JGS Lower School 2019-01-07T23:52:11+00:00

Jones-Gordon Lower School, grades 1-4 crayons

Lower School enrollment begins with 1st grade. JGS does NOT have preschool or kindergarten classrooms. All of our classes are multi-age and ability-based, with consideration given to each child’s social and emotional—as well as academic—needs.

Foundations: designed for 1st & 2nd graders

Our Foundations program is a whole-child, whole-body approach to education in the early grades. At Jones-Gordon, we know that kids learn through doing, moving, creating, imagining, and engaging all of their senses. We endeavor to model respect for the individual and offer learning opportunities that are presented in the ways that children best learn.

JGS students develop cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Our developmentally appropriate practices empower students to develop problem-solving, resilience, self-reflection, and to discover the joy of belonging to a community that honors childhood.

Foundations program highlights

Small classes; a low student-to-teacher ratio (8 students per teacher, maximum)

• A highly-skilled team of early childhood and special education teachers and speech and occupational therapists

• An adaptive environment designed to meet the needs of the learner (flexible seating, opportunities for whole-body movement, play centers, whole group and small group learning areas, ample outside playtime)

• Integrated social-emotional learning using a unique combination of research-based programs and strategies

• Essential executive function (EF) skill development (planning, organization, task initiation, self-monitoring and awareness, adaptability, accountability, and emotional regulation), woven into the fiber of our day

• Specialist-led supplementary classes that enhance learning (PE/movement, art, animal care, Spanish, cooking, music, percussion)

Multisensory, hands-on curriculum and play-based instruction; students learn literacy, math, and other academics while having fun

The primary goals of childhood are to grow, learn, and play! Through play, children learn to make sense of the world around them. In playing with others, children learn to negotiate, problem-solve, experiment, take turns, and share.

3rd & 4th-grade program

Building on our well-established Foundations, our program for 3rd and 4th graders consists of small classes (with a low, 10:1 maximum student-to-teacher ratio), differentiated instruction, multisensory curriculum, and project-based learning. Students take part in hands-on experiences throughout the day, across all academic areas, with strong attention given to building critical executive function skills (time management, organization, planning, etc.). They receive small group and individualized instruction each day to support reading, writing, math, and social-emotional learning. Students also participate in regular field studies and community service/service learning projects to ensure a rigorous, appropriately challenging, and well-rounded education.

• Humanities (comprised of English, History and the Arts) brings literacy to life and fosters creativity, research, knowledge and critical-thinking skills. Students learn the fundamentals of reading through specialized multisensory language & literacy curricula and burgeoning readers explore various types of literature through thematic units. Students become authors through daily writing instruction tied to engaging themes, response to literature, and quarterly showcase projects. History evolves as part of the interdisciplinary study of humanities, promoting analytical thinking and a greater understanding of the connection between the past and present.

• Our teachers employ the best research-based mathematics programs and strategies to ensure success for every student. Through activities, stories, songs, rhymes, and art, our students learn to conceptualize and understand the basic principals of math.

• Aligned with our thematic humanities topics, our investigative science classes cultivate scientific exploration and promote problem-solving skills. STEM lessons (combining science, technology, engineering, and math) engage students by focusing on solving real-world challenges.

• Students also participate in a regular rotation of supplementary “specials” classes:

  • Incorporated into the curriculum and offered as weekly specials classes, art provides an opportunity for self-expression and bringing imagination to life.
  • Indoor and outdoor PE and movement activities keep minds and bodies active.
  • Strengthening real-world executive function skills, students enjoy cooking weekly.
  • Music and percussion teach the concepts of tone, rhythm, melody, harmony, and tonality, as well as an appreciation for listening to and making music.

Occupational Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, and Counseling services are available on-campus during the school day to support our comprehensive approach to education.

In order to ensure appropriate academic progress is made, JGS conducts annual testing using a variety of assessment tools (WJ-III, KTEA-3, GORT-V, FAR, CTOPP, etc.) based on each child’s needs. Data and sample assignments are collected by teachers regularly to build a working progress portfolio. Individualized goals, established and revised as the student and the year progresses, are based on assessment data and teacher observations. Twice yearly parent-teacher conferences encourage ongoing, open communication regarding each child’s progress toward academic, social/emotional, and executive function goals.

“At The Jones-Gordon School, our daughter has excelled beyond our expectations in so many areas.”
- parent of a JGS 3rd grader