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Lower School (K-4) clone

Maret believes that childhood should be treasured and savored, not accelerated or compressed.

A joy of learning permeates Maret’s Lower School. The elementary curriculum inspires students to take risks, think creatively, and work collaboratively. Teachers value their students’ backgrounds and experiences and create a meaningful and dynamic context for learning.

[Welcome VIDEO from Director of Lower School: Placeholder needed]

Curriculum Overview

Lower school students enjoy learning about a full range of subjects, and the curriculum is thoughtfully sequenced and integrated both within each grade level and from one grade to the next.

Language arts, mathematics, and social studies are taught in the homeroom. Science, Spanish, visual art, music, physical education, library, technology, and wellness [LINK] classes are taught by specialists in classrooms designed for those subjects. Curricular connections are made across subject areas when there is a natural overlap of skills, content, or concepts. Read more about the curriculum [LINK].

Lower school students benefit from Maret’s K–12 campus facilities, including a playground, two libraries (one designated for the Lower School), two fully equipped gymnasiums, a theater, a movement studio, a lower school computer lab and makerspace, and a cafeteria. Teachers take advantage of Maret’s location in Washington, DC, to get students out of the classroom and learning in the field.

Maret welcomes children with a range of abilities and interests. The small size of the lower school classes helps teachers support children at different stages of development. A lower school learning/reading specialist, a counselor, and a part-time math specialist provide additional support for students and faculty.

Lower School Specialist Classes

Art (2x week), half-class kindergarten and fourth grade

Library (1x week), half-class kindergarten and fourth grade

Music (2x week), half-class

Physical Education (4x week)

Science (2x week), half-class

Spanish (4x week in fourth grade; 3x week all other grades), half-class kindergarten and fourth grade

Technology/Computer Science (1x week), half-class fourth grade

Wellness Classes (1x week)

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[VIDEO—ROY G BIV: A Kindergarten Tradition]

Kindergarten is a time of wonder and discovery. Each year, two full-time teachers welcome 20 children to their first school experience in the comfort of our cozy, stand-alone Kindergarten Cottage. There, students explore a full range of subjects while gaining critical, foundational skills. Teachers make learning fun, and there are several traditions, like ROY G BIV week, that students remember throughout their years at Maret.

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Student Life

Lower School Culture Club 

Culture Club is a popular after-school activity. Each session is led by a member of the Maret community who shares their cultural traditions through food, games, music, dance, crafts, and/ or other activities. The club’s members acknowledge and celebrate the differences among various cultures while also recognizing the aspects that connect us as people.

Celebrations and Events

Whether it’s an annual tradition, demonstration of academic or artistic achievement, an activity focused on community engagement, or a “just-for-fun” celebration, children develop confidence and deepen connections through the Lower School’s many special events and activities. Some celebrations are class-specific while others span several grades, sometimes including parents, guardians, and special friends.

Recent lower school special events have included: [In Accordion:]

Biographical Character Day

Concerts

 Environmental Spirit Week

Fictional Character Day

Fun Run

Grade 4 Greek Musical

Grade 4 Camping Trip

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

 Intensive Study Week

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Pajama Day—A Celebration of Reading

Publishing Party

Pumpkin Parade and Grade 8 Carnival

 ROY G BIV Week

Science Week

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, when they present bound copies of their writing to parents, guardians, and special visitors.

Buddy Programs

Upper school students mentor third graders in math as part of Maret’s Math Buddies program. Upper school students also 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 work with younger students and help them understand water-testing procedures or math topics, the younger students become more comfortable and confident in their skills. Both older and younger students gain new connections across the grades.

Family-Style Lunch

Lower schoolers rotate through tables so that they have the opportunity to eat with every student and teacher in the Lower School. During lunch they 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.

After School

Maret’s After School program welcomes children kindergarten and up for an afternoon of supervised fun and relaxation. Third and fourth graders also participate in study hall Monday through Thursday. The After School program is a safe, comfortable, low-key option for families who need to pick up their children later in the day.

The After School program runs five days a week until 6:00 p.m. Learn More [LINK]

Field Trips

When the nation’s capital is your campus, the opportunities for enrichment are endless! Maret’s lower school students enjoy exploring the city and beyond.

Excursions have included: [In Accordion]

A Wider Circle

Adventure Theater

Alexandria Archaeology

Anacostia River boat trip

Black Hills Regional Park

Brookside Gardens

Discovery Theater

Lincoln’s Cottage

Mt. Pleasant Library

National Portrait Gallery

Rock Hill Orchards

Sandy Point State Park

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Sugarloaf Mountain

The National Building Museum

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, guardians, and grandparents. Lower schoolers are also treated to a lively carnival put on by our Middle School.

NOTE:

Photos in next section below are general classroom shots for use as needed. We are not expecting all would be used.

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NOTE ABOUT PHOTOS BELOW

The photos below correspond with the highlights in the student life section. They are probably not all good enough to be big pictures, but maybe could be used as smaller thumbnails or the like.  Optional to use!

Community Lunch

community lunch table

Culture Club

parent giving presentation

Pumpkin Parade

Three costumes hamburger hot dog fries

Math Buddies

Older student helping younger student

After School

students gathered around a table to cook

Greek Musical

actors in togas on stage

Publishing Party

family with author

Archaeology Field Trip

two students looking at artifacts