Academic excellence, in the Elementary Program and throughout Lesley Ellis, is not simply a destination but a journey we undertake every day of our lives. It lives and breathes in our mission, in the personally meaningful work of our students, in the rigorous challenges and remarkable support of our program, in the connections our students forge between what they learn and how they live, and in our shared commitment as a community to the growth of each individual student. As teachers of elementary students we strive to cultivate an environment in which our students excel. Our research-based and best-practice developmental curriculum and methodologies are designed to ignite the interests and challenge the abilities of each of our students.
The curriculum in the Elementary Program capitalizes on the fundamental and profound role of students’ active participation in their learning – on their natural curiosity, their passion for discovery and their innate drive to create. We recognize that each child is a unique learner, and we use current learning theories to develop appropriate ways to meet the needs of every child. We work each day to build an atmosphere of respectful learning, a sense of belonging, a climate of trust and a joyful merging of social, emotional and intellectual development. Our antibias curriculum ensures that every child is valued for his or her unique self and learns to question stereotypes and cultural assumptions, while our art and music programs build self-confidence in the student’s creative abilities and foster a lifelong appreciation of the arts. We believe that helping children feel safe, loved, creative and respected encourages them to risk the challenges and opportunities that are at the heart of learning.
As lifelong learners themselves, our teachers are committed to designing and implementing dynamic curricula, while recognizing and nurturing the unique qualities and needs of each student. Learning is designed within a developmental framework, and we connect and interweave skills and content through thematic studies within and across grade levels. We know that such interconnectivity helps deepen conceptual understanding and hones a wide range of skills. Multigrade classrooms add an additional dimension to this classroom communty. In our school, the connections and continuity from Preschool through Grade 8 foster our spirit of community, robust academic standards, and diversity. Elementary students find frequent opportunities to share experiences with our middle schoolers and their teachers, and are confident and prepared to embrace the rigors of our Middle School and beyond.