Lower School Program

The Lower School curriculum and structure are responsive to the developmental stages in the lives of children. The curriculum provides engaging and meaningful learning experiences that challenge, captivate, excite, and support children. Students are able to find depth and personal relevance, providing the foundation for students to achieve to the best of their ability. Joyful classroom environments add to students’ capacity to take creative risks, ask questions and think critically. They are guided by two certified teachers for every classroom resulting in an average of eleven to 1 ratio of children to teachers.

Stages at the Lower School

List of 4 items.

  • Stage I

    Ages 2 ½ to 5 years

    In Stage I there is an emphasis on play, social and emotional growth, and experiential learning. There is also the flexibility to provide children at various places within this stage of development the educational plans appropriate for each child’s needs. There are two Stage I programs, both offering half day with options to full day schedules. Children with readiness for advanced skill building are provided with the needed instruction.

    The Hill House program provides a self-contained classroom for children, ages 2 ½ to 5. For many, it is their first school experience. There is a focus on how to be a part of a group and get along with fellow Stage I travelers.

    The Domes program, ages 3 to 5, includes children who are ready to be in school five mornings a week and attend classes outside of the classroom. Small groups are taken to regularly scheduled classes taught by specialists in a variety of subjects. Project based activities are a staple of the curriculum encouraging students to investigate areas of interest.
  • Stage II

    STAGE II – Ages 5 - 7
    Children in Stage II are able to learn academic concepts and skills according to each child's readiness. This is accomplished by having an average five to one student/teacher radio during math and language arts instruction. Unstructured play and small and large group discussions enable teachers to provide guidance to students as they grow socially and emotionally. In the course of the day, children are continually learning the skills of sharing, cooperating, leading and following. At the same time, there is an emphasis on building self-confidence, self-control and independence through the many opportunities for individual choice. In addition to attending regularly scheduled classes in art, music, science, French, Spanish, Library, P.E., creative movement and computers, children have the opportunity to individually select an afternoon activity from a variety of class offerings by teacher specialists.
  • Stage III

    STAGE III – Ages 7 – 9
    Children at this stage of development need and want to grow in independence and responsibility. They have increasing opportunities for individual choice throughout the day. They can now attend special classes in art, music, library, computer, P. E., science and dance electives, that they select, in addition to regularly scheduled required classes in math, science, P.E, computer and either French or Spanish. Mornings are spent in the homeroom for academics and community building. In the afternoon block periods, children attend special classes and work on projects in their homeroom. Each homeroom has two full time teachers which allows small group and individualized academic instruction. This also provides opportunities to help the children with their growing social needs by helping them engage in adult guided person-to-person problem solving. Experiential group learning units is a hallmark of Stage III.
  • Stage IV

    STAGE IV – Ages 9 – 11
    In Stage IV, each student has a unique schedule. Children have a voice in selecting their own classes while also being encouraged by their homeroom teachers to try new things. The curriculum includes two kinds of classes: core class blocks are centered on academic areas of humanities, language arts, social studies, science, and math; special class blocks offer a rich variety of electives in art, music, computer, STEM, dance, physical education, personal growth, and both math and humanities exploration. Science and French or Spanish are required every other day. This personalized schedule allows students to experience a greater level of responsibility and decision making appropriate to their developmental stage. Students learn to take ownership of their learning and benefit from small groups for academic studies. Dedicated homeroom blocks every other day allow students and teachers to focus on building community, engage in problem solving, work on special projects, and collaborate on special activities and events.
At each of the four Lower School stages there are significant opportunities for choice, decision making and problem solving to empower even our youngest students to take responsibility for their learning. A rich curriculum in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, world language, computer science, and visual and performing arts purposefully intersect to provide the ability to experiment and succeed with higher-level thinking skills.

Small student-teacher ratios afford teachers a personal investment in each student’s educational journey. Differences in learning styles are understood, strengths are nurtured and effective strategies are developed to best help unique social, emotional and academic needs. Above all, Roeper teachers steadfastly respect, nurture and facilitate the individual gifts, wellbeing, and interests of young learners to inspire a lifelong love of learning.

The Children's Library

The Children’s Library at the Lower School houses a collection of over 12,000 books and a computer center for student research. Other features include The Alex Frank ’95 Publishing Center and The Silk Family Reading Circle, an intimate setting where classes can gather to read stories together.

In addition to checking out books, LS students meet regularly with the librarian who teaches classes focusing on love of reading and learning, building research and information literacy skills, and supporting classroom curricular content. 

Library news, favorites links, and more can be found on the Children's Library satellite site.

Lower School Director - Meghan Stott

Welcome, Meghan.

Begin Your Journey at Roeper

An independent Preschool through Grade 12 school for gifted students.
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