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Lower School

The Lower School Learning Experience

Our students understand that the most satisfying learning happens when they go beyond what’s comfortable and take a risk – and they’re able to do it within a school community built on kindness.
Heather Stinnett

Heather Stinnett

Head of Lower School

Hillbrook Lower School students are respected as learners who are actively engaged in their own unique journeys. Our co-teaching model allows us to meet each child where they are and to recognize and support their individual needs and goals. Experienced teachers guide student explorations and build on their natural curiosity and playfulness so that learning is a process focused on inspiring questions– not just finding answers. 

Each day is designed to be an adventure in hands-on activities and project-based learning tied to the world beyond the classroom and our campus. Hillbrook’s exceptional program develops mastery in foundational academic skills while also fostering collaborative skills of problem-solving, communication, and empathy. Our expansive program, inclusive community, and 14-acre, park-like campus nurture young hearts and minds, allowing students to discover their passions and grow into confident, creative learners.



The Lower School Schedule

Our school hours, currently, in Lower School are as follows:
JK-4th Grade Students: 8:00 AM - 3:00PM

Early Release occurs on the first Wednesday of each month for Faculty Professional Development.

JK-4th Grade Early Release: 2:00 PM

Teachers collaborate intentionally to design school days that engage and inspire young learners. Students start each day in homeroom with Morning Meeting, emphasizing social emotional learning (SEL) and community-building. Students remain in homeroom for the core subjects (mathematics, social studies, and literacy) and visit specialist teachers for science, Spanish, art, music, physical education, and research skills. We never forget that our students are kids–first and foremost–so they have ample time and freedom to use our beautiful, outdoor learning spaces to run hard, move freely, and just play. Finally, in keeping with our vision, we dedicate time in the weekly schedule to empower students to “reach beyond themselves to make a difference in the world” through authentic and meaningful service, community building, leadership, and civic engagement opportunities.


Kindergarten: The Gingerbread Project

Run, run, as fast as you can! The well-loved children's story of the Gingerbread Man is familiar across cultures. At Hillbrook, it’s an opportunity for our kindergarteners to make connections across academic disciplines including literacy, math, and science.

Junior Kindergarten & Kindergarten Changemakers

A favorite tradition of our kindergarten is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks Reach Beyond Unit. Through explorations using history, fine arts, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and language arts, our students take an age-appropriate deep-dive into how they can make an impact for change.