The Independent School Difference

Like many of the top, private schools across the country, PCDS is an Independent School. PCDS is a proud member of the National Association of Independent Schools and a regional member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest. But, what does that mean? It means balancing tradition with innovation; high academics with a student-centered approach. In short, we're one of a kind, and here's why:

Independence in the truest sense of the word

Independent schools are governed by a board of trustees, not a public school board. They are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue.

Mission-driven education

Whether co-ed or single sex, day school or boarding school, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching.

High academic standards

Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.

Small classes that allow for individual attention

Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.

Excellent teachers

Our instructors usually teach in their areas of expertise and strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation.

Education for the whole child

In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience.


Independent schools maintain diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.

A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education

Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.

Phoenix Country Day School seeks and accepts students for admission without reference to race, color, religion, age, disability, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or gender. Admissions and financial aid decisions are made independently.

Visit the NAIS
Parents' Guide to Independent Schools
to learn more.