Academics

Lower School

The O’Neal Lower School houses grades pre-kindergarten (age 3) through fourth, including a new junior kindergarten option. It provides a nurturing learning environment with a stimulating and challenging program that focuses on the development of the whole child. The Lower School curriculum reflects our dedication to academic excellence and to preparing students for the 21st Century. The Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop is a comprehensive language arts program we use in grades kindergarten through eighth. This curriculum provides a spiraling, hands-on, workshop-style approach to writing that empowers students to develop their own authentic voice through three units of study: narrative, informative, and opinion.
 
Bridges in Mathematics curriculum is a thought-provoking, hands-on, process-oriented program that is used in kindergarten through fifth grade. Bridges encourage students to engage with mathematical concepts through application, exciting games, and manipulatives coupled with whole group and individual investigations.
 
Project Based Learning (PBL) is often the vehicle we use to provide student-centered learning in science and social studies. When engaged in a PBL unit, our students are acquiring 21st century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. This also provides a strong foundation for developing students as scientific thinkers and historians.
 
Art, music, Spanish, library, STEAM, and physical education, as well as community service opportunities, field trips, and guest speakers,  help to construct a broad and deep foundation of skills and knowledge for the development of the whole child.
 
Students are taught by caring, creative, and highly knowledgeable teachers who strive to meet each student’s learning needs through a variety of instructional methods. Parent involvement is essential to the students’ success and is an integral component of the Lower School program. Balancing the academic program with the students’ social, emotional, and physical growth is important. Learning to be a kind, respectful, and responsible person is revered.
 
Assemblies and the Lower School’s Culture Council program help to recognize and remind students of the core values: Fairness, Accountability, Leadership, Cooperation, Ownership, Nurture, and Self-discipline. Independence in problem resolution is encouraged through a problem-solving script, which empowers students to resolve conflicts.
 
The O’Neal Lower School commits to providing a meaningful and memorable learning environment. It is the goal of the Lower School to provide all students with the skills and confidence to become successful life-long learners and socially responsible young citizens.

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    • Lower School Division Head, Angie Manning

The O'Neal School admits students of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.