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Lower School

The Lower School program (first through fifth grade) provides a motivating and nurturing environment where all children feel respected and honored. Teachers create an environment for productive learning. An emphasis on both mastering the basic skills and challenging students to use them in creative and far-reaching ways is integral to our program. Personal responsibility for learning is fostered through classrooms that are safe for students to explore, ask questions, and experiment with individual and collective ideas.

The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Before school care is available from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. After school care is available from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.


Click here to view the full EDS Curriculum

Language Arts – First and second grades study the Open Court Reading program. This program provides a combination of phonics instruction, reading comprehension instruction through authentic children’s literature, and writing practice through guided lessons on types of writing and using the writing process.

Writer’s Workshop – In Writer’s Workshop, students are taught the skills necessary for excellent writing. Students are given time on a daily basis to write and to learn how to revise, edit, and publish their work. Writing is also integrated throughout the curriculum.

Mathematics - The University of Chicago's school mathematics project, Everyday Mathematics, is the core of the math program for grades 1 – 3. This program is a blend of exploration and discussion, individual and group work, and projects woven into a dynamic curriculum for students. Houghton Mifflin Mathematics, a systematic approach developing concepts and skills, is studied in the fifth grade.

Social Studies - The Harcourt Brace and Company Social Studies Program enables students to organize thinking and develop competencies needed as citizens in a diverse, changing, and interdependent world.

Co-curricular / Enrichment

Art - The art program exposes students to a variety of concepts, techniques, and media. The basic elements of art, line, color, shape, and space, are developed and introduced sequentially in lower school.

Music - The music program fosters music appreciation through singing, listening, moving, and playing instruments. Children in grades three through five may participate in the EDS Lower School choir which sings for weekly chapels and other community events.

Foreign Language - Lower School introduces students to the Spanish language and culture using stories, songs, games, poems, rhymes, and role-playing. Instruction continues to build upon the basic vocabulary learned in the Preschool Spanish Program. At the first grade level, the program is strictly oral, and classes are conducted almost entirely in the target language. The program is also built upon topics and interests of the childrens age. By second grade students are introduced to phonics and spelling and how to associate those sounds with the written language. In third grade, students are exposed to simple rules and Spanish grammar. Fourth and fifth grade students are taught to speak and write simple sentences. Spanish vocabulary is integrated into daily activities.

Physical Education - The physical education program at EDS is taught with the hope of stimulating a love for physical activity and life long fitness. Through various activities, each student is allowed to progress at his or her own rate. The focus is on creating a positive, supportive, non-threatening environment where each student is encouraged to be the best that he or she can be.

Religious Education - In lower school, students have religious education and Chapel once each week. In first through third grades, the main stories of the Old and New Testaments are studied through a curriculum based around the Christian year. In fourth grade, students study the Old Testament, and in fifth grade, the New Testament. The purpose of the fourth and fifth grade curricula is to give our students a strong biblical literacy, an understanding of the Bible's meaning to the Christian faith, and to introduce the students to the Bible's importance to Western Civilization.

Computer - The technology curriculum emphasizes tools, techniques, and processes that promote productivity in the 21st Century. The use of technology in the classroom supports and enhances all areas of the curriculum and is used as the basis for developing skills that support learning, personal productivity, and decision-making in daily life while also developing real-world skills necessary in continuing education. Technology's benefits best emerge when integrated into project-based curricular activities that further higher-level thinking skills. The following skills are incorporated into classroom activities in which students are: 1) gatherers of information, 2) problem solvers, 3) communicators of knowledge, and 4) safe and ethical users of technology.

Activities and Special Events

First and second grade:

  • Book Parade
  • Writing Portfolio Celebration
  • Olympic Day
  • Full School Assemblies
  • All-School Outreach Projects
  • Accelerated Reader Participation Celebration
  • Kindergarten to First Grade Moving Up Celebration
  • Morris Museum of Art


Third through fifth grade:

  • Book Parade
  • Olympic Day
  • Full School Assemblies
  • All School Outreach Programs
  • Jump Rope for Heart sponsored by the American Heart Association
  • Accelerated Reader Participation Celebration
  • Writing Portfolio Celebration
  • Lower School Choir


Additional Special Events:

  • Biography Book Talks (3rd)
  • Shakespearean Festival (3rd)
  • Augusta Canal Petersburg Boat Tour/Canal Interpretive Center (3rd)
  • States Fair (4th Gr)
  • Georgia 4-H Environmental Education Program at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia (4th)
  • Fifth Grade Musical (5th)
  • Tour of Historic Augusta (5th)
  • Silver Bluff Audubon Preserve (5th)
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