Primary School

The Primary School at the University of Chicago Lab Schools is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population of first and second grade students. The Primary School is comprised of over 230 students and their families. Each grade level is organized into 5 homerooms. There are 26 homeroom and special area teachers creating specially designed classroom environments and learning engagements to inspire primary age learners.

The instruction is designed around holistic concepts such as global perspectives and the environment. Grade level specific and developmentally appropriate skills are woven into the curriculum in meaningful activities. The classroom environment is carefully prepared to create opportunities for play that inspire creativity and student collaboration. Students learn to think and inquire true to the Dewey philosophy of learning by doing.

Special area teachers work with students in music, PE, art, library, and, beginning in second grade, computer. Efforts are made to tie curricular topics in special area classes to larger themes and inquiry. This creates a curriculum that is meaningful and relevant to students.

The Primary School has designated learning and counseling faculty that consult regularly with classroom teachers, and meet with students and families as needed. A team approach by faculty and staff maximizes student’s learning in the classroom and addresses the needs of the whole child (social, emotional, physical, cognitive).

The Primary School will move to its new location at Earl Shapiro Hall on the Early Childhood Campus (ECC) in the fall of 2013. Preparations are underway, and faculty anticipate a smooth transition to the new facility. Earl Shapiro Hall is specifically designed to meet the needs of students from Nursery through second grade. Everything from learning spaces to play areas and furniture have been designed with these grade levels in mind.

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