Learn Deeply
 
"Sometimes there is a magic that happens in the classroom that is hard to explain to the outsider. It's the juicy goodness that keeps kids interested in school and active participants in their learning. It's the stuff that keeps teachers motivated and the classroom dynamic."
                                                                                     - Renee Miller, 3rd grade teacher, PDS
 
A visiting parent said recently that he loved the way that Park Day School students leaned into the learning. The excitement and depth of our hands-on projects, our exceptional teachers and our attention to each child's social and emotional well being are a great start towards helping them to learn how they learn best. Some of our signature projects support and reflect our focus on helping all of our students love learning for a lifetime.
 
Design-Make-Engage 
Park Day School is working with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a group of neighborhood Oakland public schools to understand and apply best practices for the application of design thinking and the maker movement to elementary and middle school classrooms. Going far beyond applying project-­based practices, this school-­wide effort is designed to strengthen the breadth and depth of learning across the grades, particularly as it relates to science, technology, engineering the arts and math, adding the arts to "STEM."
Technology Pilots
Our technology program is designed to maximize student access when technology is most appropriate, and to evaluate the efficacy of these devices as tools to assist in student learning. Three recently conducted pilot programs have helped to identify the best ways to improve how we use technology to advance learning at Park Day School. In addition to the technology we’ve been using in classrooms for years, we recently piloted cart-­based MacBook Pro laptops and Chromebooks in the upper grades and iPads for the lower school. Our findings in these pilots and a recent grant from a technology company are making it possible for our middle school to move to a 1:1 student to computer ratio. This exciting application of new laptops in our middle school will enable our K-5 classrooms exclusive use of the iPad and MacBook carts purchased just last year.
 
Math, Science and Engineering Nights
Park Day School celebrates math, science and engineering in every grade with a night of presentations, games and fun. Features of the events include a “probability fair” with games and prizes; student formulated, tested and packaged environmentally safe household cleaners; 3-­D scale models of structures designed to benefit our local Temescal neighborhood and a host of other student work.
 
Learning Support
Our Learning Support program is robust. It is an integral part of our academic offering and supports our approach to differentiated learning. We have three Learning Specialists aligned to K-1st, 2nd-5th, and middle school respectively, and a Differentiation Specialist.  Each of these educators works closely with our classroom teachers, providing "pull-out" and "drop-in" instruction for individual students and small groups. This Differentiation Specialist works with both students needing additional support in particular areas of the curriculum, and those needing additional challenge.
 
Off-Campus Learning
Field trips, overnights and international travel are all integral parts of our school program. Park Day students participate in a wide variety of off campus experiences at each grade level. All off campus learning experiences are designed to deepen students' understanding of curricular themes and social justice topics, as well as connecting students to the wider community through service learning projects. Overnight trips provide a greater opportunity for students to form stronger bonds with each other while they are learning about specific topics, such as the history of an area during the Gold Rush. Past international trips for the 8th grade students have centered on Spanish speaking countries. Students have had opportunities to speak Spanish, learn from local artists and volunteer in villages nearby.
 
 
 
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