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This is where bright thinkers blossom.


Each child comes to Maclay’s Lower School with unique characteristics, passions, and dreams.

Our goal is to provide a nurturing environment that allows those attributes to thrive -- to encourage our Lower School students to take risks, stretch their thinking, and challenge themselves to their fullest potential. From Kindergarten through Grade 5, our devoted educators build a strong, layered foundation of learning that prepares Lower School students to excel in a college-preparatory environment.

Maclay’s youngest students spend their days in safe, engaging, and developmentally responsive classrooms, where there is an emphasis on relationships. LS teachers strive to build and nurture relationships with each student so that every student is seen, heard, known, and understood.

LS Curriculum Guide

Maclay School has been the best decision we have ever made for our daughter! It all started with our Pre-K 3 Class. Between the community of teachers and the support of the Administration and parents, this truly is the best school ever! Lower School Parent

Social Emotional Competencies

teacher with students
  • Self-Control is the ability to recognize and regulate one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to be successful in the moment and remain on a successful trajectory.
  • Cooperation encompasses the ability to form and maintain relationships, resolve conflicts, be a contributing member of the classroom and school community, and work productively and collaboratively with others.
  • Assertiveness is the ability to draw on intrinsic motivation to take initiative, standup for one’s ideas, seek help when necessary.
  • Responsibility involves the ability to take action and follow through on expectations; to define a problem, consider the consequences, and choose a positive solution.
  • Empathy  is the ability to “see into” (recognize, understand) another’s circumstances, state of mind and emotions and be receptive to new ideas and perspectives

Academic Competencies

girls on headphones
  • Mindset—an academic mindset requires a sense of belonging to an academic community, a belief that success is attainable, and an understanding that effort leads to an improvement in performance.
  • Perseverance requires the tenacity to face challenges and distractions to complete academic tasks to the best of their ability in a timely and thorough manner.
  • Academic Behaviors include the techniques, processes, and strategies that a student uses to 1) learn, think, remember, and recall, 2) monitor their own comprehension and growth, 3) self-correct when they are confused or have an error in thinking, and 4) set and achieve goals. Academic behaviors also include the ways in which students conduct themselves that support their success in school, including such things as regular attendance, arriving ready to work, paying attention, participating in instructional activities and class discussions, and devoting out-of-school time to studying and completing assignments and projects.


Music is a part of a rotation of Special Areas and great opportunities to discover new talents for the stage.


Weekly Drama classes begin in 3rd grade with extracurricular classes available K-2. Our classroom curriculum provides a unique opportunity for integrating the arts, linking dance, music and visual arts elements in performance and production. 


Lower School students get plenty of recess and a structured curriculum during PE time during the week.


Our K-5 students have opportunities to create with an assortment of media and art techniques. Through experimenting with the artistic process, students learn skills that will help them in their other areas of study, too.


Our Spanish curriculum lays the foundation to exploring the language and culture through music and dance.


The Guidance team is not only a support for our students and families but also a integal part of our character education program in Lower School.

We believe that how children learn is just as important as what they are learning.  In Lower School, we helping students develop their academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs.