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Mission and Philosophy

Princeton Day School nurtures the mind, the body and the character of each student. In academics, athletics, the arts and service, we celebrate the pursuit of individual excellence and the spirit of collaboration that binds us together as a community.


We seek diversity of cultures, views and talents to promote the intellectual growth and moral development of our students.

Our rigorous and broad PreK-12 program is designed for motivated and academically talented students. We emphasize both creative and critical thought and their clear expression. Supported by exceptional faculty and a cooperative partnership of school and home, our students discover the joy of learning. They explore their interests, cultivate enduring relationships with teachers and peers, take risks and thrive.

Integrity, respect and compassion are essential to the school's mission. Our students leave Princeton Day School well-equipped for college and beyond, prepared to act knowledgeably, lead thoughtfully, share generously and contribute meaningfully.


We seek to create an atmosphere that challenges us to open our minds and hearts to others.

Princeton Day School offers rigorous training in core skills of verbal and quantitative reasoning and creative self-expression under the guidance of a vibrant and dedicated faculty. We nurture in our students the courage and initiative to apply these skills to problem-solving across boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. Even as we challenge students to reach beyond themselves, we teach them to recognize limits and establish priorities. As individuals and as a community, we measure our achievements, in part, by the difficult choices we make and the possibilities we forego.

Our broad and innovative curriculum is complemented by our thorough attention to the individual student, a focus on environmental stewardship and community service and a deep commitment to cultivating diversity in the community. We seek to understand and celebrate our differences and to discover common ground. Here, we are all teachers, and we are all learners.


Princeton Day School has a rich educational heritage reaching from the 19th century to today.

Our campus along the Great Road in Princeton opened in 1965 thanks to the incredible generosity of Dean Mathey, whose gifts to PDS include not only the property but also financial support. Our school continues to thrive today because of the vision and dedication of educators, students and families from Miss Fine's School and Princeton Country Day School.

In 1899, educator May Margaret Fine opened a school in Princeton to prepare young women for college with a curriculum including English, French, Latin, history and mathematics. At a time when they were not expected to attend college, Miss Fine's School was a bold venture. In 1924, a group of parents established an elementary school for boys on Bayard Lane known as Princeton Country Day School (PCDS). Both Miss Fine's and PCDS schools flourished and in 1965, when the advantages of coeducation could not be ignored, the two merged to become Princeton Day School (PDS). To learn more about the school's history, visit our 50th anniversary page.