Learn to Grow

A purposeful and inspired curriculum throughout the Lower School years instill competence, confidence, and independence in our students.

List of 9 items.

  • Library and Technology

    Students learn foundational research and technology skills as tools for creativity, innovation, communication, and learning.
  • Literacy

    The curriculum is designed to cultivate readers, writers, thoughtful speakers, and active listeners.
  • Mathematics

    Using the Singapore Math program, students become problem-solvers by understanding the “how” and the “why.”
  • Performing Arts

    Courses are offered in music theory, instrumental instruction, drama, and dance classes. Third-graders participate in Poly’s hallmark strings program.
  • Physical Education

    Students actively develop skills and confidence in physical activity, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
  • Science and Social Studies

    Students participate in hands-on, experiential learning across the Lower School curriculum.
  • Visual Arts

    Courses explore fundamentals in studio concepts, such as printmaking and ceramics, and art appreciation.
  • World Languages

    The study of Spanish for all students begins in second grade.
  • Social-emotional Wellness

    The Second Step curriculum helps students build skills and strategies to manage their emotions, strengthen self-advocacy, and foster empathy.

Contact the Lower School

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Paula Martin

    Paula Martin 

    Lower School Director
    626-396-6401
  • Photo of Kathy Ford

    Kathy Ford 

    Lower School Assessment, Instruction, and Learning Specialist
    626-396-6471
  • Photo of Alexandra Velasco

    Alex Velasco 

    Lower School Dean of Student Life; Lower School Admission Liaison
    626-396-6437

Window Into the World: Global Initiatives at the Lower School

Poly’s Global Initiatives Program (GIP) seeks to develop the skills and mindset for our students to become considerate, contributing, and connected global citizens. In the Lower School, global awareness is reflected through class activities and projects, cultural engagement with students from countries abroad, and classroom lessons from experienced Upper School GIP students.

List of 4 items.

  • Mission Statement

    The Polytechnic School’s Global Initiatives Program supports the school’s mission and credo by fostering an interest in, an understanding of, and a respect for the dignity and worth of fellow human beings and their cultures worldwide. An understanding of the world calls for a willingness to learn through study, to reach out and communicate with one another in interaction, and to realize that we can help shape the future by service and listening. The Global Initiatives Program seeks to prepare all Poly graduates to live with confidence and good character in a rapidly changing and globally connected world.
  • Lessons and Projects

    Global education at Poly begins in the Lower School. The two foundational principles of a Poly global citizen, “Similarities and Differences” happen to be the name of a multicultural unit embedded in year one of the Poly curriculum. In addition, kindergarteners participate in a multi-culturalism festival that features native costumes, global songs and dances, and culminates with a parent-child feast featuring ethnic cuisines from the world over. During the next five years, Poly’s global citizens of the future travel the Earth’s continents via classroom online and interpersonal school exchanges, and activities that explore international holiday celebrations, family heritages and traditions, world geography, global folktales, and matters of immigration. These specific lessons are addressed through thought-provoking themes, such as “Urban, suburban and rural communities,” “Diversity of Culture,” current events, and community service.
  • Cultural Interaction

    In recent years, Lower School students have taken on the role of ambassadors, as they hosted third grade students from Shanghai and fifth grade students from Kyoto and have sent gifts, letters, curricular lessons, and stuffed pet coyotes to peers around the world, from Cambodia to Cyprus, Mali to Mexico, and New Zealand to Norway. First-graders from around the world have sent stuffed animals from their own nation and letters to the Poly students. In addition, high school students from Japan, New Zealand, France, and China made several visits to first grade classes.
  • Service

    Community outreach is an integral part of Poly’s global studies program. Examples of service projects in the Lower School include:
    • Through recycling efforts, kindergarteners raised funds to adopt a toucan, panda, and stingray through the World Wildlife Fund. They also purchased Beanie Babies to send to every child at a school in Haiti. During the annual Unicef trick-or-treating collection program, nearly $300 was raised. 
    • Second-graders participated with the International School in Seoul, South Korea, in "A Book Marks Our World" program that helps children in different places around the globe connect through reading. 
    • Fifth-graders collected Box Tops for Education and raised funds to purchase a goat, chickens, rabbits, and ducks. 
    • The Lower School Student Council hosted several food sales to support Aid Africa, Rainforest Action Network, and the Central Asia Institute.
Poly kids demonstrate character in a number of ways. I see it on the playground and in the classroom. At the root of how they speak with each other, there's always a lot of kindness there. My students surprise me with how much they show their support and care for one another but also for me, as their teacher.
 
Katie Currin, third grade faculty