Windward Manhattan's Lower School currently comprises grades 2-4 and provides a supportive atmosphere that enables students to explore new horizons and enhance their self-esteem. Their confidence and pride increase as they develop their core academic skills alongside their essential social and emotional skills as young learners and community members full of the most amazing potential.
The students’ day starts in homeroom where they meet with friends, organize their work before classes begin, and receive individual study help from their teachers. Lower School students have three periods a day devoted to language arts, including oral language, reading, spelling, handwriting, and expository writing. In addition, students have a daily period of mathematics and regularly scheduled periods of social studies, science, physical education, library, computers, art, and music. While class sizes are generally 12-13 students with two teachers instructing the class, both language arts and math classes are conducted with even smaller groups of students, also with the team teaching model. Computer classes for keyboarding and basic word processing skills begin in the fourth grade.
At midday there is a lunch and recess break, giving students time to play with friends or participate in extra-curricular activities. Each afternoon during "Read Aloud," students have the opportunity to listen to and discuss literature on a higher level than their independent reading levels may permit.
Since study and organizational skills are critical parts of Windward's program, students return to their homerooms before dismissal where, under careful supervision, they organize their books and materials and clarify their homework assignments. We follow a policy of using homework to reinforce skills already taught and practiced in class, so assignments are carefully designed to be manageable by students without significant parental support.