Lower School (1-4)
The Lower School program (grades 1-4) is based on a thorough understanding of the intellectual, physical, and spiritual development of children. The child-friendly environment and decor of the Dolan Family Early Childhood Center, which houses the first and second grades, reflect that understanding. Bright, cheerful hallway walls are covered with artwork and writing. One might see drawings of penguins accompanied by descriptive paragraphs; paper Thanksgiving turkeys next to invented recipes and stories about family dinners. This is a warm and nurturing place where children exercise their minds, bodies, and souls. The same spirit is alive across campus in O’Sullivan Hall, where third and fourth grade classrooms are located. There pastel drawings of the planets might line the halls, and poems about Martin Luther King might be displayed on the bulletin boards.
The students’ day is structured traditionally, but class sizes of 10 to 15 students allow for the individual attention that honors the learning style and pace of each child. Lessons in reading, writing, and math are enhanced by interdisciplinary connections to science, social studies, and problem solving. Our goal is to develop the whole child; therefore, young students will engage in art, music, French, Spanish, physical education, and dance classes each week. Most important, the spirituality of our children is nurtured through prayer, service, and participation in a faith community.
In the Lower School, children learn to love learning, manage the demands of formal schooling, employ the rules of language and numbers, and we hope, make lifelong friends. It is our goal is to lay the foundation for success throughout a child’s early school years.
Individual attention is the hallmark of Holy Child’s Lower School experience. Classroom teachers have the support of a full-time reading specialist as well as a part-time school psychologist. Children who are experiencing specific difficulties may be referred to an appropriate team of educators who will work together to come up with appropriate interventions.
Acceptance is the rule for social relationships in the Lower School, where learning to be a good friend is as important as learning the ABC’s. Kindness, understanding, and positive language are the tools we seek to endow our children with in order to create an atmosphere in which all boys and girls are appreciated for their individual qualities and so differences can be worked out peacefully. Every effort is made to ensure that each child feels comfortable, “at home,” and able to learn in a harmonious climate.