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Lower School

Joyful Learning is the Strongest Foundation

Our Lower School experience begins with joy: the joy of discovery, the thrill of learning new skills, and the hunger to know and do more. Our interdisciplinary curriculum makes space for students to learn through play, grow through exploration, and understand the world through experience.

At the same time, through planned activities and spontaneous interactions, we help students strengthen foundational character traits: respect and responsibility, integrity and empathy. In everything we do, we treat students as unique human beings—individuals who are developing at different paces, in different ways, even as they take pride and pleasure in creating a community within their class.

Social-Emotional Intelligence

Children who feel safe and supported are more ready to learn. That’s the heart of our approach to social-emotional intelligence. During biweekly community time, students and teachers talk about—and practice—topics such as respectful communication, building and sustaining friendships, self-advocacy, and self-regulation.



AOSJ Voices

“The most effective education starts with trusting relationships. I meet with students one-on-one and in small groups every day; I know them and value them for exactly who they are. That’s why they feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom and challenging themselves to grow.”

- Krystal Marinello, Teacher