Every Day an Adventure

Welcome to Ross Lower School, a unique and enchanting place. Ross is an innovative learning community for children from pre-nursery through grade 6. Students arrive each morning brimming with curiosity and enthusiasm. A typical day might include visiting the farm animals, speaking Mandarin, building a replica of the Solar System, solving math puzzles, or growing mold spores in the science lab. Every day at Ross is an adventure waiting to happen. The stimulating environment, combined with a warm and supportive community, helps children learn about themselves in deep and meaningful ways.

It all begins here.

The Lower School is just the beginning of the Ross journey. Children transition seamlessly to the Upper School, where they continue their exploration of the School’s unique, global curriculum.



Early Childhood

Nursery, Pre-Nursery, and Pre-Kindergarten

Pre-Nursery and Nursery students may attend a two-day, three-day, or five-day program.

The Ross Early Childhood (EC) Program provides a safe, nurturing environment for students to smoothly transition from home to school. Our integrated, thematic approach to learning instills curiosity and love of learning in young students, and provides them with a foundation for interdisciplinary learning that will serve them throughout their education.

The Early Childhood Program is a gateway to Ross School's unique Spiral curriculum, and even the youngest learners at Ross benefit from our holistic pedagogy. Just like the older students, EC students participate in hands-on learning experiences that cross disciplines, such as painting impressions of the big bang while listening to "cosmic" music, planting organic gardens in which to release butterflies raised and studied in the classroom, and helping to care for our farm animals to understand the relationship between humans and our food sources.


An Early Childhood Day at Ross School




Origins of Awareness



Origins of Awareness



Origins of Awareness

Spiral 43.jpg

Explore the Spiral Curriculum


Elementary Program

Kindergarten–Grade 6

At the heart of Ross Lower School’s educational philosophy is the firm belief that all students can become successful learners. We recognize that each child is splendidly unique, and believe school ought to be flexible and adaptive, rather than standardized or one-size-fits-all, in order to meet the needs of all our children. To this end, Ross School fully embraces Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which holds that intelligence can be measured in a variety of ways. Some kids delight in logical and mathematical discussions; others are visual learners; still others thrive by listening to music and dancing. The Ross curriculum offers learning experiences that accommodate all different types of learners, which means our students feel a great sense of inclusion and value.


An Elementary Program Day at Ross School


Elementary Academics

Ross’s elementary program focuses on building a solid base of knowledge and skills that will serve students well throughout their educational experience. At the beginning of Ross School’s unique cultural history–based Spiral Curriculum, students study origin and creation myths from around the world; patterns and cycles; and natural, human, and social systems. These studies form the foundation for each subsequent grade level. Themes for elementary grades include The Evolution of Life on Earth, Social Systems, Early Settlements, The Rise of Riverine Civilizations, and Prophecy and Cultural Transformation.

In the context of this rich historical narrative, students explore a rigorous program in science, mathematics, world languages and literature, and the arts. They acquire domain-specific skills and content knowledge and learn to understand and solve problems from multiple perspectives using a variety of strategies.

Balanced Mathematics

The Ross balanced mathematics approach encompasses all of the necessary components that are needed to create successful mathematicians: conceptual problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, math vocabulary, number study, and integrated projects. Beginning in kindergarten, students work through learning experiences that develop their conceptual understanding of the subject matter and activities that help facilitate mastery of the fundamental skills. The mathematics curriculum is designed to incorporate best practices from several exemplary programs, such as the use of the Japanese soroban, a style of abacus used for mathematical operations.

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing workshops begin with the youngest students and provide the structure, tools, and support necessary for children to successfully read and comprehend literature and information, form ideas and hypotheses, find their inner voice, and effectively express their views through the written and spoken word. 





Creation, Elemental Forces, and Symbols


Grade 1

Patterns and Cycles

Grade 2


Grade 3

25,000,000–10,000 BCE
Evolution of Life on Earth


Grade 4

10,000–3500 BCE
Social Systems, Early Settlements, and Agriculture


Grade 5

3500–1450 BCE
The Rise of Riverine Civilizations

Grade 6

1450–356 BCE
Prophecy and Cultural Transformation



Specials Program

In addition to the fundamental curriculum, LS students take part in a Specials Program that connects students with expert teachers in specialized areas. Classes take place in specifically equipped locations, such as the laboratory, the Atelier (a skylit, fully stocked art studio), the music room, and the library. Specials classes both augment and integrate with the curriculum students follow in their regular classes, enriching and deepening student learning.

Early Childhood Specials Offerings
Performing Arts, Science, Visual Arts, Music, Library, Buddy Program, Sing-Along, Wellness

Elementary Program Specials Offerings
Performing Arts, Science, Visual Arts, Music, Library, Mandarin, Wellness, Life Skills, Media Studies and Technology



Contemplative Practices

Each day at Ross Lower School includes time set aside for contemplative practices. Mindfulness is not only one of our Core Values, it is also a key component of Ross's holistic Wellness curriculum. Even our youngest students learn intentional breathing exercises, meditation, and other techniques that nurture both mind and body, fostering a healthful mindset that they can benefit from their whole lives.


Buddy Program

Ross Lower School’s Buddy Program pairs older students with younger students for activities such as reading aloud to each other, classroom visits, integrated projects, and service learning initiatives. This program helps the school’s youngest students form lasting relationships with older mentors and gives them a preview of what to expect during the coming grades in the Lower School. It also provides leadership practice for older students, offering them opportunities to serve as positive role models for younger children.