Learning outside the box, both inside and outside the classroom
Our first-through-fifth-grade program is designed to inspire a love of learning through a mix of wondrous classroom and field trip experiences. It creates confidence by placing students on stage in front of over a hundred adults multiple times a year in concerts and celebrations. It creates and directs students’ passions, with highly skilled faculty helping them learn and evolve study habits, exposing them to academic challenges and assisting them in finding creative and critical solutions. You don’t find these students and teachers just anywhere — they embody the joy of learning.
Mr. Darren Holgate
Lower School Director
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Hands-on, minds-on model
Our hands-on, minds-on model allows students to engage in kinesthetic learning. They experiment with trial and error, learn from their mistakes and understand the potential gaps between theory and practice. Through experiential classroom projects such as studying the lifecycle of monarch butterflies or creating simple machines with their own hands, students learn by doing. They observe, question and predict — and discover the power of their own imagination.
Caring for Our Community
LCDS students learn the significance and satisfaction of living a life of purpose by participating in ongoing community service projects. You’ll find kindergartners collecting pajamas for children in need, second graders spearheading a shoe drive or children of all grades raising money for Paws4Vets, an organization that provides PTSD-trained service dogs to military veterans.
Leadership and Public Speaking
Leadership is cultivated in the classroom, as students are encouraged to ask questions, engage in frequent public speaking opportunities and collaborate on projects. It is also demonstrated on the playing fields, as our coaches emphasize sportsmanship and teamwork over wins and losses. Our students also learn to be empathetic leaders who lend a helping hand – whether serving their communities or approaching a student on the Buddy Bench (where children sit if they need a friend).
Our music curriculum is an example of collaboration and inclusion at its best. Students as young as PK perform in vocal concerts twice a year, third graders learn to play recorders and fourth graders begin the instrumental program by choosing an instrument to deeply study during the year and beyond.
From Battle of the Books to a robust library curriculum, we employ countless tools to help students become strong readers. In our library, flexible seating creates cozy places for children to lose themselves in stories. Our small group work and workshop time provides enrichment and support. And, through authentic teacher-driven assessment of every reader, students are matched with books of appropriate interest and challenge. Each technique is designed to instill a love of reading in our students.
Enrichment for All
Thanks to small class sizes and high levels of engagement, we are able to offer every student the opportunity to extend his or her learning. We construct challenging, enjoyable learning experiences around each student’s interests, learning style and preferred mode of expression, which allows us to develop the talent of each child. From Genius Hour to reading groups, to differentiated instruction and paced groups, every student has the opportunity to grow.
When you ask our students about their favorite memories of Lower School, most respond, “my buddies.” Our buddy program — in which Middle School students are partnered with their younger counterparts throughout the school year — is deeply embedded in each child’s experience (and in their hearts). Buddies visit frequently with each other, team up together in events like the annual Fun Run and even make special gifts for each other (like a handmade book that older children write and illustrate about their younger friend). It’s a living, breathing example of character education that builds deep bonds.
Discovery means stepping outside of the classroom’s walls. Field trips enrich classroom learning and help students understand history and society in an authentic, meaningful way. These include trips to museums, plays, quarries, nature centers and prominent sites like Jamestown, Gettysburg and Philadelphia.
Children enjoy the benefits of a broad studio-based education — learning the importance of observation, technique, concept development and critical thinking. They express themselves and how they perceive the world around them with a seemingly endless supply of artistic and inventive materials, including an on-site kiln.