Lower School

Lower School Overview (Elementary School)

Building Foundations for a Life-Long Love of Learning Montessori prepared environments, individualized instruction and credentialed staff, combine to form the developmental and academic foundation of our elementary school. Kindergarten students enjoy traditional exercises in the areas of language arts, mathematics, geometry, science, and cultural studies enriched by weekly music, gymnastics and art classes. Elementary students work through an expanded Montessori program that integrates art, music, geography, history, botany, zoology and physical science experiences with the development of academic skills. Concepts come to life in the hands-on Montessori environment. Students refine their understanding and skills through research, complementary exercises and field studies designed to help them gain a comprehensive view of their time and place in the universe. Weekly Music, Drama, Art, Science, Technology, Spanish and Physical Education instruction enriches student learning within and beyond the classroom. Traditional instruction and accountability includes regular authentic assessment and annual standardized testing. Montessori instructional methods are replaced by project-based enrichment at the middle school level.

Kindergarten Kindergarten classes include broad instruction to refine the senses, teach practical skills, prepare students for academic learning, and provide a view of the world in which we live. Students are prepared for elementary learning through third grade through individualized instruction in primary reading, writing, language arts and math, along with cultural studies, visual and performing arts and physical motor training.

Grades One to Three Elementary I students (first to third grade) continue their primary learning of the basics in an environment that provides a concrete introduction to “great stories” that will form the foundation for their future learning in the upper elementary grades. Students leave third grade knowing where they are in the universe and when they are in time, and understanding how they fit in to the grand scheme of life on earth. Weekly classes in the arts and sciences, as well as physical education and character training, balance their days and enrich their learning experiences.

Grades Four to Six Elementary II students (fourth to sixth grade) use their academic foundation as a basis for the advanced studies that will provide a smooth transition to the rigors of our traditional Middle School program. Student reading and writing skills are refined, and math instruction is focused on preparing students for higher math classes. Science concepts presented in the classroom are enriched by regular visits to the school’s science lab. Social Studies curriculum is aligned to current state standards for each grade. Projects and field trips enrich student learning. On campus library and media center provide resources for research. Physical education classes include opportunities for personal fitness and competitive sports.

Sixth Grade Transition to Middle School ECDS recognizes the evolving maturity of their sixth grade students by providing a transition to middle school as they complete their last year of elementary school. This transitional year includes attending regular science labs that reinforce their sixth grade Earth Science curriculum, and attending middle school arts, foreign language, personal development, physical education options and athletics. In addition, sixth grade students share the performance stage, sports courts and field, and share lunch time with middle school students.