Welcome to Lower School
AEC Lower School (K-5th Grade)
Your child’s foundation for lifelong learning through Jewish ethos, values and culture.
You recognize how important it is to set your child up for success early in life. We share your goals to help them achieve academic accomplishments and grow as confident, wise people.
In AEC’s Lower School, we create an environment that fosters holistic growth. Connected in Jewish community, children here feel safe, prepared to take on new challenges every day.
The RUACH Environment
Built on AEC’s RUACH values, the spirit of our Lower School community helps children feel safe and secure. Creating this environment is an important prerequisite for learning.
Safety in Relationship
We come to know our Lower School children and their families intimately to create a sense of connection you’ll find is unique. Your child will feel comfortable here, free to explore, take on new challenges, and grow. Our teachers partner closely with you to support learning at home as well.
Mutual respect (kavod) is offered equally to everyone at AEC as a community norm. Part of modeling kavod for our children is giving each of them a voice and encouraging them to develop it in discussion, teamwork and presentation.
Ours is also a highly secure campus, providing an abundance of physical safety for your child and peace of mind for you.
Highly-trained teachers in AEC’s Lower School work together to provide an engaging and challenging curriculum to help children reach their greatest potential. Technology-integrated projects encourage independence, experimentation and creative thinking as well as empathy, open-minded discussion, and the application of our shared values.
Your child will begin to utilize design thinking in her/his approach to projects. Beginning with the problem or goal in mind, your child will consistently draw from multiple areas of knowledge to solve problems and reach goals. These authentic learning experiences create meaningful outcomes that help children gain knowledge and develop skills.
- Event traditions such as our fourth grade wax museum, Engineering devices like a catapult configured by first graders to reach the top of Rapunzel’s tower
These and many others involve the multi-disciplinary approach (utilizing a combination of language arts, math, science, social studies, Jewish studies, etc.) and skills in research, analysis, design thinking, and public speaking that our students will further hone in middle school and beyond.
With assistance from AEC’s EdTech Coordinator, Lower School faculty integrate technology throughout core curricula. Your child will utilize one-to-world Apple devices, digital and fabrication tools in our Discovery Lab and Startup Incubator for 3D design, robotics and more.
Your child will also receive direction technology instruction, featuring coding with programs such as The Foos, Scratch Jr. and Bee-Bots, as early as kindergarten.
Through these projects, Lower School students develop skills that will be increasingly essential in the Upper School, college and throughout life:
Jewish identity and ethos are the foundation of our humanistic, universal values. For this reason, explorations of Jewish culture, traditions, and learning are woven throughout the Lower School curriculum and daily life.
All children in AEC’s Lower School benefit from Jewish studies regardless of religious background. Children hear poems, sing songs, participate in dance, learn Hebrew, and explore our connection to the land of Israel, all in celebration of Jewish culture.
Each year, AEC welcomes Shinshinim (a Hebrew acronym of shnat sherut, “year of service”), high school graduates from Israel who serve as ambassadors of Israeli culture to our school. They work with our students on creative projects to reflect their cultural understanding.
Lower School students begin to engage in Tikkun Olam (fixing what is wrong with the world). Through service projects, such as food drives and fundraising for wounded veterans, they are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones to empathize with others in their community.
As we get to know and bond with our students, we create customized paths that keep each of them challenged at his or her unique level. The pace varies according to ability. This is part of our investment in learning without boundaries, emphasizing how we learn as much as what we learn.
We also identify students who demonstrate a natural inclination to “think different,” those who challenge the status quo by seeking to understand the how and why. Project Beyond, our program for these students, is designed to engage our unique learners beyond the classroom.
Qualified students can take part in special academic opportunities such as:
- Creative Writing (1st through 5th grade)
- Math Enrichment (1st and 2nd grade)
- Math Olympiad (3rd through 5th grade)
We recognize that AEC students are whole people with diverse physical, academic, emotional and social needs. Student services at AEC include a variety of approaches to address those needs, from diverse learner accommodations to life skills training and more.
AEC’s Lower School provides many opportunities for students to explore their interests including fine arts, music, dance, theater (including our annual stage production), student council, science, robotics and coding, reading incentives and more.
Lower School Outcomes
By the time your child completes 5th grade, he or she will be ready to start middle school and the path to high school and beyond that awaits in the Upper School. There, they will continue to grow as the confident, empathetic leaders, problem solvers and creative thinkers the world needs.
Early experiences in a child’s life that make them feel safe, encourage their curiosity and promote mutual respect make deep impressions that support their future success. We are building a foundation for a fulfilling, joyful, purposeful life.
Learn more about your investment in this important work.