LOWER SCHOOL PROGRAM
At Sheridan, our Lower School classrooms are full of joy and wonder. It is a learning community where children feel known, valued and understood and the cultures, identities, interests, and passions of our students and our families are celebrated. From their first days at Sheridan, our students are engaged by what they learn and begin to acquire and deepen core academic skills across myriad subjects.
Our Lower School students begin and end their day in Homeroom, where a co-teaching team collaborates to develop students’ knowledge and skills in reading, writing, and social studies. They also guide students’ social-emotional development and develop a deep understanding of their identity and their communities and the impact they can have on them and within them.
Students attend multiple departmental classes each week, including Science, Music, Art, Physical Education and Spanish. In each, they are encouraged to challenge themselves, ask questions, venture opinions and try something new. [more]
RECESS AND PLAY
At Sheridan, we believe in the power of play. Our playground is designed for more than just blowing off steam — it’s a place to develop confidence, practice social skills, explore nature and learn by doing. Every grade has a minimum of two recesses per day, every day.
We know the social and emotional education of children is of equal importance to their academic learning. Our integration of Responsive Classroom into our Lower School program allows us to respond to individual needs, work with children and families, and incorporate coping strategies into the school day. [more]
SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION
Social justice is a fundamental value of our school that is infused within all aspects of our culture and curriculum. Our youngest learners focus on awareness of self and family, which builds a foundation upon which they develop their own confidence, pride, and positive social identity. From there the focus moves outward, exploring and considering various human differences and connections from multiple perspectives beyond their own.
Beginning in Kindergarten, Sheridan students make use of Sheridan’s Mountain Campus in Luray, VA, and outdoor resources within and around Washington, D.C. to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Class trips to Mountain Campus begin in the spring of Kindergarten and increase in frequency and duration as our students grow.
All homerooms from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade have at least two lead teachers who collaborate in planning, instruction and assessment for reading, writing and social studies. This model allows for greater differentiation, thoughtful planning, instruction and assessment, and more individualized attention for each child.
We regularly assess and evaluate students’ conceptual understandings, skill acquisition, content acquisition, work habits, and social-emotional growth, both formally and informally. We share student progress with families through weekly newsletters, student-led conferences and report cards.