In September 2017, an innovative new program was launched in the Middle School: The Da Vinci Program. With the implementation of the new academic schedule at Princeton Day School, there was an opportunity to devote a block of time to a course of study where Middle School students could pursue a non-traditional class of their choosing, such as robotics, sustainability, coding, and service learning to stimulate their curiosity. Each student takes courses that they choose in which they take risks, explore individual passions, develop new interests, and use multiple disciplines to solve problems and create original solutions.
US/MS Student Life
Student Life at Princeton Day School supports over 30 clubs, activities, and student-run organizations. These extracurricular activities are an integral part of each student’s life at Princeton Day School and represent a wide variety of interests and pursuits. The Model UN, Rubiks Cube Club, Dance Club, and the Debate Club are just a few of our current offerings. Some organizations, like the EnAct (Environmental Action Club) have been around for decades, while others, such as the Life Skills Club, are new to the school. A broad range of student groups, including Mock Trial, Science Olympiad, A Capella groups, and the Community Service Committee, select their student membership. In keeping with our school’s overarching mission to support a diversity of interests and inspire innovation and leadership, students are encouraged to imagine, invent, and lead their own clubs and organizations, always with the guidance and support of a faculty advisor.
The goals of Student Life at Princeton Day School include:
- Fostering leadership and responsibility in settings outside of the classroom
- Encouraging the pursuit of one’s passions
- Inspiring students to be positive, responsible and active members of a community
- Building relationships beyond the classroom
- Upper School Activities
- Upper School Clubs
- Student Leadership Opportunities
- Affinity Groups
- On Campus Service Groups
Chamber Music Club
Computer Science and Technology
Girls Who Code
Kiva Microfinancing Club
Life Skills Club
Rubiks Cube Club
Student Progressive Coalition
Tabletop Gaming Club
Every student in the Upper School has a faculty advisor with whom they check in daily. The student can discuss academic or personal problems with his or her advisor. In grade 9, students are assigned advisors and 10th-12th graders choose their advisors. The advisor is interested in, and invested in, multiple aspects of the student's life at school. The advisor meets with the advisee regularly to discuss academic reports, progress, and planning. The success of the advisor system rests on the student, advisor, and parents and students come to realize that the more initiative they show in seeking out his or her advisor for consultation, the more beneficial the relationship becomes. The advisor is the first point of contact for questions and concerns, and parents should confer with the advisor as the need arises.
Extra-curricular activities play a large role in the life of middle school students. At PDS, we offer many opportunities for students to continue the learning process outside the school day. Whether a child is interested in learning a musical instrument or working creatively with other students, we have the program to provide that opportunity. Students learn how to work in a group, improve leadership skills, and hone creative problem solving skills. All of these activities are led by our dedicated Middle School teachers.
Homework Club is offered each day from 3:20-6:00 p.m. After a time of play and snack, students are supervised by two teachers as they work on homework. Advanced sign-up is not required. There is a charge of $8.75 per hour (2018-19) for Homework Club beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Each year, thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. www.nationalgeographic.com/geographybee
Middle School Jazz Band
Explore jazz and rock music with our instrumentalists. No audition is required, however, students must be enrolled in one of the PDS music ensembles to participate.
Eighth Grade Yearbook
Approximately 12-15 dedicated Eighth grade students work together to create a yearbook of pictures, memories, and personal pages that represent the eighth gradeʼs academic, sports, and social activities.
National Spelling Bee
The National Spelling Bee’s mission is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Join us in this annual event that has the halls buzzing with excitement. www.spellingbee.com
Private Lesson Program
PDS offers individual and group instruction. Voice, guitar, piano, wind, percussion, and string instrument lessons are offered for an additional fee.
Science Olympiad (Grades 7 and 8)
New Jersey Science Olympiad is a science competition in which students participate in a wide variety of events, like investigating a crime scene, designing your own experiment, and building a hovercraft.
Students of Color Affinity Group
”Students of Color” includes children from Black/African American, Asian American, Middle-Eastern American, American Indian/Native American, Latina/o/x/Hispanic, and Multiracial backgrounds. These are voluntary meetings where students who identify with these affinities may participate.
Middle School Advisory Program
An essential component of the Middle School is the advising program, which ensures that at least one faculty member understands the overall patterns, needs, and strengths of each student. As educators, we are concerned with the totality of a student's experience--intellectual, ethical, social, physical, and emotional development. Advisors and teachers promote student development of competence in the arts, sports, interpersonal relationships, and academic course work so students may develop self-confidence and can fulfill their potential.