It is my pleasure to welcome you 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, an average student-teacher ratio of 10:1, and cutting edge classroom resources and technology integration to support students as they grow and learn.  This approach ensures that all students receive highly individualized attention throughout the school day and that they feel connected and valued as members of a learning community.

In addition to the strong core academic program, Dawson is highly committed to the whole child.  Our students also have the opportunity to attend six different resource classes (Art, Music, Technology, Spanish, Library, and PE), access to our spacious campus and gorgeous facilities, along with the option to participate in our highly regarded After School Academy (ASA). 
In short, the Dawson Lower School is a wonderful place to be a kid. I look forward to learning more about your hopes and dreams for your child and helping you make the decision about whether Dawson is the right fit for your family.

Dr. David D’Ercole,
Lower School Director
Dawson’s Lower School opened its doors in the fall of 1998 and has been dedicated to educating and nurturing the whole child through a strong academic curriculum, a deeply integrated enrichment program, and experiential education adventures.

All students work in homeroom classes with the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science and thrive through collaboration and frequency of art, music, physical education, technology, library/media skills, and Spanish.

Faculty Mentors

Mentored by experienced faculty whom they will remember forever, Lower School students participate in a variety of diverse activities, including field/overnight trips, class plays, semi-annual choral concerts, and an expansive visual arts show. Kindergarteners celebrate world cultures. First grade students learn to dissect, while a study of the rain forest captivates second graders. After a long day of living the life of a Cheyenne child in 1843, third grade students spend the night in teepees each spring. Fourth grade Spanish students hold a Mercado, or market, for their K-3 peers, during which students use their conversational Spanish skills to bargain and peddle their wares.

Rigorous Academics

Rigorous academics are generously mixed with culturally rich experiences, including Winterim Week, during which students devote time to an experiential thematic study of one topic, encouraging them to think beyond the classroom and learn through community experiences.

Character Education & Emotional Development

Lower School students learn character education through the PATHS program. Students grow emotionally through being a member of a community that values honesty, integrity, loyalty, compassion and a general strength of character. Students are given many opportunities to develop self-confidence and worth, respect for others, and a sense of belonging to, and being a responsible member of, a community outside of their own family.
With PATHS, we provide evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that cultivate a safer and more positive learning environment, where both students and teachers can thrive. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a critical component of the educational experience that is proven to lead to improvements in student behavior, reductions in classroom disruption, and greater academic achievement.  Today's students face a myriad of challenges and vulnerabilities that not only impact students' learning but also educators' abilities to teach effectively.

Click here for a link to a grade-by-grade overview of the PATHS program.

    • David D'Ercole, Lower School Director

After School Academy

Dawson's After School Academy (ASA) provides a free, supervised, state-licensed program for students in grades K through 5. ASA is open from Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
ASA begins with attendance, followed by snack time. After snack, children head outside (weather permitting) to enjoy some free play, followed by homework and quiet reading.

The ASA aftercare program is offered free of charge to current Dawson Lower School students in grades K-5. There are sometimes also extra clubs, activities, or lessons run in tandem with ASA that is made available to Lower School families for a fee.
Dawson's ASA program must comply with current state licensing regulations. This means all students who attend ASA must be fully registered for the program. ASA must meet and keep staff/child ratios, health, and safety requirements set by the state. Due to the ratio requirements, drop-in care is not an option at this time.

For more information or to register click here