Mission & Diversity Statement

Mission & Diversity Statement

PDS Mission Statement


Poughkeepsie Day School creates transformative learning experiences that inspire intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, and compassion. We believe that education is a pathway to a more just society and sustainable planet. Through discovery, analysis, and reflection, our intentional learning community brings each child to a greater understanding of self, society, and the universe.

Our school emphasizes cultural competence,  global citizenship, and centers an anti-oppression pedagogy. We are preparing a new generation of leaders to envision and create a more just world, and this will require deep respect and empathy for one another. To that end, we strive to create a community of students and staff with broad racial and economic diversity within a school that places equity, inclusion, and empowerment at its core.

Our Values:

Nurture a safe and supportive community.

Learning is a social endeavor. Everyone makes an essential contribution to the flourishing of the whole; we are each the guardian of the other’s learning. This involves collaboration, healthy risk-taking, self-reflection, and mutual respect. A steadfast commitment to social and emotional learning creates an environment that supports our students to thrive. We foster a school that is inclusive and celebrates identity.


Inspire a passion for learning.

Questions matter as much as answers. Students need the freedom to cultivate imagination and explore personal learning styles and interests. Students and teachers engage in an academically challenging curriculum based in inquiry, with a balance of abstract and concrete learning. Our interdisciplinary approach reflects a diverse and changing society and offers pathways to navigating a rapidly evolving world.


Connect learning to the real world.

Relevance unlocks doors of imagination and excitement to learn. Experiences that extend beyond the campus offer powerful opportunities for the exploration of ideas, problems, and careers. We cultivate a passion for ethical action and life-long learning. At each developmental level, we engage in the natural world with a focus on ecological resilience. We intentionally grapple with issues surrounding social justice in preparation to be global citizens and change-makers.


Empower students through voice and choice.

Students have agency to make meaningful choices within their own education. We value independent thinking, and creative expression. Our thematic and project-based curriculum develops academic and communication skills. This inquiry-based approach encourages students to become trail blazers with their teachers as guides.


Diversity Statement

Poughkeepsie Day School is committed to diversity, with a focus on equity and justice in our learning community, school pedagogy, and the relationship with the larger Poughkeepsie community.

PDS affirms people of all identities as integral to the school. These intersectional identities include (but are not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, family configuration, language, culture, ability, body shape and size, and socioeconomic status. We work to ensure that every student feels a deep sense of belonging while being their whole, authentic self.

We actively cultivate an anti-racist community and maintain a learning environment that encourages conversation, even when uncomfortable, around issues of racism, oppression, equity, and justice.   This work is grounded in the belief that change is born out of deep understanding, respect, and accountability.

As PDS moves into this next chapter, we are committed to creating a community of students and staff with broad racial and economic diversity. We envision a school that is deeply connected to our local community, mindful of what we can share with and learn from our neighbors and our local partnerships.