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L O W E R S c h ool P ro g r a m

In their words.

The Advantages of

Lancaster Country Day School

Good early education can impart skills that last a lifetime – patience, discipline, manners, perseverance.

David Leonhardt, Writer, The New York Times

From the Head of Lower School


Of the many ways our traditions in Lower School set us apart from other area options, we elect to focus on three areas – leveraging small class sizes into better outcomes, investing in whole child development and building character through community.

At LCDS, we feel the voices of our community are especially compelling. We hope this publication inspires you to communicate directly with our faculty and our current families. Truly understanding our school can help you with what may be a critically important decision for your family. – Christina Simonds

Shared Voices on tHree Lower School Advantages 1 Making Small Class Sizes Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 2 2 Investing in Whole Child Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 3 Instilling respect, trust, and initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 6 Cover Quotation - “The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers,” The New York Times. 27 July 2010, page 16



Before we came to Country

Making Small Class Sizes Work

Day, our children went to a

Recent research completed by J.D. Finn found that at each grade

shiny and new. The faculty were

level in lower school, with students of all backgrounds, by every

motivated and engaged. But over

achievement measure and in every subject, small class students

time, we sensed that, in classes

(13-17) outperform their peers in regular (22-26) sized classes.*

of about 23-25, our children’s


strengths and needs were going

Students can be differentiated according to their aptitudes and

and our concerns were, perhaps

types of intelligence. Having fewer discipline problems reduces

understandably, not met. At

interruptions, establishes better relationships with adults and

Country Day, we know our

keeps students moving forward more efficiently in class. Finally,

children are moving forward

small classes provide teachers with an environment they can

efficiently and accessing the best

enjoy and a workload that allows them to put forth their best

possible education in the area.

effort with each child.

Jen & Morris Perot, Parents


well-funded local elementary school. The facilities were great –

unrecognized. We wanted more

* Anderson C.A., (2000). Why should reduced class size lead to increased student achievement? In M. C. Wang & J. D. Finn (Eds.) How small classes help teachers do their best (pp. 3-24). Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Center for Research in Human Development and Education.

Every once in awhile, I take a break from my middle school day and stop by the Lower School to visit. At LCDS, I was introduced to school by adults who valued and respected me as a person. I think that is why liking your teachers is normal here. Emma Swartz, Student 2

Having a small class size makes all the smaller pieces fit together. With students coming from families committed to their children’s education and with bright peers providing an ongoing source of great ideas, we can make a right-sized class really hum. Close attention to each child allows us to strengthen what has been started at home. Cindy Herr, Faculty

I feel blessed that I can focus on learning and moving forward with my group of 15 rather than teaching 25 or 30 to the same test with little attention to their individual gifts. I love the team teaching. I love the flexibility to work with others. I know all the kids who go through Kindergarten and they know me.

Country Day’s small class size and low student to teacher ratio allows our children to make real connections with their teachers. All children are expected to participate in class. Students who understand concepts quickly

Our familiarity leaves every child

aren’t ignored. LCDS offers boys and girls the flexibility to accelerate. As

more accountable.

a result, our culture is different: At LCDS it becomes cool to be smart.

Betsy Hedbavny, Faculty 3

Bernadette Gardner, Parent


Country Day is challenging

Investing in Whole Child Development

academically, and with four PE

When families travel down our Lower School hallways, attend

lower school teams, our sons are

a recital or watch our athletic teams play, they routinely notice

having an even better athletic

the natural politeness and self-assurance of our children. Years

experience than we could have

later, LCDS graduates are more likely to attend plays, practice a

hoped, with the added benefit of a

musical instrument, work out regularly and frequent art galleries

top-flight academic program.


and museums as college students and as adults.**

How do we develop this well-mannered

classes a week, recess at least once a day and interscholastic

Ann and Jack Fulton, Parents

confidence? How do we achieve these highly valuable outcomes?

My children started playing While many schools offer a wide range of extracurricular options,

instruments in the Lower

Country Day thoroughly integrates these activities into school

School. Because their private

life. A higher degree of support from parents and peers better

lessons are part of the school day, my schedule is easier. I also like that their musical development is noticed and valued by their friends. We can see how Upper School students learn to appreciate athletics and the arts equally. Jen Sebelist, Parent

**NAIS, Independent Schools: Preparing Students for Achievement in College and Beyond, NAIS. com, http://www/ cfm?ItemNumber=147307 (accessed October 3, 2009)


My daughter takes voice lessons once a week during lunch. She misses her friends on those days, but the lessons led her to try out for this year’s musical. She is young and didn’t secure a lead this time, but the lessons and the process provided a lovely boost to her confidence and courage. Anonymous Lower School Parent

I have to say, the thing that sets LCDS apart from any

affirms the value of all of these pursuits. LCDS’s intimacy

other school is that we believe in

allows respect for varied skills to exist without obstacle. It is

a balance between academics,

the nature of our community – an instilled respect for one

arts and sports. This is really

another’s development – that truly cultivates self-assurance in a

important to me, and is the

meaningful way.

biggest reason I love my school. Jessica Sacks, Student

LCDS infects you with idealism. Kids there have ambitions to do great things. It is nice to grow up around such people. Greg Rogove, Wesleyan University Graduate 5


We chose LCDS because of the

Instilling Respect, trust, and initiative...

small class sizes and enriched

Most people find it impossible to walk through the Lower School

challenging and value-centered


without breaking into a smile. It is a place where youngsters dart through the hallways on missions of discovery. Classrooms

academics. Each of our children is seen as an individual. LCDS teachers create intimate, caring, experiences for our children. If there is an issue that needs attention, the teachers are

are alive with the sound of children finding joy in learning

making connections with me

and in each other. Where does this “right” feeling – the way a

before the news gets home to me

lower school should and can be – come from? The answer is not simple or singular. Certainly a great deal comes from the

that evening. The teachers lead the charge for relationship-based education for our children. We

personal attention of faculty, drawn to our learning community

are fortunate to have found

from around the country and set free of inefficiencies. A highly


educated and highly involved parent community heighten

Nicole and Bill Dannehl, Parents

students’ aptitude and motivation. In addition, Upper School students mentor the younger ones, communicating regard for intellectual growth in the process. All of these role models respect the students and work to earn their trust. Under these circumstances, initiative, independent thought and joyful curiosity can grow naturally and successfully.

We sent our daughter to LCDS because we knew she would be encouraged not just to read and write, but to dream. Most schools teach the basics. It is exquisitely more difficult to touch the spirit. This LCDS achieves because it is not only a bricks and mortar institution, but also a caring community of professionals who approach their work with respect, intelligence, humanity and a marvelous sense of wonder. Carol Turkington Kennedy, Parent 6

Summer is what you do while you wait for school to start. Jonah Rebert, Lower School Student

725 Hamilton Road • Lancaster, PA 17603 • (717) 392-2916 •

LCDS Lower School Advantages  
LCDS Lower School Advantages  

LCDS Lower School Advantages