The St. Gabriel’s Lower School is a warm, welcoming place where children experience great joy: from the moment they enter Founders Hall each morning; through morning prayer or weekly mass; as they play in daily physical education; create in art and music classes; serve others in the community; learn about the Catholic faith in religion classes; and grow and develop in their core academic subjects with their homeroom teachers.
Our students learn under the loving and watchful guidance of an outstanding faculty that is well-versed in social emotional learning, differentiation and STEAM practices. Our teachers are focused on individualizing curriculum and challenging students at their own levels, which is supported by their constant search for learning and growth for themselves.
The hallmarks of the primary grades include understanding the printed word, expressing ideas and feelings in writing and in person, and developing a basic quantitative sense with an ability to use numbers easily and accurately.
In Pre-Kindergarten, teachers begin preparing students for the demands of a challenging, academic Kindergarten while focusing on the unique developmental and academic needs of each child. We provide differentiated academic instruction for each child by providing opportunities for emotional, social, physical, and intellectual growth. Students discover passions or talents through rotational classes of art, music, Spanish and religion. Weekly visits to the library and daily physical education enrich the education of the whole child—mind, body and spirit.
By second grade, students can express ideas in complete sentences and write one-page persuasive pieces. Hands-on experiential learning in both individual and group settings is often incorporated into science and social studies, with a focus on project-based STEAM programming.
For third- and fourth-grade students, learning becomes departmentalized and ensures a well-balanced program for all students who learn from different homeroom, language, math and social science teachers. Our school adopted the enVisionmath 2.0 and DreamBox programs to personalize rigorous math education for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. These programs enable students to work independently and at their own pace so they can become stronger at the underlying skills needed for more complex math concepts.
In the primary grades, students learned to read. By third and fourth grades, they are reading to learn. They have developed basic skills, which they now use to learn more about the world. Innovative technology education is woven throughout each curricular strand as students increase their skill and capacity with technology as a tool for support in all areas of study. Students charge ahead fearlessly and creatively while exploring new ideas.