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Grade Descriptions

Click on the classes below to read current grade level descriptions:


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers


The Pre-kindergarten year is a joyful and active one in which children think, imagine, learn, play, and grow.

Our Pre-k classroom is a nurturing, child-centered environment that combines a balance of academics and social opportunities designed to meet the needs of each child. The classroom teachers guide students in hands-on, multi-sensory activities that engage their intellect, curiosity, and imagination. The goal of our Pre-K program is to foster a love of learning during each student’s first steps to a successful academic journey through our Lower School.

Development of the whole child is the primary focus of the MPH Pre-k curriculum. Activities and experiences are thematically based and focus on all aspects of the developing Pre-K child. Thematic units, community helpers, friendship, plants, and animals, all support experiential learning.  The Pre-k curriculum includes daily lessons and activities in literacy, math, science, social studies, and community building.


“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”  – Fred Rogers

The Kindergarten year offers an experience full of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration.

Kindergarten combines a balance of academics and social opportunities designed to meet the needs of each child. The teachers work to support and nurture students’ individual strengths and talents.  Developmentally appropriate activities enrich the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth of each child. Stimulating and enjoyable experiences within the classroom setting and field trips into the community foster the child’s self-confidence as a learner.

Many thematic units focused on seasons, plants, and animals promote experiential learning. These units incorporate all aspects of the Kindergarten curriculum and increase students’ knowledge and understanding of the content. The Kindergarten curriculum is composed of daily lessons in literacy, math, science, and social studies.

First Grade

“The beginning of something is always important, especially when it is young and needs time to grow.” – Plato


In First Grade, we build children’s foundational skills and nurture their passion for lifelong learning.

The seeds of reading, writing, and math are planted during the early years. Throughout First Grade, those seeds grow and blossom. Like a tiny seed growing into a full-grown sunflower, First Graders experience profound growth socially, emotionally, and academically.

In First Grade, we work with students at their developmental level, cultivating the whole child and their passion for learning. Each child will progress at their own rate, continuing to build a strong foundation and a lifelong love of learning. We encourage our students to ask questions and make discoveries. When you walk into a First Grade classroom, you will see children who are joyfully engaged in their “work,” while they are listening, reading, writing, exploring, and problem-solving. Strong relationships with peers and teachers develop through positive interactions that promote a sense of classroom and school community. Fostering each child’s self-esteem and building a secure foundation for growth is the essence of First Grade.

Second Grade

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” – Denis Waitley

Second Grade is a year rich in developing relationships, collaborative learning, and engaging curriculum.

Second Grade is an exciting and eventful year that provides a meaningful academic and social experience. Students learn to create and maintain a respectful community within the classroom.  Teachers engage children in a challenging curriculum designed to meet the needs of the whole child.

Learning collaboratively and developing individual skills helps students to understand concepts deeply and to develop an understanding for the relationship between independence and responsibility. Students are encouraged to make choices and to reflect on those choices. We expect children to be respectful and considerate of others. Children work cooperatively with their peers in a variety of ways. Throughout the curriculum, teachers encourage creative problem-solving, collaboration, and independent thinking.

Third Grade

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”    – Ann Landers

Third Graders develop independence in a safe and supportive environment while experiencing remarkable academic and social growth.

Third grade is the year of practiced independence. As students move from the primary toward the intermediate grade levels, they explore school in a more autonomous way. Students are supported by their teachers in handling and celebrating their successes, as well as their challenges, whether they are working collaboratively, with classmates or independently.

The abstract reasoning skills of Third Graders are developing quickly, and they are challenged to use this new-found skill to problem solve and think critically about both academic topics and their peer relationships. Play becomes more self-directed. Field games and imaginative play starts to become more organized and elaborate. Imaginative scenarios blend academics learned in class with fantasy as students are at an age to understand more about history and the world around them.

Fourth & Fifth Grades

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” – Ralph Ellison

The Fourth and Fifth Grade years serve as a bridge between the Lower School and Middle School. This is a time of connection among peers, faculty, and within our community.

During these two years, students continue to strengthen positive interpersonal relationships with one another. Small class sizes allow for a variety of collaborative learning opportunities. Teachers facilitate the development of the whole child, both the individual and the collective. Curriculum is designed to promote greater independence and student choice. In our Pre-K through Grade 12 independent school setting, Fourth and Fifth Graders become confident risk takers and inspired learners as they begin to embrace leadership roles in  preparation for their Middle School years.