Lower School

Daily LIfe

Every day in Lower School is a treasured opportunity.

Our Lower School halls are filled with the voices of happy learners who are excited to arrive each day.
Students arrive to school, entering Chope Commons, an open and welcoming space, where they are greeted by their teachers and mingle with friends. They head to their classrooms, unpack their backpacks, store their lunches, and get ready for the day. At 7:55am, they gather in Chope Commons where the Lower School Dean welcomes them for a community meeting. From there, the day might begin with a warm-up activity, a general announcement or a class meeting, where students discuss important non-academic topics and attend to the social/emotional realm of the classroom.

Our Lower School students enjoy subjects taught by their homeroom teachers such as the Reading and Writing Workshop, Singapore Math, and the rich humanities curriculum. In addition, students learn from specialist teachers for Spanish, science, health/P.E., music, library, technology, and art.  
If you were to stroll through the Lower School and peer into classrooms, you might see any of the following:

  • Fourth-graders collaborating on a social studies project that includes creating 3-D maps and developing a multi-media presentation on the country they are studying.
  • Third-graders sprinkled about their room working in pairs to complete the first draft of an original story based on a small moment of their own.
  • Smocked first-graders in the art room draping strips of orange paper dipped into glue onto inflated balloons to create fall pumpkins.
  • Second-graders, armed with clipboards and lots of questions from their research, boarding a bus to visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum as part of their study of New England's whaling industry.
  • Fifth-graders carrying out experiments in the Lower School science lab as part of the NASA program designed to prepare them for a mock flight to Mars at the Christa McAuliffe Center in Framingham.
  • Kindergarteners singing as classmates take turns playing the xylophone, the drums, or the rhythm sticks.
  • Students conversing in Spanish in the brightly decorated Spanish classroom.

List of 5 items.

  • Morning Circle

    Each classroom holds a morning meeting to begin the day.  Each student is acknowledged by his or her peers using a variety friendly greetings.  Morning Circle is a time to share personal news and address issues students might be having both in school and out.
  • Community Meeting

    Each morning, Lower School students gather as a community in the Commons to start the day. The dean rings the tower bell to announce the beginning of the day.  This is followed by the fifth graders leading the community in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing a patriotic song. Teachers and students share announcements. Birthdays are also celebrated with a song during this time.  Each month a "Book of the Month" is chosen by the dean to be read at morning meeting. These books highlights a social issue that Lower School students have explored in their Open Circle lessons.
  • Recess

    Morning and afternoon recesses provide regular brain breaks for students during their work time.  Recess increases focus and reduces stress. Unstructured play is a developmentally appropriate means of reducing stress.  
  • Lunch in Classrooms

    Walk into a Lower School classroom at lunchtime and you will hear a hum of conversation as children eat and socialize with their classmates.  Lunch is a time to practice social manners and polite conversation skills. Lunch in the classroom eliminates the stress of eating in a big, noisy cafeteria.  Students are encouraged to invite siblings of friends from other classes to eat with them.
  • Friday Assembly

    Fridays are assembly days.  From sharing classroom projects, to community service, to inside and outside performances, Lower Schoolers set aside time every Friday afternoon, as a community, to celebrate their work and be together as a group.  Some Fridays are set aside for reading with Book Buddies, as well.