A Note from Cathy North, Lower School Head

Smiles and laughter are bountiful and contagious in the Lower School as this is where confidence, creativity, and character begins for our youngest scholars! When you step inside Severn's Lower School you will see how students are engaged in all aspects of our program as they play purposefully and creatively demonstrating great passion and purpose for their learning and social connections throughout and beyond our school community.

We develop the whole-child through robust academic and social programs founded in research, best practices, and educational standards. Our goal is to nurture students’ curiosity and talents, to engage students in risk taking in a positive and respectful manner, and to promote a passion for learning that shines within and among students.

Learning is an active process that serves as a compass, navigating each student towards his dreams. Differentiated learning opportunities through content and process are the essence of the planning, teaching, and learning cycle. Students are provided with multiple opportunities to engage in problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration to expand their ideas and build connections to concepts within and around the world they live.

Engaging students in academically rigorous initiatives, such as cross-curricula connections, robotics, engineering, global service learning projects, international math, and the arts permeate the educational experience. SMART Boards, iPads, and laptops are used as purposeful instructional technology tools to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

We take great pride in nurturing a culture that promotes a shared responsibility among faculty, parents, community members, and students. Teaching students to be contributing members of the classroom and school community are founding principles as they begin the early childhood experience. Embracing and internalizing their personal and social responsibility to the school, community and world around them are paramount to finding their voice, leading the way, and making a difference as they advance through the elementary grades.

As a student-focused leader, I believe in leading with integrity and by example. Connecting the daily operations of the schoolhouse to school and student learning goals should be fluid in forwarding our School Mission. I believe in making a difference and appreciate the extraordinary possibilities of who and what our students will become.

Cathy North
Lower School Head

List of 9 news stories.

  • Severn Hosts AIMS Professional Development Roundtables

    In a one-two punch of professional development, faculty on both our Chesapeake and Teel Campuses hosted AIMS teachers for two days of professional learning and sharing. From topics like early learning maker spaces to cross-curricular teaching through the arts, these roundtable sessions allowed our teachers to both share expertise and learn new strategies from their peers, continuing our commitment to lifelong learning.
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  • Open Doors: Inclusivity Dialogue at Severn Lower School

    Asking questions is a wonderful way to open up dialogue; to test assumptions and explore why we think the way that we do. In our Lower School, Open Doors teacher Ms. Renee Spears uses questions to help our youngest students begin their journey of self-awareness and develop appreciation for the similarities and differences among us in our community and beyond. Part of our Lower School Character Education  curriculum, the Open Doors program gives our students the time and vocabulary to consider their own identities and to share openly with one another.
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  • Severn fifth graders explore circuitry with LittleBits in the Maker Lab

    The Maker Mindset and Innovation: A Way of Life at Severn Lower School

    The Maker Mindset is a way of life at Severn Lower School. It means that we are a community of learners, creators, tinkerers and explorers who are dedicated to using the design process and hands-on problem solving to navigate the world around us. It means collaboration, creativity, innovation and most of all perseverance. For us, the definition of fail is “first attempt in learning.” We try. We persevere. We make.
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  • Creative Challenge Crew Embraces the Maker Spirit

    How can you transport a drink of water from the fountain to someone in another room? How can you create a shelter with only duct tape and cardboard? These are the challenges Ms. Pilar Okeson, Lower School Librarian, presented to her lively group of 4th and 5th graders in Creative Challenges class this fall. Through each activity the class learned to work together, creating solutions to problems using a limited set of materials and unlimited imagination. Part of our Renaissance curriculum for 4th and 5th graders, Creative Challenges gave our students the chance to plan, build, improve upon and share their creations — embracing choice, imagination and the maker spirit.

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  • Fox vs. Bear Election

    Classroom Report from Ms. Shannon Martinez:
    As we head into the presidential election, many tough decisions have to be made in the forest. Who will be the president of the forest? Fox or Bear?

    The first graders were divided into two campaign teams to begin campaigning for their candidate. The class has been discussing author's purpose and the children had to create a persuasive campaign speech in order to persuade the voters to vote for their candidate. They then analyzed a variety of different campaign posters to determine the elements we would like to include in their individual posters. The first graders then worked with their 4th grade Helping Hands to create a campaign poster for their candidate. This week, the first graders will go to each of the grade level classrooms, read The Election, and give their campaign speech.

    Who will be the president of the forest? Election day is November 8th....the choice is in the hands of the voters! 
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  • Coming Together for the Vote!

    Severn third graders made a very special visit to the Teel campus to talk with seniors about the importance of voting and civic duty. After gathering in Price Auditorium to introduce the day, each senior was grouped with two third graders to find a quiet spot to discuss this important (and relevant!) topic.
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  • Lower School Math Specialist, Ms. Stacy Shaener

    Meaningful Math for Severn Families

    One of the goals of our Lower School math curriculum is to extend what we do in class and involve families in the process of learning at home. Our innovative Math Specialist, Ms. Stacy Shaener, introduced the Game of the Month program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders four years ago and it has grown to be an integral part of our Lower School math program. Through developmentally appropriate (and fun!) games, the whole family can engage in meaningful math while the kids review, practice and extend the skills they learn at school.
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  • Severn School prekindergarten teachers present on early school maker mindsest

    Severn Presents "Embracing the Maker Movement in the Early Childhood Classroom" at NAEYC Annual Conference

    We are proud to announce that Ms. Chrisie Saunders and Ms. Crystal Erskine will present “Embracing the Maker Movement in the Early Childhood Classroom” at the upcoming annual conference for The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

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  • First graders ready to present their campaign speeches!

    Name the Terrapin, 2016

    For the first time, Severn’s Teel Campus is home to a tiny (and terribly cute!) terrapin through the National Aquarium's Terrapins in the Classroom program. After great success with this program at the Chesapeake Campus in previous years, our 1st grade teachers passed the terrapin torch to 8th grade science teacher, Ms. Joanna Josey. This grew into a great opportunity for inspired learning mixed with a lot of fun, a cross-campus Name the Terrapin Election!
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Lower School Faculty