The Board of Trustees selects a Headmaster to direct, manage, and operate all aspects of PDS. The Board also sets policies on broad, strategic issues; develops and adopts long-range plans, and secures the resources for their implementation; assures appropriate stewardship of the school’s financial and other resources; and sets annual tuition and fees. They thoughtfully limit their engagement to these matters and leave all aspects of school operations to the headmaster.
Members of the Board of Trustees for the 2019–2020 year are:
Mr. John Alexander, Chairman
Raymond James Financial
Mr. Carter Fontaine Campbell, Sr. ‘85
National Property Concepts
Mr. Ali Chambers
Lead Pastor of Vision/Preaching
Rev. Michael Davis
Mr. Preston Frazer
VP of Loss Prevention, Security and Safety
Mr. Earl W. Houston, II
Mr. Will Levy
Oak Hall & Vineyard Vines by Oak Hall
Mr. Wilson Allen Moore ‘90
Managing Director, Investments
Mr. Richard C. Moore, Jr.
Mr. Patrick Lincoln Nelson
Mrs. Susan Patterson
Mr. Chad Spencer
Dufresne Spencer Group
Mr. Scott Stafford
Evolve Bank and Trust
Westchester Group Investment Management, Inc.
Mrs. Lindsey Tayloe
Mr. Hunter Witherington ‘92
Mr. James D. Witherington
Mr. David Work ’67
Alumni Board Chair
Rev. Todd Erickson (ex-officio)
Second Presbyterian Church
Mr. Steve Hancock (ex-officio)
Presbyterian Day School
Our goal for the 2019–2020 school year is to have 100% of our parents contribute to the PDS Annual Giving Fund. A gift of any amount is important, and these gifts directly impact the educational experiences of each and every PDS boy.
A few facts about the Annual Giving Fund:
Tuition dollars cover just under 90% of the actual cost to educate a PDS boy. This dollar gap comes to $2,220 that is not covered with the price of tuition.
Monies from the Annual Giving Fund go directly into the operating budget of PDS. There are many programs that could not exist if it were not for these generous gifts.
Your gifts are keeping PDS boys safe by increasing security on campus.
We have over 50 security cameras and 4 armed guards.
Your gifts help PDS teachers with their professional growth. They are able to attend seminars and workshops all over the country to learn the latest and best methods with which to educate boys.
Your gifts help to keep our class sizes smaller so that the student/teacher ratio is 8 to 1.
Your gifts help PDS attract new teachers and provide a competitive salary and benefits to our current teachers.
Your gifts help provide science and athletic equipment, computers, musical instruments, and learning specialists.
Your gifts help support our character development program Building Boys, Making Men.
Your gifts help maintain long standing traditions at PDS such as Grandparents Day, the Christmas Pageant, Yipes Stripes and 6th-grade graduation festivities.
Under the leadership of the 2018-19 Annual Giving Fund Chairs, Early Childhood Division Chairs, Chavanne and Jay McDonald and Elementary division Chairs, Jackie and Jon Peters, the Annual Giving Fund will begin a solicitation blitz on September 12 and concludes on October 8, 2018. You will be contacted by a volunteer, staff member and/or a mailing with an opportunity to participate. We hope to have all gifts and pledges in by October 8, 2018. All pledges need to be paid in full by June 30, 2019.
Participation at any at any level is appreciated and provides a vote of confidence in PDS. We ask that every parent make a gift to the Annual Giving Fund.
No gift is too big or too small.
The boys of PDS say THANKS in advance!
By virtue of being a parent of a PDS student, all parents are members of the PDS Parents’ Association. There is no membership fee or charge for belonging to the Parents’ Association. A Parents’ Association Board exists to manage efforts and to coordinate its work with the Advancement office.
