A World of Ideas
Third-graders are building sailboats in science, models to race along an indoor water course. Kindergartners are picking vegetables from the organic garden. First-graders are having a French lesson. And in a fourth grade, students are learning about a noted author they will meet through a visiting artists program called Imagine the Possibilities.
Wherever you turn, a world of ideas is coming alive. This is a wonderful place to begin a career in learning, a supportive and stimulating setting where curiosity is continually rewarded. Young students learn to love school and experience the respect and responsibility inherent to our community. For us the essential ingredients are:
- Devotion to academic and character development with careful assessments of progress.
- Small classes and superb teachers with time to focus on each child's growth.
- A solid core curriculum enriched by physical education, languages, music, theater and visual arts.
- Regular communication between teachers and parents.
See our Flickr photo album of the Lower School PreK-Grade 1 family community working together to make a beautiful perimeter of daffodils in Kristy's Meadow on a frosty morning! Learn a bit about the Meadow's namesake, Kristy Anastasio Manning '81, and enjoy some thoughts from K and 1st graders who participated.
Sandy Wang will join the PDS Leadership Team this summer as Head of Lower School. In accepting her position as Lower School Head, Dr. Wang stated, "I am thrilled to be joining the PDS community and looking forward to participating in the magic that happens as young children discover their place in the world around them. From my visits to the School earlier this winter, I know that PDS is a special place, filled with joyful children, talented educators and families who care. I look forward to being a part of the PDS story and am proud to be a Panther!" Prior to her appointment at PDS, Dr. Wang built an impressive career in school leadership through her educational focus and her work as a teacher and administrator at some outstanding independent schools in New York City. For more details, see the full story.
Tinkering, Aaron Schomburg says, is a stepping stone for the more complex innovations and problem-solving kids will face in STEAM maker spaces, innovation labs, fab labs, or science and engineering courses in higher grades and in college. "Tinkering is not just a physical activity; it is also a way to develop thoughts and ideas that lead to the next step, whether that is a more detailed drawing or prototype, or even pure scientific research," he writes in his February 20 blog, "The Value of Tinkering" published in Scientific American. Read his blog here.
For the month of November, ushering in the season of giving, gratitude is the theme actively being practiced across the Lower School. Pointing out the wealth of scientific research on the physical and psychological benefits of practicing gratitude, Ms. Klein emphasized that "Gratitude jars, gratitude journals and gratitude circles are just some of the ways we help our students take time to reflect on what they are thankful for and reap the many benefits of this practice . . . even thinking about the small things for which we are grateful each day can increase one's happiness, empathy, compassion, achievement and one's physical well-being.
Each week, in kindergarten and first grade, children gather to learn and to play, with an intensity and delight that would inspire older masters.
"How does the land affect the people? How do the people affect the land?"
One year it was a musical spoof of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf " that the students named "Much Ado About Mutton." Another year it was "Looking for Peanuts," featuring Charlie Brown and friends.
What lives in the bottom of the pond? How can we find out? Science is about hands-on investigation. In the Pond Study, PDS fourth grades explore a data-rich ecosystem right on our campus.
Blue and White Day
Named for our school colors, Blue and White Day is a time for outdoor fun and Panther pride involving the entire student body. Highlights include an inner tube tug-of-war, a prekindergarten-twelfth grade relay race, and other games. Each student is designated as a member of the blue team or the white team when he or she first arrives at PDS, and remains blue or white for life.