Let me start with the Early Childhood Classroom. The best times of my week happen when I visit the ECC classroom. Our youngest students are energetic, attractive, and very attentive. They are so open, so honest, and still love the principal. I enjoy seeing them during the week, but I especially love to read to them.
Once when visiting, a three-year-old student took my hand and proudly motioned me toward his building project. Now, how many jobs in the world allow you to get your hand held by a near angel? Not many, I am sure of that. After I was escorted to the block area, another child enthusiastically shared her work with me. Before I left the room, I got a big unsolicited hug from another little boy. It just does not get better than that!
Besides being an academically rigorous Lower School, we are one that promotes caring about each other and the larger community. We teach our children how to be polite and inclusive by using the Responsive Classroom program and we rely heavily upon the Quaker tenets of equality, peace, integrity and community.
I am proud that in our Lower School we are dedicated to hands-on service learning. For example, our fourth grade class recently sponsored an evening's "Empty Bowls Soup Supper" which was a heartwarming success in so many ways. Fourth grade art students joined with Upper School art students in making art for social change -- ceramic bowls and posters were carefully crafted and readied for sale. The older students learned how to make bread to add to the simple meal of hearty soups, generously prepared by a group of fourth grade parents. I could cite many examples of good work being done in this area.
We have an Extended Day care component of our popular Enrichment Program. Both programs are prospering. The initial enrichment plan began as chess and Chinese offerings and currently is quite expansive, offering everything from yoga to architecture classes.
Committed to learning about cutting-edge programs and 21st-century core curriculum, our teachers are very reflective and allow the children see them doing what we expect of them. Our small classes allow us to know our children and we include such things as collaborative-learning projects, as well as individual and group problem-solving as assessment tools. Our offerings, allow kids to have the mindset of strong learners and curiosity seekers.
And finally, our children are engaged learners who strive to do well in school and do.