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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

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Lower School

Relationships matter, especially in the early years. Children come to us perfectly created, full of wonder and joy. It is our job and privilege as educators to know and honor each child that enters our doors. Through these relationships, we personalize the educational journey by providing authentic learning experiences and optimal challenges for each of our students. We value process over product, innovation over memorization, and inquiry over complacency. Our hope is that children leave Lower School filled with confidence that stems from self-knowledge, a deepened curiosity towards learning, and an understanding that we are stronger together than we are alone.- Tracey Shirey, Head of Lower School

ESD's Lower School serves our youngest learners from age three to fourth grade. Here, we strive to design and implement a program that encourages students to make connections, ask questions, solve problems, and think independently. The curriculum design is guided by the belief that active, hands-on experiences, emphasizing the relationships among disciplines, make learning most meaningful for young children. 

Our goal is to create a challenging academic environment that also allows each child to develop his or her unique talents and abilities.

Beyond the Classroom

Experiences You Don't Want to Miss


As part of their semester-long study of human physiology, fourth-grade students study the eye and identify anatomy during their annual cow eye dissection. 


Students learn about looking with more than just their eyes, not their hands.


Students experience other cultures through music classes.

Kindergarten students perform songs in other languages with instruments in their annual musical. 


What if students could apply what they're learning in the classroom to something in the real world? Third graders did just that in the What If? Lab. In this study, students used their math and map reading skills to calculate the space of their fourth-grade classrooms in the new Lower School building.

Hear from the Lower School