The Lower School is centered around teaching students to be responsible, thoughtful, and independent in both their academic work and in their relationships with others. Through work in the classroom, within classrooms and units, and in discussion with individuals, the relationship between freedom and responsibility is highlighted. Our students learn what it means to be accountable for personal choice – that with freedom there is the opportunity to take risks, but also the accountability for the decisions and actions followed. Children are frequently given choices as a way for them to exercise independence and to support their interests. Additionally, students are expected to behave in a caring and compassionate way toward others and to act with care toward their school environment.

Lower Schoolers Writing

The close connections between students and teachers foster an atmosphere of honest, trusting communication where children are invited to voice their opinions and to learn the art of actively listening to the perspectives of others. Students in the Lower School have many opportunities to practice being part of a community through class meetings or Kid Talk. Students help to form classroom guidelines at the beginning of the year because they accept rules better when they have a part in making them. As problems develop, adults and students solve them together. Teachers support children as they work through problems, suggesting alternative solutions, if necessary. Children are encouraged to make choices and expand their ability to be responsible for their actions.

We deeply believe that educating a child is attending to the academic, social/emotional, and physical growth and progress of our students. The planned instruction in each subject, as well as what students have the opportunity to learn through everyday living as a part of the Green Acres community, demonstrate a commitment to educating the “whole child.” We believe learning occurs best in an active, stimulating environment. How teachers arrange the classroom will vary with the tasks and goals of the teaching moment. In and out of the classroom, all adults are dedicated to providing an educational experience based upon the Green Acres mission and philosophy.