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Lower School

Students playing dreidel at Chanukah carnival

CDS Lower School (Kindergarten-Grade 3) is a joyful learning community filled with wonder and creativity where students and educators flourish together.

Small classes with personalized instruction and flexible learning spaces reflect our educational philosophy that children are unique and develop at their own pace.

Through a carefully designed curriculum, interactive experiences, and a deep commitment to Jewish values, Lower School at CDS builds confidence in core academic fundamentals and nurtures the development of the whole child.

We invite you to visit our classrooms, meet our exceptional teachers, and see our children at work and play!



Student at Lag B'Omer Field Day

Inspiring Curriculum

Robust academic program

Students explore the world, question, analyze, and learn how to think critically

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Student working on math in kindergarten

Celebrating Judaism

Mensches in training

Immersive, hands-on learning in Hebrew language and Jewish culture, texts, history, and values


Students at 1st Grade Siddur Ceremony

Active Learning

Grow beyond the classroom

Curiosity is ignited in the art and music studios, Legacy Learning Lab, gym, playgrounds, and gardens

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Student working in garden

Building a Love of Learning

Kindergarten students collaborate on environmental learning project

Individual Attention

The dedicated team of learning specialists in our Academic & Emotional Services Department works collaboratively with faculty and parents to meet the individual needs of students with diverse learning styles and support skill-building in social-emotional development.

1st Grade students at Writing Workshop Publishing Party

Writing Workshop

Through the evidence-based Writing Workshop program developed at Teachers College, Columbia University, Lower School students become lifelong, confident readers and writers who display agency, skill, and independence. 

Student works on technology project in Legacy Learning Lab

Digital Citizenship

Navigating the digital world requires many skills and habits that children don’t just pick up as they go. Through the Common Sense Education Digital Citizenship curriculum, students learn how to use technology safely and responsibly in age-appropriate ways at school and at home.

Students work together at Sukkot Fest

Responsive Classroom

CDS Lower School is grounded in the Responsive Classroom approach to make our classrooms safe, challenging, and joyful places for children to learn and thrive. Morning meeting, interactive activities, and energizers allow  students to practice social skills and create a positive community.

A Day at a Glance

Lower School student engaged in scientific discovery

Sample 2nd Grade Schedule

Meet Lower School Head Andrea Erven-Victoria

Andrea Erven-Victoria

Andrea Erven-Victoria was appointed Head of Lower School and Early Childhood at Community Day School in 2019. "Morah Andrea" holds a Master of Science degree in Early Intervention with Special Education Certification from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, Elementary Education, from Bowling Green State University. Prior to joining the CDS family, she worked extensively with infants, early childhood programs, and K-6 schools, as well as teaching education courses and supervising dozens of pre-service and in-service teachers as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 2001. She has a proven track record of success in a wide variety of disciplines that are relevant to the goals we have for our youngest learners, all focusing on the core belief that pedagogy must always be considered in the context of relationships.