Focusing on an exciting and dynamic time in a child’s life, the Lower School at Athens Academy provides a variety of opportunities for each student to discover interests and abilities. Responsibility and work ethic are instilled early on, as students are challenged by the highest quality academics in an environment of constant motivation and support.   

The engaging, integrated curriculum strikes a balance between hard work and play as students become independent, self-confident learners and continue to develop a life-long love of learning in a culture of respect. The Lower School is a safe learning environment in which teachers address individual needs and support the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of each child.  We invite you to learn more about our program.

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 1

    Imagine the opportunity to truly connect with a member of the senior class, your senior buddy for the year. Planting daffodils, decorating the holiday tree, and delivering lines in the traditional play Let George Do It marks the beginning of a student’s life in the Lower School.

    First grade is a year of extraordinary growth in the classroom and beyond. The beginning of standard dress, having to demonstrate responsibility for maintaining a personal office (a desk), learning to read with meaning, writing sentences more naturally, and performing calculations mentally are important aspects to a year full of "firsts." Two recess, music, art, physical education classes allow students to explore their passions and interests. First graders exude joy in their new surroundings, anticipation for their first science lab experiment, and genuine care for their classmates and teachers.
  • Grade 2

    Envision a group of second graders, donning hats of their own creation, to show the historical importance and accomplishments of famous Georgians. Using imagination and speaking skills, students in character retell fairy tales with their three dimensional representations. The second grade year builds upon the strong foundation of their early years while allowing them to gain new academic and interpersonal skills. Students are introduced to chapter books, multiplication, and the world of cursive handwriting. The most anticipated field trip of the year is a journey to Atlanta, to visit the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

    In addition to the core curriculum, students experience two music, art, physical education, and world languages classes, which allow students to explore their passions and interests. In second grade, every student participates in the string orchestra program, with either the violin or viola as their instrument of choice. Second graders revel in their new responsibilities and form friendships in the classroom and beyond.
  • Grade 3

    Visit a third grade class in the science lab to find students fully engaged in the scientific process: inquiring, collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data as they track the growth of a butterfly from chrysalis to mature adult. Students in third grade develop habits and attitudes which encourage responsibility, independence, risk-taking, and critical thinking.

    Each week, students experience two music, art, physical education, and world languages classes in addition to the opportunity to participate in the string orchestra program. Special-area classes allow students to explore their passions and interests. Time spent in the classroom and on the playground provides opportunities to develop important friendships within the classroom community.
  • Grade 4

    Spending the night at Zoo Atlanta for the Night Crawlers program is a much-anticipated part of the fourth grade experience. During this exciting time, students embrace their role as leaders in the Lower School, from opening car doors at the curb to spearheading service projects throughout the year. 

    Increased independence and departmentalized classes allow students to explore subject matter deeply with the help of passionate and experienced teachers. Fourth grade offers greater opportunity for subject integration--students dress in character for a Biography Breakfast and apply creativity and simple physics rules to build rides for an imaginary amusement park. Students use the scientific method in the lab as they dissect a sheep’s eye. Fourth graders attend two music, art, physical education, and world languages classes per week, in addition to the opportunity to participate in the string orchestra program.

List of 3 members.

  • Mark Cunningham 

    Lower School Director
    Pennsylvania State University - BS
    University of Louisville - M.Ed.
  • Colleen Burwell 

    Pre/Lower School Assistant Director
    Georgia College and State University - Ed. S.
  • Fraser Kent 

    Pre/Lower School Counselor
    University of Georgia - B.S.
    Wake Forest University - M.A.C.
    University of Georgia - Ed.S.

Senior & First Grade Bulb Planting

Excellence with Honor

An independent school for grades K3-12