A Comfortable Place to Grow
Our middle school is a vibrant place. At this stage students have the ability to make impressive academic progress while learning what it means to contribute to the life of the school. Our rigorous program challenges middle schoolers and supports their growth through a rich and varied curriculum, which includes both Latin and a modern language beginning in fifth grade.
Class sizes are kept small. Teachers, students and parents work closely together. Dedicated and talented faculty foster clear, thoughtful communication between home and school, forming a partnership that values educational excellence.
Advisors monitor student progress weekly, and maintain a close relationship with advisees, paying attention not only to academic achievements and challenges, but also to the development of study skills and of broader responsibilities within the school community.
Our Middle School arts program is exceptional in both opportunity and quality.
We believe the Arts foster more flexible, creative, and humanistic minds. McAneny Theater is bustling year-round with concerts and plays featuring student performers and our hallways are lined with student art exhibits. Such public celebration of student work showcases the rich learning in our Arts programs.
The curriculum in art engages students to create works that involve the mind, the eyes, and the hands. Students build skills in the studio and also deepen their understanding of art and its connections to society. All students take art each year, and in eighth grade choose from several electives. The level of accomplishment in their work reflects the strength of the program.
Each year students take courses in the design arts, including drafting, woodworking, and architecture. They study woodworking in fifth and seventh grades and drafting in sixth grade. In eighth grade they choose from electives including both woodworking and architecture.
Middle schoolers have ample opportunities to study music in class; to take private instrumental lessons, which are offered before, during, and after school hours for an additional fee; and to join ensembles, which include a strings group, two levels of band, and several choruses. Eighth graders can also join the 8th Notes select chorus as an elective.
Theater is part of every student’s experience each year. Classes practice scenes, working from scripts and engaging in improvisation. The program builds to the eighth grade musical, a full staging of a Broadway show in which every student takes part, either on stage on behind the scenes.
Please see the Middle School Curriculum pages for more details.
Middle School athletics focuses on building skills and fitness, plus the challenge and fun of competition.
PDS provides middle-schoolers with both an outstanding experience and strong preparation for Upper School. In sixth grade, students may develop skills in clinics run by middle school head coaches. In seventh and eighth grades, students may join our extensive interscholastic sports program.
Virtually all Middle School students play on a team. Players benefit from a first-rate coaching staff, including many PDS alumni and Upper School varsity coaches. All students also enjoy turf and traditional playing fields spanning our 105-acre campus to our own skating rink.