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Lower School

Explore, Play, and Connect with the World Around You

All members of the Lower School community - parents, teachers, and administrators - are focused on providing students with an education that will prepare all students for the world in which they live, while still protecting the joy of childhood. Within classrooms, interactions are respectful, compassionate and authentic. The academic environment is one in which students are supported by exceptional teachers, who create experiences which allow students to explore concepts and ideas, and create their own knowledge through curiosity, inquiry, stimulating engagement and collaboration.


Learning through play is integral to the PCDS experience

Opportunities to Explore

A well-rounded experience with engaging "specials"

Signature Experiences

Time-honored traditions in the Lower School

At a Glance


special subjects beyond homeroom learning

7 : 1

student-to-teacher ratio


days a week of PE and/or outdoor activity


of the Class of 2022 started their PCDS journey in pre-k or kindergarten


licensed counselor devoted to social and emotional learning


of all Lower Schoolers feel known as an individual and valued as part of the PCDS community


Carla Belsher

Lower School Counselor

Mrs. Belsher is passionate about looking at the whole child as well as partnering with parents/families and teachers to set the students up for maximum success.

Mrs. Belsher spends her days soaking up the energy and enthusiasm of our Lower School students in the classroom, on the playground, and individually in her office.  Her child-centered approach to observation, assessment, and intervention allows her to meet each student's needs while prioritizing communication with teachers and parents in order to support the whole child. She has been working in independent schools for over 15 years and loves the way they create a true partnership between home and school. Mrs. Belsher works closely with the teachers to promote early identification of social/emotional/behavioral concerns in order to create an effective treatment plan that supports the learning of the child as an individual and as a member of a classroom community. Mrs. Belsher also teaches semi-monthly social emotional lessons in each classroom with a focus on emotion regulation, empathy, kindness, friendship, anatomy of the brain, perspective taking, and so much more.