|Grades||Total Enrollment||Class of 2012-13||Teachers|
Presbyterian Day School was founded by Second Presbyterian Church in 1949 at its current location at Poplar Avenue and Goodlett. Thirty-five children—boys and girls—enrolled in kindergarten in 1949. Since 1955, PDS has added Junior Kindergarten (1992) and Pre-Kindergarten (2005). The student body has grown to more than 600, making PDS one of the largest boys’ elementary schools in the country.
PDS is located on a 29-acre campus in the heart of East Memphis. The campus facilities are among the largest and finest for an elementary school nationwide. A recent $20 million expansion included upgrades to the facilities, including the Early Childhood Center, turf football field, and Lifetime Fitness Center with ropes course and climbing wall.
All 4th, 5th, and 6th graders are eligible to participate in the year-round, after-school intramural program. Tackle football is offered in the fall, basketball in the winter, and soccer in the spring. PDS encourages as much participation as possible. All participants will be on a team, and all will play in each contest, provided they attend the practice sessions during the week.
PDS is an independent school enrolling more than 600 boys in pre-kindergarten through 6th grade from West Tennessee, North Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas. We serve boys of average to gifted intelligence who have the abilities and habits to thrive in a rigorous and challenging curriculum that pushes each boy to reach his potential.
We have approximately 72 boys in each grade level, junior kindergarten through 6th grade, with 60 boys in pre-kindergarten.
We offer significant tuition assistance to families that demonstrate the need. PDS believes that the Bible teaches that the diversity of people and their backgrounds helps to reveal the splendor and power of God, that His love overcomes all differences, and that He calls us into common fellowship and community. We therefore intentionally seek out and serve boys and families of all racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds and strive to build an inclusive school community in which every boy feels like he fits.
The nine years boys will spend at PDS are the most formative years of their lives. A boy’s early years set the trajectory for a man’s life, developing his mind, his character, his faith, and his heart.
The predominant long-term focus of the academic program at PDS is on the development of critical and creative thinking skills and is increasingly customized to the learning profile of each boy. PDS utilizes cutting-edge technologies in an integrated manner to not only reinforce basic foundational skills, but also to allow boys to collaborate, communicate and create. Approximately half of instructional time in reading and math is taught in small groups, utilizing our seven learning specialists, three learning coaches, and learning studio.
The overall curriculum of the school has a significant global perspective. World language in either Mandarin or Spanish is taught every day to our early childhood boys. In 1st grade, parents choose which one of these languages their sons will study in 1st through 6th grades. We have a strategic partnership with St. Andrew’s School in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Special area classes in art, music, and Bible are taught weekly. The boys attend physical education (P.E.) every day in 1st through 6th grades. Early childhood boys have P.E. every other day. 6th graders enjoy electives such as Going Green, Model UN, and Robotics.
SCHOOLING BEYOND PDS
PDS boys matriculate to the finest independent schools in the city, before heading off to college.
Typically, between 97-100% of our 6th grade graduates are accepted into the secondary schools to which they apply. Most enroll at Memphis University School (MUS). Our graduates later matriculate to a wide range of colleges and universities around the country. Our most recent graduates have matriculated in the fall of 2012 at Harvard, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Middlebury and many other schools. Each year, our graduates earn millions of dollars in merit-based college scholarships.
Over 3,300 boys (and a few girls from the early years) have graduated from PDS, and they have held a number of leadership positions in Memphis and beyond.
The Presbyterian Day School Alumni list reads like a who’s who among the Memphis community. Some notable PDS alums include Autozone founder J.R. “Pitt” Hyde ’55, FedEx founder Fred Smith ’56, author Hampton Sides ’74, and Paul Tudor Jones ’66.
Over 70 full- and part-time teachers serve the student body as teachers, coaches, and mentors. Over half of our faculty have earned advanced degrees, and over 90% are Harvard trained through Project Zero.
The faculty all share a passion for their calling to work at PDS, and they are all immersed in a school that insists on their on-going professional development.
The benefits of boys’ schools aren’t just in the core subjects. At PDS, every boy sings in the choir, takes art, and learns to play the violin. Boys are soloists and actors; they hold all of the leadership positions.
- We are a 1:1 laptop school for JK-6th, and every classroom has an interactive white board
- We have a large chess program that includes a state championship.
- PDS teachers and administrators have made presentations at national and international conferences.
- PDS boys and teachers participate in various community service projects.
- Before School Care begins at 7:20, and After School Care extends until 6:00.
- Our Toddler Tales program is free and open to the community for 18 month olds through three-year-olds.
BUILDING BOYS, MAKING MEN
The Building Boys, Making Men program answers the question of what it means to be a man by highlighting seven virtues of manhood. We believe that boys should be intentionally taught about authentic manhood and have a Biblical framework for making wise and edifying choices during their teenage years and beyond.
We believe that, absent a compelling vision for Godly manhood, boys will accept a number of unhealthy and unwholesome myths of manhood that will short-circuit the plan God has for them as men. In addition to developing this vision for manhood, the program helps to develop a boy’s faith, character and values.
The program includes curricular integration, 6th-grade meetings on male teenage issues, student retreats, mentor groups, parent sessions and father-son events. A speaker series is also offered to the community through this program. The school’s goal is for our boys to leave with a Godly view of manhood.
“Most elementary schools were designed by women and are taught by them, and most schools reward the ability to be quiet, sit still, pay attention for long periods of time, and regurgitate information, most of which drives boys crazy. God didn’t design boys to do any of that very well.”
Lee Burns, PDS Headmaster
PDS administers an achievement test developed for independent schools through Educational Records Bureau known as the Comprehensive Testing Program. In comparison to our nation’s leading independent schools, our boys consistently and significantly out-perform their peers in all subjects.
Choral music, instrumental music, and art classes are offered in grades 1-6 with extracurricular opportunities for taking private music or art lessons.
PDS boys consistently and significantly outperform their peers at our country’s leading independent schools in all subjects. PDS students learn from outstanding teachers who have received training from the nation’s best programs. 90% of PDS teachers have studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence is an innovative venture that unites public and private schools, Presbyterian Day School, the University of Memphis, and philanthropists around the most critical issue facing schools today: developing outstanding teachers through world-class professional development.
The PDS Tutoring and Enrichment Center offers individualized tutoring for boys and girls in a variety of subjects, ranging from math and English to world languages and science. It also offers customized tutoring in a range of specific skills, including reading comprehension, reading fluency, decoding, vocabulary enrichment, and study skills.
The vision of the Crain Center is to not only to teach our students about other cultures but to engage and connect them, through the use of technology, travel and collaborative learning communities. Global competency and a knowledge of what it means to be a global citizen are essential skills for our students, and are best taught through relationships and experiences with diverse cultures.