Lower School students develop independence.
Cultivating confidence. Developing competency. Encouraging students to trust in their own ability.
We lead by example and inspire a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime.
Lower School children come to us with a healthy curiosity, readiness skills, an eagerness to learn, and abundant energy. Lower School students engage in an active learning process in which teachers provide direct instruction, guidance with hands-on activities that promote critical thinking, problem-solving, cooperative learning, and facilitation of child driven inquiry. Instruction is differentiated so that students will develop reading skills at a level commensurate with their readiness levels and abilities through whole group, flexible small group, and individual instruction.
Students spend the majority of their day in the homeroom but also travel to other parts of the campus in the afternoons to work with specialists in the visual and performing arts, physical education, and laboratory experiences.
First grade reading instruction continues to develop and enrich foundational reading skills in order to reach the ultimate goal of developing students’ love of reading. Work is done to build automaticity with phonemes to expand their decoding skills following a research-based structured sequence. Instruction also includes building a robust sight word vocabulary. Using a variety of genres, small group instruction is utilized for targeting student needs to build decoding, fluency, and comprehension skills.
Second graders grow as readers by developing their phonological understanding of different sound and spelling patterns. Differentiated small groups and daily reading help to improve high frequency word recognition, accuracy, fluency, and background knowledge. Reading comprehension instruction teaches students to analyze and think critically about text. Students learn to explore story structure (character, settings, plot), main ideas, author’s purpose, vocabulary, and how to compare and contrast text.
Literacy instruction focuses on reading fluency, comprehension strategies, and word study. Students develop fluency and comprehension skills by reading a variety of genres, including: poetry, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and informational text. Students receive direct instruction in small groups and read daily on their instructional level to develop these skills. Word study instruction follows a developmental sequence of phonics patterns.
Fourth grade reading instruction focuses on developing fluency and comprehension strategies. Students work on comprehension as they read a variety of genres. They learn to predict, infer, visualize, ask questions, and determine importance through summarizing and synthesizing information. Students learn to choose books that are a good fit as well as use guided materials in small groups based on their instructional level. Vocabulary instruction is built in as students learn unknown words in context. Fourth grade readers read grade level texts, small group texts as well as texts for independent reading.
Fifth grade readers read a variety of chosen and self selected texts. They explore perspectives from multiple character viewpoints and read stories that connect to the social studies themes of belonging and migration. Through individual, group and whole class work, readers strengthen the following strategies: visualizing, drawing connections, predicting, comparing/contrasting, synthesizing main events, inferring, asking questions, discerning new vocabulary, and identifying themes. They define and compare/contrast examples of implicit and explicit text. Readers identify the characteristics of multiple genres. They examine and write various poetic forms.
In first grade writers expand their understanding of the writing process by capitalizing on their desire to share: their stories, what they know, and their opinions. The genres of writing instruction include letters, personal narratives, non-fiction, and opinion writing. Instruction focuses on the writing process and craft, sharing ideas and writing conventions.
Second graders improve both their writing volume and stamina. We explore: personal narrative, poetry, persuasive/opinion, information and letter writing. Students learn to organize their ideas, write a strong beginning and end, use transition words, elaborate by adding details, action, and dialog with a good ending and organization. Students begin to learn about nouns, verbs, adjectives, sentence structure and punctuation. Cursive is reviewed and used daily.
The writing program is built around the workshop model of instruction. Writers are given direct, explicit instruction in the skills and strategies of proficient writers in a mini-lesson. Students are actively involved in their writing, with long uninterrupted stretches of time to write. They spend time collaborating with writing partners. Writers are given opportunities to talk and respond to each other’s work. As thoughtful and skillful writers, they learn to set goals for themselves. Teachers conference with students individually or work with small groups to maximize their potential as writers. Teaching is consistently responsive to the needs of the students. The curriculum focuses on several genres: personal narratives, persuasive writing, informational writing, and fiction.
Fourth grade writers develop skills through teacher conferencing, targeted small group work, and daily mini-lessons. Teachers help students set their own writing goals, which allows students to build confidence and develop agency as writers. Fourth grade writing projects include realistic fiction, personal and persuasive essays, and information writing.
