The Lower School Experience

There is something about watching small children release butterflies into the wild that is both mesmerizing and magical. The looks of wonder and squeals of delight as the butterfly tests its wings and takes flight: this is a metaphor for childhood in all its glory.

Students in first and second grades diligently nurture butterflies from egg to mature monarchs as part of an interdisciplinary curriculum. During their inquiry, they record observations, read and write literature and make connections to other life cycles. The classes raise the butterflies as a community, demonstrating respect for nature, the environment and one another. This sort of hands-on experience defines Foote’s approach to learning in the Lower School.

Like the butterflies, children evolve and grow as they move through the lower grades. The same is true of our faculty; teachers change and grow each year, always building on a comprehensive curriculum that provides tangible proof of our school motto, Gladly Will I Learn and Gladly Teach.

Learning in the Lower School at Foote is a truly unique experience, and one that remains with our students throughout their lives. Teachers at Foote foster individual talents and passions and help our students come to understand their roles as members of this caring community.

For a science unit about organisms, first and second graders found monarch butterfly eggs and larvae locally, which they observed and studied in the classroom. When a butterfly emerged from the chrysalis, students released it into the campus butterfly garden.