All fourth, fifth, and sixth 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.
We encourage 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. The school will provide the coaching. The parents are requested to provide for their sons any necessary special equipment. The school asks that only high quality, safe equipment be purchased. Call the Athletic Director if you have any questions concerning the purchasing of this equipment.
Students participating in the after-school athletic program must have a physical examination annually. A physician’s statement that a boy is physically fit for participation in our after-school program is required to be in the student’s file before he will be permitted to participate. The school reserves the right to remove any boy from an athletic team when it deems such removal is in the best interest of the boy or school. The ultimate decision to suspend from after-school athletics rests with the Elementary Division Principal.
Any 5th or 6th grade boy with an average of D or F in a core subject will not be allowed to participate in intramural or Crusader sports until that grade has improved. The decision to resume participation rests with the Elementary Division Principal.
A student must have been in class at least three hours of the school day in order to participate in athletics on the same day.
Parents, guardians and other family members/friends attending games must behave in a respectful manner consistent with the school’s values. This includes, but is not limited to, not booing, yelling or directing negative comments at any player, coach or referee/umpire.
For questions or more information on Athletics, contact Dennis Smith, Director of Operations and Athletics.
Regular and punctual attendance is vitally important to each boy’s educational experience. Interaction with the teacher and fellow classmates is essential for learning. Therefore, absences should be infrequent and only when illness or similar unexpected circumstances make it absolutely necessary for a boy to miss school. Parents will be contacted if a boy’s excessive absences interfere with his overall progress.
Absences for family trips or similar reasons are strongly discouraged and should be scheduled during holiday breaks. To be sure, there are occasions when trips are necessary and may serve as a valuable learning experience. In such cases, the homeroom teacher should be notified at least one week prior to the absence. All assignments and tests must be completed within one week of the student’s return. If the absence occurs during achievement tests, a test make-up fee will be charged, and tests will be completed after regular school hours. In order for a boy to receive credit for attendance and in order for him to be eligible to participate in any afternoon activities, field days, field trips, or after-school activities, he must be present for a minimum of three hours of the school day.
Other than noting it on their report cards, we do not penalize boys for tardiness since it is a parental responsibility. However, should a parent be unable to assure his son’s timely arrival on a regular basis, the administration will meet with the parents or guardians to discuss the necessity of the timely arrival and the consequences of additional late arrivals. Such a meeting will take place no later than the 10th tardy the boy receives, or sooner if the school deems it necessary. Habitual tardiness may jeopardize a boy’s enrollment at PDS. In the event your child is tardy, you must check him in at the receptionist desk to guarantee that his absence will be changed to tardy.
PDS Sunday is a required school day for students in grades 4–6.
Boys who are absent due to communicable or infectious diseases must present a note to the homeroom teacher from the family physician stating that the student is not contagious to others before being readmitted to class. A student must be free of fever at least twenty-four hours without fever reducing medication prior to returning to school.
We ask parents to make every effort to arrange dental appointments and other necessary activities after school or on Saturday. While it may be more convenient to schedule during the school hours, it works a hardship on the child academically.
If, for any reason, a boy must leave school during the day, he must check out through the receptionist and must be picked up at the front desk by his parent or another authorized person. If it is not an emergency, the school expects advance written notice from the parents. If returning to school that day, he must check in through the receptionist also.
In case of a one-day absence, the teacher will explain the expectations for assignments. In cases where parents know an absence will exceed a day, they should make every effort to contact their son’s teacher in order to secure assignments.
Boys who miss 25 or more days of school will not be promoted to the following grade.
Regular and purposeful gatherings form the core of any healthy community; imbuing these sorts of gatherings with a spiritual component is one of the most vital aspects of a boy’s experience at PDS. The Chapel program at PDS is truly one of the foundational elements of our boys’ education.
In striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, PDS seeks to “build” the whole boy, crafting not only his mind and body but his spirit as well. The Chapel program is an indispensable part of seeing this mission come to fruition in every boy, and when boys are the leaders of individual Chapel programs, they are provided with specific opportunities for public speaking and leadership.