Fifth grade writers build on prior learning to write meaningful pieces for real audiences. They begin the year building writing fluency and stamina by crafting our own stories. Writers then write persuasive letters about topics that matter to them and send them to someone who has the power to make a change. Next, students write research based persuasive reports. In the information writing unit, children write their own magazine articles, and informative texts for the second graders. Complementing the 5th grade social studies work on migration, students write a historical narrative. Students end the year researching Westward Expansion and writing research reports for third grade.
Summit’s math curriculum strives to develop in students an understanding of concepts, an ability to apply concepts, computational fluency, logical reasoning skills, and an active engagement in using math skills
First grade focuses on place value, number sense, addition and subtraction strategies to one hundred, geometry, measurement, and equal shares. Lessons incorporate mathematical concepts by sparking curiosity toward problem-solving and mathematical modeling, while developing a robust mathematical vocabulary. Lessons also work to develop a growth mindset and foster social emotional learning.
Second graders study place value, two and three digit addition and subtraction, identifying and counting coins, measuring with inches, centimeters, feet, yards, and meters, recognizing and drawing 2D and 3D shapes, identifying, building, and drawing fractions, telling time, collecting and interpreting data and graphs. We utilize a multisensory approach using manipulatives (concrete), drawing pictures (representational), and solving problems with a range of flexible and efficient strategies (abstract).
Math instruction follows a workshop model where students begin each lesson with a number sense routine and then receive direct explicit instruction in a mini-lesson. Students then work in small groups to practice skills, play related games, uncover complexity, apply understanding, and complete independent tasks. Third grade focuses on: addition and subtraction strategies, multiplication and division within 100, developing understanding of fractions, understanding the concepts of area and perimeter, and reasoning with shapes and their attributes.
Fourth grade mathematicians develop deep conceptual understanding through rich tasks that allow for productive struggle and promote mathematical discourse. While using hands-on learning tools and making thoughtful math connections, students develop a growth mindset in preparation for their future as real-world problem solvers. Students focus on the following key areas in Fourth grade mathematics: Place value structure to the millions; advanced addition and subtractions strategies; pattern recognition and fluency in methods to multiply and divide multi-digit numbers; fraction equivalence, addition and subtraction of fractions with like denominators, and multiplying fractions by whole numbers; measurement and data; as well as analyzing geometric figures and angles.
Some Lower School Fourth grade students will participate in an accelerated Math group, the intent of which is to extend and enrich.
In fifth grade, students build understanding of math concepts through curiosity, mathematical discourse, practice, and reflection. Students access curriculum through exploration and modeling, guided support, and opportunities for independent practice. Students also participate in real-world, cross-curricular, project based lessons throughout the year. Key areas of study include: volume; place value relationships (billions to thousandths); adding/ subtracting/multiplying/dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions; measurement (including converting units); and geometry, (including classifying triangles and quadrilaterals based on their properties).
Some Lower School fifth grade students will participate in an accelerated Math group, the intent of which is to extend and enrich.
The Lower School Science curriculum focuses on discoveries about the natural world and fosters creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. Hands-on activities in the lab and out-of-doors allow for exploration of earth science, biology, chemistry and physics concepts. Science process skills and the scientific method are emphasized.Students practice using science equipment, making predictions, designing experiments, interpreting observations to collect evidence and classifying.
Whether learning about countries, famous people, history, or current events, Summit School emphasizes communication skills, comparing and contrasting of ideas, critical thinking skills, and compassion and responsibility toward others and the Earth. Science topics are also incorporated into the social studies units.
First grade is a time of transition for growing independence and developing awareness of others in our community. Social studies lessons strive to expand the students' understanding of the communities we are connected to both near and far. Social studies units include Civic Ideals and Practices, Our Local Community Winston-Salem & North Carolina, and Famous Americans at their highest point of contribution.
Second graders study community, landforms, Native Americans, and Kenya. They compare and contrast different cultures and traditions. They learn how the geography of an area determines how people live. Students consider different viewpoints and make connections through reading, hands-on projects, games, and discussions.
