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Lower School

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Welcome to the Lower School, Stages I–IV (Pre-K–Grade 5)

A Roeper education is characterized by outstanding and profound student-teacher relationships that foster mutual respect. When children are genuinely offered a voice from young ages, they grow to become adults who will do the same for others. This belief pervades every practice of the school and arises from our philosophical conviction that equal human rights breed a valuable sense of justice and interdependence.
At each of our four Lower School Stages, students have significant opportunities for choice, decision-making, and problem-solving that empower even our youngest students to take responsibility for their learning. A rich, project-based learning curriculum purposefully integrates language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, world languages, computer science, and visual and performing arts so children may experience these disciplines as they exist in the real world.
Roeper students frequently develop true personal passions for certain subjects or current events. The flexibility to be responsive to young students is built into both the schedule and our curriculum-development process. Two full-time teachers in each academic classroom enable low student-teacher ratios and allow teachers to be responsive to the individualized needs of students. 

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  • Lower School Program Highlights

    Stages I & II Outdoor Education
    Inquiry-based and experiential outdoor education encourages and engages a child’s innate curiosity and wonder. This curriculum comes naturally from the children’s questions and curiosities. While outdoors, they journal, tell stories, and hold math, drama, science, and literacy classes. Learners are encouraged to develop a relationship with the land they are using. Students honor those to whom the land belongs, respect wildlife, and keep their outdoor spaces tidy. Overcoming challenges with support from adults leads to increased self-confidence and independence. 

    Stages I & II Light “R” Night
    This is a special night for our preschool children and families in the fall when they meet in the evening to celebrate community. It is a culmination of learning about stars, lights, and things that glow. Families have the opportunity to experience the wonderful things students have been learning and see their creations. They enjoy a potluck dinner together and then, with luminaria to light the way, they walk through our woods with glow sticks and excited fluorescent-painted faces. 

    Stage II Thanksgiving Feast 
    To celebrate Thanksgiving, Stage II students learn about the historical backdrop of the holiday and plan a lunchtime feast brought in by families. The finale of the celebration is a festive parade around the gym led with great fanfare by our Head of School. 

    Stage III Family Night 
    This is a family gathering where students share their learning about a particular area and time in history, such as the Industrial Revolution or Ancient Greece and Rome. The format changes year to year. During recent family night events, homerooms have turned their classrooms into living museums, hosted chariot races, and performed skits from the 1800s.  

    Stage III Rethought Things Store 
    This long-term project challenges students to create an operational store selling items they create out of recycled and upcycled items. Proceeds go to a charity chosen by the students after learning about the election process. In a simulated election, they vote for the charity of their choice. They then design and create the items to sell, price them, and market them. When the store opens to the Roeper community, students set up their store with fun decorations and learn how to assist customers with their purchases, cash out sales, and wrap gifts. This is an example of project-based learning at its best.
    Stage IV Camp Tamarack
    Camp Tamarack is an overnight trip experience. Students stay for one night at Camp Tamarack and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. These activities include outdoor games, kayaking, archery, tie dying, and group challenges. For Stage IV students, this trip builds community, outdoor education skills, and independence.

    Stage IV Special Classes 
    Stage IV students choose two elective classes during each signup throughout the academic year. Each signup is three weeks long. Classes meet every day for 40 minutes. Students may choose areas of passion or areas they wish to strengthen. Stage IV electives may include Fiber Arts Studio; Scratch Animation (computer); Code, Math, Minecraft; Don’t read this, don’t dance that! (exploring texts and social issues through improvisation and choreography); Roeper Report (journalism); Jump Roepers (PE); Engineering Challenge—Skimmer; and Atoms, Molecules & Chemical Compounds. 
    • Fun Learning Activities For Students
    • Academic Skill Levels

Why Stages?

Our Lower School replaces grade levels with two-year stages where students of overlapping ages learn together. This means:
  • Students can work at higher academic levels while still being with age-mates.
  • There is a broader range of academic skill levels to better accommodate peaks and valleys in students’ skills and interests.
  • Having the same teacher for two years provides consistency and a stronger bond with both student and family.
  • Children transition more easily to their next stage with the guidance of experienced, familiar second-year students.
  • Mixed-age classes reduces the pressure for one student to always be the class leader and inherently builds teamwork.

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  • Stage I: Ages 2½–5 years

    Our Stage I program structures learning through play-based, hands-on activities and project-based learning in math, language arts, social studies, art, music, and science. Building socialization skills is a continual process. 
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  • Stage II: Ages 5–7 years

    Our Stage II teachers offer learning opportunities consistent with the academic needs of young, gifted children. Free play, exploration, and socialization continue to be an important part of the day-to-day curriculum.
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  • Stage III: Ages 7–9 years

    In Stage III, students are given the support needed to grow independently and responsibly as they meet the challenges of increased academic learning. Learning how to work in large and small groups is introduced and guided by the teachers.
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  • Stage IV: Ages 9–11 years

    In Stage IV, students are prepared to take on greater responsibility for shaping their learning path. They are ready to face the challenges that come with making their own choices. This stage provides opportunities for increased individual decision-making, allowing students to choose their learning topics and explore areas of interest.
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The Children's Library

The Children’s Library on the Bloomfield Hills campus 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, a cozy setting where classes gather to read stories.

In addition to checking out books, students meet regularly with the librarian who teaches classes focusing on love of reading and learning, developing 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.
    • Fun Activity For Childrens

Lower School Extended Day

The Lower School offers extended hours to help families manage their busy days. Before and After Care take place in the Domes Monday through Friday and are open to students in preschool through grade 5 on a drop-in basis. Hourly rates are shared with families at the beginning of each school year and are subject to change.

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  • Before School Care Hours

    7:30–8:10 am
  • After School Care Hours

    3:15–6:00 pm
  • Enrichment

    Roeper provides a variety of enrichment courses for a nominal fee as part of the After Care program, open to Roeper students only. These experiential classes are taught by Roeper teachers and other qualified instructors.

    Some regularly offered courses include:

    • Book Club
    • Brain Games
    • Brownies and Girl Scouts
    • Capoeira
    • Chess Team
    • Computer Programming
    • Cooking and Baking
    • Creative Writing
    • Dance
    • Golf
    • Guitar
    • Mandarin Chinese
    • Rocketry
    • Soccer
    • Violin
    • Yoga

    Questions? Contact Paula Romano, Director of Auxiliary Programs.
Educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world.

Bloomfield Campus

Lower School and Administrative Offices
41190 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills MI 48304
PHONE  248.203.7330

Birmingham Campus