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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Celebrating Veterans Day 2022

On Veterans Day, our students reflected upon and honored the hardworking men and women who have served our country. Upper and Middle School students attended a Veterans Day assembly with special speaker Dr. Kevin Gavin, who served in the US Army from 1984-1986, completing his service in Bamberg, Germany. Lower School students learned about the branches of the military and wrote thank you notes to friends and family who are veterans. Eighth grade history students recreated a World War I breakout room for when the US entered WWI. It was a day of reflection and gratitude. Thank you, veterans, for your service and bravery!

Brain Science in Second Grade

As part of second-grade science's unit on the human brain's structure and functions, we welcomed parent and alumna Hillary Coslick '95, licensed clinical social worker, to speak with our students about the "Wise Mind" concept — the perfect balance of engaging your "Reasonable Mind" and your "Emotional Mind" — and shared some stress-relieving tips and strategies. Thanks so much for stopping by, Hillary!

Jr. K Explores Campus

Jr. Kindergarteners recently spent an afternoon visiting with Mr. Eswine and exploring the Lower School Science Room. Each student was paired with a fifth grade docent to shadow and share knowledge. Mr. Eswine also led the class on a campus nature walk and engaged the class with his vast knowledge of the plants, animals, and insects that call Country Day home. 

Vendor's Market

For sale! For sale! Homemade keychains, original artwork, shark teeth, and more! Vendors' Market is a Lower School favorite, in which second graders "sell" specialty items to their classmates who shop with "money" earned through acts of responsibility and kindness. In addition to learning about entrepreneurship and budgeting, Vendors' Market is a wonderful showcase of student imagination and ingenuity.

Lower School Celebrates 100 Days

The Lower School celebrated the 100th day of school on Wednesday, January 27, with a count to 100 led by first graders in the Morrison Pangaea Garden. Kindergarteners donned outfits with 100 of their favorite things, and Junior Kindergarten celebrated 100 days as superheroes in their very own capes! A parade through Lower School was the perfect conclusion to this annual celebration.