Situated on the second floor of the Lower School building, the second- and third-grade classrooms flow into one another, reflecting the interdependent nature of the curriculum. These students love to explore their growing independence and, at the same time, thrive on social interaction. They find opportunities to apply their new skills at every turn—practicing Spanish vocabulary, clapping a new rhythm, working on arithmetic problems, imagining a story, or printing a written page from the computer.

Independent Projects (I.P.’s) are an important part of the Lower School curriculum and are introduced in the second grade. The I.P. process teaches students the skills for researching, writing, and presenting reports. Students begin the process in second grade using a highly structured, teacher directed format to research a famous person. In third grade, students assume more responsibility for the research, organization and writing of reports on animals. Second graders present their I.P.’s to the first grade students, who get to learn about the topics from their peers and receive a glimpse of what’s to come in the following year. Third graders present to a larger audience that includes all 2-3 students.


The diverse environment and culture of southern Maine is used extensively as a teaching tool. The history and traditions of the region are conveyed in the study of the social and natural sciences. Maritime life demonstrates basic physics in the study of sailing ships. Wabanaki tribal life is studied through hands-on projects. Memory, imagination, and close observation skills are taught through art, music, and creative movement. The wonder and complexity of the natural world is learned experientially with study visits to the Fore River Fields.


For detailed course descriptions, select a “learning area” in the left-column navigation.