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Lower School


Montessori and Open Inquiry options for preschool-3rd grade

At Calhoun, we believe in providing each student every opportunity to learn in the ways that work best for them. Our innovative and flexible Lower School program offers the choice of two tracks for children in preschool through 3rd grade: Montessori and Open Inquiry.

Though the tracks differ in their approach, they share much in common: above all, shaping independent, self-aware, and compassionate young learners and citizens. Whichever option you choose, expert educators ensure your child is fully prepared to advance academically and personally. Your choice of curricular path comes down to how your child, as an individual, can learn best at this stage of their development. 

Our Montessori track follows the internationally-recognized Montessori curriculum in mixed-grade classrooms.

Our Open Inquiry track pulls from a mix of pedagogical approaches, with students learning in single-grade classrooms.

Lower School Tracks At a Glance

Graph showing Similarities and Differences between Open Inquiry and Montessori tracks


"This is a place where we believe in the power of student voice and its role in shaping an inclusive, empowered educational experience."

April Thompson, Lower School Director

Two paths to the same destination

The two tracks join together through a carefully planned transition in 4th grade. Regardless of your choice, once admitted, your child remains enrolled in Calhoun through 12th grade. With no need to worry about applying to a new middle or high school, your child—and you—can focus on what’s most important: your child’s wondrous, ever-expanding learning life. 

Learn about 4th grade 

Explore Middle School

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