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Lower School, the Academy's elementary school, solidifies the foundation for lifelong learning. As a globally focused school, we teach children in 1st through 4th grade to care about other people and the world in which we live. We strive to help children belong and contribute to this global group. Our teachers pay close attention to their students on an individual basis and build strong positive relationships with them. In each grade, parents can expect a curriculum appropriate to their child’s growth and development in a school community that offers something more and different. The educational program is further enhanced by physical education, library, computer science, fine and performing arts, and Spanish. An after-school program and summer day camp are also available. The Academy’s environment for learning is a joyful, active one.
Students start each day with a Morning Meeting in which they circle up, greet one another, share, listen, and learn to ask questions appropriately. We find that what students learn in Morning Meeting transfers to the hallways, the playground, and beyond. Academic choice is an integral part of Responsive Classroom®, where children learn best by making choices about what they’re learning.
In 1st through 4th grade, students have the opportunity to audition for the Lower School Orchestra, which meets twice per week, immediately after school.
Hands-on lab science experiences are designed to motivate and increase student interest and ability, and introduce them to new concepts. We enjoy activities that can be replicated or expanded upon at home, which keeps science and science exploration well within the reach of each child. In technology, EC/LS students are learning to navigate computer programs that increase their skill level and expand on ideas that are being taught in the classroom. For example, technology supports the study of germs (in science class) and the Pennsylvania scrapbook project (in social studies).
Kindergarten and every Lower School grade is linked to a different continent through our Learning Links global education program in partnership with Dickinson College and others. Teachers develop curriculum based on cross-cultural comparisons and communicate often with contacts in other countries via email and the web. Learning Links eventually will include teleconferencing and service learning.
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