Lower School

Group of lower school students, boys and girls smiling posing for a photo with their arms around each other.

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.

In short, RCDS students are known and valued by adults and peers, challenged and supported in character and academics and engaged and successful in school and in life.
Headshot of Dr. Nancy Holodak

"RCDS students are known and valued by adults and peers, challenged and supported in character and academics, and engaged and successful in school and in life."

– Dr. Nancy Holodak
Head of Lower School

Below is a sample schedule of what a day in the life of an RCDS Lower School student could look like.  

A sample schedule of a day in the life of a Lower School student.
Lower school boy student studies an orange through a green magnifying glass.
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