The Lower School’s superior academics are enhanced by unique programs that promote crucial growth and development of our youngest students. Our academically and intellectually rigorous curriculum emphasizes the mastery of essential skills through collaborative inquiry and customized learning environments.
The core curriculum of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies is enhanced with the seven Specials that provide innovative approaches to problem-solving through age-appropriate instruction. By studying Spanish, art, music, MITT (Meaningful, Innovative, and Transformative Transliteracy), STEM, marine science, and physical education, students begin to develop an expansive world view from their earliest educational experience.
ODA’s culture of innovation is balanced with rich traditions designed to teach critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.Our educational approach lays the foundation for lifelong learning from curious students who seek to understand the world around them.
Each semester, all students and teachers from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade participate in a gifted model known as Enrichment Clusters. During this time, all participants are exposed to a variety of topics based on their interests. Whether they are novice or experienced with that topic, students of mixed ages are grouped by interest to a semester long, student driven cluster where they work collaboratively to explore, question, and share their learning. Mixed age grouping allows community relationships to grow across the campus, leadership opportunities will emerge, and students of all ages experience the value of learning through others. The semester of inquiry ends with a demonstration day allowing all groups to celebrate what they learned together. Students may choose from over 15 exciting topics, from drama and gardening to yoga and interior design (and everything in between!) covering all dimensions of Howard Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences so that every child’s interest, ability, and learning style is met.
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The "Four Cs": creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking provide the foundation for our early childhood program.