Welcome To Lower School

In the Lower School, continuous learning is a part of our daily lives as students, teachers, leaders, and community. We believe it is important to be grounded in theory, research, and an understanding of effective classroom practice. Through best practices, modeling, and engagement, we strive to set the example of what continuous learning looks like both in and out of the classroom. We know that enthusiastically engaged students are the best learners. Our teachers strive every day to create a learning environment where children connect to the curriculum, to each other, to their lives, and to others worldwide through experiential and hands-on learning. Students learn to construct and validate meaning through purposeful reflection, investigation, and connected thought. 

A strong supportive connection between teacher and student is necessary to facilitate individual growth in both the academic and social-emotional areas of development. We approach our craft with humility, charting a course for learning through differentiated instruction, carefully considering that each child’s journey will be different, personal, and inspirational. Our exceptional teachers, who have taken advantage of the most current professional development programs, know and inspire each child in a dynamic educational setting. The Lower School faculty collaborates with several specialists to plan and continuously update our rich, thoughtful, and academically rigorous program. In addition to a strong, skills-based curriculum, students engage in project-based learning that allows them to investigate topics at a level that challenges and taps their interests, learning styles, and natural intelligence.

In line with its commitment to service learning and multicultural education, the Lower School prepares its students to become responsible for themselves, their classmates, and the 21st-century world. 

Every student starts the day in the Lower School with a morning meeting. We plan this social-emotionally focused time to review the daily schedule, make special announcements, and allow each student to share anything with their classroom community. On any given morning, our students may engage in problem-solving, conflict resolution, mindfulness, or deep discussion about current events. Our teachers strive to create a learning environment where children connect to the curriculum to each other, their communities, and others worldwide through experiential and hands-on learning. Strong, supportive connections between our teachers, students, and their families facilitate individual academic and social-emotional growth. 

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Tony Cifra

    Tony Cifra 

    Lower School Director
    510.534.0804 x240
    Cornell University - B.S.
    New York University - M.A.
    University of the Pacific / Bay Area Teacher Training Institute - M.A.
  • Photo of Denise Breland

    Denise Breland 

    Director of Student Life/Dean of Students
    510.534.0804 x220
    Keuka College - B.S. Elementary Education

Upcoming Events

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