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Achieve more from the very beginning.
Our youngest students are engaged and excited about school from the start. Lessons aren’t limited to classroom exercises on the Lower Campus. Learning also takes place in art museums, in public gardens and even the county courthouse. Each level from Pre-Primary through 3rd grade builds on itself as teachers customize each child’s learning plan to keep them continually challenged, engaged and reaching for more. The collective Lower Campus experience is designed to build academic skills, confidence, critical thinking, global awareness and personal integrity.
It might not sound academic to say we are serious about play, but play is at the heart of our Pre-Primary program. Our youngest students learn problem-solving, independence, self-regulation, communication, how to work with others, and respect for themselves and the world around them – all through play. Giant blocks, or manipulatives, in the outdoor space encourage children to interact with their environment in a playful way that facilitates learning. The biggest lesson for Pre-Primary students is that school is a safe, fun place for discovery.
The Primary program is designed to instill a love of learning and recognize a child’s increasing independence. Close relationships with teachers and peers develop as students remain in the program for two years. Additionally, teachers emphasize the development of social skills and expose students to the math and language arts curricula utilized in the upper grades. Our partnership with the adjacent Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens provides an outdoor classroom for exploration.
Our goal for our kindergarteners is to help them develop creativity and critical thinking skills through meaningful experiences. Students take a hands-on approach that helps them understand concepts deeply. Teachers tailor instruction to each student’s level of mastery and individual learning styles, and specialists teach lessons in the performing and visual arts. School traditions, such as the annual Teddy Bear Picnic, become sweet rites of passage for Kindergarteners who are just beginning to understand how good it feels to be part of a warm community.
The 1st grade curriculum focuses not only on the development of important academic foundational skills, but also on the social and emotional growth of each child. Students are encouraged to be curious, creative risk-takers while being reflective about their learning. The 1st grade enjoys unique partnerships with the Flagler Museum and Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach. Trips to these institutions expose them to local history and Japanese culture.
A balance of discovery, participation and independent decision-making guides 2nd graders as they experience academic success, positive social interaction and growing independence. The language arts program in 2nd grade is based on the Next Generation Science Standards and guides our STEAM program, keeping technology firmly integrated in the curriculum. The grade’s partnership with Mounts Botanical Garden allows our students to take on leadership roles in school gardening and our greening program.
Four global competencies — investigate the world, understand perspectives, communicate ideas, and take action to improve conditions — are the cornerstone of the 3rd grade experience.
Through a partnership with Food for the Poor, an international relief and development organization, students use Stanford’s five-step Design Thinking Process to create raised garden-bed prototypes. Our 3rd grade teachers follow the student’s designs when they build actual garden beds each spring at an orphanage in Haiti.
Students also create an imaginary town after completing a series of language arts and social studies experiences. They decide on the occupations needed to help their town function peacefully and efficiently, and each student writes, and delivers, a campaign speech for the job they would like to hold throughout the year.
The year culminates with the 3rd grade trial at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Through the integration of science and social studies topics, a conflict emerges within our class town. Students take sides. They apply skills learned throughout the year to defend arguments using reasons and evidence, and then collaborate on a researched-based trial script. The students are each given a role in the trial, and they present their case at the Palm Beach County Courthouse, where a live ruling is made.
The mission of the school is to challenge our students academically in the most deliberate way…but it’s also about developing character.Dr. Edwin Gordon, Head of School
Achieve more academically. Our goal is to prepare every student for admission and success at appropriate, excellent secondary schools.Learn More
STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – is widely recognized as a vital approach to education.Learn More
Achieve more with the right support. At PBDA, every student achieves more, regardless of learning differences.Learn More