Welcome to LowerSchool@Home

This section is devoted to providing essential information regarding the LowerSchool@Home. Check this page frequently for updates as we continue to learn, evolve, adapt, and refine our approach to teaching and learning in this new way.

  • Approach

    The Lower School is approaching BankStreet@Home with compassion, creativity, and flexibility. We know that many families are juggling child care, family needs, and professional demands, under the strain of uncertainty and stress. We hope resuming school will provide some semblance of normalcy where needed, and we look forward to doing what we love: helping children learn and grow.

    For young children in the Lower School:

    • Learning happens constantly, in all settings.
    • Cognitive, academic, social, emotional, and physical learning inform each other.
    • Learning is the work of the learner, guided by the teacher. 
    • A learner’s work is cultivated and motivated by the materials, ideas, and engagements that are presented to them, and by being given time to get involved with what is available to them.
    • Learning is sometimes smooth and fun and sometimes rough and frustrating. Making mistakes, not succeeding at first, and re-doing at another time are key to learning.
    • Learning is social. People learn in safe, secure relationships. 

    Beginning March 31, your children will get to dig into their materials packets (at least those who didn’t already!). We hope to have struck the right balance between hands-on activities and screen time learning. With creative and flexible thinking, we will find ways to stay true to the power of child-centered, engaged learning—knowing that children thrive when they are encouraged, challenged, and when the work they do is meaningful to them. Building on our strong understanding of children’s development and the primary role that family plays in young children’s lives, we will support you individually and in community in the coming weeks. While always vital to Lower School children’s growth, we recognize that our partnership with families plays a uniquely central role under these circumstances. We feel so fortunate to be on this journey with you. 

    To begin BankStreet@Home, we will:

    • Gather information from families about children’s current settings and situations.
    • Offer guidance about setting daily schedules and creating workspaces at home.
    • Phase in to different ways of being with each other and “doing school” during week one.
    • Re-establish teacher-child, child-child connections and classroom community.
    • Use technology purposefully for relationship and interaction.
    • Establish routines and expectations.
    • Offer a mixture of non-screen and screen engagements and learning opportunities.
    • Encourage children to look for what is the same and what is different.
    • Provide reasons to appreciate and enjoy what is new.

    Ongoing, we will:

    • Adjust and refine our practices. 
    • Deepen our focus on connection and community.
    • Offer an engaging curriculum.
    • Build academic skills.
    • Motivate all domains of development.
    • Support families.
  • Community Guidelines

    ~To ensure a safe, engaging, and respectful online school community for everyone~
    ~To keep us mindful that no one fully knows the comfort level and circumstances of others~
    ~To be a base from which we adjust and build as we learn and grow from this program~


    • Do not record or take screenshots of Zoom sessions.
    • If a teacher records a Zoom session, they will let all participants know when the session begins.
      Teachers record a whole-class Zoom session with the only purpose of making it available to children
      who did not participate.


    • Do not share via email or social media of any teacher-recorded Zoom session or any Google
      Classroom school or family post that shows children (including via screenshots).
    • Do share Google Classroom posts featuring only teachers.

    Posting on Google Classroom

    • For all posts:
      • Post only what is prompted by a teacher.
      • Limit posts to 1-3 times a day to allow space for the whole community.
      • Do not feel pressure to post at all, everyday, or to every prompt.
      • Manage your child’s expectations by letting them know their teacher’s response policy.
    • For comments:
      • Keep written posts brief and in line with the prompt.
      • Comment supportively of children, families, and teachers. Examples:
        • That structure must have taken a lot of work!
        • On your outdoor search for the first letter of your name, you must have been looking carefully to
          see that small letter.
        • Your idea inspired us to try it. Thanks!
    • For photos or videos
      • Children must be fully clothed (feet not included…).
      • Photos of children’s work may, but do not need to, include the child.
      • Keep videos short.

    Participating in Zoom Sessions

    • Again, children must be fully clothed (feet not included…).
    • A grown-up must participate with a child.
    • Participants follow group expectations set by teachers, including:
      • When to mute and unmute.
      • How to take speaking turns.
    • Keep a non-judgmental stance, whether your and other children are quiet, excited, or calm.
  • Google Classrooms

    The organization of these Google Classroom links might change as practices evolve.

  • Lower School Communications

    Below you will find an archive of weekly communications from the Lower School Division Head.