A Guide for New PCDS Parents
Welcome to Phoenix Country Day School! We are excited that you and your child are joining our community, and we will do everything possible to make your welcome warm and your transition seamless. The following information should help. We hope you find this guide useful, and we welcome input about making changes or additions for future new parents. Enjoy your first year and welcome again!
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Back To School Information
Back-to-School information is posted for the upcoming school year by August 1 each summer. Once it's available, visit www.pcds.org/backtoschool to access division handbooks and comprehensive information about your child(ren)'s division(s).
What We Need From You
Once you complete and submit your online contract, a copy of your countersigned contract will be mailed to you. Shortly after, parents receive an important email with a link, password and instructions to complete our online Information Update, in which families provide required biographical, medical, and emergency contact information. (Completion of that process will initiate PCDS commuications such as The Latest and Parents' Association newsletters, and prompt us to issue your website account parent user ID(s) and password(s), all of which you will also receive by email.) In addition to the Information Update, the following forms are required:
What Happens Next?
Lower School families will receive class placement and other important information after August 1. Please contact Kimberly Saur, Lower School Assistant Head, at 602.955.8200 ext. 2254 or email@example.com with any questions.
Middle School information regarding advisors, textbooks, supplies, music/instrument selections, and locks and lockers is sent after August 1. Please contact Jackie Lee, Middle School Administrative Assistant, at 602.955.8200 ext. 2226 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Upper School students complete course registration in the spring and summer. Once registration is completed, student schedules can be viewed by using your website user ID and password. Please contact Gabi Ragsdale, Upper School Administrative Assistant, at 602.955.8200 ext. 2300 or email@example.com with any questions.
All students should plan to attend New Student Orientation on Monday, August 20th at 8:30 am (Lower School), 9:30 am (Middle School) and 10:30 am (Upper School). (Pre-k and Kindergarten students attend this event in groups at varying times. Please look for your child's specific orientation details in the information you receive from the Lower School in July.)
Save These Dates
- Lower School Parent Connection Day - Friday, August 16
- Back-to-School Ice Cream Social - Sunday, August 18
- New Student and Parent Orientations (required)
- Lower School - Monday, August 19, at 8:30 am
- Middle School - Monday, August 19, at 9:30 am
- Upper School - Monday, August 19, at 10:30 am
- First Day of School – Tuesday, August 20, classes begin at 7:50
- Back-to-School Kickoff - First Day of School, Tuesday, August 20, 7:30 - 9:00 am in Burch Hall
Please review the Community Calendar for additional important dates such as school photo days and Back-to-School nights. The dropdown menus at the top of the calendar will allow you to view scheduled events by month and division.
Your Website Account
PCDS has a “green” philosophy and communicates almost entirely online. Every member of the PCDS community has a website account with a user ID and password. New parents receive their user IDs and passwords by email soon after they have completed the online Information Update. (The site provides options to change passwords and email forgotten ones.) While most of the site can be viewed without accessing your account, you will need to log in to view protected information or information that is particular to your student. Refer to About Logging In to the PCDS Website for complete information.
The PCDS website is a comprehensive resource for parents, students, faculty and staff, and alumni. The list of helpful pages and links includes The Latest (our weekly electronic newsletter), printable lunch menus, communication options, NetClassroom (an online program for Lower, Middle and Upper schools where parents and students can access schedules in grades 5 through 12 and report cards in all grades), information on purchasing P.E. uniforms (for grades 5 through 8) and textbooks, and the searchable PCDS Community Directory. We encourage you to explore our website so that you will be comfortable navigating it once school begins. Many of these pages will begin to reflect 2013-14 information over the summer.
If you are joining an independent school community for the first time, we recommend that you read About Independent Private Schools on the website of the National Association of Independent Schools.
Many of your questions will be answered in the appropriate division handbook. The handbooks cover details such as dress code, absences, car pools, PE uniforms, and discipline procedures. Annually updated handbooks are available by August 1 from the Back-to-School page. In the meantime, you are welcome to review the current year's Lower, Middle and Upper School handbooks. Updates or changes for the next year will be reflected in the new editions. (After August 1, these links will point to the new editions.)
Finding What You're Looking for Online
If the information for which you're looking is not in an obvious location, you can peruse the Site Map, available from the bottom right of every page, or use the site's Search feature, which, in addition to having its own page, is available at the top left of every page. Note that the Search feature can find words only on web pages, not within any graphics or linked documents. The Admissions Office staff is also available to help.
Drop-off and Pick-up Information
The School is open Monday – Thursday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. The main phone line is 602.955.8200. Pre-k parking spaces marked in blue near the Garvin Early Childhood Center are for pre-k parents only. A pre-k parking sign must be placed in the front windshield when using a spot. Please be mindful of the six-minute time limit, which allows for needed parking space turnover as parents do the required check-in and check-out. All other Lower School (pre-k through fourth grade) and Middle School parents drop off students in front of the Administration Building. Upper School students are dropped off in the circular driveway on 40th Street near the Upper School office. Upper School students who drive must park in the student lot, the fenced lot on 40th Street, just south of the tennis courts, and are required to have a visible PCDS parking decal. See the Upper School Handbook for more details. Parking for the athletic fields, gymnasium, and swimming pools is available in the fenced student lot.
Please note that pre-kindergarten students attend school only from 7:50 until noon the first week of school; kindergarten students attend school only from 7:50 until noon on the first day of school. Lunch will not be provided for those students on those days.
If you are using an online mapping system (e.g. Google Maps) or a GPS to locate the school, refer to Visiting PCDS for details.
Every PCDS parent is a member of the Parents’ Association (PA). For more information about how to get involved, please visit Parents’ Association or read the list of parent volunteer roles. In addition, we hope each of you will join us for the Back-to-School Kick Off from 7:30 until 9:00 am on the first day of school. After your child has headed to class, please come to the Dining Hall (located west of the Administration building) to learn more about getting involved in the PCDS community.
Lunch for grades pre-k through 8 is included in the tuition charge. Lunches for grades 9 through 12 are $5.00 for each lunch purchased in the dining hall or a la carte in the Upper School cafe, charged to students' accounts. Visit Food Services for more information.
Our after-school program, known as Extended Day, is offered for Lower School and Middle School students from 3 pm until 6 pm. For more information, click the link for the appropriate division above and look for details about Extended Day and other after school programs in the appropriate division handbook once they are updated on August 1.
Most parents drive their children to and from school; some parents coordinate car pools with other families. The Carpooling Directory,(available separately as well as a part of the PCDS Community Directory) provides a zip-code ordered list for locating families in one's zip code or neighboring area. (Last year's directories, currently available, will be updated soon after the start of school.) PCDS also offers bus transportation, depending upon the geographical location of the student’s residence and the availability of space. Service is not available for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students. Visit Transportation Services for additional information. Parents who sign up for bus services will receive specific information about pick-up and drop-off times in the week prior to the start of school.
Visitors and Security
Visitors check in through the main office on Stanford Drive for the Lower and Middle Schools and the division office on 40th Street for the Upper School. Additional security is present on campus seven days a week. Visit Security for additional information.
Backpacks and Bookbags
Due to limited space and need, students are not permitted to have rolling backpacks prior to third grade. Though not required, ZUCA rolling bookbags are highly popular among students in third through sixth grades. In Middle School, these can be a particularly good organizational tool and they fit in student lockers.
We hope you find this guide and the school's website helpful as you prepare for the coming school year. Please contact the Admissions Office at 602.955.8200 ext. 2255 or the appropriate division administrative assistant with additional questions.
Welcome again, and we look forward to having you join our community!