Primary School

The Primary School is designed to meet the needs of a diverse population of first and second grade students with teachers creating specially-designed classroom environments and a curriculum that inspires primary age learners.

Primary School - Young Students looking at plantlife

As children move into Primary School there is a natural segue from an environment where the child is the curriculum to one in which the curriculum guides learning down specific paths. New skills and challenges are added in developmentally appropriate ways, and learning is structured to support the purposeful freedom we value and to provide each child with opportunities to move about, investigate, inquire, experiment, and exchange ideas.

A great deal of careful and thoughtful planning goes into creating differentiated classroom environments that capture children’s imagination and curiosity and help them experience joy in learning. Students are encouraged to write frequently, and as independently as they are able—both fiction and non-fiction. Relatedly, small group instruction, partner reading, and individual reading are part of everyday routines.

Math concepts become more sophisticated: students may use graphing skills in a social studies project or measure time on clocks marked at five-minute intervals. These experiences help develop mathematical reasoning and scientific inquiry as children make conjectures, gather evidence, and build supporting arguments. Starting in first grade, children leave the classroom for formal art instruction, and computer classes are added in second.

The Primary School Experience

A second grade tradition is the annual apple picking trip to the Michigan City, IN

Kids investigate, then impersonate, historical figures