Elementary School

Our elementary school comprises kindergarten, lower elementary and upper elementary. Children experience incredible growth during these years as they engage more deeply in academics and become increasingly aware of the world around them.


In kindergarten, children are welcomed into the wide-open world of academics. Students learn to engage with each other in purposeful ways to build a foundation of learning and create a culture of investment, risk taking, and kindness. Kindergarteners are explorers, dreamers and doers. They develop academic stamina through meaningful learning experiences. Kindergarteners continue to play hard while they learn important social skills, including cooperation, collaboration, and problem solving both independently and through guided play. Kindergarten is where the magic begins, and is a blend of catching snowflakes on tongues, building snowmen together and understanding the gifts that the different seasons bring.

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Lower Elementary

First and second graders at CDS see themselves as capable agents of their own learning. They gain independence in the classroom setting while they are thoughtfully guided and supported. This group of learners expands and builds upon the academic foundation set in Pre-K and kindergarten as work becomes increasingly student directed. Whether it be following a teacher created schedule focusing on strengthening their reading and writing in language arts or applying math concepts to small group games, first and second graders are encouraged to embrace their unique curiosities and passions. They begin to understand that learning is a lifelong adventure. In First and Second grade, students grow their awareness of the world around them and highlight the ways in which they can connect to and support the global community.


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Upper Elementary

The third and fourth grade curriculum at CDS is designed to breathe life into learning. Students in our Spirit and Polar Bear communities find the perfect balance between rigor and joy.

These students are filled with wonder as their eyes are opened to the broader world around them through projects, experiential learning opportunities, field trips, and more. Children in these grades become active citizens of a global community, whether they are debating a case as a supreme court judge in a mock trial, or shooting a bow and arrow as an ancient Athenian, CDS Bears take part in a rich academic journey that is both magical and enlightening while providing the essential understandings and skills needed for middle school success.

Learn about the curriculum