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.
- 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 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?’”
“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.”
“We walk together down to the cafeteria for lunch and sit as a group.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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.
Homeroom with Advisor
Math with Mrs. Ortiz
French/Latin with Madame Evans
Physical Education with Mr. Adams
Science with Mrs. Klingman
Humanities with Mr. Reilly
Band with Mr. Buckelew
Shop with Ms. Hillmanno
Check-in with Advisor
Homeroom with Advisor
Algebra with Ms. Koerte
French with Mr. Marcuard
Science with Mr. Madani
Architecture with Ms. Hillmanno
History with Ms. Yakoby
Chorus with Mr. Beja
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.
Advisor/Advisee Check-in Time
English 9 with Ms. Latham
Physics with Mr. Lapinski
Biology with Ms. Maloney
Music Theory (minor) with Mr. Beja
Lunch/Debate Club Meeting
Sacred Traditions with Mr. Freedholm
Honors Algebra II with Ms. Lasevich