Chapel is held four days a week at 8:05 am as follows:
- Mondays - Grades 1-3 in the chapel
- Tuesdays - Grades 4-6 in the chapel
- Wednesdays - Early Childhood in the Commons
- Fridays - Grades 1-6 in the sanctuary
PDS teachers and staff members are expected at all times to communicate with parents in a professional manner. Parents are asked to reciprocate by treating teachers and staff with courtesy at all times. In order to establish direct lines of communication, we request that parents wishing to contact teachers or administrators follow this process.
- All initial questions about class routine, grading, homework, pedagogy, or incidents within the classroom should be directed to the classroom teacher.
- In EC if further assistance is necessary, then communication should be directed to Head of Early Childhood, Debbie Isom.
- In grades 1–6 if further assistance is necessary regarding a specific concern about a boy, communication with the Elementary Principal, Mark Fruitt, is the next appropriate step.
- In grades 1–6 if further assistance is necessary regarding a specific academic concern, communication with the Head of Elementary, Laura Glenn, is the next appropriate step.
- Questions concerning physical education or the after-school athletic program should be directed to Dennis Smith, Athletic Director.
- Questions concerning after-care should be directed to Lyssa Fisackerly.
- Questions concerning Enrichment classes should be directed to Mark Fruitt.
- Questions concerning Summer Camps should be directed to Dennis Smith.
The Headmaster is always available for consultation, but before stepping into a conversation, he will want to be assured that the above process has been observed. By following the above routine, many minor problems may be solved before they become major ones.
Parents should check the school’s website (http://pds.school) for current news and information. All teachers, administrators, and staff have email addresses that follow the format of first letter of first name, followed by full last name, followed by @pdsmemphis.org. Parents are encouraged to use, on a limited basis, email to communicate with the school.
Meetings with teachers must be scheduled in advance. Please do not show up unannounced to meet with a teacher, including at the end of the school day.
Parents should maintain appropriate professional boundaries with PDS faculty/staff and recognize and respect that PDS employees have personal lives and family responsibilities beyond their roles at PDS.
For PDS teachers and staff to be at their best for the boys of PDS, they need personal time, space and balance in their lives, especially during the evenings, weekends and during school holidays.
Thank you for your understanding.
Parents are asked to use email with considered restraint, as we want our faculty/staff to spend the overwhelming majority of their time teaching and planning rather than reading and replying to emails.
Parents are reminded that teachers have, depending on the grade level, approximately 36–144 parents of their students, and just a few emails from each parent can amount to a large and time-consuming amount of teacher time.
Parents should not expect that faculty/staff would read or respond to emails during the evening, on weekends or holidays, or during the school day (time sensitive information, i.e. carpool change that day, should be sent to the school receptionist to pass along to the teacher). Parents should, though, expect an email response in 24–36 hours.
In addition to being thoughtful about the volume of email sent between parents and teachers, we should be careful in when it is appropriate to use this vehicle of communication, as it often leads to a misunderstanding of the attitude, spirit and intent in which it may have been sent. For important, difficult or emotional matters, PDS strongly encourages a phone call or meeting rather than an email.
Emails sent to a teacher during the day may not be seen and read until after the school day is over, as their first priority is to teaching boys and planning instruction. Keep this in mind if trying to send a time sensitive message. Calling the school receptionist may be more effective for a time sensitive message to be delivered to your son.
Teachers, like most people in our society, can be inundated with email. Therefore, please limit the frequency of email to them and respect the fact that they have many other boys and families for whom they are responsible. Know that it may be 1–2 days before they are able to respond. Know that email is often not the best communication tool, especially for important or emotional issues.
The school administration reserves the right to intervene with a parent who does not understand or respect the proper use of email within the PDS community.
If you are on Twitter, we encourage you to follow our various Twitter accounts at PDS. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, alumni, or someone just visiting our website for the first time, you can learn what’s going on in our classrooms, what’s happening with our sports teams, information on health and wellness, our after school programs, our online and global initiatives and more.
PDS maintains a presence on Facebook with photos and information about the school.
Presbyterian Day School shares photos several times a week on Instagram.
PDS seeks to help boys grow in their character and values, so we intentionally hold high, age-appropriate standards for boys, individually and collectively, as they relate to behavior. We seek to foster a community characterized by, among other things, respect, integrity, compassion, kindness, and responsibility.
