Phoenix Country Day School
|Phoenix Country Day School|
|3901 E. Stanford Dr.
Paradise Valley, Arizona, United States
|Head of School, Headmaster||Andrew Rodin|
|Number of students||700|
|Website||Phoenix Country Day School|
Phoenix Country Day School is a nonsectarian college-preparatory school located in Paradise Valley, Arizona with an enrollment of 700 in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. A liberal-arts curriculum prepares graduates for admission to the nation’s top colleges and universities.
The student-faculty ratio at Phoenix Country Day School is 9 to 1. The School is organized into a Lower School (pre-k through grade 4), a Middle School (grades 5-8), and an Upper School (grades 9-12).
Extensive facilities on the 40-acre campus include: partially integrated computer infrastructure; science labs; art studios and a music building; gymnasium, swimming pools, tennis courts, athletic fields, and outdoor play areas. The school is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.
PCDS began in 1960, when a group of educators visionaries, led by Franz and Mae Sue Talley, agreed to found a nonsectarian, nonprofit, college preparatory day school based on the traditional east coast private school model. On September 12, 1961, Phoenix Country Day School opened its doors to 93 students in grades 3 through 9 with a faculty and staff of 14. The following year, a half-day kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 were added, and grades 10 through 12 were added in successive years to graduate the first senior class in 1965. By the 1969-1970 academic year, enrollment was at 386.
The school quickly expanded its group of loyal community members committed to its survival and success. In the ’70s, facilities were expanded to accommodate the growing student body and the development of competitive sports teams. PCDS’s graduating classes measured in the teens and twenties, and the Upper School program offered core graduation requirements and courses and electives that reflected faculty interests and abilities.
With the dawning of the '80s and changing times, PCDS's endowment began to grow. An Advanced Placement program was added to assist in gauging standards of academic skill. Having purchased the second half of the school’s now-40 acres in 1968, PCDS was able in 1982 to build a new Upper School complex and a gymnasium for indoor sports on the east side of the Cudia Wash, and a dedicated music facility on the west side of campus. A bridge was built to join the Lower and Middle Schools with the Upper School.
By 1996 enrollment reached 700 and between 1993 and 2008, PCDS replaced or renovated over 90% of the classrooms on campus. Every division supposedly saw major construction and renovation, including the addition of state-of-the-art science labs and an outdoor experimental science garden, visual art and performance facilities, and technology facilities. The entire Lower School was replaced, and an early childhood learning center was added to provide space scaled to fit the needs of the youngest students. This part of campus, too, has its own library, science center, art studio, and children's garden.
The lower school consists of approximately 200 students in grades K through 4. Lower School faculty and staff work closely together in an attempt to create a nurturing environment with small classes and what they say to be a challenging, comprehensive curriculum. Each class is taught by a homeroom teacher, and students receive additional support from an assistant.
The core curriculum is enhanced by the study of music, art, science, physical education, technology, library science, and foreign language (Spanish). Specialists in each area work closely with the homeroom teachers in hopes of creating a rich and motivating program. Curriculum integration across subject disciplines attempts strengthens the students’ knowledge and applications for learning.
The middle school has 250 students in grades 5 through 8. The school aims to keep class sizes at 20 students or below. Annual class trips are designed to promote bonding among the various students. The school offers athletics programs and a student council, both of which are open to all interested students.
Students in the Upper School mix a liberal arts-based academic schedule with sports, social activities, and community service. They attempt to achieve a solid academic grounding through a liberal arts curriculum with numerous electives that attempt to enable them to explore individual interests. There are 12 Advanced Placement subjects offered. Students can select from 17 varsity sports and 15 extracurricular activities. Out of the 48 graduates of the class of 2012, some went on to study at the following Universities: Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Stanford, MIT, and Yale.
Phoenix Country Day School offers extracurricular programs for all ages.
Speech and Debate
The PCDS FIRST Robotics team, Blue Tide Robotics, started in 2007 with several middle-school students' participation in FIRST Lego League (FLL). The team then proceeded to win the National Underwater Robotics Challenge in 2008 and qualify for the semifinal round of the 2009 Arizona FRC Tournament. In 2014, they qualified for the semifinals again and also won the Quality Award.
PCDS gives Middle School and Upper School a great way to evolve into leaders. In student council, the students plan socials, organize events, and so much more. They are the leaders of the school.
PCDS competes as a member school of the AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association)
- Cross Country
- Student Council
Notes and references
- AIA profile for Phoenix Country Day School