The PDS Parents’ Association is the organized parent group that seeks to support and to advance the mission of the school by aligning institutional needs and parental involvement. Drawing on the talents, passions, and commitment of parents, the Parents’ Association strives to strengthen PDS by:
- Engaging in specified service activities that support various programs and needs
- Helping all parents to feel a part of the PDS community
- Encouraging faculty and staff in their work with the boys
- Serving as unofficial ambassadors of PDS
In addition to volunteer assistance within the school, the Parents’ Association provides opportunity for involvement with fund raising as well as community service activities.
Parents can be involved in the PDS Spirit Sale, Community Reward Programs such as the Box Tops and Kroger Rewards, or the Book Fair. Parents can also volunteer to help in the library as well as other events including the Father/Son Dinner, Accelerated Reader Auction & Store, and the 6th Grade Mother-Son Luncheon. Volunteers are also needed to assist with our Berclair Elementary School Partnership.
In addition to the Parents’ Association, there are other opportunities within individual classrooms to be room mothers/fathers and field trip driver coordinators.
We are blessed to have a school in which parents and guardians are actively engaged in positive and constructive partnership with the school. We appreciate and value our parents, and we recognize the power of positive partnerships and our shared purpose in beliefs in helping boys to grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.
There are great things going on at PDS, and we welcome our parents’ involvement.
Parents are encouraged to support the school in several ways.
First, please pray for the school. Pray for the safety, growth, and happiness of our boys. Pray that our teachers and staff might have wisdom, inspiration, energy, and love. Pray that we might all be united in purpose and as a community.
Second, all parents are encouraged to make a financial gift to the school according to their means. As tuition revenues do not cover all of our actual operational expenses and do not cover any major capital improvements, the school is able to provide the range and depth of programs and resources it does only through the gifts of parents and friends. Parents will be solicited for the Annual Fund in the fall and are encouraged to make a gift at that point (or a pledge to be paid before the end of the school year).
Last year, almost 70% of our parents contributed to the PDS annual fund, and their gifts enabled the school to provide an even stronger education for our students.
Third, volunteer through the Parents’ Association. The Parents’ Association has a list of areas in which the school needs volunteers. Finally, help us spread the word about PDS. If you know of a family with a boy who would be a good fit for PDS, tell that family about PDS or call our Admission Office so we can send them some materials about the school.
Academic Support Services for Boys in the Elementary Division
At PDS, we believe that every boy can learn, and we strive to teach in ways that maximize learning for each boy. Because we also know that all boys do not learn in the same way, at the same rate or on the same timetable, PDS employs four learning specialists, a study skills coach, and three learning coaches to work with our students. The learning specialists and learning coaches work with all boys in the elementary division in small groups to develop and strengthen both basic foundational skills and higher level thinking skills. The study skills coach works with boys and teachers in grades 5–6 to infuse organizational and study skills into the curriculum. The Director of Academic Support facilitates the process of determining boys who need additional academic support and monitoring their progress.
PDS serves boys of high-average to gifted intelligence, including boys with a variety of learning styles, differences and disabilities. Given the rigor and pace of the academic program and the school’s focus on serving boys of the aforementioned range, PDS cannot meet the learning needs of all types of students. The school will counsel out a boy when the school is unable to provide the type of academic and learning program a boy needs. The school, though, can and does serve boys with certain learning differences and disabilities, as long as the student has, in the school’s judgment, the ability, work ethic and study habits to thrive in the school’s demanding curriculum and high expectations, and as long as the parents have, in the school’s judgment, the deep commitment to the child’s learning and close partnership with the school.
What should I do if I think my son might have a learning difference or disability?
First, speak with your son’s teacher. If she has observed similar characteristics and behaviors, she will initiate the academic support protocol. At this point, the Director of Academic Support with meet with teachers and/or parents to determine the best academic action plan for the student.
What if my son needs a psychoeducational evaluation?
