00-8:05
Advisor/Advisee Check-in Time

8:10-9:00
English 9 with Ms. Latham

9:05-9:55
Physics with Mr. Lapinski

10:00-10:50
Biology with Ms. Maloney

10:55-11:45
Community Council/Assembly

11:50-12:40
Music Theory (minor) with Mr. Beja

12:40-1:30
Lunch/Debate Club Meeting

1:30-2:20
Sacred Traditions with Mr. Freedholm

2:25-3:15
Honors Algebra II with Ms. Lasevich

3:30-5:30
Fencing Practice

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