Lower School

A Montessori Foundation
We are Montessori based, which means we believe in educating the whole child - not just his / her brain. We integrate social skills, character education, and emotional well-being as well as traditional academics into our curriculum, and we believe that solid academics depend on the growth of the "whole child." 

As a school based on the Montessori philosophy, respect for self, others, and the environment are cornerstones of our curriculum. We build on children's natural desire for independence and help them to achieve that in classrooms constructed to allow each child to explore hands-on, meaningful work that both reaches the child at his or her current stage, but also encourages children to stretch themselves to the next level. Respect for the environment is cultivated as the children participate in the maintenance of our community, whether through completing classroom jobs, fulfilling 'clean sweep' duty in the dining room, or nurturing classroom gardens.

Montessori, and Beyond
We gradually transition to a more traditional, yet still personalized classroom structure in grades 4-6. We have also modified the traditional three-year Montessori curriculum by shortening the age range in the multi-age classes. Our student-teacher ratios are approximately 6:1 for toddlers, 10:1 for preschoolers, and 15:1 for grades K-6. These small student-teacher ratios allow our teachers to individually know and support each child at his or her own level.

Community School/School Community
Our entire school is a community and we frequently gather together as such. All students and faculty come together weekly to share, teach, and learn. At these gatherings, we may enjoy performers from outside our community, learn about character traits and practice public speaking through class presentations, or simply read, talk, or sing together.

Our Nine Character Values
We especially value nine personal characteristics, which provide the foundation for our sense of community and joint responsibility for one another: 

    1.  Joy
    2.  Independence
    3.  Initiative
    4.  Curiosity
    5.  Confidence
    6.  Cooperation
    7.  Respect
    8.  Responsibility, and
    9.  Courage

We seize every opportunity to incorporate these character traits in our studies and model them for one another.  

Community Service and Public Speaking
Community service and public speaking are integrated into our curriculum in developmentally appropriate ways at all age and grade levels, so that our children can be active contributors to our community and practice presenting themselves to others.

P.E, Foreign Language, Music, Art, and Library
We include 30 minutes of daily physical education, as well as 1 hour weekly of Spanish, music, and art instruction. Our students at all ages also enjoy at least 30 minutes of outdoor outdoor play time (weather permitting) to promote physical health and a balanced approach to their studies.

Parent Access and Involvement
We maintain an open door policy with our families, and we welcome parents as classroom volunteers, lunchtime visitors, and observers. Volunteer opportunities are present at all grade levels as well as through school-wide activities such as book fairs and our annual Trivia Night auction. We also support virtual communications with our classroom websites through RenWeb, our school management software. Parents can log into a secure site to view classroom calendars, newsletters, pictures, and grades (for grades 4-6). Teachers are available via email and phone to answer questions and support our families.