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Each day Shorecrest ushers in a world of incredible possibilities for our elementary-age students. From the time teachers greet them in morning carline to the time they say their last goodbye to classmates, students are building the skills, knowledge, values and habits of mind to grow and succeed.
The primary years, kindergarten through fourth grade, are some of the most important years of your child’s education. This is where their journey as a young scholar takes flight. There is no better place to develop a strong foundation for learning than in the Lower School at Shorecrest in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Most importantly - a child leaves with the foundation to be a lifelong learner and caring member of a community.
Our strength comes from our collective focus on providing students with transformative elementary educational experiences. When planning curriculum we ask: How well does it prepare our children academically, socially and emotionally? What opportunities does it provide for social development and a range of learning experiences? How well does it prepare children for citizenship and social responsibilities of the future?
The day begins with morning meeting, a time for children to settle in, greet one another, share news and stories, then start their day. In Reading and Writing workshop children learn not only to read but to understand, as well as to put their voices to paper. Children uncover Science and Social Studies topics through in-depth investigations and hands-on projects, the product of which they proudly share as experts with their peers and parents. From Art to Spanish, teachers thoughtfully integrate technology into the classroom to enhance and expand their learning.
In the Lower School, students participate in meaningful learning opportunities that help them create rich lives as reflective learners who can have a positive impact in their school and local community. When a child moves on to Middle School, they advances with a love for intellectual, social, physical and creative endeavors, an openness to consider different points of view, and the confidence to take risks.
Come see for yourself what makes the Lower School at Shorecrest so special!
Lisa Bianco, Ed.D.
Head of Lower School
Families and friends enjoy watching as each Lower School class recites a poem at the annual, al fresco celebration of poetry.
Lower School students debut costumes for families, Middle School students, and Upper School Student Council as they parade through the 28-acre campus. The parade is followed by an outdoor festival with games, rides, treats and surprises.
A weeklong teach-in featuring local artists, a gallery walk highlighting student artworks, class performances and more. The final feature of the week is a Shorecrest Upper School Performing Arts musical production.
Giving Tree Music led classes in a drum circle during Celebrate the Arts Week.
Beginning in kindergarten, Shorecrest teachers digitally document and archive students’ work and projects into an e-portfolio. The portfolio follows the student through the course of K-4th Grade Lower School and serves as a tool to draw connections and illustrate student progress.
Kindergarten is a time of major developmental milestones.
At Shorecrest, it’s in kindergarten that students learn to put their voices to paper, to follow their own questions to get answers, to sort numbers and understand math concepts, and to begin to explore how they fit into the world around them. Kindergarten is also a time for balance. The kindergarten curriculum maintains balance through large group, small group and individual learning activities; a balance in content areas; a balance between work and play; and a balance between teacher-directed and child-initiated experiences.
The progressive, child-centered approach to teaching and learning at Shorecrest ensures that children in the kindergarten program have the tools and support they need at their specific stage of development to become engaged lifelong learners who respect themselves, each other, and the environment.
Project-based learning is an in-depth study or investigation of a topic or theme that allows students to follow their questions and to learn about a given topic of interest. Through these projects, students learn how to learn, how to make sense of what they are learning, how to apply what they learned, and how to share or teach from a place of authority about what they have learned. Projects are typically interdisciplinary, meaning they aren’t confined to simply one subject area.
Shorecrest started off as an outdoor school near the downtown waterfront. Students explored, conducted hands-on learning activities and had plenty of time to play, wonder and discover the world around them. That work continues in the Lower School today, embracing our history and progressive pedagogical practices. Our kindergarten teachers enjoy an additional outdoor classroom - a world of play and exploration with water tables, easels, wood working benches, tables, musical instruments, a dramatic play area and so much more. It is a place for children to imagine, collaborate and follow their individual interests.
Social-emotional learning is integrated throughout the day in Shorecrest kindergarten. Teachers are trained in the Responsive Classroom approach, a research-based approach to teaching that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. From daily morning meeting to the language teachers use with their students, what’s best for students is at the heart of each student-teacher interaction at Shorecrest.
Kindergarten students have regular visits from guest experts, who share their area of expertise - from a doctor during a unit on healthy living or a master gardener while working in the campus garden. Similarly, classes often take their lessons outdoors or off campus to learn from other experts in the community.
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