Community Day School Love the learning, Live the Values 

Fast Facts

By The Numbers

  • Grade Levels: Early Childhood (3s and Pre-K) through Grade 8
  • Enrollment: 287
  • Faculty: 42
  • Student-Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Average Class Size: 14

Early Childhood

Inspired by the practices of Reggio Emilia, the CDS Early Childhood program includes both 3-year-old and Pre-K classrooms, providing a warm and nurturing environment where children can learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally while enjoying a vibrant Jewish experience.

  • Full school day: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Fridays)
  • Core hours also available: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Hot kosher lunch and snacks provided
  • Extended Day: Runs until 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays (earlier end time in the winter due to Shabbat) includes free play time and games
  • Facilities: Athletic field, educational gardens, natural playground and age-specific playground, gymnasium, library
  • Participant in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI)/Bonim Beyachad ~ Building Together program

Lower School

CDS Lower School (Kindergarten-Grade 3) takes children along a path through hands-on exploration, creativity, technological experiences, engaging academics, and vital socio-emotional support. As educators, we join together with families to create a strong guiding partnership to nurture students through this meaningful and life-changing CDS journey. 

  • School day: 7:55 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. (2:35 p.m. on Fridays)
  • Before care: Free supervised care beginning at 7:30 a.m.
  • Extended Day: Runs until 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Fridays with earlier end time in the winter due to Shabbat)
  • Facilities: Athletic field, educational gardens, playground, gymnasium with performance stage
  • Technology: SMART Boards and iPads, with PC and Apple desktops and robotics in the Learning Innovation Lab
  • Science: Inspire Science curriculum by McGraw Hill, built to the Next Generation Science Standards focusing on literacy and math integration, real-world problem-solving, and STEM activities/careers
  • Math: Everyday Math in K-1 and My Math curriculum in 2-3
  • Language Arts: Units of study from the Writing Workshop model developed at Columbia University and Fountas and Pinnell Classrooms program for phonemic awareness and phonics, fluency, vocabulary, grammar skills, and spelling patterns
  • Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears method of instruction in Kindergarten-Grade 3. This multi-sensory approach offers a variety of hands-on strategies to develop writing fluency
  • Hebrew: iTalAm spiraling curriculum accelerates language learning and makes the study of Hebrew and Judaism fun and relevant, incorporating digital tools for personalized learning
  • Jewish Studies: Daily tefillah, holidays, and Torah
  • IGNITE experiential learning program: Teaching teams choose a broad theme to engage students while modeling how a topic can be approached from multiple perspectives, laying the groundwork for independent work in later grades.
  • Specials: Art, music, library, computer science/robotics, physical education
  • Extracurricular activities: After-school clubs and programs such as fencing, chess, garden club, Mad Science, and Little Medical School

Intermediate School

Intermediate School at CDS (Grades 4 and 5) forms a bridge between Lower School and Middle School, providing an academically rigorous, but emotionally safe and joyful environment with an emphasis on critical thinking and socio-emotional development.

  • School day: 7:55 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. (2:35 p.m. on Fridays)
  • Before care: Free supervised care beginning at 7:30 a.m.
  • Extended Day: Runs until 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Fridays with earlier end time in the winter due to Shabbat)
  • Facilities: Athletic field, educational gardens, playground, gymnasium with performance stage
  • Technology: SMART Boards and iPads, with PC and Apple desktops and robotics in the Learning Innovation Lab
  • Science: Inspire Science curriculum by McGraw Hill, built to the Next Generation Science Standards focusing on literacy and math integration, real-world problem-solving, and STEM activities/careers
  • Math: My Math curriculum
  • Language Arts: Units of study from the Writing Workshop model developed at Columbia University and novel studies supplemented with Reading Street spelling and grammar lessons 
  • Hebrew: iTalAm spiraling curriculum accelerates language learning and makes the study of Hebrew and Judaism fun and relevant, incorporating digital tools for personalized learning
  • Jewish Studies: Daily tefillah, Book of Exodus to the end of the Torah taught through an innovative approach, where students engage with texts by critically solving 'cases' in a simulated 'FBI' agency
  • Social Studies: Regions of our Country and  America’s Past curricula
  • IGNITE experiential learning program: Game design, jewelry-making, creative writing, engineering and sustainability, performing arts
  • Arts and Bots: STEAM-based program where 5th Grade students design, build, and program robots they create from upcycled materials
  • Specials: Art, music, library, physical education 
  • Extracurricular activities: Jr. Student Council, Drama Club, Little Lions and 5th Grade Step-Up sports, Girls on the Run, IS Service Learning Project, 5th Grade Gettysburg trip, Odyssey of the Mind, Instrumental Band

