Lower School

Welcome to the Lower School! Energy and excitement fill our hallways and classrooms. We take a positive, creative, child-centered approach to learning. Our curriculum includes a workshop approach to reading with individualized support, phonics instruction, handwriting, problem-solving activities with Everyday Math experiences, hands-on science instruction, writing skills instruction, and social studies research across each discipline. Classes are taught with developmental expectations in mind, and social skills are integrated into the curriculum every day. 

We see each student as a whole person and strive to provide an environment that promotes personal growth, natural curiosity, a love of literacy, the spirit of exploration, and independent thinking. As our students learn and grow, our goal is to help them build an understanding of themselves and to appreciate and make meaningful contributions to the world around them."Christina aaron, head of lower school

Lower School provides a unique opportunity for each child to discover his or her voice, talents and passions. Small classes, dedicated teachers, and trained specialists encourage a culture of enthusiasm, energy and creativity. While each morning begins with the televised, student-run morning announcements, the days are varied with a blending of core classes and specials. Daily recess allows opportunities for student to unwind and spend time with classmates. Many of our students choose to participate in the after-school program and get involved with a variety of clubs and activities.

Special Area Classes

In addition to core academic classes, Country Day prides itself on the experiential learning experiences provided through our robust offering of Lower School specials. The below specials are taught by seasoned faculty in dedicated, unique learning spaces. 

Science

The Lower School science program encourages students to be curious, to examine nature, to analyze data, and to understand their environment and the world around them. Students learn science concepts in the classroom and through discovery as they explore our vast outdoor classroom spaces.

Spanish

Lower School Spanish students learn naturally through listening, speaking, and reading the language. Spanish classes offer hands-on activities and collaboration as students grow in the language and become more culturally aware and inclusive citizens.

Art

The Lower School art room is surrounded by gardens and is the perfect studio space for exploring the world around them through the visual arts. Students study the fundamentals of color, shape, value, and texture.

Music

Our music program fosters a love for music as they develop an understanding of the relationship between music, the arts, history and culture. Lower School music classes provide students with the opportunity to sing, play, move, listen to, read, and enjoy music. 

Physical Education

Lower School PE classes promote a positive attitude towards self and others. Students enjoy the opportunities for challenge and social interaction as they learn how to maintain a healthy level of physical fitness.

Technology/Media

Students learn media literacy skills and are introduced to a variety of authors, illustrators, and genres as they discover and develop their love of books and reading. 

Lower School At a Glance

Junior Kindergarten and kindergarten have a dedicated lunchroom and science classroom within the morris early childhood center

First through fifth grades are housed in Pressly hall, a 53,000-square foot, LEED Certified building

Media center with Mac computer lab1:1 iPads for students in JK- 2nd grade for classroom use

1:1 laptop computers for 3rd- 5th grade students for classroom use

Video production lab allows students to broadcast televised morning announcements

Science center featuring animal care center, student-centered garden, and greenhouse

Three full-time Learning Specialist Teachers

A full-time Lower School counselor teaches all students, meets with groups and individuals, and is a resource for parents and faculty 

Daily recess and physical education

10:1 Student:Teacher ratio

Lower School News

The Wedding of Q & U

It was the perfect morning for a campus wedding! Our Kindergarten teachers are always thinking of entertaining and engaging ways to approach their curriculum, and what excites children more than dress up and cake?! Friday's wedding of the letters Q and U was a memorable way to illustrate that when a word includes a Q, it is almost always followed by a U. 

Kehinde Wiley-inspired Art Show

Third-grade art students hosted an art gallery to show off their recent artwork to family and friends, followed by a reception outside of the art classroom.

After studying the work of portrait artist Kehinde Wiley, a Nigerian-American who is known for his large, vibrant, highly patterned paintings of African Americans (most notably, his 2018 portrait of Barack Obama), third graders emulated his unique style to create their own self-portraits.

Since Wiley’s paintings tend to express a sense of power — inspired by portraits of 15th- and 16th-century European noblemen — students were instructed to give their best “power pose,” resulting in photographs that were used to create these beautiful self-portraits!

Paws up for Cross-Divisional Service Learning

As part of a service learning project, Junior Kindergarten Hornets partnered with Upper School students to bake homemade dog treats that will be donated to One Love Animal Rescue. These goodies are sure to make for some happy pups!

Hornets Celebrate Chinese New Year

Hornets across campus celebrated the Chinese New Year and welcomed in the Year of the Tiger by learning about Chinese culture, traditions, and history. Thank you to the students and parents who volunteered in the classrooms and prepared delicious dishes, showcase why the Chinese New Year is meaningful to them. 

Starch Lab In Lower School

Fifth graders are exploring the presence of starch in various foods that they have brought from home. Using iodine as a color indicator, the foods turn dark brown/black in the presence of starch. They have learned that excess glucose made during photosynthesis is stored in plant tissues as starch.