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Intermediate School

Intermediate School at CDS (Grades 4 & 5) forms a bridge between Lower School and Middle School.

Nine- and 10-year-olds are developmentally ready to move beyond the self-contained classrooms of Lower School. However, they must build their knowledge, skills, and maturity before they can confidently embrace the opportunities of Middle School.

They need a place to grow into the students and people they are meant to become through the right balance of challenge and nurture—an academically rigorous, but emotionally safe environment.

That’s exactly what the CDS Intermediate School provides.

Inspiring Curriculum

Robust academic program

Students explore the world, question, analyze, and learn how to think critically

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Students working on robotics in the Legacy Learning Lab

Jewish Connections

Embracing their heritage

Meaningful studies and experiences foster a deep sense of Jewish pride


Students at Yom Ha'atzmaut Flagpole Ceremony

Growth Mindset

Building resilience

Students learn that you can become smarter by trying hard things, failing forward, and then trying again 

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Intermediate School Passover Seder

Personalized Learning Experiences

Students and teacher collaborating on outdoor learning project

Student Support

The dedicated team of learning specialists in our Academic & Emotional Services Department works collaboratively with faculty and parents to meet the individual needs of students with diverse learning styles and support skill-building in social-emotional development.

5th Grade students on trip to Gettysburg

Gettysburg Trip

A highly anticipated class trip to Gettysburg for CDS 5th graders is the perfect way to end their Intermediate School experience. It brings to life their classroom learning in Social Studies and Language Arts about early American history and draws connections to current events.

Intermediate School Spirit Day participants

Emerging Leaders

Jr. Student Council builds leadership skills and creates a sense of belonging in Intermediate School. Special events include a themed Spirit Day, as well as a Service Learning Project such as trail clean-up in partnership with Friends of the Riverfront.

Intermediate School students at recess

Responsive Classroom

CDS Intermediate School is grounded in the Responsive Classroom approach integrating academic and social-emotional skills to empower students to do their best learning. With this core philosophy, our classrooms are safe, challenging, and joyful places for children to learn and thrive.

A Day at a Glance

Intermediate School students work in the Science Lab

Sample 5th Grade Schedule

Classes meet on a rotating basis through an 8-Day academic cycle in our student-centered schedule.

Meet Intermediate School Head Mark Minkus

Mark Minkus

Mark Minkus was appointed Head of Intermediate School and Middle School in June 2012. He comes to Community Day School with more than 20 years experience as Head of School at an independent, religious day school. He has a bachelor's degree in Education from Slippery Rock University and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College. For the last three decades, Mr. Minkus has helped teachers grow through professional development and challenged students to reach their potential through high expectations and the implementation of a rigorous curriculum.