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Lower School

Kindergarten - Fifth Grade

7:1 Student Teacher Ratio

160 Students in Grades K-5

10 Specialist Programs

Eco Literacy • Art • Music • Science • P.E. • Library • Spanish • Philosophy, Ethics, & World Religions • Mindfulness • S’cool Moves (K-2)

2,000 Square Foot 3D Lab

6,500 Annual K-12 Student Service Hours

1 Acre Garden and Fully Equipped Outdoor Classroom and Kitchen

During their Lower School years at San Domenico, students will master fundamental skills and gain knowledge in all of the core academic subjects, but we believe there’s more to an exceptional education. Through our very intentional approach, San Domenico students continuously develop their character in tandem with their academic growth.

At SD our educational philosophy is deeply imbued with our core values of study, reflection, community, and service. These values guide our student-centered classrooms and our commitment to developing habits of mind in our youngest students that will serve them throughout their K through 12 years here at SD, and out in the world at large. We nurture and foster our students' natural sense of inquiry and curiosity about the world around them, in a vibrant learning community.

Peek Inside our Classrooms

First Grade Busting Stereotypes/Toy Store Designs

In first grade, students explore the questions: How do I see myself? What qualities do I share with others? What qualities are unique to me? Students consider common human needs--belonging, acceptance, and purpose--and discuss the similarities and differences among people. 

After spending time reflecting on their unique identities, students examine common gender stereotypes and discuss how toys are marketed differently for boys and girls. They learn that in our community, everyone is free to like and play with the toys that make them happy, regardless of gender stereotypes. Students work in groups to design a toy store organized by categories of interest, rather than by gender. To end the unit, the class showcases their inclusive toy store designs and celebrates the fact that they do not have to conform to gender stereotypes. 

Fifth Grade Early Settlers Simulation

The fifth grade Early Settlers Simulation brings learning to life in a tangible and meaningful way. Students spend the year discussing the political, religious, economic, and social roots of the early settlements in the Americas. They write and perform a short skit, and meet at the student-created inn to discuss the pros and cons of their colony. Through collaboration, students create advertisements promoting their colony. In culmination, students go back in time to the 1800’s for a day of candle making, weaving, calligraphy, fabric dying, shadow portraits, and cooking over an open fire in the Garden of Hope. 

Fourth Grade Honoring Growth

Imagine walking into your classroom and, to your surprise, finding it aglow with neon and filled with games and activities. This unforgettable moment begins a daylong celebration of the students’ collective achievements made throughout the year. 

This celebration underscores our value of reflection and our commitment to nurturing joyful community, confidence, and social emotional growth. 

Third Grade Marin Field Research Unit

Studying their immediate surroundings captivates and engages our young learners as they investigate Marin’s cultural history, map local landforms, observe flora and fauna, and explore aspects of government and community. In addition, students conduct a comparative study of Marin, past and present, reflecting on factors that have shaped where we live today and how they may impact tomorrow.

To culminate their study, students interview local supervisors about issues that impact constituents in their district, and work together to develop solutions to current challenges that affect their daily life. They design and build a prototype of their solution to social justice challenges such as home insecurity, transportation, and access to equitable healthcare and educational resources. Students write and present their proposals to their classmates and to local politicians.

Kindergarten Animal Day

Kindergarten Animal Day is a celebration highlighting student research, literacy, art, design, drama, mathematics, science, geography, and public speaking. Prior to their celebration, the class studies ecosystems and work in teams to select an animal from an ecosystem to research and present. They design and construct their animal’s habitat and learn about each ecosystem's interconnectedness. This is a proud moment and an unforgettable experience as students, dressed in their animal costumes, share their research expertise with their families and friends.

Lower School Curriculum

LeaAnne Parlette, Director of Lower School and Middle School
LeaAnne Parlette
Director of Lower and Middle School

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