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Lower School

4th Grade Classroom
The RCDS Lower School Program allows young learners from Beginners (Kindergarten) – 4th Grade to thrive.  

The program is established to meet the needs of students in all areas of growth – academic, social and personal – providing students with an exceptional academic foundation, while focusing on character development and nurturing the whole child. 

Welcome to The RCDS Lower School – a vibrant community of learners engaged each day in meaningful and enriching learning opportunities. Teachers and students love working together to create a caring atmosphere in the classroom. We believe that building a solid foundation of skills through the lens of rich content and deep conceptual learning ensures students a pathway to success in the classroom as well as in life. 

Our pillars – Honest, Kind, Responsible and Respectful – ensure our students are supported through a culture that values the development of character and appreciation of the social and emotional development of children. From the earliest days of Nursery, our broad offerings in the co-curricular program are valued as a setting where children practice their ability to communicate effectively, collaborate successfully and express themselves creatively.  They develop self-regulation, organizational and executive functioning skills as they progress across the years.

Lower school science teacher does demonstration for smiling students

Lea Prendergast
Head of Lower School

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. "Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Lower School Curriculum provides a rich and challenging experience for students ranging from Beginners (Kindergartners) through 4th Graders.

The RCDS Language Arts Program delivers vibrant opportunities for children to develop their reading, writing, listening, speaking and presentation skills through a balanced literacy program. We take a robust approach to developing Mathematical thinkers who are both highly skilled and flexible in their approaches to problem solving. The Social Studies Program provides children with the chance to explore themes and concepts that evolve from the community and within our school to dive deep into other cultures and history to compare and contrast people, places and systems over time. 

RCDS's approach to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) is infused in projects in the classroom throughout the year, while our co-curricular classes round out the educational experience with Physical Education, Visual Arts, Music, Innovation Lab, Library and Media Research, Spanish, and Lab Science.  

What do we learn?


Self Regulation



Problem Solving






Critical Thinking