Primary School Academics
Fueling a lifelong passion for learning
At St. Francis, passion, imagination, and connection start early. In our Reggio Emilia-inspired Primary School, curiosity and constructive play drive children’s learning. Wondering, exploring, and solving problems together, our youngest students develop socially, emotionally, academically, and spiritually—building an essential foundation for lifelong learning success.
Our P.I.C. Approach enhances your child’s joyful curiosity to build foundational knowledge and skills.
Academics and Enrichment
Primary School students learn early literacy and math skills, as well as science and social studies concepts. Our enrichment program includes motor development, Spanish, drama, music, and library.
We use assessments including observations, benchmarks, and portfolios to meet every child where they are and ensure they step forward at the pace that is right for them.
We hold parent-teacher conferences multiple times each year, and at other times at the teacher’s or parent’s request. Parents receive detailed reports on their child’s academic and personal development.
We encourage parents to take part in our students’ learning lives by volunteering as Homeroom Parents, for studio and class activities, and for St. Francis Parents Organization (SFPO) events.
Our Reggio-inspired emergent curriculum arises from student questions and interests. Teachers observe children’s conversation and play, and from these observations spring projects that often span weeks or months. Students learn and grow intellectually and personally as they explore, experiment, and engage in daily activities; teachers ask questions to inspire thinking, provide materials and experiences that generate more questions, and assist in student research. Through the St. Francis P.I.C. Approach,* our youngest students embark on their education journey with focused and active learning, collaboration, and communication rich in dialogue, and meaningful independent study.
Rice Early Literacy
Our thriving collaboration with Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture project positions teachers as “story takers” who carefully record students’ thoughts, words, and ideas, which classmates then act out. This approach allows educators to hone in on specific literacy skills, including print concepts, word encoding, vocabulary, and punctuation—preparing students for the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop methodology of Lower School.