A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Lower School

At Latin we are trying to create an atmosphere that makes the children feel engaged and challenged at the right level. I want them to know that it is o.k. to make mistakes and that it is o.k. to learn from them.

Danyelle Post, JK Teacher

The lower school is a place where children are treasured, where eager learners are encouraged to take the next step, to ask the next question and to discover the next truth.

Our students publish their own books, put on plays, host art shows, participate in interscholastic athletics, and work on community service projects, all while building the educational foundation that will prepare them for the rest of their lives.

Our lower school faculty are extensively trained in early childhood and elementary education. Our teachers use a team approach, gathering input from parents and on-staff learning resource specialists—as well as their own close observations—to customize their teaching methods and content to address each child’s strengths and interests.

Around the Lower School

Third grade computer science students

Our youngest Romans in the lower school spend a significant amount of time on their digital devices, however, what’s important is how they spend that time and if they are being good digital citizens while online. 

Digital citizenship is integrated into daily learning throughout the school, from keeping passwords private to balancing screen time. Lower School Computer Science & Technology Integration Specialist Fiona Deeney, integrates digital citizenship into classroom discussions in computer science classes, with projects or activities in all grades. One example of a project is first grade students using Scratch Jr. to show what they know about keeping passwords private, asking adults before going online and balancing use of technology. The fourth graders create an infographic to display in the school to show their knowledge of what it means to be a positive digital citizen and positive digital footprints. (You can learn more about the project in this article from the 2020-21 school year.)

It’s also important for families to practice good digital citizenship skills, so we have included some helpful resources for families to learn more about managing a healthy online presence for themselves and their children. These may help facilitate conversations at home about digital citizenship and being safe online and align with conversations we have at school in all three divisions.

K-2 SEL in Digital Life-Family Conversations Starters Packet
Grades K-5 Family Tips: Help Kids Balance Their Media Lives 
Cyberbullying
Privacy and Internet Safety
Follow the Digital Trail: Our Digital Footprints 
International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Students 
SOURCES: Common Sense Media, ISTE

Academics

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  • lower school
Lower school students in computer science class

Do you know how to think like a computer? In computer science classes, our lower school students learn to take a complex problem, break it down and focus on key ideas and information in order to solve the problem, just like a computer, but on a much smaller scale. 

At Latin, students gain computational thinking skills at a young age, which expand significantly through their time at the school. Computational thinking is a thought process around organizing problems in a strategic, organized way. In the lower school, students learn how to break down a big problem and then think through ways to solve that problem, building skills and a solid foundation for working through real-world challenges as they get older.

First grade computer science students explore how to build circuits with a tool called littleBits. Students are provided a power bit, an input, such as buttons, slide dimmers, proximity sensors and temperature sensors, as well as an output like buzzers, lights, motors and fans. They use computational thinking skills to create a circuit that makes the output work properly by understanding how energy flows through the necessary components all connected together.

Academics

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  • Around School
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DEI logo

There is an inherent connection between diversity, equity, inclusion and wellness. Children and adults benefit from cultivating a strong sense of identity within themselves and through relationships with others. This strong sense of self and connection to others creates feelings of belonging, which is essential for students to bring their authentic selves to school.
In order for students to engage in our anti-bias identity work, they need to feel the security and support that comes with knowing they are included. In order for students to engage in our anti-bias identity work, they need to feel the security and support that comes with knowing they are included. Conversations that foreground belonging are paramount in creating a community that values wellness. 

A recommendation from Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Eleannor Maajid and Latin's DEI team, this interview with Jessica Ulrich, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Alaska Anchorage, discusses the importance as well as the benefits to the well-being of a child to be connected to community, family, land, earth, etc. 

At Latin conversations around these topics take place in many different forms and spaces, including morning meetings and roundtable discussions in the lower school, affective education and homerooms in the middle school and affective education and advisories in the upper school. 

Our Voices

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  • lower school
  • middle school
  • Our Voices
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Lower school students at Roundtable

The lower school counselors provide an opportunity for students to talk about their feelings and learn how to manage them during Roundtable. Learn more about Roundtable from Lower School Counselors Aveva Yufit and Sarah Everson in this video.

Academics

  • Academics
  • lower school
  • Our Voices

Windows & Mirrors at Latin

We provide children with opportunities to see not only themselves, but also other people, cultures, perspectives and ideas.

Manners, Kindness, and Civility

- the Lower School motto

We value the potential that Latin will provide our children with the determination, resilience and curiosity to be successful in the world.

- Latin parent

How We Approach Teaching and Learning

Bliss Tobin

Latin's excellent caliber of teachers, coupled with strong resources, allows us to implement the best of research-based practices. At Latin, we understand that learning is not linear, and that often mistakes are the most important learning opportunities. We allow students to lead you in their own wonder, challenges and resilience.

Lower School Director Bliss Tobin 


In a responsive classroom, the exercise of naming hopes and dreams is critical to feeling personally connected to and engaged in learning.

Lower school students took the school's theme of action to heart and defined things they hoped to accomplish over the course of the school year.

hopes and dreams

 

Singapore Math

The value lies in the well-formulated question rather than on the right answer.

Singing the praises of Singapore math

As part of the lower school Singapore Math curriculum, fourth grade teacher Amanda Schirmacher noted that her students love sharing their methods, which she can project on a screen after taking a picture of the method with her tablet. "They are getting more comfortable with their speaking and presentation skills," she said. "It enables them to be confident in sharing their thinking," a skill that will serve them well as they enter middle and high school. "The earlier you find your voice, the better," she said.

FAQ


Do you have questions? We would love to hear from you.

Brittani Fowlin

Brittani Fowlin

Titles: Lower School Division Assistant
Degrees: B.A. University of Maryland, College Park
Lorraine Loomis

Lorraine Loomis

Titles: Assistant Lower School Director
Degrees: B.A. Wheaton College
MEd National Louis University
Bliss Tobin

Bliss Tobin

Titles: Lower School Director
Degrees: B.A. Yale University
MEd University of Chicago

lower school

Nurturing Inquisitive Minds

lower schoolers at desk in class