Community Day School Love the learning, Live the Values 

Technology @ CDS


Community Day School’s educational philosophy prioritizes student-centered learning, inquiry, and real-world problem solving. CDS enriches education with technology and STEM training, fully preparing our students to honor the worldwide Jewish legacy of innovation and to make a difference in the world.

Students need to understand how to think about science, to work effectively with technology, and to collaborate with the wider community in real-world contexts. 

The mission of the Community Day School Technology Department is to provide technology and services to support student learning. Technology is an essential tool to facilitate creative problem solving, information fluency, critical thinking skills and collaboration. We want our students to be safe, legal, responsible and active contributors to our digital world.

Our robotics and computer science curriculum scaffolds through all grade levels, and teachers use SMART Boards, iPads, laptops, and desktop computers, plus a variety of software, apps, and multimedia resources for interdisciplinary learning. In addition, our Middle School offers a 1:1 Chromebook program, where every student is provided with a laptop computer for individualized learning.

Curriculum Overview

Igniting the Spark


IGNITE (Inspiring Greatness Now: Innovation Through Exploration) is an experiential learning program at Community Day School that enables students to articulate and develop an interest outside the regular curriculum that is intellectually stimulating and personally meaningful. We aim to deepen their sense of self and love of learning, along with an awareness of their own potential as valuable creators of knowledge.

IGNITE In Action
IGNITE In Action
IGNITE In Action
IGNITE In Action
IGNITE In Action
IGNITE In Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action
IGNITE in Action

Through a combination of guest presenters, experiential lessons, design thinking, discussion, journaling, multimedia research, field trips, and creative projects, teachers guide students towards discoveries that lead to memorable learning experiences and original projects.

Launched in 2012, the IGNITE program at CDS is constantly evolving and aligns itself with experiential learning in both Jewish and secular studies, a STEAM approach to interdisciplinary curricula, and the Remake Learning movement. Community Day School joins the exciting and important conversations among educators who know that in order to educate a whole child and to prepare students for the workplace of the future, the natural curiosity and creativity of young children must be nurtured, challenged, and valued at school.

At CDS we believe that every child is gifted in unique ways; the IGNITE program is devoted to making sure that every child discovers and activates that limitless potential.

Jordan Hoover

Jordan Hoover

Director of Technology and Strategic Initiatives
B.S. in Business Management, University of Phoenix
M.S. in Business Management, University of Phoenix
Jackie Barnes

Jackie Barnes

Learning Innovation Coach
B.S. in Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
M.S. in Learning Sciences, Indiana University
Ph.D. in Learning Sciences, Indiana University
Vanessa Pfendler

Vanessa Pfendler

Computer Science and Robotics Teacher
B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University
M.Ed. in Instructional Technology, Duquesne University