Academics in the Lower School draw on an inquiry-based model, with students’ questions and ideas as the driving force in each day’s lessons. A differentiated and challenging learning environment coupled with structure and support nurture curiosity, skill development, and creativity; teachers model a growth mindset and work with students to set individual goals and monitor progress. To provide greater student-teacher interaction, class sizes are kept small, with a lead teacher and co-teacher in each classroom. Through meaningful daily interaction with teachers and peers, Lower School students learn to embrace multiple perspectives, develop empathy, and value others’ stories, growing as citizens and as students through their time at school.
The Lower School curriculum cultivates core competencies in math, reading and writing (taught through the workshop model), social studies, and science. In addition, students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 experiment with design thinking in the inGen studio, study Spanish, explore the library, and express themselves through art and music. All Lower School students also study religion: classes are taught through the Judeo-Christian tradition, with students developing an appreciation for diverse world religions even as they study Bible stories in order to cultivate character and kindness. At this age, the guidance curriculum centers on self-awareness, building social-emotional connections, and the ideal of becoming a servant leader.