Middle School

Community Day School Middle School (Grades 6-8) provides a joyful educational environment that guides our students to become independent learners, organized time managers, and critical-thinking problem-solvers. Most importantly, CDS middle schoolers become mensch-like leaders with the confidence and skills to make a positive difference in the world.

  • School day: 7:55 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. (2:35 p.m. on Fridays)
  • Facilities: Athletic field, educational gardens, playground, gymnasium with performance stage, library
  • Technology: SMART Boards and iPads, with PC and Apple desktops and robotics in the Learning Innovation Lab, 1:1 Chromebook program
  • Science: 6th Grade: Earth & Space Science; 7th Grade: Biology; 8th Grade: Chemistry & Physics; Annual Science Fair for all students (Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair for winners and optional PJAS competition)
  • Math: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Course 1, 2, 3
  • Foreign Language: Hebrew NETA curriculum for all grades with a sequential progression of grammar and linguistics; 7th Grade: Introduction to Spanish; 8th Grade: Spanish 1
  • Language Arts: Writing Workshop units and novel studies
  • Jewish Studies: daily tefillah, Jewish lifecycle events, Mishnah, Talmud, history of the Jews in the U.S. and specifically Pittsburgh, as well as the State of Israel and the Book of Judges; 8th Grade: Book of Samuel and comparative religion 
  • Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and human behavior curriculum 
  • Social Studies: 6th Grade: World History and Geography; 7th and 8th grades: American History
  • Exploratories: Forensic science, marine biology, Drum Olam, sign language, yoga, ceramics, Yiddish, drone technology, and much more
  • Specials: Art, music, physical education 
  • Extracurricular activities: Student Council, Tefillah Council, spring musical, interscholastic athletics, Odyssey of the Mind, Keeping Tabs docents, Minyan Makers, Instrumental Band, drum ensemble, overnight trips to Washington, D.C., Strawberry Hill Nature Reserve, Israel

Accreditation and Associations

ACCREDITATION
  • Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS)
ASSOCIATIONS
  • Educational Records Bureau (ERB)
  • Educating For A Jewish Spiritual Life (EJSL)
  • Facing History and Ourselves Innovative Schools Network
  • Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI)/Bonim Beyachad ~ Building Together
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools 
  • Pittsburgh Consortium of Independent Schools (PCIS)

Destination High School

Community Day School students attend many of the top private and public high schools in the Pittsburgh region:

% attending Pittsburgh Allderdice High School: 70%

% attending independent schools: 16.5%
% attending suburban high schools: 7.25%
% attending city magnet schools: 5%
 
(Data from 2008-2017 graduates)

Academic Outcomes

CDS students consistently outperform students at independent and suburban public schools nationwide on the ERBs, which are highly regarded standardized tests considered the “gold standard” among private schools.

  • Lower School students average 1.5 years of growth on Gates-MacGinitie reading tests.
  • ERB combined Math scores: CDS Middle School ranks in the 93rd percentile on average compared to the 90th percentile for independent schools nationwide.
  • ERB combined Language Arts scores: CDS Middle School ranks in the 89th percentile on average compared to the 87th percentile for independent schools nationwide.
  • CDS 8th Grade scored higher than their independent school peers nationwide by 2.6 percentile points in combined math and 1 percentile point in combined language arts.  

College Matriculation

For nearly 50 years, CDS has been graduating capable, confident and proud 8th graders who launch into their high school and college careers with great success. As our alumni attend top colleges and universities throughout the country and participate in educational and service experiences in Israel and worldwide, we feel great pride in their accomplishments. 

Class of 2018 College List
College Matriculation 2012-2018

Infographic.pdf