Welcome to the Lower School.
At the Lower School, we emphasize development of the whole child, building confidence and skills in a safe and nurturing environment. We make it a priority to offer the support necessary to develop the whole child – academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We build a strong foundation on which children can grow as confident and capable students. We celebrate the individual learner by differentiating instruction to meet the diverse needs of our students. We cultivate spiritual awareness and development and infuse faith formation across domains. Living the hope expressed in the prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, we strive to help the children live as responsible, generous and honest students.
We believe in the importance of school as a place where teachers love coming every day to teach and students love coming every day to learn; the Lower School culture is decidedly student-centered.
- Lauren Roberts, Principal
Experienced, caring and compassionate teachers make the difference. With a focus on developmentally appropriate best practices, such as differentiated guided reading, the use of manipulatives in math, hands-on science lab experiments, an emphasis on student-produced activities, and a loving and logical approach toward discipline, we help students reach their greatest potential. Students are well supported by a talented student services team including reading specialists, a school counselor and school nurse. PE, art, music/drama, Spanish, computers and library are important elements of the well-rounded experience for students at the Lower School.
The little things make a big difference.
In our PK program, we believe in the importance of learning through PLAY. Personal, social, and spiritual development are at the forefront and we support development of students’ young minds and basic skills using developmentally appropriate programs and best practices.
At the core of our curriculum is the Language Enrichment Activities Program (LEAP), which promotes development of language skills and helps create the solid foundation necessary for kindergarten success. Through stories and engaging hands-on activities, emphasis is on listening and literature, vocabulary and expression, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, concept development, linguistic skills, numeracy and early math development and fine motor skill development. PK students enjoy daily religion lessons and attend a prayer service weekly. PK students also enjoy art, music and drama, PE, library, computer lab, and Spanish as an integral part of their school experience.
Highlights: On-site field trips from organizations such as the Dallas Zoo, Dallas Fire and Rescue, The Perot Museum, PK Field Day, Thanksgiving Feast, and Polar Express Day
In kindergarten, we develop fluent readers with strong comprehension and we work hard to instill a love of reading as they build their arsenal of sight words helping ensure their ability to read at or above grade level. We develop confident and capable writers as they master three sentence paragraphs by the end of their kindergarten year.
We help cement a solid foundation in math and students perform highly engaging, high-quality, hands-on experiments in science lab.
Faith formation is at the core of the kindergarten curriculum as our students develop an understanding of the basics of our Catholic faith.
Our kindergarteners embark on an in-depth study of Lent and the Stations of the Cross and begin the celebration of our annual Catholic Schools Week focused on prayer, celebration, and service.
Highlights: Celebration of 100 days of school, conduct an author study, celebrate Catholic Schools Week, kindergarten year with a special graduation ceremony
In first grade we focus on developing a solid core foundation in reading, writing and math and maximize opportunities to integrate thematic instruction across the curriculum. We believe the most powerful learning comes when connections are made.
Our reading program is a perfect balance of both whole group and small ability-leveled guided reading groups. We use phonics skills to help give support to reading and spelling. Our first grade writers become proficient quickly, beginning their writing assignments with Thinking Maps (graphic organizers), and using the maps to transition to sentences, then paragraphs with opening and closing statements.
Science and social studies include both whole group and individualized activities, focusing on thematic units. First graders attend a field trip tied to their study of the rainforest and produce wonderful writing about the experience. Our teachers focus on using the lifelong guidelines and life skills, which mirror our Christian virtues.
Religion is the heart and soul of the classroom in first grade, and we use it any time during the day to drive instruction and give witness to God’s presence.
Highlights: Thinking Maps, Career Day, and Polar Express Day
Second grade is such a blessed time! Preparation for receipt of the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion highlight our year. In addition, the children research and dress up as their favorite saint and lead the procession at Mass on All Saints Day.
In second grade, we work to meet the individual needs of students through acceleration and differentiation of the curriculum. Comprehension strategies are taught to help students gain a higher level of understanding and make real-world connections. These connections are expressed through various forms of writing including personal narratives and expository essays.
Our second grade teachers collaborate to integrate character development throughout the curriculum to help each child achieve his or her personal best. As the leaders of the Lower School, students gain a sense of accomplishment and pride through individual and group problem solving and increased responsibility. Second graders participate in an off campus field trip that corresponds with a literature unit as well as a special Christmas project.
Highlights: First Communion, All Saints Day Mass, trips to the Upper School for Mass, and the Middle School Musical