In the Lower School years, children search, question and respond to the world around them, while working hard to acquire the essential skills necessary for future academic success. In a school day balancing independent exploration with intentional and coordinated instruction in all subjects, there is sequential skill building and time allowed for both practice and genuine understanding.
Children progress from recognizing text to comprehending layered meaning; from telling stories with pictures to creating images through their writing; from recognizing number patterns to articulating multiple ways to solve complex mathematical problems; from recognizing and respecting alternative perspectives within their own class to discovering that they are members of a global community whose voices count.
Teachers carefully observe students as they work and interact to monitor their academic, social and emotional progress. We do not assign letter grades in the Lower School; rather we assess using demonstrations of understanding including presentations, conferences, interviews, observations, running records, and written assessments. This information is aggregated and conveyed to parents through ongoing communication, parent/teacher conferences, and extensive narrative progress reports.