One of the greatest opportunities for fostering boys’ growth in this area is in discipline. While we as a school are fortunate to have boys who are generally well behaved, they, like adults, make mistakes, and we seek to discipline them in ways that hold them accountable for their mistakes, teach valuable life-long lessons, address the root causes of the behavior, offer them strategies and support for making better choices in the future, and uphold and promote our communal values. Though sometimes difficult in the short-run, discipline is a unique opportunity to grow a boy’s more lasting character and sense of responsibility and decision-making.
We also seek to discipline in a way that, rather than isolating a boy from his teachers and administrators, deepens those relationships and the sense of connection the boy has to the adult(s) while at the same time conveying to the boy that he is still loved despite his particular misbehavior. We strive to communicate clearly with parents and view any disciplinary situation as an opportunity for enhancing the parent-school partnership.
Given the wide range of grades we serve and different ages of boys, the specific elements of discipline vary so that they will be age-appropriate, though we embrace the broad principles listed above. Your son’s teachers can let you know the specifics of their discipline plan.
Most routine disciplinary matters are handled by a teacher, and the teacher should be the primary and initial contact for a parent about disciplinary matters. Should a boy not show improvement following correction from the teacher, the Principal of the Elementary Division (for boys in grades 1–6) or the Head of Early Childhood (for EC boys) will intervene, and should the boy still be unable or unwilling to conform to expectations, the Headmaster will consider whether or not PDS is the appropriate school for the boy. At each of these three steps along the way (teacher, administrator, headmaster), the school will seek to engage the parents about the boy’s difficulties and the school’s expectations, and the consequences and seriousness will grow. In the Elementary Division, these meetings are called Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 meetings.
In the event, however, that a single action of a boy is of a serious enough nature, the Head of Early Childhood, Principal of the Elementary Division or Headmaster may be involved from the outset, and the consequences may be more significant from the beginning. PDS reserves the right to suspend or dismiss from school any student if such suspension or expulsion is necessary to protect the best interest, integrity, or welfare of the school, including the health and well-being of other students, faculty, or staff. The school may dismiss a student whose behavior unfairly damages the learning or social/emotional environment to which other students are entitled.
At PDS we believe that we represent the school in all that we do, especially in the way we appear for school every day. A neat, tasteful appearance contributes to the positive impression we make. As a result, the school expects all students to be suitably attired and groomed during school hours or when representing PDS. The guidelines presented below spell out very clearly the school’s expectations for student dress:
All students must maintain a neat and clean appearance at all times. Only collared shirts are permitted, and shirttails for 1–6 grade students must be tucked in. Plain or printed tee shirts and football jerseys are not acceptable.
Athletic clothes may not be worn during the regular school day.
Blue jeans may not be worn. Neat, clean, chino-type trousers in various colors may be worn. No rompers, belts or overalls may be worn in PK. Overalls may not be worn; sweat pants or wind pants may not be worn in the Elementary Division (grades 1–6).
Bermuda length shorts are permissible. Neither cut-off pants nor denim pants are permitted.
Shoes with clearly visible socks must be worn. Sandals, Crocs, or other shoes without closed heels are not allowed.
Any boy with excessively long or dyed hair or hair styled in a such a way as to cause a significant distraction for other boys will not be permitted to attend class. Any boy in need of a haircut will be given a reasonable time to accomplish this. The hair must not be over the collar in the back or over the eyes in the front.
Jackets, dress shirts, and ties must be worn for all field trips in grades two and above (any exceptions will be especially noted). Tattoos, beads, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and headbands are not allowed. Belts must be worn with pants that have loops.
The school reserves the right to require a boy to make necessary changes should he arrive at school dressed or appearing in a manner that is distracting or not within the spirit of these regulations.
Early Childhood students follow the school dress code as stated below:
- All students must maintain a neat and clean appearance (i.e. belts, when pants have belt loops, etc.)
- Shirts with regulation collars are required. Having shirt tails tucked in is a goal for JK and SK students. Football jerseys and T-shirts with/without printing are unacceptable.
- Athletic clothes may not be worn during the regular school day.
- Blue jeans may not be worn.
