About Presbyterian Day School
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.
PDS believes that the Bible teaches that every person is created in the image of God, who calls us to love one another. PDS therefore strives to make every boy and family feel welcomed, included, loved, respected and understood as part of a warm and gracious school community.
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.
PDS believes that we live in a world that is increasingly interconnected and diverse and that part of our responsibility to our boys is to equip them to be leaders in a world comprised of many individuals who possess knowledge, ideas, faith traditions, beliefs, worldviews and backgrounds different from their own.
We therefore believe that we should enroll boys of differing backgrounds and beliefs so that all PDS boys will develop the ability to learn from and respectfully relate to individuals from many backgrounds. Furthermore, we believe that our curriculum should reflect that diversity and include knowledge of various heritages and viewpoints, promote the ability to see similarities and differences among us, help boys to see diversity as a strength, and encourage boys to nurture an impulse of respect and empathy. We believe that teachers and parents can each play an important role in modeling and encouraging this growth for our boys.
We believe it is important that all members of the PDS community understand that PDS views the Old and New Testaments as true and authoritative and therefore as the foundation of the school that is Christian. We believe that PDS should continue to happily and intentionally welcome and serve boys and families of various faith traditions.
We believe that all students, regardless of their faith tradition or worldview, should learn the Old and New Testaments, know what the Bible teaches is necessary for salvation, and see how a Christian community strives to act and worship. We believe this teaching and modeling should be done in a way that is winsome, non-proselytizing, and sensitive to the fact that members of the school community hold a variety of religious beliefs, including from both Christian and non-Christian faith traditions.
We believe it is important that all members of the PDS community be respectful of and gracious to other members who hold differing religious beliefs and worldviews from their own. We believe it is important in today’s world for members of all faith traditions and worldviews to do a better job of listening to, understanding, and interacting with one another.
Finally, we believe that, among our very oldest students, it can be helpful for them to see the similarities and differences, as well as the contributions of, the major faith traditions and worldviews.
We believe that every boy and family should be known, nurtured, respected and loved.