Academics by Grade
Early Childhood (PK-K)
Pre-kindergarten’s focus is on emerging intellectual and social skills in students. Oral and written communication is introduced and expressive language skills are encouraged and developed. Reading ability is developed, practiced, and solidified.
Building on the skills introduced in Pre-K, Kindergarten students gain more experience with phonemic skills and deepen their comfort level with the technical processes of pre-reading and writing.
See the PK-Grade 12 English/Lanuage Arts sequence.
Movement and balance are taught and practiced in small groups in the classroom and through the Music program. Formal instruction begins in Grade 1.
See the PK- Grade 12 Dance sequence.
The Lower School program seeks to develop positive behaviors, good citizenship skills, healthy living, diversity in the community, respect for self and others, and positive relationships with family, peers, and the community. Cleanliness and hygiene, the importance and method of handwashing, for example, are emphasized.
See the PK-Grade 12 Health sequence.
In Pre-K and Kindergarten, children are introduced to the notion of the self as related to a community (town, village, city, state, nation), and different cultures around the world. The conceptual framework suggests a way for children to understand the relationship between themselves and their families to a wider world. Children become familiar with maps and globes, visual arts and music of the United States and world cultures, and learn about themselves and others through stories, films, and guests.
See the PK-Grade 12 History & Social Studies sequence.
Young children learn by exploring. The approach of the Early Childhood Mathematics program is hands-on and experiential, encouraging discovery and application of mathematical concepts to everyday life. Children develop number concepts through counting skills, numeral recognition, and one-to-one correspondence. They learn to sort and classify and to identify, create, and extend patterns. By the end of Kindergarten, most students can solve simple problems, are familiar with the concept of time, and have been introduced to value through manipulating coins. They are also familiar with the concepts of addition and subtraction.
See the PK-Grade 12 Mathematics sequence.
The Early Childhood Music program contributes to the physical, social, and intellectual development of children. Young students learn a repertory of songs and singing games of small vocal range, as well as easy rhythms. By the end of Kindergarten, children will be comfortable using their voices through singing as well as maintaining a steady beat with body movements or playing simple instruments while singing. The Early Childhood program develops readiness for more formal instruction in singing, instrumental music, learning to play an instrument, and dance in the later grades.
See the PK-Grade 12 Music sequence.
Children begin to learn the nature of rules and strategy and develop an appreciation for sports citizenship and cooperation. Activities include throwing and catching, basic tumbling, agility skills, obstacle courses, and perceptual motor games.
See the PK-Grade 12 Physical Education sequence.
In Pre-K and Kindergarten, the focus is on observing, comparing, sorting, organizing, wondering, predicting, hypothesizing, experimenting, exploring, and beginning to infer and draw conclusions. The Early Childhood Science program builds on the natural curiosity and wonder of young children. Students are provided with opportunities to experience the outdoors as an extension of the classroom.
See the PK-Grade 12 Science sequence.
Children learn about communities, how they work, and how individuals make choices that help them develop into good citizens. Many lessons are drawn from the lives of animals and how they live in groups, herds, dens, etc. Children begin to learn that their behaviors have an impact on others in their group, thus laying the foundation for ethical behavior.
See the PK-Grade 12 Social Science sequence.
Young children are provided opportunities to appear on stage as early as Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, when they wear their Halloween costumes to school and participate in the traditional school-wide Halloween parade. Each child, using a microphone, names the character he or she represents, thus beginning the experience of "acting" for an audience. In the Lower School, every grade provides similar, increasingly sophisticated opportunities to appear on stage and practice speaking before an audience.
See the PK-Grade 12 Theater & Drama sequence.
The Art program focuses on developing fine motor skills along with self-expression. Children are encouraged to experiment with and explore color, texture, and form. Throughout the Early Childhood program, children begin to understand color, shape, size, line, proportion, and pattern. They develop hand/eye coordination and observation skills. Creativity and craftsmanship are complementary components of the program. A main focus is developing fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination, and learning to express themselves creatively through fantasy and imaginary scenes.
See the PK-Grade 12 Visual Arts sequence.
Young children learn the sounds, orally and aurally, of the language through songs, stories, and TPTRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), a method that uses whole language in story form while incorporating age-appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structure. Children learn the language's alphabet, numbers, house-related words, clothing, parts of the body, etc.
See the PK-Grade 12 World Languages sequence.