Lower School (Kindergarten - Grade 4)

Maret’s Lower School lets children be children while they acquire the fundamentals of learning and socialization. Maret believes that childhood should be treasured and savored, not accelerated or compressed.

Our full-day K-4 program, in self-contained homerooms, provides a nurturing and stimulating environment in which academics are presented through a variety of full-class, partnered, and independent activities. Homeroom teachers teach math, reading, writing, and social studies. Our lower school program sets the groundwork for each student to delight in their discoveries, master new skills, and relish the satisfaction of contributing to the Maret community.


Our youngest students ease into the world of learning, self-awareness, and friendship in the comfort of the stand-alone Kindergarten Cottage. Kindergarten typically has 18 -20 students working with two full time teachers.

At a Glance

  • Approximately 130 students, grades K-4
  • First, second, and third grades each have two sections of 12-14 students
  • Fourth grade has two sections of approximately 18 students
  • The school day runs from 8am - 2:50pm with early dismissal at 1:20pm on Wednesdays
  • Our After School Program runs daily until 6pm

Lower School Classes

  • Science (2x week)
  • Spanish (4x week in kindergarten and fourth grade; 3x week all other grades)
  • Art (2x week)
  • Music (2x week)
  • Physical Education (4x week)
  • Library (1x week)
  • Technology (1x week)
  • Social-Emotional Learning (1x week)
  • New Students

    New student enrollment varies each year, but here is a typical profile:

    • Kindergarten: 20 new students
    • First Grade: 5 - 7 new students
    • Second and Third Grades: new students enrolled only if space becomes available
    • Fourth Grade: 7 - 10 students

    Lower School Culture Club

    Each session of the Culture Club is taught by Maret parent volunteers who represent a variety of cultures and who share their personal stories and traditions. Students enjoy food, games, music, dance, crafts, and other activities to celebrate each culture.

    Pumpkin Parade

    A longstanding Maret tradition, the Pumpkin Parade is held every October – an opportunity for our lower schoolers to parade in full costume to the delight of faculty, parents, and grandparents. Lower schoolers are also treated to a lively carnival put on by our Middle School.

    Martha's Table

    Once a month, lower school families contribute the ingredients used to create a hearty soup to help feed homeless residents through Martha’s Table. In addition, each week a different lower school homeroom prepares a lesson plan, which they teach to the very young preschool students at Martha’s Table’s Healthy Start Center. This interaction has special meaning for lower school students, who work with Martha’s Table throughout their entire time in Lower School; they enjoy mentoring these younger children. Reflective writing and thoughtful class discussions help Maret students process and make meaning of these interactions, connecting the experiences to their own learning

    Publishing Party

    All lower school students write daily. They are encouraged to view writing as a process, learning to plan, execute, critique, and revise writing in a variety of genres, while developing their own unique written “voice.” Children’s poems, essays, and stories adorn the walls of the Lower School. All lower school students take pride in the culminating activity, the annual Publishing Party, where they present bound copies of their writing to parents and other visitors.

    Shad Project

    Upper school students work hand-in-hand with first graders to construct a shad fish hatchery, monitor water quality of the hatchery, and care for and release shad fry into a local river. As upper school students help first graders to understand water-testing procedures, the younger students become more comfortable with collecting and recording meaningful data. This project allows students who may not feel confident in science to explore what field scientists do on a daily basis, as well as apply the concepts learned in the classroom.

    Home-Style Lunch

    Lower schoolers practice the important social skills of conversation, good manners, and respectfulness. Children are asked to offer reasons for being grateful, such as the joy of family, veterans who protect our country, or friends who make them laugh. These special moments promote deeper thinking, a sense of gratitude, patience, and the art of public speaking. Maret’s cafeteria staff serve healthy, tasty food and, although third and fourth graders have the responsibility of clearing tables, diners of all ages pitch in to make sure the floor and surfaces of their immediate area are clean.

    Why Maret?

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    How To Apply

    Create an Account

    • First things first, create an account by clicking on the orange button below to keep track of admission events and deadlines.
    • This is also the place where you will schedule a campus tour, interview, and check on the progress of your application.

