An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Lower School Traditions

The childlike spirit in all of us is perhaps best expressed in the beloved traditions of the Lower School. Beginning with Friday Sharing Assemblies and October's schoolwide Fall Frolics carnival, our students are immersed in rich experiences all year long.

Friday Sharing Assemblies

We invite parents to join us for our weekly Friday Sharing Assemblies, where students come together to sing, practice speaking, showcase their studies, and learn to be an audience. This special time to gather together and celebrate learning and community dates from our founding in 1904.

Halloween Assembly

On the Friday before Halloween, we gather in the Langstaff Auditorium to share in a musical celebration of the season as all Lower School children perform for friends and family. We endeavor to be very sensitive to our differences while protecting our traditions.

Kindergarten Halloween Parade

On Halloween morning, kindergartners don their favorite costumes and travel the hallways and walkways around the entire campus, led by the Head of School and the Lower School Head.

Habitat Show

Second graders work on this integrated project as part of their study of the Eastern Woodlands. In the regular classroom as well as during library and science classes, students select and research animals, authoring their own “All About” books. In art class, each child creates a clay likeness of the same animal. Finally, students build shoebox habitats that display the animal in its native surroundings. Second graders are very proud to share their efforts with family and friends.

Lower School Carols

During the month of December, Lower School children and faculty work together to create a beautiful musical tribute to the winter season. This event offers a rich combination of time-honored carols as well as songs celebrating cultures near and far. While this program is steeped in school tradition, new and innovative works are included each year. Lower School Carols always proves a joyful way to send everyone off for the winter holidays.

Black History Month Assembly

We embed the accomplishments of African American people in all curricular areas throughout the year, then set aside a February assembly to highlight and honor the contributions of various individuals – those who are world-famous as well as those who are less well known. The format of this assembly varies from year to year, but all Lower School students contribute.

Third Grade Science Fair

One of the capstone events for our third-grade students is February's Science Fair. Parents and students are invited to learn from our young scientists, who display their work and explain their findings from experiments in which they used the scientific process to form a hypothesis, collect data, and draw conclusions.

Grade-Level Plays

Throughout the spring, students and teachers in the first, second, and third grades work as a grade to present a dramatic production. This is a favorite experience for our students, as they learn to work with a script and move about onstage. Costumes, student-made sets, and musical numbers make the production memorable for students and audience members.

Kindergarten Circus

In May, our kindergartners delight their families and fellow Lower School students with the annual Kindergarten Circus. Clowns, bodybuilders, wild animals, acrobats, and more take the stage to entertain the audience. Our older students enjoy reminiscing about their roles in the circus.

Lower School Field Day

Field Day marks the end of the school year with a morning of relay races, collaborative games and dancing. Students rotate through a series of fun activity stations, which are led by faculty members and parent volunteers.