“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome a record number of students to Erie Day School. I believe that our enrollment speaks to the importance that parents are putting on the education of their children and are searching for the very best option. Our education, environment and programs are second to none in the area. I’m looking forward to an active, great year!”
~ Kim Connelly, Director, Admissions
Erie Day School (EDS) was established in 1929 by a parent group who passionately believed in the importance of a progressive, independent education.
The founders' goal was to create a school that would encourage learning through authentic experiences and close cooperation between school and home. Erie and the world have changed a lot in 88 years, but EDS has remained steadfast in its mission to provide high-quality faculty, curricula, facilities and programs, resulting in an individualized developmental and educational experience, which will serve as a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning, growth, responsibility and leadership.
EDS has always followed a simple philosophy — children naturally like to learn. Effective education taps into this innate love of learning by rewarding children's inquisitive natures and giving them resources to broaden their knowledge. No matter how the world changes around our students, EDS provides a safe haven for children to develop as complete individuals and use their talents to better themselves and their communities.
As the only accredited independent school in northwestern Pennsylvania, Erie Day School embodies the mission set forth by the founders now more than ever. EDS provides an education that takes the whole child into consideration.
EDS designs a flexible environment that supports each student in their unique personal development, instead of molding students to fit a predefined curriculum. The School achieves this feat in a number of ways, including a robust liberal arts curriculum which includes a focus on visual and performing arts. A strong foundation in early childhood education, Erie Day School hosts an emphasis on social responsibility, and a commitment to inclusion and diversity.
Erie Day School believes the end depends upon the beginning. Educators plan an engaging curriculum that evolves to meet each age group's unique developmental needs. Children gain experience in reading, writing, math, sciences, world language, social studies, and computer science. The curriculum builds upon itself, providing appropriate challenges to students and helping them to see the fruits of their academic inquiry. Teachers help students see the interconnectedness of each academic area, so that students also learn novel ways to use their strengths and talents. Creative play, art and music experiences reward children with opportunities to grow. For example, strong writing skills help students clearly explain their original hypothesis in science class. The interplay between subject areas and play also fuels students' natural curiosity and rewards their love of learning with the Early Childhood ‘playground.’
Educators, policy makers, and economic leaders realize the profound effect that early childhood education can have on a person’s ability to learn. In fact, research shows that the toddler years (12 to 36 months) are the period of most rapid growth in a child, only surpassed by the first 12 months of life. With this in mind, Erie Day School added the Toddler Program in 2010 to the Preschool, and PreK programs. The Toddler Program is based on Montessori methods where a learning environment balances a toddler’s natural need for structure, routine, and consistency, with an open setting that allows the child to move freely about the classroom. Allowing children the opportunities to make appropriate choices builds confidence and self-esteem, while also creating a positive association towards learning and school. The Early Childhood school day consists of a rich variety of activities that include readiness skills for reading, math, social studies and science, as well as outdoor play, story time, and group discussions.
The Lower School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school. The IB curriculum represents the "best of the best" from many countries rather than just core standards from any one. Students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. During this developmental period, students are exposed to a variety of topics that will act as the foundation for their future academic studies and interests. Active participation is a point of emphasis, and students acquire the basic skills necessary for the more complex concepts of Middle School. Participation in the IB system helps us follow our founders' goal of teaching students how to be life-long learners and recognize their place in a much broader community. Reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, spelling, math, general sciences, technology, world languages, visual an performing arts are opportunities afforded our Lower School learners.
The Middle School, Grades 5–8, is an excellent example of how our challenging but flexible curriculum prepares students not just for the next level of education, but also for a lifetime of curiosity, problem solving, collaboration, and leadership.
The Middle School offers students an individualized, multi-age educational experience that interweaves real-life experiences with critical academic theories and high-level concepts, while exceeding all independent and state school standards.
Too often in one-size-fits-all education, some students feel overwhelmed by grade-level work, while others are left feeling unchallenged and unengaged. The Day School's small, nurturing environment and dedicated faculty meet children at their level to engage their unique strengths and weakness. Students are ‘looped’ among the same educators in Grades 5–8, developing interconnections and setting expectations that will linger into adulthood.
At EDS, students are given the tools to follow their own lines of inquiry, research topics that spark their curiosity, and synthesize information to create a deep knowledge base, rather than just a mental storeroom of facts. By setting high standards for our students, they learn to set their own sights high and are able to develop the resources and discipline to achieve their goals.
As part of our mission, Early Childhood, Lower School and Middle School faculty find effective ways to teach cooperation, tolerance, and mutual respect on a daily basis.
Group projects and collaboration are essential tools of instruction. Students often learn from their interaction with each other as much as from their texts and teachers. This type of collaborative process gives students interpersonal and project management skills that will serve them well during their entire lives. Social etiquette instruction is among the many assets of the ‘hidden curriculum’ that emphasizes manners, social and environmental responsibilities.
Our mission at Erie Day School is to provide a student-centered, diverse, family-oriented environment where children are guided in strengthening their unique academic, artistic and athletic potential. Our highly educated and engaged faculty encourage students to develop international-mindedness as they realize their roles as responsible citizens in a global community.