Rochambeau The French International School – Forest Rd Campus 0 5 1 1

Lowell School

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Lowell School honors the individuality of each child. We give children, age 2 1/2 through 8th grade, time and space to grow, and we nurture the strengths of each individual. A fundamental understanding of the developmental stages of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth informs all that we do with children. We foster intellectual and emotional self-reliance, with a guiding value of respect for each other. This approach provides the foundation for children to be highly motivated learners with a strong sense of self-worth and efficacy.

We embrace a leading-edge, research-based curriculum intentionally designed to nurture the development of creative problem solvers and compassionate leaders. Our hands-on, experiential curriculum, prepares students to make a positive difference in the world.

In addition to offering the full complement of academic courses, the arts, and PE, Lowell has several signature programs. 1) Our innovative social studies curriculum combines the NTSS standards and the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards. 2) Our STEM program begins in Pre-Primary School. 3) All students K and up take swimming lessons in our pool and have the opportunity to take part in our Athletics program.

After school offerings include minicourses, instrumental lessons, pop bands, sports teams, and after care.

Basic Facts

    Available Spots: We have openings in our 4-year-old PreK and Kindergarten classes.

    Age Range:
    Age 2.5 - Grade 8

    Years Established: 1965

    Enrollment: 340

    Average Class Size: 16

    Tuition: $19,340-$40,320

    Who you serve:
    Elementary, Middle School, Preschool

    Mission/Philosophy
    Lowell's mission is to create an inclusive community of life-long learners in which each individual is valued and respected. Our charge, then, is to strengthen minds, ensure equity, and honor individuality.

    Available Hours:
    7:30 AM–6:00 PM

Contact Details

  • Address: 1640 Kalmia Rd NW Washington, DC 20012
  • Zip Code: 20012
  • Phone: (202) 577-2000
  • Website: http://www.lowellschool.org/

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  1. Both of our children attend Lowell — one started in Primary and is now in Middle School while the other started in Pre-Primary and is now in Primary. The Pre-Primary division focuses on the development of the whole child in such diverse ways and cultivates really loving, enriching traditions. The Primary division dynamically works to balance educational standards with challenging experiences, ones that get students to cultivate more nuanced points of view and set them up to do the real analytical thinking that is possible the more they mature. The Middle School provides great preparation for whatever type of high school environment might end up being best for a student — the core curriculum is enriched with lots of terrific options. There are a mix of athletic opportunities for kids across the age spectrum and many more opportunities are available via mini-courses offered after school. And since the school has a pool, swimming is integrated into the physical education curriculum from a young age — it’s not the reason to pick Lowell, but it is just one more way in which the school provides a marvelously well-rounded education.

  2. Our family has had an incredibly positive, thoughtful, and stimulating experience at this independent, progressive school. We’ve had two kids at Lowell, both went from primary school through 8th grade. It’s uniquely welcoming and forward thinking, but also offers students an academically challenging and integrated learning environment. The arts (music, visual arts studio, and black box theater), science (labs and adjacent Rock Creek Park), and athletics (pool and swimming program—where both our kids learned to swim—basketball, running, and field sports) are impressive and thrive at Lowell. The teachers are genuinely supportive and are the “secret ingredient” that make this pre-K-8 program exactly what recent pedagogical research says is the best environment for kids to grow into young teens. The parent community is really involved, too. The high diversity in the student body AND in the faculty and staff—including an incoming African-American female head of school—are a rare combination in an independent school in this area. Hard not to be enthusiastic!

    Rigorous, but balanced, encourages independent thinking and creativity. Also teamwork on many projects.

    The teachers at Lowell are leaders in their fields, often cutting new paths of learning for their peers across the country. And, yet, these leaders know how to draw out the best in each student, while also encouraging them to stretch to meet their full potential.

    The school’s leadership never rests, always anticipating how best to adjust to and prepare for the shifting narrative that surrounds a school in the area. The leadership is also always staying on top of the latest in pedagogical knowledge—not chasing the shiny object—but never resting on “conventional wisdom.”

