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Our History


In 2010, Park City Academy and The Colby School came together to form what is now Park City Day School.  In the spring of 2009, PNAIS evaluated The Colby School and Park City Academy, both candidates for PNAIS accreditation. Opening in 2010, Park City Day School was granted full accreditation in 2011 by PNAIS (Now, the Northwest Association of Independent Schools).

In that first year, drawing upon the best elements of each of the previous schools, and upon best practices for progressive independent schools nationwide, PCDS sought to establish a close-knit community of engaged experiential learners who are both challenged and supported.  

Today, at Park City Day School, our students get the comprehensive academic grounding and habits of mind they need for future success. We have an active co-curricular program that takes full advantage of the unique locale, and a warm, supportive community environment in which close relationships can develop among teachers, students, and parents.



Park City Academy began as Carden Christian Academy in 1989. Mrs. Frances Johnson and Mrs. Patricia Russell founded the school in memory of David Johnson, a fourth grader at Carden Memorial School in Salt Lake City, who was killed by a car while standing on a street corner. Beginning with 30 students in rented hotel space, the Academy engaged eager students and dynamic teachers with relevant, challenging curriculum in a supportive environment to provide the very best preparation possible for the students’ academic and professional success, as well as their personal happiness. 

In 2007, Park City Academy realigned its mission from an affiliation with the Association of Christian Schools International to a more secular focus as a Candidate Member of the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS), now the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS).


In 1998 The Colby School was founded by seven teachers from the Park City School District who shared a different vision: a school that challenged students academically, provided them with a safe learning community, and taught them to treat each other with respect. The founders named the school "Colby," in honor of a student who overcame immeasurable personal challenges, improved his academic achievement, and became a classroom leader. From the outset, beginning with just twenty-two students, The Colby School emphasized integrating thematic projects and experiential learning across subject areas, which allowed for multiple ways of learning. Outdoor Education outings and service learning programs provided Colby students with a strong sense of place within their school and local community.

I’m inspired by the unique educational experience we’ve created for our children, and for future generations of Park City's youth. 


–Kristi Cumming, Founding Board Chair Emeritus