Students attend art class once weekly. The art lab is a spacious area that allows students to explore multiple art media. The lab is equipped with a kiln allowing the young artists experience in creating with clay. Students are encouraged to participate in art contests in the community as well as the Fine Arts exhibits scheduled during the year at UMS-Wright.
The Lower School counselor meets weekly with each K4 through Second Grade classroom and bi-monthly with students in grades three through five. The focus of the large group counseling session is on "Respecting Others" and "Building Character". The counselor is also available to meet the students and/or parents individually.
Foreign Language instruction begins at the K4 level. Students in K4 through Second Grade attend Spanish class once a week. Third Grade through Fifth Grade attends Spanish class twice a week.
Spanish instruction encourages language acquisition skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; taught in a fun, informal atmosphere. Students progress from learning to recognize and to speak basic phrases to the point of initiating conversation with fellow students and the instructor. Vocabulary centers on basic objects, places and common kinship terms. Connections are made across the curriculum through literature selections and the study of the cultures of Spanish and French speaking countries.
Each class visits the library once a week to enjoy literature and receive direct instruction in library science. The Lower School Library is a warm, friendly, and inviting place where students are encouraged to become lifelong readers. Young children enjoy shared reading on the "story steps" before browsing the book section.
In addition to the once per week class visit, students in grades first through fifth move in and out of the library for book selection before, during, and after school. The automated system in the Harris Library provides a user-friendly system and promotes student independence. Parents are encouraged to visit the library with their students and take advantage of the available resources. Student computers are available for research and online reading.
Students attend physical education class three to four times weekly depending on the grade level. Ample outdoor space, the PAC gym, and the pool facilities enhance the environment for physical education classes in the Lower School. Weather permitting, students in grades first through fifth swim during the months of August, September, and May. Students are required to dress in the P.E. uniform for participation in class.
All Lower School students receive instruction in the lab on a weekly basis. While in the lab, students are monitored and educated in the safety issues of working online. All internet research is monitored, and sites accessed by the students are bookmarked sites. In addition to the weekly computer class, thrid grade students attend a nine-week keyboarding class thirty minutes daily.
The intent of the Lower School technology program is to equip students with the necessary skills to live and work in the 21st Century. While the school is challenged to stay abreast of the latest developemnts in the area of technnology, the aim is to provide our teachers and students with appropriate computer based learning tools and resources for instruction in the content areas. With the use of Smart Boards, technology is integrated across the curriculum with students having access to online resources within the classroom setting. This process allows active participation by the students.