Through a rich and varied experience in and beyond the classroom, the lower school nurtures children’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth. The curriculum draws on the developmental theories of Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky’s understanding of the social construction of knowledge, and Howard Gardner’s insights on multiple intelligences. Learning is also shaped by the individual interests of our students and teachers. The result: a meaningful and dynamic enterprise. As they experiment and explore, answering questions of real relevance, children develop skills of inquiry and reasoning, problem solving, and communication that serve them well for years to come.
Challenging programs in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, music and library offer children the opportunity to study subjects in depth and to question, research and value the diversity of human experience and the wonder and complexity of the physical and natural world.
Our small lower school classes (average class size 12-13 students) ensure that every child’s strengths and challenges are well known and addressed. Our three pre-kindergarten/kindergarten classes are each staffed with two teachers. Each other lower school classroom has one classroom teacher with whom students spend most of the day. Visual arts, music, library, science, and physical education are taught by specialist teachers one or two times a week. In the fifth grade, Spanish and drama are added to the curriculum.
In the lower school, students are grouped either in traditional single-grade classrooms or in vertical multi-grade classrooms where two grades of students are taught in the same classroom over the course of two years. Our pre-kindergarten/kindergarten and third/fourth-grade classrooms are multi-age.