Third graders learn about daily life, geography, economic factors, and social and political history of the colonies in Colonial America, starting with the Lost Colony and ending before the Revolutionary War. Students begin the Entrepreneurship unit with teaching basic economic principles. They then develop a business plan, write a pitch, and create an authentic business selling goods and services.
Fourth graders learn about aspects of daily life, geography, economic factors, and social and political history from the start of the Revolutionary War, continuing the learning they began in third grade. They then follow up this with a detailed study of the founding of the United States, including learning about the principles of the organization of the US government. Throughout the year the concept of freedom in its many forms is given a particular emphasis.
The fifth graders explore themes of both belonging and exclusion by studying various people's migrations and their historical contexts. Students look for patterns about who was allowed to immigrate, when, and why. Students engage in a deeper study into Chinese and Irish immigration while also learning about what was happening in America during this time period such as: industrialization, the Civil War, and Westward Expansion. Students end the year by studying the Great Migration and drawing conclusions about how these migrations brought about a diverse America.
Summit graduates are prepared, honorable, curious, accepting, and socially responsible. To that end, a study of another language and culture is crucial.
The student experience begins with Spanish instruction 2-3 days per week in our Eaglets (3 year old program). Spanish instruction continues through fifth grade.
In first grade students sing and play games in Spanish about basic greetings, emotions, numbers up to 10, and colors. They use Spanish vocabulary to communicate about places and people in the school, 2-dimensional shapes, Pablo Picasso, and modes of transportation. They create Spanish labels for places in the school, write Thank You notes to school personnel, and assemble shapes into the design of their choice.
In second grade students sing and play games in Spanish about basic greetings, emotions, numbers up to 20, and colors. They use Spanish vocabulary to communicate about birds, the calendar, school supplies, and the weather. They create a mini-poster with their birthdates, assemble 2-Dimensional paper turkeys, act out stories, and present a weather report.
In third grade students sing and play games in Spanish about basic greetings, emotions, calendar and weather information, numbers up to 30, and colors. They use listening, reading, writing and speaking to communicate about family members, body parts, geography, and clothing. They create drawings of families, a full-body self-portrait, and label maps of the world.
In fourth grade students sing and play games in Spanish about basic greetings, emotions, calendar and weather information, numbers up to 70, and colors. They use listening, reading, writing and speaking to communicate about parts of the house and furnishings. They draw and label a Dream House. They exchange and present information about activities they want and like to do throughout the four seasons. They also practice communicating about food, with an emphasis on fruit.
In fifth grade students sing and play games in Spanish about basic greetings, emotions, calendar and weather information, numbers up to 100, and colors. They use listening, reading, writing and speaking to communicate what they do during a typical school day, and create a Dream Schedule. They also learn how to exchange and present information describing animals, and places in the city.
In addition to continuing their Spanish studies, 5th grade students also have the opportunity to spend time learning about Chinese and Latin so that families can make a World Language decision for Upper School.
The Visual Arts program at Summit School offers students, at their own personal level, a safe environment to pioneer their artistic expression.
First grade is the first year Summit students have a formal art class in a studio setting apart from their homeroom. Some highlights of first grade art are; basic color theory, line, shape, space, pattern and texture. While drawing, coloring, painting or weaving artists will use mediums including pastels, crayons, marker, watercolors, tempera, paper, glue, tape and yarn. This budding studio community will learn how to move, work and create together inspired by such artists as Calder and Miro.
In second grade art students explore many different art techniques. The second grade artists review basic color theory and learn color values with tinting and shading. They are introduced to printmaking, clay, collage and reductive scratch art. While growing technique they will also strengthen soft skills such as persistence, following instructions, supportive partnerships, and doing their best. Inspirational artists for this year rotate through mainly contemporary examples curated from various social media and current local gallery displays.
Third grade art has a focus on composition. Third grade artists are introduced to planning their art work with thought and intention and concurrently strengthen drawing and watercolor skills. Artists recognize the powers of asymmetry, bilateral symmetry, or radial symmetry. Third grade artists ask themselves, “What do I want my viewer to notice?”, and then plan and arrange their composition to suit. Some elements of composition highlighted are balance, movement, contrast, pattern and proportion. We define what is a still life, landscape, portrait, and how artists like Mondrian, Kehinde Wiley, Cezanne, Fish, Duncanson present their works on a canvas or paper.
