Nurturing a Love for Learning

Welcome to the Dawson Lower School. We pride ourselves on creating an unparalleled educational experience for children that focuses on their social, emotional, and academic needs while recognizing their individual strengths. 

Our classrooms feature highly qualified educators and an average student-teacher ratio of 10:1, and we make play a priority. Our class sizes ensure that all students receive highly individualized attention throughout the school day and that they feel connected and valued as members of our community.

A strong academic program, centered on literacy and mathematics, Dawson is also committed to the whole child. Lower school students attend six different resource classes; art, music, technology, Spanish, library, and PE. Lower School is a wonderful place to be a kid and I look forward to learning more about your hopes and dreams for your child.


Dr. David D’Ercole
Lower School Director

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  • Photo of David D'Ercole

    Dr. David D'Ercole 

    Lower School Director

Lower School at Dawson

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  • Emotional Development

    Students learn character education through the PATHS® program, an evidence-based social and emotional learning program that cultivates a safe and positive learning environment. Students are given many opportunities to develop self-confidence and worth, responsibility, respect for others, and a sense of belonging.
  • Experiential Learning

    Each grade takes between six and eight field trips during the course of the school year. These experiences correspond with units of study for each grade. Additionally, cultural and community field trips introduce rich experiences and new environments. Overnight class trips begin in second grade.
  • Annual Traditions

    In addition to class parties and special projects, lower school students participate in an ice cream social, Dawson Fest, winter carnival, field day, Battle of the Books, and Moving Up Day for fifth grade.

Lower School at a Glance

Lower school students work in homeroom classes on the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Art, music, technology, Spanish, library, and PE are taught twice a week.

Integrating Innovation and Technology

Lower school students receive innovation and technology instruction twice a week. Our Innovation and Technology Specialists work with classroom teachers on collaborative grade-level projects.

The Innovation and Technology curriculum centers on coding, graphic design, engineering, robotics, and foundational skills. Students learn to leverage tools like iPads and MacBook Air laptops, 3D printers, programmable EV3 Lego Mindstorm robots, Little Bits electronic circuit prototyping kits, and engineering/construction kits to bring information and creative ideas to life.