The Director of Academic Support can help you determine whether you should pursue a full battery of cognitive tests. The school counselor may also be involved in the process and can provide parents with a list of professionals in the community. All psychoeducational testing must be conducted and written by a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed psychological examiner, or other licensed professional (in cases where the learning disability is caused by vision or hearing problems). Although a pediatrician might be prescribing medicine for a boy, a letter from a physician cannot document a learning disability.
How is my son placed with the Slingerland-trained learning specialist?
Boys in grades 1–3 who are experiencing difficulty in learning to read and/or write or who have educational testing indicating the need for a multisensory approach to teaching reading can be placed with a Slingerland trained learning specialist. The Head of Elementary and the Director of Academic Support will make the final determination regarding placement in this program.
When during the school day would my son work with a learning specialist?
Boys are scheduled with the learning specialist in the following ways:
Boys in grades 1–3 may meet with the learning specialist during non-instructional class time.
Boys in grades 1–3 may be pulled out of regular small group reading instruction and placed with a learning specialist during their small group instruction time. Boys who are served in this way will show an “M” on their report card indicating that the regular curriculum has been modified to meet the needs of the student.
Boys in grades 2–3 may be pulled out of the regular classroom and receive all literacy instruction with a learning specialist. Boys who are served in this way will show an “M” on their report card indicating that the regular curriculum has been modified to meet the needs of the student.
What accommodations and/or interventions might my son receive at PDS?
After receiving and reviewing the psychoeducational evaluation, the Head of Elementary and the Director of Academic Support will meet to determine which accommodations PDS will be able to implement for the student. The counselor may also be involved. They will then meet with the parents and classroom teachers to outline the school’s plan for the student.
If a parent chooses to seek academic intervention from an educational program outside of PDS that would require the student to miss any portion of the regular school day, the parent must first receive permission from the Head of Elementary.
How often does my son need to be re-evaluated?
Evaluations on file at the school should be no more than three years old.
Academic and behavioral performance are reported to parents in the following manner:
Boys in PK-SK receive a developmental progress rating corresponding to their respective academic and behavioral progress.
A printed report card is sent home with the boys in PK – SK each trimester.
The report card of boys in Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten is divided into the following four sections: Subject Area Competencies, Learning and Thinking Skills, Life Skills and Personal Growth and Development.
A boy’s progress in each of the subject area competencies is assessed with the following assessment scale:
The student meets or exceeds expectations most of the time.
The student consistently demonstrates strong, independent progress and understanding of academic expectations and consistently produces quality work.
The student is making progress toward an expectation of mastery.
The student is making good progress.
The student is not meeting grade level benchmarks for achieving mastery.
The student regularly requires additional time and/or support at school and home.
The report card of boys in grades 1-4 is divided into the following four sections: Subject Area Competencies, Learning and Thinking Skills, Life Skills and Character Growth and Development.
A boy’s progress in each of the subject area competencies is assessed with the following assessment scale:
- Level 3 Learner
The student consistently meets (or exceeds) academic expectations.
The student consistently demonstrates strong, independent progress and understanding of academic competencies and consistently produces quality work.
- Level 2 Learner
The student is making progress.
The student is making progress, but does not yet consistently demonstrate understanding of academic competencies and/or does not yet consistently produce quality work.
- Level 1 Learner
The student needs improvement.
The student is not yet able to demonstrate understanding of academic competencies. The student does not consistently produce quality work and/or requires much additional teacher support.
Competency not assessed during this trimester
Modified work or curriculum
A boy’s progress in each skill in the Life Skills and Learning and Thinking Skills sections of the report card is assessed with following assessment scale:
- The student consistently demonstrates this skill.
- The student is making progress, but does not yet consistently demonstrate this skill.
- The student needs improvement in this skill.
The report card of the boys in grades 5–6 is also divided into the four sections described above. The report card and assessment scales are the same for each section; however, boys in grades 5–6 also receive overall numerical grades in the core subjects of language arts, science, social studies and math.
Reporting Grades to Parents
A printed report card is sent home with boys in grades 1 - 6.