Fourth grade Art is all about texture and abstract subject matter. Artists add texture and pattern to all they create in 4th grade in paper, sculpture, painting, and drawing. They explore shading, stippling, hatching and cross hatching to show value, depth and form. Fourth graders use inspiration from artists such as Monet, Seurrat, Van Gogh, Hokusai, Dali, Vero, and Matisse.
In fifth grade, artists look back on concepts learned and lean into OP Art, POP Art and Cubism. Artists explore public art, scale, point of view, negative space, foreshortening and touch on one point perspective. Through the mediums of pencil, marker, pastel, paint, clay, and paper weaving, artists create art inspired by Modern Art pioneers like Bridget Riley, Warhol, Oldenburg, Lichtenstein, Klee, Picasso and Braques.
Design & Technology
Our choice to teach design and technology together is intentional. The two subject areas often intersect with technology serving as an instrument for design, and design thinking guiding the use of technology. In fifth grade, we have a separate Digital Life Skills class to better prepare students to use technology in upper school.
Students begin learning basic coding skills. As digital citizens, they learn about paying attention to their feelings when using technology and how to say goodbye to devices when it’s time to put them away. In Design they are learning the importance of planning to the design process. Students use Seesaw Draw on their chromebooks to create plans before making Breathing Buddy pillows and shoebox buildings for Box City.
Students build upon the coding skills learned in first grade and they look at how the internet works. As digital citizens, they learn about staying safe online and the importance of device-free moments. In design students are learning more about building and testing as part of the design process. They build and test-fly simple kites and create 3-dimensional streetscapes from a “bird’s eye” plan. Students begin working with WeDo LEGO robots, connecting the programming to the coding they are already doing.
Students build upon the coding skills learned in second grade. They learn about computers and the various components involved by constructing paper models. As digital citizens, they learn about being kind online and not believing everything they see. In design students are using LEGO sets to build and test wheels and axles, and pulleys and gears to understand how they work. Students begin learning SketchUp, a 3D design program they will continue to use through Upper School.
Students continue building coding skills. They learn more about how the parts of a computer work, specifically as it relates to coding. As digital citizens, they learn about what information is safe to share online and making healthy media choices. In design students learn to use the 3D Design program Tinkercad and continue with SketchUp. They also build and program a SpyBot that uses a motion sensor, and design and build a car with working wheels and axles powered by a balloon.
In fifth grade students take a Design class and a Digital Life Skills class.
In Design fifth grade students explore the design process through foundational projects that build upon multiple skills learned throughout their lower school design experience, and prepare them for more complex design problem solving in the upper school studio. The students will utilize the 3D printers, laser cutters and other equipment to realize their ideas. They will sharpen their 3D design skills using softwares like Sketchup. They will hone their fine motor skills with model making, and learn the importance of craftsmanship throughout the design process.
In Digital Life Skills students gain in-depth knowledge of Google suite apps including Docs, Draw, Sheets, and Slides. Continuing with coding, they learn about working with sprites to create interactive animations. Digital citizenship lessons focus on reading news online, digital friendships, and copyright and fair use.
Drama enhances verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas. It improves voice projection, articulation of words, fluency with language, and persuasive speech. Listening and observation skills develop by playing drama games, being an audience, rehearsing, and performing.
First grade drama students are introduced to drama through action and play. They explore the concept of stage presence by playing games centered around teamwork and creativity. Students explore improvisation. Students have the opportunity to make connections between simple dramatic skills and developing their own voice and confidence in the classroom. A highlight for first grade is their readers' theater performance.
Fourth grade drama students take the stage by using creativity and improvisation to play games that teach drama teams and techniques. They learn theater techniques such as blocking, facial memory and stage presence. Students get to step out on creativity and personality by performing their individual monologues for the class. By the end of the year, students are ready to perform their Fourth grade play.
