A is for…A Poughkeepsie Day School Lexicon

A is for Algebra, Anthropology, Arts and Athletics. We teach them all.

People often refer to the STEM curriculum (It’s an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Our program however, is fully SEARCHED (Science, Engineering, Arts, Recess, Community Service, Humanities, Exercise, Design.

No T because technology is everywhere – from paint brushes and  blocks to the ubiquitous laptops.)

And given the project-based and interdisciplinary approach maybe VICED would work (Values, Imagination, Collaboration, Empathy, Design.) Maybe not. But the possibilities are legion. So for now I’ll settle for working on the right acronym to include SHERPA: Service, Humanities, Exercise, Recess, Play and Arts.

A is for All-School Activities: Throughout the year students meet in small Thanksgiving Lunchmixed-age groups led by high school students. These activities include Halloween pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving, Earth Day celebrations and campus clean-up and events focused on fun and collaborative problem solving.

This is a picture of the recent Thanksgiving all-school activity that included eating lunch together.

This year we are anticipating a student-led Chinese New Year Spring Festival celebration.

Keeping the score for basketballA is for Amy in the lower school, Anita at the front desk, Anna who teaches ESL in the high school and Andrea in the business office.

A is for Accord, Arlington and Arthursburg. Our families come from all-over

And A is for Active Learning, Authentic Assessment (one thing A is not is a grade) and  Advising. 

And A is for all our alumni who are out there in the world and of whom we are so proud.

Here are four we have seen recently:

Dylan Murphy ’11 visiting on a break from Bennington.

Sean Kelley ’01 who came by with a friend.

Kira Seligman ’89 at Fall Festival Reimagined and

Ellie Rubin Charwat ’53 who, together with her husband Martin, was  honored for her work by the Community Foundation of Dutchess County at their garden party this October. Ellie is wonderful to talk with and she has such vivid memories of life at PDS – the people, the program and the purpose.




   And A is for Aristotle who said:

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

All right then – what is Absent from this list?


  1. Jeffrey Reddoch:

    Joan Garcia our Spanish teacher, will be teaching at your school starting in the fall 2015. Signed, Jeffrey Reddoch III & his grandma, Chiquita Reddoch who grew up with her. She is a wonderful teacher!

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