The Lower School is committed to providing a warm and academic environment where children flourish as curious and internationally minded learners.
Students in kindergarten through grade 5 follow organically progressive curriculum from the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP). In addition to dedicated classroom teachers and exceptional teacher's aides, students have expert single subject teachers who explore specialist areas such as visual and performing arts, music, foreign language, media and library, and physical education.
Responsible student-initiated action comes as a result of the inquiry process when students are given the opportunity to respond to their learning. It may take the form of simple actions like finding a book or article or it may have a more complex, social impact like starting a campaign to raise awareness about a specific topic.
Students who participate in the International Baccalaureate programs are given the opportunity to share their learning through a final project and in the PYP, the culmination is called Exhibition. Students work in collaborative groups to showcase communication, research, social, thinking, and self-management skills to address a local issue that has global significance. This is the ultimate display of student-initiated action where they participate in their own learning in a purposeful and beneficial way.
Making new friends, learning the rules of the classroom and playground, deciding which centers to discover each day, and making so many choices.
That is just the first week of Kindergarten! Kindergarteners learn about the world, its many cultures, and nations through units on transportation; stories, poems and songs; games and toys; and natural resources. Students also complete their first collaborative inquiry project about animals and their habitats.
First grade students begin the year close to home, examining their role within their families. Then, students travel all over the world when they look at shelters built in different climates, using local natural resources, as well as study different types and purposes of dance and movement in many cultures. First graders also find out where our food comes from and all the systems and networks it takes to produce and distribute it.
“Dirt Ate My Lunch” is a favorite grade 2 unit that focuses on conservation, recycling, erosion, and composting, while learning about the importance of worms. Second graders also study the ocean ecosystem, taking their learning into the real world by visiting tide pools. In the fall, budding artists surface as the students learn about artists from around the world and from different eras, and then create their own masterpieces.
Third graders learn what it means to be a citizen, how the geography and resources of our land affect where and why we settle in areas, and how to innovate a machine to make work easier. They also choose their favorite type of speech to share with an audience and present them to each other. By the end of the economics unit, third grade students are able to make business decisions and know what “opportunity cost, scarcity, supply, demand” mean.
The Fourth graders spend time on the island of Hawaii exploring the vast fields of lava, indigenous plants, history, and folklore of the Hawaiian people. This culminating trip brings to life many of the concepts that the students have studied all year long: geology, migration, ecosystems, beliefs, and values. This important year also gives students an opportunity to work with technology to create Public Service Announcements and study other forms of media.
Fifth graders are scientists who learn what matter is made of and how it changes, getting to visit our high school’s chemistry lab as well as a university science lab. They are historians who apply what they learn about colonialism, government, war, and conflict in the past to scenarios they hear about in current events. This rigorous year culminates with Exhibition, an opportunity for the fifth graders to showcase their skill development and understanding of the Primary Years Program.
Students in grade 5 participate in Advisory activities throughout the school year. Whole-group activities focus on team building and creating a sense of community as a grade level.
Small-group activities focus on interpersonal skills (such as communication and collaboration), interpersonal skills (such as self-awareness and self-reflection), etc.
Lower School Counselor
Ph: 808.261.0707 x513
Counseling services are available to support students for academic, social, and emotional concerns. Students can request to see the Lower School Counselor by filling out a counselor pass. Teachers, Administrators, and parents can also refer students to the counselor.
The most common reason for students to see the Lower School Counselor is for “fun lunch” (lunch with their friends and the counselor). This gives the students and counselor a chance to build familiarity and rapport.
Most counseling takes place during snack, recess or lunch to avoid interfering with instructional time. However, there are times when students are referred to the counselor directly when issues or concerns need to be addressed immediately. It is important to note that counseling at LJA is viewed as non-punitive; the counselor is not involved with disciplinary issues.
Lower School Counselor
Ph: 808.261.0707 x513