- Sweat pants are acceptable, however overalls are not.
- Shorts are permissible. Cut-off pants and short shorts are not permissible.
- Athletic shoes and clearly visible socks must be worn at all times. Open-toe or open heeled shoes may not be worn. (Example: Crocs, Keens, or sandals) Rain boots and cowboy boots are not permissible.
- Any boy with an unusual haircut or bleached hair will not be permitted to attend class. Any boy in need of a haircut will be given a reasonable time to accomplish this. The hair must not cover the collar in the back or the eyes in front.
- The wearing of visible tattoos, beads, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, silly bands, or headbands is not allowed.
PDS schedules a number of field trips throughout the year designed to enrich traditional classroom instruction by exposing our boys to creative and practical applications of curricular concepts in the field. Typically, this experiential learning for our boys takes place off campus and includes a combination of faculty and parent chaperones.
Parents should be notified of the complete arrangements at least two weeks in advance. If the boys are traveling in cars, the Head of Early Childhood or the Principal of the Elementary Division must have a list of each driver and the names of those boys in his/her car before leaving school.
According to state law, until a boy is nine years old (unless he is already 4' 9" or taller), he must ride in a booster seat when being transported in any vehicle. Please consult the following website for any further questions: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us
Each student will be carefully assigned to a homeroom through a thoughtful process supervised by the Head of Early Childhood, Principal of the Elementary Division, and the Head of Elementary.
Requests by parents for a homeroom teacher cannot and will not be honored. Please do not make such requests.
The school may initiate conversations with parents for guidance in assigning a homeroom if there is a special need.
The homeroom teacher will be responsible for students’ attendance records and will also assign locker and storage areas to students in upper grades.
A positive and productive relationship with the homeroom teacher is vital for a child’s success at PDS.
Parents or guardians have a key role to play in assuring that their boys are completing their homework, preparing for tests (as applicable), and doing other work necessary to a boy’s academic growth and development. Parents should provide the appropriate structure and support and assure that a boy is completing these school obligations. The school reserves the right to meet with a parent or guardian of a boy not meeting such obligations to discuss this problem and insist upon parental action to help remedy it. Should a parent or guardian, in the school’s opinion, not be able or willing to provide the structure, support, and environment necessary for the boy to complete his school obligations, the school reserves the right to dismiss the boy from PDS.
While parents have a responsibility to assure that their sons are completing their homework, a parent should not actually do the homework for their sons. Among boys in grades old enough to understand the concept of cheating and the appropriate boundaries of parental assistance, those boys will be considered to have cheated if a parent or guardian does their homework for them. Teachers can provide guidance in each grade for what is an appropriate way for a parent to participate in homework assignments. Those guidelines will be different for boys in different grades, and different types of homework may involve parents in different ways.
In Senior Kindergarten, students have additional practice at home. Students should independently complete as much of the work as possible with a parent offering assistance only when absolutely necessary. Parents can help by providing a space to work that is free of distractions and equipped with materials such as pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and glue for completing assignments. Homework must be completed and turned in by the last school day of the week it is assigned.
In Grades 1–3, it may be necessary for parents to help guide and monitor the boys in an effort to help develop consistent study habits. Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade boys should be responsible for their own homework. Parents can communicate their trust and confidence in their children by offering encouragement and support; however, the parent’s role should be as a consultant or monitor, not a participant or doer. Sending positive messages, encouraging independence, and assigning responsibility will allow the boys to gain self-confidence and develop homework management skills.
The amount of time needed to do homework varies with the individual child and depends upon many factors such as ability to organize time and materials, willingness to focus on a task, and responsibility to plan and carry out a course of action.
Individual reading rates, degrees of perfectionism, use of class time, and levels of fatigue from lack of sleep or extra-curricular activities will also influence the amount of time spent on homework. On the average, homework assignments are designed to be completed within the following approximate times :
|Grade 1||15 minutes||Grade 4||60 minutes|
|Grade 2||30 minutes||Grade 5||75 minutes|
|Grade 3||45 minutes||Grade 6||90 minutes|
Exams in the core subjects (Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science) are given to boys in sixth grade in May and will count 10% of the final average in each of those classes.