Academics

Lower School (Grades 1-4)

Welcome to Renbrook's Lower School!

We are a community of learners in grades one through four. As a faculty and staff, we are grateful each and every day to spend our time in the company of children who love learning, sharing their thinking, and helping one another. 

Our division serves as a bridge between our students' early childhood schooling and their middle school years. We are housed in the Nelson Building on campus, which provides learning spaces and classrooms designed specifically for this age group. Our classrooms are spacious, allowing for flexible seating and learning centers. Teachers and students utilize many outdoor spaces as pop-up classrooms providing opportunities for outdoor learning, fresh air, and movement.  
Grade level teachers in the Lower School work to develop positive and sincere relationships with their students and families. We believe the rapport between teacher and student and teacher and parent plays a vital role in supporting young children's growth and development.  

Each morning grade-level classes begin with Morning Meeting intentionally designed to provide opportunities for our students to build community, confidence, self-regulation, and joy. As the school day progresses, students engage in their core academic subjects and various special area subjects such as library, Spanish, PE, art, STEAM, and music. Daily recess for all Lower School classes is a priority allowing our students an opportunity to freely play among one another and build cooperation, self-regulation, sportsmanship, and fitness. 

Community is truly at the heart of our Lower School program. As students work together learning new ideas and building skills, they read for pleasure and meaning, write with purpose and to entertain, debate with passion, question with curiosity, and apply new knowledge in thoughtful ways. I feel so very fortunate to be a member of the Renbrook Community and work alongside such talented teachers and amazing kids. Every day is full of adventure and wonder here in the Lower School!

Julie Schlossinger
Lower School Head

Learn More about Each Grade Level Curriculum

List of 9 items.

  • First Grade

    Literacy
    Reading - Grade One readers at Renbrook are supported through systematic instruction of critical early reading skills. Teachers use Fundations® which is a program that teaches reading, spelling, and handwriting skills in a multisensory and fun way. The following concepts and skills are covered in Grade One:
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    • Second Grade

      Literacy
      Reading - Grade Two readers at Renbrook progress further into the study of word structure. Teachers use Fundations®, a program that teaches reading, spelling, and handwriting skills in a multisensory and fun way. The following concepts and skills are covered in Grade Two:
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      • Third Grade

        Literacy
        Reading - Grade Three readers at Renbrook
        In addition, Grade Three teachers use reading and writing curriculum resources from Lucy Calkins out of Columbia Teachers College. The Units of Study for Teaching Reading in Grade Three are:
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        • Fourth Grade

          Literacy
          Reading - Grade Four teachers use reading and writing curriculum resources from Lucy Calkins out of Columbia Teachers College. The Units of Study for Teaching Reading in Grade Four are:
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          • Performing Arts

            As students enter the Lower school in first grade they continue to use the First Steps in Music curriculum which develops the whole musician through internalizing the pulse of music, singing beautifully and in tune, and by creating and experiencing artful moments through movement and song. 
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          • Physical Education

            At Renbrook School, our Physical Education department strives to guide students towards finding a lifelong love of fitness, sports, exercise, health, and play. The Physical Education and Athletics programs offer various age-appropriate activities to meet each student’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
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          • STEAM

            The  STEAM program is centered around the philosophy that in authentic environments, effective solutions often require the knowledge and skills from multiple content areas. We believe it is crucial that students learn how to fuse prior knowledge with new tools to think critically and problem-solve effectively. Students should be guided through the engineering and design process as they learn to goal set and plan. We believe there is more value in the learning process than the final product and emphasize the importance of questioning, exploring, and reflecting.
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          • Student Support Services

            At Renbrook we use a team approach when making decisions for a student who would benefit from additional supports in order to meet grade-level benchmarks. The team consists of parents, teachers, division head, and the learning specialists who determine the best learning plan, which may include classroom modifications, in-school intervention, outside school tutoring, and/or diagnostic assessments like a speech or OT eval or neuropsychological testing.
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          • Visual Arts

            The Lower School Art Program exposes students to a variety of techniques such as printmaking, painting, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, and mixed-media work as well. Students become familiar with a wide range of materials including clay, oil pastels, tempera, and watercolor paint, Paper Mache, and wire.
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          A Special Place

          There is something special about Renbrook that is hard to put in words. It is more than the small size, beautiful campus, and welcoming and engaged teachers (and all of those are clear strengths of Renbrook). It is an approach to learning that is deeply holistic and thoughtful, in ways I wished I had experienced when I was my daughter's age. Students are encouraged to naturally develop their curiosity, respect others' differences, and think critically about history and culture and ways they can contribute to the world. Renbrook is guided by a strong moral compass, and we see that in many ways across the school. Thank you, Renbrook.
          Julie Schlossinger is the Head of Lower School at Renbrook. She has worked as a preschool, kindergarten, grade four teacher, and administrator for over twenty-five years. Julie earned a BA in Writing and Child Development from East Carolina University, an MSEd in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, and is currently working on her dissertation for a doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Hartford. Julie believes all students can learn at a high level when provided a school setting that prioritizes positive student-teacher relationships, places equal emphasis on social-emotional development and academics, gives students choice in their learning, and where a cohesive team of relationships is built among parents, teachers, and administrators in support of each child.

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