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