Lower School K-4 Questions & Answers

What is the student-faculty ratio?

The ratio is 9:1. Every class has a full-time teacher and most have a co-teacher. During reading time in general studies, there’s a second reading teacher. To meet specific needs we have a resource teacher at every level for math and reading. The resource teacher is a content expert who can provide enrichment or remediation.

What’s the cut-off age for kindergarten? When can we apply?

Your future kindergartener should be five years old by December 31st of the year you wish him or her to enter. See the Apply page for details on application procedures for Kindergarten through Grade 4.

Can my child start KSDS after Grade 1?

Absolutely! While we encourage families to start their child in our dual program as early as possible, KSDS Lower School accepts new applicants through Grade 4. See the Apply page  for details on application procedures.

How many students stay at KSDS through Grade 4? How many stay through Middle School?

Our retention rates are extremely high. You can expect that most of the children who are in your child’s kindergarten and Grade 1 class will stay through Grade 8. That’s part of the reason why our alumni, and alumni parents, remain so connected to our school.

Do Lower School students take standardized tests? What role do they play at KSDS?

Lower School students will take ERBs (an assessment test devised for independent schools by the Educational Records Bureau).  We do not teach to the test. We teach the reading, writing and math skills that the ERB assesses. The results show us how our students compare with national norms, suburban schools and independent schools. Kindergarten through Grade 8, KSDS students are ranked competitively with students at other independent schools.

I’m looking for a curriculum with arts integration. Does KSDS offer that?

We enrich every subject area we teach by incorporating creative projects. A social studies unit might end in a skit. A Judaics class might design their own menorahs. So much great learning comes through our integrative process, at every grade level.

What if we don’t speak Hebrew at home? How can we help with homework?

The success of our Hebrew program is based on the skills and knowledge of our teachers. The Hebrew Homework Room, staffed by our teachers, gives students an opportunity to finish their Hebrew homework immediately after school. Parents are also welcome to take one of the many Adult Education classes offered by Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

What is the Hebrew Homework Room? Is there a fee?

Our Hebrew teachers staff the Hebrew Homework Room in the first half-hour after the end of the school day. It’s a chance to complete Hebrew homework and have it checked. It’s free! Parents are welcome. It’s also a great option for kids who wait for older siblings to be dismissed from the Middle School.

Is there help for students with learning disabilities?

We have reading and math specialists at each grade level. All our teachers receive training in differentiated instruction, so every student’s needs are met in every subject area.

What activities are offered after school?

Enrichment classes, academic support and free play are all options. See the After-school Programs page for details.

How much daily recess time do the children have?

Kindergarten and Grade 1 students have a daily 30-minute recess, in addition to two formal physical education periods each week. Students in grades 2-4 have one 20-minute recess per day in addition to two formal P.E. periods per week.We go outside as often as possible, so most kids will bring rain boots or snow gear to school on gray days.

How often is gym?

Every grade in the Lower School has two formal P.E. periods per week.

What information must be filed with the school nurse?

The nurses keep a Health Assessment for every child on file in the Health Suite. For more information visit the Health, Safety and Security page.