Elementary Education at Grace

Kindergarten to Grade 5

Core Academics

With a solid foundation of intellectual, social-emotional, and physical education, and a spirit of inquiry to spur continued learning, students enter Elementary School ready to engage in a well-balanced curriculum of core academics and deeper, project-based learning. At each level, there is one class per grade, with an average of 13 students. Each grade has one homeroom teacher who teaches the core academic subjects – Reading, Language Arts, Writing, Math, and Social Studies (see tabs below) – with support from a Learning Support team, which ensures that Grace meets students where they are.

Purposeful Learners

Grace elementary students are academically strong, creative problem solvers, and good communicators. They have the opportunity to showcase their talents within the Grace community at annual events such as the Science Fair, Latino Expo, and Celebration of Learning and at events for area schools such as the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association (MAESA) Fair each spring. Elementary students at Grace also take advantage of local resources and participate in a variety of field trips to places as far away as the Chesapeake Bay and as close as the Kennedy Center and Imagination Stage. Grace students take time to nurture the spirit during weekly Chapels, community service projects, mindfulness practice, and daily class meetings. While academic pursuits are important and noble, so are our beliefs in stretching the mind and nurturing the heart.

Special Subjects and Extracurricular Activities

Specialist teachers work with elementary students twice a week during self-contained classes but also integrate and support students' project-based learning.  Our specialist teachers include Spanish, Science, Art, PE, and Music. A range of after-school Extracurricular activities support the athletic and intellectual interests of students at all grade levels.

After Grace: Graduate Outplacement

Grace Episcopal Day School has a strong outplacement program. Because class sizes are small, our Head of School and Assistant Head of School for Academics can spend time with each student and their parents through the process, from developing a list of “best fit” schools to arranging school visits to gathering teacher recommendations. Outplacement coffees in the fall ensure that parents of students in the upper grades have a chance to speak with admission representatives from next-step independent schools.

Click on the tabs below to learn how we teach the core academic subjects in Kindergarten through Grade 5

Language Arts

Teacher with student

Our philosophy of teaching Reading at Grace is both grounded in the Science of Reading and inspired by deep appreciation for literature, non-fiction texts, poetry and strategies for comprehending these texts at a critical level. In Kindergarten through Grade 2, we use the Orton-Gillingham approach–a direct, multisensory, and sequential way to teach the foundational, phonics-based reading skills. 

Our teachers also provide ample opportunities for students to practice and build their fluency, comprehension, and stamina during Reading Workshops, in which students read independently and in small groups. Grace teachers also enjoy sharing authentic literature experiences with students through read alouds, book clubs, and poetry-readings.

Students are introduced to a variety of literary genres including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, magazines, and online articles.

Developing students’ abilities to write effectively and creatively is a goal of Grace’s writing curriculum. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 participate in Writing Workshop and learn about the structure of language through grammar and vocabulary exercises.

Social Studies