At the heart of the Lower School are many cherished traditions that celebrate our strong community and that invite our students to become joyful members of this vibrant school.
Family Groups & Assemblies
Every student in grades K-5 are included in a mixed age family group which is mentored by Lower School faculty. New students to Lake Ridge are introduced and welcomed to their family group at the first Family Group Assembly. These family groups meet once per cycle for assembly and monthly in a family group lunch. During these events we honor students who have left the family group and moved onto the Middle School, we play games that help us learn one another’s names, and we celebrate birthdays with a birthday song composed by the fifth graders in their music class. Our kindergarten leads the “bucket filling challenge” based on the book by Carol McCloud, and random “bucket bombs” between family groups and classes provide a surprise to share the love and good will we have for one another.
Formal Assemblies and Manners Lunches
Monthly, the entire Lower School assembles in the Bettcher Convocation Center to practice formal event manners. We learn to be a respectful and appreciative audience as each grade level takes on the responsibility of hosting an assembly. Lower School students plan the message theme for the assembly, have the opportunity to practice public speaking, and share with one another the wonderful learning that takes place in our classrooms.
Manners Lunches are another way our classrooms learn to be generous and respectful as they plan and enjoy a grade level lunch together. Kindergarteners learn how to set a table for a formal lunch, how to pass milk at the table and how to engage their neighbor in polite conversation. These lessons continue through the Lower School, and by fifth grade, classmates have become rather adept at displaying their excellent manners for celebratory luncheons.
Lower School students eagerly anticipate our annual Halloween Parade! Dressed in our favorite not-scary costumes – teachers too! -, or choosing not to don a costume, the entire Lower School parades around the quad and through the middle and upper schools to the delight of those students who line the parade route and cheer our younger students on.
Twice a school year, in December and in May, students who pursue private music lessons are invited to share their musical skills by performing for an audience of other Lower School students. The Play-In offers valuable performance experience, and allows us the opportunity to appreciate and have a glimpse into one another’s interests that go beyond the school walls.
Lower School students love to share their school with their families, and do so in so many ways, but none are quite as special as our beloved Grandfriends’ Day. An afternoon especially for grandparents or “grand”friends to be with their “grand”child, this event is held every spring and includes special projects in the classrooms and an invitation to attend the yearly Middle School Musical.