In the Lower School, the Cornerstones curriculum provides direct instruction around a developmentally appropriate set of social-emotional skills creating a foundation on which students build academic achievements while instilling qualities that students will use at Collegiate and beyond. The overall goal is to equip students with the tools to manage their personal conflicts and successes while developing a deeper awareness of their feelings. The Cornerstone lessons in the Lower School present a social skill building opportunity that supports more thoughtful, intentional and kind interactions with their classmates. The curriculum also seeks to build problem solving and coping skills at all grade levels.
In the Lower School, students in JK-3 meet with the Lower School Counselor once a month while the 4th and 5th grade meet weekly as a whole class or in small, same gender groups. The lessons begin with a book or story that directly relates to one of the four Cornerstones: Respect, Responsibility, Honor and Compassion. Along with the Cornerstone, lessons cover topics such as: empathy friendship building, conflict resolution, study skills and feeling identification and awareness. Students engage in a meaningful discussion identifying the character’s problem, conflict or moral dilemma and how they relate and connect to it. Students are given an opportunity to brainstorm different responses and feelings, role-play, and practice the given social skill with the support of the Lower School Counselor.