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Jack Hall '14, University of Virginia '18

Developing relationships with teachers was one of the most important parts of my SSSAS experience.

A Dynamic Education

Once upon a time, elementary education was like being on a tour bus. You watched as subjects passed by and you tried to remember what you saw. Times have changed, though—nowhere more than at SSSAS, where the Lower School experience is interactive, interdisciplinary, and invigorating. Children are agents of their own learning, making choices, asking questions, exploring deeply, and reflecting on their experiences.

Curricula in each subject, like Singapore Math and Reading and Writing Workshop, are carefully chosen to engage students and maximize essential skill development. But learning, like life, doesn’t always fit neatly into boxes, so lessons routinely cross disciplinary boundaries to provide the real-world context that makes learning meaningful. Faculty members differentiate instruction through a variety of materials and strategies. It’s all part of optimizing students’ intellectual, social, emotional, physical, artistic, and spiritual development.

We pride ourselves on being nimble, adapting and embracing new ideas in the best interests of students. Much of this is made possible by the schedule and our innovative X Days—days set aside for X-ploration, X-perimentation, and yes, X-citement. Lower schoolers take off-campus trips and work together, with projects ranging from an archaeological dig to the Rolling Rhombus. On the latter, a retrofitted bus that brings third–fifth graders to local preschools, students are not tourists but active participants, playing math games, practicing Spanish, and getting to know their community firsthand.

No wonder that our lower schoolers are well prepared to learn happily ever after.

The Arcade

After reading the book Crenshaw—about a family fallen on hard times—fourth graders work with a local partner focused on food insecurity. They use design thinking and their knowledge of simple machines to create games for an arcade, which they open to the school community. Cans of food serve as entry tickets.
The whole experience is a lot of fun and a lot of learning—about literature, science, and civics. Like so much in Lower School, it’s an experience greater than the sum of its parts.

Elements of the Curriculum

Language arts
Social studies/history
Modern languages
  • Spanish JK–5
  • French 4–5
Performing arts
Visual arts
Physical education
Health (3 & 5)
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia


List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304