Academic Calendar

Athletic Calendar

Lower School

Grades 1 - 4


Students Enrolled


Faculty Members


Average Class Size


Student-to-Faculty Ratio

With an emphasis on experiential learning, the Lower School program is designed to form the intellectual habits that provide the foundation for all future academic work. To promote positive attitudes toward school and lifelong learning, the program is carefully crafted to encourage an interest in, and a confidence for, independent work.

From the very first days of school when students in each class work together to develop the class "agreements," there is a strong emphasis on the responsibilities of citizenship at Key School and in the community beyond.

By fostering active learning, the Lower School program allows students to grow and develop as individuals and as members of a close-knit community. In a supportive and stimulating environment, rich with interesting texts and materials, Lower School children experience the joy of learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Kristen Addison

Lower School Division Head

Four elementary school girls stand outside giving peace signs by a sign pointing to the Lower School Garden
Two elementary school boys laugh as they sit next to each other at a table with food
Four elementary school girls smile with arms around each other while standing outside on a green field
Two elementary school boys and one African American elementary school girl sort through baskets containing river creatures
Two elementary school girls smile at the camera outside, one on a swing
Two elementary school boys sift through seaweed in a net while crouched on the sandy beach
Two African American elementary school girls read a book aloud while sitting in chairs
An African American elementary school boy has a surprised look on his face while his teacher sitting next to him is smiling
Two elementary school girls smile while sitting at a table using a game to understand math
Nine elementary school boys stand together outside in a line with their arms around each other smiling
Three elementary school boys sit on top of monkey bars looking down and smiling
Three elementary school girls stand together smiling outside with coats on

Defining Elements

  • Neuroscience-Based Curriculum
    Informed by the latest studies in neuroscience, Key teachers regularly evolve the curriculum to better serve the needs of the students. Through professional development opportunities and collaborative internal work, teachers devise curricula based on what is being learned about the brain and cognition as well as with an understanding of how societal shifts impact educating the whole child.
  • Technology Integration
    Technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the curriculum at Key. The choice to incorporate technology in classroom endeavors is purposeful and utilized only when teachers see value added. The School views technology as a tool students can use to solve problems, not as a distinct curricular offering.
  • Academic Specialists
    Classes in science, music, library, art, outdoor education, and physical education are taught by highly specialized Key faculty members in campus facilities that include studios, laboratories, outdoor classrooms, and gymnasiums.
  • Safe Learning Environments
    Classroom expectations and community norms are set early on with discussions focusing on personal responsibilities, problem-solving on the playground, listening carefully to each others' opinions during classroom discussions, and building reflective practices during quiet times and closing activities. 
  • Diversity, Inclusivity and Belonging
    Thoughtfully selected literature and thematic units of study are used as vehicles for helping students develop an understanding of themselves and others with an appreciation for cultures different from their own. Classroom activities and day-to-day interactions help students learn the importance of listening to one another’s ideas and perspectives.


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