Lower Division Academics

Student experience in the lower division is designed to attend to each learner’s development and introduce the comforting rituals of daily school life.

Curriculum, Daily Schedule, & After-School Program

Curriculum

Students learn how to learn, engage confidently with teachers and peers, and build a strong foundation in literacy, mathematics, social-emotional skills, and critical thinking.

Learn more about our curriculum

Daily Schedule

Our daily schedule reflects our understanding of how students learn and live best. Five hour-long class blocks allow for deep, patient academic engagement. Regular breaks allow for nourishing community experiences and restorative play.

View our daily schedule

After-School Program

The After-School Program—included in each student’s tuition—provides structured, fun opportunities to gain new skills and pursue interests in the arts, STEM, and fitness.

Learn More about our After-school program

Our Approach

Student experience in the lower division is designed to attend to each learner’s development and introduce the comforting rituals of daily school life. Students learn how to learn, how to share thoughts and ideas, and how to be both unique and one of many. For each grade level, there are two full time teachers assigned to each class. In addition, students receive instruction from additional teaching faculty in Spanish, physical education, art, music, and dance.

Additionally, our curriculum provides age-appropriate opportunities for social-emotional and intellectual development. Teachers develop expectations for growth that are personalized for each student, and grounded in four key areas of learning: social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive.

During their time at the School, students are expected to and supported in developing the skills and confidence to:

  • learn to help, follow rules, practice good behavior;
  • encouraged by consistent rules and accountability, respond well to clear and simple expectations;
  • exercise empathetic discipline as limits are tested and mistakes are made;
  • learn to share and what it means to be a good friend;
  • listen and learn in small groups and larger groups.

Students are expected and empowered to:

  • develop the ability to be adaptable to change;
  • persevere in the face of challenge and tolerate frustration;
  • develop emotional intelligence:
    • honesty,
    • integrity,
    • confidence, and
    • compassion
  • guide, lead, and be responsible for self and others; and
  • develop healthy habits of emotional self-care while taking pride in the process.

Students are expected to and supported in developing the skills and confidence to:

  • expand viewpoints;
  • play imaginatively;
  • think literally;
  • think before acting;
  • explore and do;
  • gather information through all senses;
  • create and innovate; and
  • respond with wonderment and joy.

Students are guided to:

  • manage impulse control and self-regulation;
  • develop independence and self-help skills;
  • adapt to instances of delayed gratification;
  • demonstrate growing time management (focus for 15–20 minute periods).

Homework

The day is structured to afford students the time they need to engage deeply in the project of learning, working alone and together. Teachers assign only pertinent homework. Students may choose to work on long-term assignments on weekends; however, no routine homework is assigned on Fridays. In addition to the guidelines listed below, faculty may assign specific work to individual students to support their learning.

  • PK and K: 10 minutes of reading
  • Grade 1: 10 minutes of reading
  • Grade 2: 20 minutes of reading
  • Grade 3: 20 minutes of reading/10 minutes of math
  • Grade 4: 20–30 minutes of reading/10–20 minutes of math

Because students work at different rates, these time allotments serve only as a general guide.

Read more in our Handbook

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