LOWER SCHOOL DAY IN THE LIFE
Life in the Lower School is about laying the foundation for a lifetime of curiosity and joyful learning.
In addition to substantive projects and academic work, our students’ capacity for curiosity, discovery and in-depth exploration is celebrated through engaging activities that stimulate and instruct them in age-appropriate ways.
LOWER SCHOOL LIFE
Our youngest students begin the day with morning carpool, when teachers and staff gather outside to greet the children and help them out of their cars. Students in JK and kindergarten are walked directly from their car to their classroom by a fourth grade student. This is a wonderful tradition at Flint Hill that keeps our youngest Huskies safe while allowing them to engage with older Lower School students.
The day officially begins with Morning Meeting. A component of the Responsive Classroom approach, Morning Meeting is an engaging and positive way for students to begin each day, building a strong sense of community and preparing the children for emotional, social and academic success. Each morning, students and their teachers gather in a circle for 20-30 minutes to interact with one another in four purposeful ways: greeting, sharing, participating in an activity and reflecting on a morning message.
On “D” days, Morning Meeting is extended with Inspiration, which includes the entire Lower School community. Students and teachers come together to share traditions and special events being celebrated within the community, discuss topics from the academic and specialist areas represented in the Lower School and nurture students’ capacities for leadership. Classes take turns “hosting” Inspiration.
Introduced in 2014, our Mindfulness program teaches students skills for building resilience to stress and anxiety, and to develop a positive mindset in both school and life.
After-School Clubs and Activities
Flint Hill offers a variety of age-appropriate after-school clubs and activities to broaden a student’s interests, with sessions offered during the fall, winter and spring.
The Lower School Field Studies program includes outdoor and experiential programs for students in grades JK-4. Activities are integrated with the curriculum and take place both on and off-campus.
Fourth Grade Buddies
Junior kindergarten and kindergarten students are paired with fourth graders, who serve as mentors and “buddies” for the younger children. In addition, first and third grade students often partner for service and other Lower School events. The buddies meet regularly to collaborate on projects, play games and attend School events together.
Monthly Classroom Visits
On the third Friday of each month, parents are invited to visit their child’s classroom to hear first hand about his or her learning and see any projects he or she may have been working over the past few weeks. Following the classroom visit, parents participate in a coffee with the director of the lower school to talk about the work or learning observed during the classroom visit.
Brown Bag Lunch Enrichment Program
To further support students in pursuing their interests, abilities and passions, we encourage the children to explore a variety of topics beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. Throughout the academic year, Flint Hill invites a variety of speakers to share their careers, talents and hobbies with students in the First through Fourth Grades in a brown bag lunch setting. The topics vary from science, business and sports, to global cultures, music and art.
The Husky Promise
"Today I promise to do my best to respect myself, others and my world; to be a responsible and honest Husky; and to show compassion to all." Flint Hill’s core values are reinforced daily in the Lower School through the “Husky Promise,” which is recited at the beginning of each day and Inspiration.
The fall All-School Gathering is one of two opportunities during the academic year for the entire School community to come together. This event marks the beginning of the year with the lighting of a lantern that remains lit in the Office of the Headmaster until the final senior completes his or her requirements for graduation.
During the second all School gathering of the academic year, we convene as a community to celebrate the anniversary of Flint Hill’s reorganization in 1990.
Hopes and Dreams Conferences
Just before the start of each new school year, Flint Hill hosts a series of conferences for Lower School parents to share their hopes, dreams and goals for their child’s upcoming year, and any additional information they believe would be helpful for the teacher to know about their child.
Hour of Code
Each year, Lower School students participate in the Hour of Code, a worldwide event. The goal for this event is to bring coding into the hands of millions of students around the world to inspire them to think like programmers.
Day of Play
Part of the annual Global Day of Play, our Day of Play curriculum introduces students to design skills used by engineers, architects and other professionals. Teachers are the facilitators as students brainstorm, plan, build, test and improve their creations. Additionally, students have opportunities to learn about giving and receiving constructive criticism during feedback sessions. Your Lower School graduate can build upon the foundation created by Day of Play activities through our Middle School Maker Education program and Robotics and Design Thinking courses in the Upper School.
Each spring, and at the end of the third quarter, Lower School students host a Student-Involved Conference. The objective of the Student-Involved Conference is to celebrate each child’s competencies and to allow him or her to articulate the progress he or she has made during the year and areas of growth. The focal point for the conference is a portfolio developed by each child that shows a wide range of assignments along with important reflections of his or her work and performance of the year. As they review their work, the children consider reasonable goals for themselves for the final quarter of the year, which is shared during the conferences.
Family Math Night
Lower School teachers engage families in games and activities that demonstrate how math can be fun, interactive and involve multiple strategies. They also show students how to develop a greater interest, confidence, independence and ability in math through investigation.
Family Engineering Night
Lower School teachers engage families in a variety of activities inspired by engineering principles.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day
More than 200 grandparents and special friends join us each year for this heartwarming and entertaining day on the Lower School Campus. Grandparents and family friends watch student performances, visit our classrooms and share lunch with the students.
During this year-end event, each grade level is recognized through a moving-up ceremony. Following the Closing Ceremony, students and their families are invited to attend a casual and relaxed celebration to mark the end of a great school year.