Elementary Education at Grace (Grades 2-5)
With a solid foundation of intellectual, social-emotional, and physical education, and a spirit of inquiry to spur continued learning, students enter Grade 2 ready for more. In Grades 2-5, there is one class per grade, with an average of 13 students. Each grade has one homeroom teacher who teaches the core academic subjects – language arts, math, and social studies (see tabs below) – with support from reading and math specialists who ensure that Grace meets students where they are.
Good Students, Good People
Grace elementary students participate confidently in spelling and geography bees, present science fair projects, and compete against other area students at the Mid-Atlantic Episcopal Schools Association (MAESA) fair. They are academically strong. But educating students to achieve academically does not come at the expense of educating them to be good people. Weekly Chapel and Morning Meeting – which is a daily opportunity for the students and teacher to come together and greet each other, discuss important issues, and set the stage for the day – build community. They remind us that academic excellence demands stretching the mind and nurturing the heart.
Special Subjects and Extracurricular Activities
Special subjects teachers have their own classrooms for Spanish, science, art, and music. Health and physical education meet indoors and out, and the PE teacher also serves as the athletics coach. (Competitive athletics teams are open to students in Grades 4 and 5.) Extracurricular activities round out the rigorous academic program.
After Grace: Graduate Outplacement
Grace Episcopal Day School has a strong outplacement program. Because class sizes are small, our Head of School and Director of the Elementary Division can spend time with each student and their parents through the process, from developing a list of “best fit” schools to signing up for entrance exams 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 Grades 2-5.
The elementary language arts curriculum at Grace embraces a Balanced Literacy approach to reading and writing instruction. Guided reading groups provide a forum for teachers to individualize reading instruction. In these small groups, students read and discuss a variety of genres, both narrative and nonfiction, and are encouraged to think beyond the text. Grace teachers enjoy sharing authentic literature experiences with students through reading aloud books and poetry.
Our reading program is Guided Reading by Fountas and Pinnell. Each student is assessed at the beginning of the year to find his/her independent reading and instructional reading levels. Students are introduced to a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, magazines, and online articles.
Our writing curriculum is Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Primary Writing, Grade 2 and Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grades 3–5. Grace students learn to value themselves as authors. A word study program supports our readers and writers and incorporates spelling, phonics, and vocabulary to round out the language arts curriculum.
We also publish Amazing Grace, a literary magazine composed of student work, every year. The goal of the language arts program at Grace is to instill a love of reading and writing in each child and to encourage students to become lifelong learners.