    It’s hard to imagine a school that could instill a sense of responsibility for its local, national, and global community more deeply and more consistently than Lowell. The students’ appreciation for—and championing of—equity and social justice is truly impressive.

    Effectively challenging gifted kids while also discovering the most empowering path for those with difficulties in a particular area is one of the trickiest balances a school can strike. But Lowell accomplishes this deftly, not because it has discovered some “magic formula”, but because it does the hard work required to meet each of its students where they are on their learning journey.

    Bullying is not tolerated. But, just as importantly, the school teaches the values that counter kids’ inclinations to bully others. The dynamics behind bullying are closely monitored and challenged.

  3. My children are continuously changing, growing, and surprising me. I feel the same way about Lowell these eight years we’ve been a part of it – Lowell is continuously changing, growing and surprising me too. There is always something new going on in the classrooms, always new things to be studied, new ways to try things. Lowell and its staff are a living example of what it is teaching the kids: learn how to learn, figure out how to find the answer, solve the problem, be a critical and nimble thinker, be open to new things and people and places and ideas, think critically, have a healthy body/healthy mind, fight for what is right, and have a good time! Honestly, it’s hard to tell who is having more fun, the students or the teachers.

  4. We chose Lowell for Kindergarten for our daughters after pre-K at NCRC and ALG and it has been a perfect fit. Now in 5th and 3rd grades they are strong, compassionate and enthusuastic learners whose skills are honed by 2 fulltime instructors in class and a culture that embraces diversity and energizes curious minds. The 8th graders move on to their choice of high schools such as St. Alban’s, Georgetown Day School, Maret, Holton Arms, Sidwell Friends and elite level public schools througout the region. We’re getting everything we could want in a private school.

  5. When we were looking for a school for our daughter we wanted a school that provided small class sizes that would give our daughter individual attention and guidance. This (among other things) led us to choose Lowell School. My daughter’s teachers are respectful of her and the way she learns. They have ushered her through all phases of the learning process. Moreover, if dear daughter appears to be too comfortable in an academic area her teacher is able to guide her to the next level. When I hear that Lowell is a “safe” place this is what I think of… It is safe enough for my dear daughter to be her true self socially and emotionally. In addition, it is a “safe” place for her to test her limits academically without fear of judgment but always with the guidance of her teachers. For this I am grateful.

  6. We chose Lowell School for our African-American son several years ago for their stated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion…period. Over the years, Lowell has demonstrated that he and other children of Color matter in our community.

    We fell in love with the ideals of a progressive education model because they focused on the whole child. His teachers give him a safe place to express his thoughts and let him flourish as a student.

    The character building lessons Lowell employed when he was 3 years old have followed him to date at 3rd grade. He continues to use all of the strategies to helped him solve social and emotional issues, contribute during class discussions, chose to be a leader among his friends all while being a thoughtful person.

    My son loves to go to school…not always the school work, but absolutely loves being a student at Lowell and I hear the same sentiment from other parents about their kids too. Imagine a school where children loved to be and hated to leave….that’s my experience of Lowell School.

  7. Lowell School was our favorite school when we applied for schools and our expectations have been met and exceeded in the two years our family has been there. It is a diverse, experience-rich environment led by faculty and administrators who are passionate, skilled, inclusive, and partnership-focused.

    Located next to Rock Creek Park and including a stream fed by a natural spring on-site, the school itself is quite special. We love that our son can take swimming lessons in the indoor pool, be creative in an art studio just for pre-primary students, analyze the wonders of our world in a dedicated STEM lab, and dance in a dance studio made for little ones plus have a homeroom that feels fosters a curious mind.

    The parent community at Lowell is also fantastic. It is very supportive of the school and the relationship between the parents and the school is a solid partnership focused on making sure all students become not just life-long learners but are also the best citizens.