Music is an important part of the life and culture of Summit School. Because we believe that music is vital in educating the whole child, all of our students have the opportunity to study and make music during their years here.
In first grade, student musicians work all year on steady beat, rhythm, and singing skills. They move rhythmically, play instruments, create and perform simple patterns and songs. They begin to match long and short sounds with the correct rhythm vocabulary and create their own rhythms to share. Students are introduced to the mallet and percussion instruments and how to use them. A highlight of their year is the First & Second Grade Sing where they joyfully perform songs together that showcase their rhythmic movement and singing skills.
Second grade musicians continue their work on steady beat, rhythm, and singing skills. They are introduced to the musical scale and simple melodic phrases through the use of solfege. They are introduced to specific rhythms in simple time and work on composing and improvising using these rhythms. They are introduced to the musical staff and written notation. They begin to learn about music from other cultures such as Kenya and Native American. Second graders are also the leaders at the First & Second Grade Sing in February where they exhibit their singing, beat, and rhythmic movement skills.
In the third grade, students begin to put all of their knowledge of rhythm and melody together through learning to play the recorder. They use solfege to sight read songs and play them. They read the rhythm and notation of a given song and then play it on the recorder. They look for the same and different parts as they begin to understand how form works in music. Their confidence grows as they teach themselves to play songs on their own through Recorder Karate. They compose and improvise using what they know. The concept of harmony is introduced through partner songs.
Fourth grade musicians will continue to play recorder off and on throughout the year with the goal of getting to Black Belt in Recorder Karate. Solfege is used to continue work on pitch development, sight reading, and melodic understanding. They continue harmony work through partner songs and rounds. They begin to think about what is involved in song writing and give it a try. Singing in a head voice and vocal skills become more of a focus. Rhythm work becomes more complex. 4th graders begin to have more choice as they create music and dances on their own. There is a throughline on freedom as we learn songs from early America, spirituals, and protest songs. Instruments and movement are an integral part of their music making.
In fifth grade, the expectations rise for our student musicians. They expand their solfege abilities through reading musical phrases that use more notes and harder rhythm. They begin to sing as a choral ensemble learning proper singing technique. They work with more complex rhythms in simple and compound meters. Different types of harmony are experienced and performed. Fifth graders learn to play the ukulele as an accompanying instrument. They learn chords and chord progressions as a way to further understand how music is made. They are given opportunities to share their musical preferences in many different ways throughout the year.
Tinkering is about figuring out how things work and reworking them. Tinkering is what happens when you try to do something you don’t quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination and curiosity.
In second grade students manipulate materials, explore, and create projects using their tool skills in a way that is responsible and safe. Lessons are designed to give students opportunities to engage in learning that embraces creativity, play, and experimentation. Students will learn how hinges, levers, wheels and simple machines work. Through teacher-led and self-initiated projects students manipulate materials, explore, and create using tools including: glue guns, scissors, hand drills, wire cutters, screw drivers, hammers and nails.
In third grade students build on the second grade experience. They are encouraged to be self guided and motivated in their inquiry, experimentation, and inventions. They learn to recognize that prototyping and failure are steps in the design process. Students continue to develop their skills in using a variety of tools and materials in their projects. They are encouraged to use correct terminologies and have an understanding of creators’ work in the world beyond our tinkering studio.
Our library is an integral part of both teaching and learning. A broad range of books and resources meet the curricular and personal needs of our students. The goals of the Library program are twofold: to encourage a life-long love of story and reading, and to help children to become wise, confident, and independent users and producers of information and media
First graders develop responsibility through becoming good stewards of the library. During storytime, students study illustrators and practice their own illustrations through Directed Draws. A Mock-Caldecott follows as students evaluate different illustrations and their role in the story. Selections of early readers are highlighted and encouraged as appropriate choices for emerging readers. Nonfiction interests are developed as different sections of the nonfiction shelves are visited weekly to encourage exploring. Through Famous Americans, students use finding skills to locate resources for their research through guided practice.
