Lower School (K-6th)

Lower School (K-6th)

The Lower School is structured to meet the needs of students with average to above average intellectual ability and a diagnosed learning difference while providing learners flexible pacing to move as quickly as possible and as slow as necessary.

Rekindling the Flame

Parents often share with us that their children have lost that love of learning, remarking that their child “lost that spark in their eye.” At The Briarwood School, we rekindle the flame. With the Wilson Language Programs as a foundation, teachers utilize evidence-based programs as a part of the curriculum while tailoring lessons according to the unique learning profiles of students. The outcome is a powerful learning experience that builds on students’ strengths while developing critical skills needed to become independent and confident learners.

A Traditional School Setting for Non-Traditional Learners

While our approach to teaching and learning is both diagnostic and prescriptive, our Lower School recognizes childhood as an important stage in a student’s social and emotional journey. We embrace fun and play, with time designated daily for physical education and recess, and a weekly rotation of specials class including music, art, and makerspace. Students engage in hands-on activities that develop a growth mindset, widen the scope of their worldview, and encourage a curiosity about the world around them.

The Briarwood Way

The Briarwood Way is to be with our students. One way we do that in Lower School is through our specials class, Teaching Opportunities in Pragmatic Skills (TOPS). TOPS uniquely offers direct instruction and opportunities for students to practice developmentally appropriate social and pragmatic skills. To keep those skills front and center, Lower School faculty reinforce positive character traits by giving students “Right Choice” awards based upon the growth mindset and grit research by Dr. Carol S. Dweck and Dr. Angela Duckworth. Each month, a specific character trait is directly taught in TOPS class, and teachers award individuals when students demonstrate one of the character traits.  Our goal, as said by our founder, Yvonne Tuttle Streit, is to “catch them doing something good!” Students are also taught to actively seek these qualities in one another through our KCC Club. The Kindness, Compassion, & Courage Club fosters a caring community and encourages students to look for ways to be kind towards one another, as well as appreciate acts of kindness done by others.

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Dan Buck, B.A., M.Ed.
Director of Lower School
Sharonda Boateng, B.L.S, M.Ed.
Assistant Director of Lower School

Character Education

Our character education program explicitly teaches positive character attributes such as a growth-mindset and curiosity. We reinforce these traits by offering several opportunities to recognize and celebrate student successes, including “KCC Hearts” and “Right Choice Awards.”

Character-building language is embedded into daily instruction and discussions as part of our Briarwood Expectations Guide. Through positive behavior support, students have opportunities to:

  • Problem-solve and make decisions
  • Examine choices and consequences
  • Develop perspective-taking skills
  • Self-advocate and utilize resources
  • Work cooperatively and support others

Briarwood’s daily program includes:

  • Creating and maintaining a safe and positive learning environment
  • Providing consistent routines and expectations
  • Encouraging students to take academic risks, feel comfortable to make mistakes, persevere, and try something new and difficult

Visit & Learn More!

The best way to learn about Briarwood and get all of your questions answered is to schedule a tour and speak with one of our admissions members.