Where Every Child is Known and Inspired to Excel, to Lead, to Care

Teachers make it magic.

Over the course of the vast journey from 1st to 5th Grade, Lower School students are led and boosted by passionate teachers who know each child -- not simply by name and learning style, but by sense of humor, preferred lunch option,Lower School or favorite sports team. Deep and lasting connections with adults become second nature, yielding benefits that endure until they become adults themselves. The true expertise of our Lower School teachers lies in blending this relational quotient with an ability to ensure mastery of critical skills while equally cultivating open-ended exploration and curiosity.

Joyful hallways, thoughtful classrooms

Whether arriving from Green Vale’s Early Childhood program or another school, our 1st through 5th Grade students quickly understand that their individuality will be prized and understood, yet they are also counted on to play a role in a collaborative community. In such a context, challenges seem less daunting and failure is just another part of learning.

Private Lower School

Lower School Experience Highlights

1st Grade:
• Penguin Projects” (students’ first research assignment)
• “English tea party” (culmination of interdisciplinary studies)

3rd Grade:
• Social Studies/ American History trip to Philadelphia
• Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center
• Begin single-gender PE class
• Begin performing semi-annual music concerts

4th Grade:
•Begin musical instrument instruction
• History trip to NYC Tenement Museum
• Environmental education trip to Shelter Island
• Year-long geography study culminating in State Fair
• Being named to Blue or Gold team…for Blue-Gold Day and for life
• Executive functioning curriculum

5th Grade:
• Begin participation in interscholastic sports
• Leadership of assembly content
• In-school study hall (homework and executive functioning)
• Boat Race

Knowing oneself (or starting to) while feeling a sense of true belonging makes children...happy.While there is indeed a lot of laughter, a predictable structure nurtures a sense of self-discipline, resilience, and confidence — traits that are important as students advance to middle and high school.

Academic rigor is achieved through a skills-based yet progressive curriculum that incorporates above-grade-level content. Again, our “know each child” approach allows advanced coursework to be the norm, without undue pressure or stress. Maintaining a tone that is both joyful and academically serious has long been key to our students’ success in later years.

Bringing your whole self to the table makes for quite a busy day. While robust academics are the hallmark of Green Vale’s program, children are engaged throughout the day in activities that enrich not only the mind, but the body, soul and spirit as well. Visual arts, performing arts, and athletics are vital to our community, bringing us together yet also helping individuals explore their range of talents, and just as importantly, to appreciate and celebrate those of others.

A formal Character Education program along with a culture of pervasive respect and tolerance instills an understanding of personal and collective ethics, where knowing what’s “right” is frequently intuitive but sometimes requires extra thought and discussion.