Community Day School Love the learning, Live the Values 

Middle School Happenings

Just One Basket
Mark Minkus, Head of Intermediate School and Middle School


In January of 2017, the 5th graders and Ms. Rakaczky were talking about the upcoming 8h Grade vs. Faculty Basketball Game. Ms. R was describing her level of basketball talent and said that she probably wouldn't even make a basket in the game. The kids immediately called her on it and said, "Ms. R that is NOT a growth mindset!" Before the big game, one of the 5th graders made a sign: "Miss R. All you need is one basket, just one!" Every year since, that same student has shown up in Ms. R's room on the day of the Big Game, retrieved the sign, and held it up to encourage her teacher.

So this year, those same former 5th graders who have been reminding Ms. R to have a growth mindset about basketball were actually playing in the game against the faculty. As usual, the student that made the sign in 5th Grade stopped by Room 208 on the day of the game, retrieved the sign, and handed it to a 7th grader to hold during the game. In the 3rd quarter, Ms. R, after years of trying, finally scored her first basket, and the whole Ulam Sport went wild, especially the 8th graders. Of course, this led to the need to finally tear the sign in half and pose for an awesome postgame photo to commemorate the occasion. 

This story is really what CDS is all about. Genuine affection for a teacher, a humble teacher who can laugh at herself, kids channeling a core value of the school, kids connecting past experiences to the present, and kids and teachers having a lot of fun together. And, as you can see, the exclamation point at the end of this story is a photo with big smiles and lots of blue and gold.

I feel lucky to work at a school where these stories are all around us, in every classroom, on the playground, at Tefillah, in the lunchroom, and on the basketball court. The love that our students have for their teachers and for this school is because our teachers come to work every day and joyfully pour themselves into these amazing kids.

This story is just another reminder of what makes CDS such a special place!

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Just One Basket

After four years of trying, a teacher finally makes a basket ... and the crowd goes wild in story that embodies everything wonderful about CDS.

Standing Together For Mental Health

Community Day School is participating in the Allegheny County's Stand Together program to bring our Middle School community together and help students feel comfortable talking about mental health and substance use disorders.

The Final Buzzer

Another memorable and successful Lions basketball season for the student athletes of CDS is in the books! Join us tomorrow for the 8th Grade vs. Faculty Game to see who will earn the bragging rights of the school.

Shakespeare Comes Alive

Because Shakespeare was meant to be seen and not simply read, CDS 8th Grade was very fortunate this week to have the opportunity to attend PICT Classic Theatre’s production of
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

We've Got Spirit ... How 'Bout You?!

Middle School Student Council has been enjoying Spirit Days this week together with the rest of the school, which will culminate with Blue and Gold Day and tomorrow's annual showdown at the CDS 8th Grade vs. Faculty Basketball Game. See you in the Ulam Sport!

Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Winners

Congratulations to the 12 CDS Middle School students who presented their Science Fair projects recently at Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) at Duquesne University, including four 1st Place winners.

MS Science Fair STEM-ulates Minds

Our Middle School students (and some enterprising 5th graders) participated in the 2020 CDS Science Fair, with plenty of grit, determination, creative inquiry, scientific knowledge, passion, and communication skills on display for the expert panel of judges.

Field Trips With Impact


Middle School students recently took field trips to the Rauh Jewish Archives at the Heinz History Center and to see an original Alumni Theater Company and JCC Pittsburgh production of "Wears Your Mask?" featuring several CDS alumni. Both experiences continue to spark dialogue and inspire inquiry back in the classroom.

Pixel Art Taking Shape

Pixel art has recently become a popular art form and cultural movement that some CDS middle schoolers are beginning to explore this trimester in a new Exploratory, putting their computer skills and creativity to work. 

Winter Wonderland Dance

TONIGHT! Middle schoolers will enjoy a Winter Wonderland at the Student Council Winter Dance, which is a great opportunity to bond with friends, new and old, while having an awesome time.

Mathletes and Athletes

In CDS Middle School, our mathletes and athletes are getting a great workout this winter! Pre-Algebra "mathletes" recently put their math skills to the test while competing in the Metric Olympics, while basketball season is underway with a full slate of games on the schedule for our student-athletes in the months ahead.

CDS Advisors Win Statewide Student Council Award

Middle School Student Council advisors Ronit Pasternak and Jackie Goldblum were recently named Middle School Advisors of the Year from among 1,500 middle schools in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils.

8th Grade Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

As part of their World Culture Spanish class and in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, 8th graders completed multimedia biography projects about Latino and Hispanic-American heroes such as Luis Fonsi, Roberto Clemente, and Frida Kahlo. 

CDS Podcast Studio Live

Thanks to a grant from the CDS Parent Association, our school now has its own portable podcasting studio. In a weekly Exploratory, Middle School students are researching, writing, prepping, and practicing to record a 10-15 minute professional-quality show.

Hakuna Matata

Every year, the best-kept secret in the CDS Middle School is the selection of the Spring Musical. Anxious students count down the days, then the hours, and finally the minutes waiting to learn the name of the show. This year's choice didn't disappoint!