    Campus Tour

    • K-3rd: For parents only in small groups (10-12 people total).
    • 4th grade: Applicant children are welcome on the 4th grade tour.
    • Offered daily in the morning.
    • Approximate duration: 60-90 minutes.
    • Tours are optional and not required to submit an application.
    • You may also attend our Open House on Sunday, December 4, 2016 from 12 noon - 2 p.m.

    Parent/Guardian Interview

    • For parents/guardians and offered on a first come-first served basis.
    • Strongly encouraged for families applying to Kindergarten, 1st and 4th grades.
    • Do not have to apply before interviewing.
    • All interviews must be scheduled by the application deadline January 5th, 2017 by 5pm.
    • Approximately a 30-minute conversation with the Director of Admission.
    • Multiple time slots throughout the day and interview can also be conducted via Skype.

    Applicant Visit

    • Required for kindergarten, 1st grade, and 4th grade applicants.
    • Parent/guardians schedule online after applying.
    • Visits occur in January and February during the school day.
    • Kindergarten and 1st grade visit last two hours, and 4th grade visits last 2 1/2 hours.
    • During a two-hour morning or afternoon visit, children will have an opportunity to participate in both independent and group activities with other children applying to the same grade level. In addition to spending time with other applicants, your child will meet Maret School teachers and Admission personnel. We will read a story, share a snack, work, and play.


    • REQUIRED for all applicants.
    • WPPSI-IV for children under 6 years old.
    • WISC-V for children 6 and older.
    • Click HERE for a list of test centers in the area.

    Teacher Recommendations

    • One recommendation required from current homeroom teacher.


    • Current grades/report card required.
    • Prior year report card or transcript also required (if applicable).

    Applying FAQs

    What are the age requirements for Kindergarten?

    Students must be five years old by September 1 of their kindergarten year.

    When are applications due?

    • Applications are due January 5, 2017 by 5:00pm.
    • Teacher recommendations, testing reports, and all other support material must be received by January 19, 2017 by 5:00 pm.

    Does Maret require applicants to visit the school?

    Maret strongly encourages all families to tour our campus before applying. Tours can be scheduled online by calling the Admission Office directly at 202-939-8814.

    May my child accompany me on my tour of Maret?

    • Lower School tours are for parents or guardians only.
    • Children applying to Lower School are invited to visit the campus during our annual Admission Open House.
    • We encourage students applying to Middle and Upper School to join their parents for a small group tour.

    When do Lower School applicants visit Maret?

    • Families are able to schedule visits for kindergarten, first, and fourth grade applicants once they have submitted their applications. You may schedule the visit using your online admission account.
    • Kindergarten visits take place on Wednesday afternoons in January and February.
    • Visits for all other grades will occur early in February.
    • We will notify parents with available dates and times for visits.

    May my child apply for a non-expansion year?

    Maret accepts applications to all grades. The Admission Office will collect teacher recommendations, grades, and testing. However, students will be asked to visit only if there will be an opening in the grade to which you hope to apply. Please call the office at 202-939-8814 for further details.

    When do I hear if my child has been accepted at Maret?

    Maret notifies families of our admission decision by email in early March.

    After School

    Maret’s After School program offers a welcoming environment where children from kindergarten through eighth grade can relax and unwind. It’s a safe, comfortable, low-key option for families who are unable to pick up their children at the regular dismissal time.

    Lower School Activities

    After School offers supervised free time along with structured activities: playground games, arts and crafts, story time, board games and more. Lower School Clubs are also open to After School students. Examples of current after school activities are:

    C3 Cyber Club
    French Club
    Tiny Chefs
    Chess Club
    Culture Club
    Kaizen Karate

    Study Hall

    After School students in grades 3-8 participate in required hour-long study hall Monday –Thursday, run by After School staff. Adults provide homework assistance, helping students get a jump on the evening’s projects and assignments.

    Field Trips

    When the NATION'S CAPITAL is your campus, the opportunity for enrichment is endless! Maret’s lower school students enjoy exploring the city and beyond. Recent excursions have included:

    • Botanical Gardens
    • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    • DC Aquarium
    • Dunbarton Oaks
    • Embassy Row
    • Imagination Stage
    • Japan Information and Culture Center
    • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
    • Library of Congress
    • Montgomery County Recycling Center
    • National Audubon Society
    • National Building Museum
    • The National Zoo
    • The Phillips Museum
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • The United States Capitol
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