    We love Lowell!

  8. Aside from actually deciding to have children, Lowell School has been the best choice our family has ever made. Our children have been taught exactly the way each one needed to be. The academic, social, and emotional curriculum is tailored to each individual child’s needs and is masterfully presented by caring, insightful, and professional instructors.

  9. We have three children at Lowell and they all started at age 3. Until then they were home with me (mom). We found Lowell when looking for a preschool for our oldest . She was what I would describe as my velcro baby, and it was hard to think she would let me leave her at school. She was shy around new people and slow to warm up to new experiences. She was an observer more than a do-er.

    When my husband and I visited Lowell, I felt the warmth instantly. We could see and hear kindness and enthusiasm from everyone we encountered. I felt she would be emotionally safe at Lowell, that her teachers would get to know her; see her strengths and help her where she needed support.

    Indeed they did; and now she is an outgoing confident fourth grader who is feels safe enough to try new things at school – Cross Country! Basketball! Spanish Club – the Geo Bee! Her younger siblings are having an equally great experience – all known for the individuals they are. Challenged and supported in the best ways. We could not be happier or more sure of our decision seven years ago to join this wonderful community.

  10. When my family applied to Lowell, our oldest son wasn’t even three-years-old. We knew who he was but didn’t know who is was going to be. We looked at a lot of schools. We did our research. Canvased our network of friends and families who traveled this road. We considered the different pedagogies and how teachers were trained. My wife and I pondered if there was room for our child to grow academically, socially and emotionally. Most of the schools we considered met our threshold criteria: academic rigor balanced with constructive play that fosters individual creative expression and learning styles. At the end of the day, our family decided on Lowell because we thought it best represented our values as a family and where if we (as parents) had to go to school all over again Lowell is where my wife and I would want to be.

    While our oldest son has thrived at Lowell, in my mind, our youngest son has provided the best social proof that we made the right choice for our family by coming to Lowell. Our baby boy was born three months into our first year at Lowell. Just about every day of his life, he has visited Lowell’s amazing beautiful campus and interacted with students, parents, teachers and administrators. If Lowell, wasn’t a place he wanted to be, he certainly would have let us know.

    He let us know (constantly) that Lowell is where he wanted to be.

    “When I go to Lowell, Dad,” was a constant question.

    He started pre-primary in the Fall and every morning he leaps out of the backseat with boundless joy and excitement.

    Although, both boys have very different personalities, Lowell has created an environment that has allowed them to flourish in their own ways. Yet, both share characteristic which I’ve come to learn are hallmarks of Lowell students: emphatic; creative problem solvers; articulate about the needs and the concerns of others; and a zest for exploring ideas and learning.

  11. Love this school! Lowell has provided a warm, caring environment for our child and she has thrived there. Talented, thoughtful teachers have really gotten to know her and have been quick to provide both support and challenge/enrichment as needed over the years. I am always impressed at back to school night, when I hear how carefully and thoughtfully the curriculum has been designed. The campus has great outdoor spaces for play and learning. Sports teams are open to all – track and swimming starting in Kindergarten – team sports like soccer and basketball starting in 4th grade. The parent community is welcoming and diverse. Lowell has been a great fit for us and I recommend it highly.

  12. We have had three children attend Lowell, and it is a truly wonderful school. The community is warm and caring. The teachers are focused on what kids need developmentally and as individuals to learn and become their best selves. The curriculum is rigorous and engaging. Kids learn to think and solve problems and express themselves. Students graduate with a clear sense of who they are and are comfortable using their voices to advocate for themselves and others. They go on to succeed in high schools all over the area, including the most challenging public and private schools.

  13. The best part of Lowell for me is that it teaches my kids how to think deeply, critically and effectively. There is a strong emphasis on the problem solving and analytical skills necessary for academic success and for independent work and thought. My kids have not just learned, but had become good learners. We have loved Lowell from pre-primary through middle school, and highly recommend it.

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