Lower School
The Lower School’s Philosophy of Learning
The lower school, grades pre-kindergarten through five, features a strong foundation for college preparatory studies. The heart of Keith Country Day School’s rigorous college preparatory education is remarkable relationships between teachers and students. The lower school’s teacher to student ratio allows for a highly personalized, differentiated, and accelerated academic program. Not surprisingly, Keith students perform extremely high in all subjects on standardized assessment measures. Keith’s lower school learning environment is unlike any other program in the northern Illinois area.

All lower school students are guided by highly talented teachers who work relentlessly to create a culture of achievement and excellence within all students. The lower school is an academic community where student learning is celebrated, creativity is encouraged, self-confidence is nurtured, initiative is valued, and collaboration is expected. Our enriched and supportive learning environment promotes intellectual, ethical, social, and physical growth in every student. Our goal is to build a love for advanced learning that endures a lifetime.

Upon entering Keith classrooms, students are immersed into our richly literate standards-based curriculum that is deeply integrated into science, mathematics, social studies technology, visual and performing arts, and foreign languages. Learning activities are thoughtfully designed to provide authentic learning experiences which are intellectually stimulating and developmentally appropriate.

A typical day might include learning activities throughout our entire campus. Students may publish authored books in the library, perform plays in the Upper School theatre, conduct experiments in the Science Center, paint in the Art Studio, or design a webpage in the technology classroom. Leadership opportunities exist as students frequently facilitate parent-teacher conferences, participate in team sports, and contribute to community service projects, all in preparation for lives of meaning and purpose—the mission of Keith Country Day School.

Our “Declaration of Learning” document serves as our guidepost reaffirming our faculty’s collective responsibility as professional educators to develop all learners in the Keith community. This document states the following:

We believe in…

  • developing an effective teacher-parent partnership defined by clear roles, realistic expectations, and the importance and need for a comprehensive parent education program.
  • a safe, nurturing, and challenging environment where students are able to take risks and view mistakes as opportunities for learning.
  • placing emphasis on the importance of learning as a process not a product; using research-based instructional strategies; and, implementing “best practices”.”
  • the implementation of a comprehensive, well-articulated curriculum that speaks to both the “head and heart” and prepares students for the 21st century.
  • ongoing professional development and the creation and maintenance of a vibrant adult learning community.

We will…

  • endeavor to be “intentionally inviting” in all we do towards ourselves, each other, our students, parents, and greater Keith community.
  • have the courage to speak our mind in a manner that invites reflection and constructive dialogue.
  • effectively implement our 21st century curriculum using instructional strategies that reflect best practices.
  • model learning for our students by “doing” more and “telling” less.

The Keith faculty will inspire Keith students to understand that learning is a lifelong intellectual adventure. It is expected that Keith students will develop a comprehensive body of knowledge that will lead to scholarly success beyond the Keith County Day School campus.