Second graders continue their stewardship of the library by developing their love of reading. As readers, second graders broaden their choices by exploring graphic novels and chapter books, participating in book groups, and sharing recommendations of series with peers. Book tastings during storytime expose children to the criteria for Newbery Award winning books. Through BookBreak, a library speakers consortium, the library brings authors to students to provide insight to the process of creating story. Bird research provides students with nonfiction books for investigation. As interests continue to grow in all genres, students begin exploring the library catalog and using their finding skills with guided practice to locate books of interest.
Third graders develop a taste for book series, and the Mystery Book display introduces new series to readers. As stewards, these readers work with the librarian to justify keeping or weeding series from the collection. Readers use the catalog to locate books of their choice. During storytime, books centered on entrepreneurship, pioneering, and storytelling are highlighted as students explore these themes. In addition book shares introduce readers to series their peers enjoy, too. A writer in residence visits and guides students in writing and publishing their own book.
Students learn to name and find text features for fiction and nonfiction resources; they develop independence in searching the library catalog by using limiters and by developing finding skills with call numbers; they learn how to access and use vetted digital resources such as encyclopedias, the Scholastic collection, and our Sora ebook/audiobook library; they learn to distinguish between types of nonfiction texts such as narrative, informational, instructional, and browsable; they continue to develop ability to make relevant independent-reading selections. Students learn to recognize book awards for what they honor and to choose/learn about authors and books for different monthly celebrations. Additionally, they practice sustainable habits for shared resource care, including upcycling discarded materials into new uses and practicing elements of bookbinding.
Students learn to identify and use text features for fiction and nonfiction resources; they develop independence in searching the library catalog and by developing finding skills with call numbers; they learn how to access and use vetted digital resources such as encyclopedias, the Scholastic collection, and our Sora ebook/audiobook library; they learn to distinguish between types of nonfiction texts such as narrative, informational, instructional, and browsable; they continue to develop ability to make relevant independent-reading selections. Students also learn to check source reliability by searching by limiting domains and checking the About section of websites. Students learn to recognize book awards for what they honor and to choose/learn about authors and books for different monthly celebrations. Additionally, they practice sustainable habits for shared resource care, including upcycling discarded materials into new uses and practicing elements of bookbinding.
Social and Emotional Learning
Beginning in Kindergarten and extending through to fourth grade, students gain knowledge and skills in the following four areas: skills for learning, empathy, emotional regulation, and problem solving. Throughout the year, students engage in role playing scenarios, discussions, games, and activities to learn developmentally appropriate ways to exhibit these skills. The Skills for Learning Unit teaches students how to focus their attention, identify and use self-talk, be assertive, remember directions, stay on task, and ignore distractions. The Empathy unit teaches students how to identify and understand others’ feelings, take others’ perspectives, listen to others, and show compassion. The Emotion Management unit teaches students how to identify and understand their own feelings, and recognize and calm down strong feelings. The Problem Solving unit teaches students friendship skills and a four step process for solving problems.
In the Physical Education classroom we strive to enrich our students' lives with creativity and social-emotional skills through physical activities that they will use throughout their lives. We work with various games/sport activities that help develop cooperation, responsibility, assertiveness, empathy and self control. Knowing and developing these beliefs are valuable tools that can be used as a part of any team both “on and off the field”.
Students start to develop their manipulative skills such as underhand/overhand throws, catching, dribbling with hands and feet, and kicking. Students start to develop an understanding of speed, direction, pathway, and strategies while learning the purpose of fitness and health through warm ups, cool downs, and target skills.
Students develop their manipulative skills such as underhand/overhand throws, catching, dribbling with hands and feet, and kicking. They are encouraged to master these skills by utilizing a tiered level approach with equipment. For example, beginning badminton with a balloon and soft paddle progressing to a birdie and racquet. Students gain an understanding of speed, direction, pathway, and strategies while learning the purpose of fitness and health through warm ups, cool downs, and target skills.
Students fine tune their manipulative skills such as underhand/overhand throwing, catching, dribbling with hands and feet, and striking. They will gain understanding of speed, direction, pathway, and strategies while also learning the purpose of fitness and health through warm ups, cool downs, and varied activities. Students learn communication and how to cooperate with others.
