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Lower School Curriculum

A school where teachers know your child’s hopes and dreams as well as her/his abilities, where there is enthusiasm in a child’s voice while describing a reading, science, or math lesson, and where your child is safe and secure physically and emotionally— THAT'S ST. JOHN'S!
 
St. John’s Lower School — the place for your child to achieve and succeed, not just attend!

For children entering Kindergarten through Grade 5, St. John’s Lower School stimulates and engages student's hearts and minds for them to realize their hopes and dreams in life! Our smaller learning community cares for each child as an individual, allowing our talented faculty and staff to know each child's gifts and to meet unique needs. At St. John’s we educate the whole child, providing skills reaching beyond academics – skills that foster leadership, team building, and public speaking confidence. Each child is respected as a person and is treated as an important member of our community.

The Lower School curriculum, specific to St. John’s, was developed by our staff utilizing national, Maryland State, and Howard County standards as well as findings from brain-based research currently available. Our curriculum goes beyond grade level expectations, using age-appropriate, theme-based units to cover a multitude of standards-based objectives. These units are also integrated into our special classes such as music, art, media, PE, Spanish, technology, and science, each taught by a professional in each special area.

Faculty use a variety of multi-modal methodologies in their teaching and their assessments of student learning, allowing students to utilize their multiple intelligences in the ways they learn best. Our curriculum (attached below) is a continuum allowing students to fully explore the breadth and depth of topics and then enrich their learning through topics from a higher grade level. Many of our children are working above grade level, just as they would in gifted and talented programs elsewhere. Our curriculum is not simply a document getting dusty on a shelf, but rather it is a living guideline that is constantly adapted and changed to meet the needs of our students and prepare them for a rapidly changing world.

Children at St. John's feel safe, cared for, and respected by staff and classmates - and in such an environment children are best able to learn. Children love to explore the world around them, and we have developed a school where they have this freedom which creates an infectious love of learning.

Lower School Curricular Highlights
  • Hands-on instruction, teaching children through experience.
  • Differentiated instruction and assessments.
  • Literature-based reading program connected to thematic units.
  • Reading and math groups personalized for individual abilities.
  • Math that advances critical thinking skills, mathematical reasoning, alternate processing methods, and problem solving - not solely memorizing the steps in math calculations - very often above grade level.
  • Separate "Specials Classes" such as art, media, music (violin in Grades 4&5), PE, science, Spanish, and technology, each taught by a professional in each special area.