Founded in 1949, PDS serves approximately 585 boys in grades 2 years-old - 6th grade. With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind and body of each boy.
Our academic program centers on the development of critical and creative thinking skills. We train our boys to research, analyze, synthesize, and connect ideas and subjects, as well as to develop the important skills of collaboration and teaming. With 85% of our teachers having studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, our teachers are committed to aligning teaching and learning with the opportunities and challenges that the 21st century presents. As a faculty and staff, we deeply engage the question of what it means to be well educated in the dynamic global community of the 21st century.
85% of PDS teachers have studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Our academic program is rigorous and the expectations are very high, yet we recognize that individuals learn in unique ways, and we provide significant learning resources, so that we can bring out the best in every boy...and so we can love and celebrate every boy.
We teach in ways that excite and inspire boys and honor their energy, interests and unique ways of learning and growing. Classrooms are active places of learning, with frequent movement, much small group work, and extensive technology, including laptop carts and SmartBoards in all classrooms.
Our boys consistently and significantly outperform their peers in all subjects at our nation’s leading independent schools in all subjects. They develop the skills, mindsets and habits to thrive academically at PDS and at their future schools.
Our Building Boys, Making Men program, which we have shared with schools around the world, offers our boys a Biblical vision of what it means to be a godly boy and, one day, a godly man. We are as deliberate about the development of a boy’s character, values and faith as we are his intellectual growth.
Most PDS graduates matriculate at Memphis University School (MUS), a 7th-12th boys' school, after they graduate from PDS. Among the 74 member Class of 2010, 69 applied to MUS, all 69 were accepted, and 66 have enrolled there. PDS graduates have an excellent record of academic achievement at their future schools. Among our alumni in 7th-12th grades, 82% have earned spots on academic honor rolls. 91% have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; 65% a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher; and 34% a cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher. 72% have been elected to leadership positions. Members of the Class of 2004 (high school seniors in 2010) earned over $5.9 million in merit-based college scholarships, averaging over $85,000 per boy.
PDS is located on a 29 acre campus in the heart of East Memphis. The campus and facilities are among the largest and finest for an elementary school in the country and include $20 million of very recent expansion. PDS alumni constitute a large portion of the leaders in the Memphis community and beyond, and they include FedEx founder Fred Smith and Autozone founder J.R. “Pitt” Hyde.
PDS holds membership in a variety of national and regional associations, including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the International Boys' School Coalition (IBSC), the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools (TAIS), and the Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). Our teachers and administrators have developed professional learning networks with fellow educators at schools around the world.