Students continue to refine their manipulative skills including: underhand/overhand throwing, catching, dribbling with hands and feet, and striking. They gain understanding of speed, direction, pathway, and strategies while also learning the purpose of fitness and health through warm ups, cool downs, and varied activities. Students learn communication and how to cooperate with others in groups or partners.
Students have the opportunity to learn the different sports we offer at Summit in the Upper School. Each season students focus on a different sport. Fall sports we focus on in fifth grade are soccer, volleyball, field hockey, and football. In the Winter, we focus on basketball, indoor hockey, strength and conditioning, and cross country. In the Spring, we focus on lacrosse, softball/baseball, track and field, and tennis.
Language Lab supports fourth and fifth graders who struggle with reading comprehension by assessing and remediating deficits in phonemic awareness, word reading and/or phonics. In addition, comprehension skills are strengthened by targeting oral reading fluency, building background knowledge as well as content area vocabulary, and explicitly teaching comprehension strategies (predicting, retelling, inferencing, etc.).
At Summit, everybody is a somebody who belongs in our community of learners. An abiding sense of belonging is a necessary catalyst for each of us to strive towards our fullest potential.
Belonging is realized when we
Welcome diversity and its rich mix of differences in all dimensions that make each of us unique
Seek equity among our voices so that each of us is empowered to express our authentic selves and to be heard, respected and valued
Embrace inclusion as we appreciate each others, broaden our perspectives and cultivate our empathy
We will guide our learners to appreciate these differences, to recognize and challenge biases, stereotypes and prejudices, and to act in strengthening our connected community. We will not engage in activities that discriminate and will intervene when we observe disrespect for a person’s identity or individuality. We will sustain a safe and welcoming environment where our learners belong.
Portrait of a Teacher
The faculty of Summit School commit to these characteristics as defining features of our work in serving the needs of our students, their families, our colleagues and the school.
- As an educator striving to develop the full potential of each child, I
- As a lifelong learner committed to professional growth, I
- As a fully engaged member of the Summit community, I
- Respect, affirm and protect the dignity and worth of all children
- Understand the important stages in child/adolescent development
- Observe children, giving particular attention to the unique qualities of each child and their life experiences, recognizing their backgrounds and identities
- Facilitate and guide, fostering discovery, thinking, creativity and the construction of knowledge
- Teach for deep understanding by designing diverse and culturally responsive curricula organized around meaningful problems, projects, and questions
- Encourage students to form habits of mind as mathematician, scientist, historian, reader, writer, and artist
- Cultivate Summit’s core competencies in all students
- Gauge students’ understanding through multiple forms of progress-oriented and authentic assessment
- Honor children as citizens, encouraging them to participate in a democratic society
- Reflect on the art of teaching and study the science of learning, always seeking to apply what I learn
- Engage in ongoing personal and professional growth, embracing its inherent change
- Study the Progressive Education tradition and apply its evolving principles in my practice: both pedagogical & curricular
- Strive for excellence in my planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction and professional responsibilities
- Embrace inclusivity, diversity and equity as essential facets of the Summit Community
- Demonstrate an attitude of service and flexibility, and use strengths and talents in a variety of ways to benefit the entire school community
- Actively engage parents in partnerships for the good of the child
- Model and uphold Summit’s Code of Conduct
- Participate positively and with joy in the community life of the school
In addition to our exceptional academic curriculum that feeds the mind, Summit School has specially designed dining rooms that support our curriculum and serve nutritious food to feed the body as well as carefully designed spaces such as art studios, the Athletic Center, music rooms, a multimedia library, two theaters, and other spaces that speak to the creative soul of the elementary school student.
Our classrooms are spacious and designed to provide areas for individual work, group collaborations, and whole class learning activities. Technology is integrated into every classroom. The overarching theme of "community" permeates each classroom so that children feel included, valued, and safe to take risks in order to grow.
Summit Afterschool strives to engage the whole child with a carefully designed schedule that gives students plenty of time to create, play, move and learn. Experienced staff members supervise all programs and diligently oversee the safety and well being of each child. Students have the chance to experience school with a little less structure and enjoy an extra dose of hands-on indoor/outdoor activities. There is a built-in study time for older students and opportunities for each child to explore and develop his or her own interests. Parents and students can choose from a variety of program options to create the ideal schedule.
