Why the Early Years Matter

Foote School is a magical place to be a young child. Each day is filled with wonder and hands-on learning that inspires and challenges young minds. From the very first day, our students are valued and nurtured as individuals by teachers who expertly guide each child to reach his or her full potential.

Foote teachers understand that children are naturally curious and cultivate that sense of wonder into a lifelong love of learning by encouraging questions that lead to deeper discovery. At Foote, a child’s curiosity isn’t a detour from the day’s lesson—it is the lesson.

Our inquiry-based approach makes learning an active and exciting experience for children, leading them to greater understanding. Ask a Kindergartner why wood floats in water, and you’re likely to get an answer about physics and fluid dynamics. Enter a second grade classroom and listen as students consider concepts of equality and injustice with insight.

We take play seriously in the early grades because decades of research have shown it develops creativity, resilience, executive function and problem-solving skills, allowing our youngest learners to meet academic challenges with joy and confidence.

Children and parents at Foote are welcomed into a second family. Teachers celebrate individual students within the group and honor their backgrounds while crafting experiences that build community through problem solving and play. In short order, children develop a sense of belonging and come to see learning as great fun.


I am struck each year by how well the teachers know my son. It's moving to learn how much they've thought about him, how closely they've watched and listened to him, and how they've applied that understanding to help him grow and learn and gain confidence.

Melissa Castleman, Foote parent

First and second graders investigate aquatic habitats from many angles: exploring nearby ponds, creating tabletop “pond tanks,” and transforming classroom windows into a thriving ecosystem.