Da Vinci Program

Da Vinci Cooking in the Garden Photo 2
Da Vinci Cooking in the Garden Photo
Da Vinci Computer Science Photo

The Da Vinci Program is a unique and innovative program in the Middle School that offers students a block of time each week to devote to a non-traditional class of their choosing.

In our continuing efforts to nurture the body, mind, and character of our Middle School students, Princeton Day School developed the Da Vinci Program. This innovative program endeavors to engage students as the captains of their own learning in a student-driven, grade-free environment. The Da Vinci period is a dedicated time for students and faculty to take risks, explore individual passions, develop new interests, and use multiple disciplines to solve problems and create original solutions. Visits from alumni to a variety of these courses allow students to see the real-world applications of the experiences in which they engage.

All Middle School students will have an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of fresh course offerings that are exploratory and open-ended by design. Each course will meet for 40 minutes once of twice every seven days and offerings will rotate every quarter.

Through the Da Vinci Program, Princeton Day School seeks to help our students become knowledgeable and responsible leaders and develop the proficiencies and abilities to become meaningful contributors to the 21st century world beyond PDS. We aim to have all Middle School students learn in a collaborative environment where they can truly have experiences of a lifetime everyday.

How it Works

Prior to the beginning of each new quarter, students will take an online survey to indicate their Da Vinci preferences. The Da Vinci Coordinator will then place students in courses based on their preferences, schedules, and course history (i.e. before one student repeats a class, other students who have not taken it will get the chance to take it first). Courses will be scheduled based on the number of students that sign up for them. So if you (or your child) love the idea of a course and it does not run one quarter due to the lack of student numbers, make sure you sign up for it again to indicate your interest. One week prior to the beginning of a DaVinci Session, the schedule and course assignments will be published on Schoology and posted on the DaVinci Bulletin Board outside the Middle School office.

Sample Da Vinci Offerings