- Beforeschool, 7 to 8 am (Eaglets - 9th Grade)
- Eaglet's Bridge 12:30 to 1:30 pm (Eaglets)
- Early Childhood Afternoon, 1:30-3 pm (Eaglets, JrK and K)
- Early Childhood Full Day, 1:30 to 5:15 pm (Eaglets, JrK and K)
- Lower School Full Day, 3 to 5:15 pm (1st - 5th Grade)
- Three-Thirty Express, 3 to 3:30 pm (Eaglets - 5th Grade)
- Late Stay, 5:15-5:45 pm (Eaglets - 5th Grade)
- Extended Day Program, 3:30 to 5:45 pm (6th - 9th Grade)
This program is designed to give students a positive start to the school day. The instructor is sensitive to the individual needs of younger and older students as they make the morning transition from home to school. The program is a relaxing place to make new friends, catch up on homework and enjoy the quiet activities. Students are dismissed or escorted to their classrooms at 8 am. Students will be grouped according to grade for this program.
*Eaglets are students enrolled in our 3 year old program
Bathroom policy. All students enrolled in Afterschool must be potty trained. We request that children come to school in underwear – no diapers or pull-ups. If a child needs to be changed while at school, a parent or guardian may be asked to come to school to do so.
This hour-long program is designed to bridge the 12:30 pm Eaglet dismissal until 1:30 pm. This allows Eaglets to be picked up with JrK and K siblings. It also connects Eaglets with the extended Afterschool day. Children are supervised by the same teacher each day.
Bathroom policy. All students enrolled in Afterschool must be potty trained. We request that children come to school in underwear – no diapers or pull-ups. If a child needs to be changed while at school, a parent or guardian may be asked to come to school to do so.
Eaglets, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students will stay with their grade-level peers during this 90 minute program. Children socialize and work together as they build, create, relax, and play. This early afternoon program ends with a play period on the front playground followed by dismissal at 3 pm. All Eaglets have a rest time on mats during the second half of this program.
To enroll in this program Eaglets should also register for Eaglet’s Bridge.
This option includes the features of our Early Childhood Afternoon program and continues until the end of the day. Eaglets, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students will remain in their grade-level groups. Children socialize and work together as they build, create, relax, and play. They also spend time enjoying the front playground including the music station and sand boxes. All Eaglets have a rest time. At 3 pm, these children enjoy a story time before splitting up into teacher-led activity groups including art, outdoor exploration and games. The program ends with more time on the playground or in the gym.
To enroll in this program Eaglets should also register for Eaglet’s Bridge.
At the 3pm dismissal, 1st-5th Graders stay with their grade-level groups for indoor/outdoor play and snack. Our 2nd-5th graders have a 30-minute study time before splitting up into activity groups led by Afterschool teachers focusing on tinkering, outdoor exploration, and games/sports. The program ends with more time on the playground or in the gym. At the end of the week, students enjoy Fun Friday with special events and no study time.
This program is designed to supervise Lower School students until the Upper School dismissal time. The Three-Thirty Express is a helpful service to parents who prefer one pick-up time for Lower and Upper School students. At 3 pm, children gather in a designated room to relax, socialize or work on homework. At 3:30 pm, our Three-Thirty Express teacher supervises their dismissal. Eaglets, JrK and K students are eligible for this program, but rather than moving them to the Three-Thirty Express room, they remain with their Afternoon group until the 3:30 dismissal.
This is a supervised drop-in Afterschool program for Upper School students who are not involved in athletics or other school-sponsored activities. At dismissal time, students report to the Dining Hall for check-in and snack. Students have plenty of time to study, socialize and engage in outdoor activities under the supervision of the Afterschool Extended Day teacher. This is the perfect place for athletes on seasonal break or students waiting for a late ride home. Students can join this program throughout the afternoon as clubs and sports come to an end. Parents can sign-out students by calling the main Afterschool room.
Our New Playground!
Learn about the construction and completion of our new playground including the student involvement in the design process and Summit’s history of unique play structures.