Our Approach

Our Early Childhood Program (PreKindergarten and Kindergarten) is predicated on the belief that children learn most joyfully and deeply when the learning process is designed around their own interests and needs. Our overarching theme, Connecting to Our Community, is the foundation for our thematic curriculum. It is also the basis of our philosophy around early childhood education.
CRS students thrive as part of a community that encourages them to become lifelong learners by enjoying the journey. They develop confidence, explore, innovate, and help shape their own learning through inquiry, collaboration, and play. They acquire skills, develop character, and build knowledge and community through our integrated, flexible PreK/K program.
CRS is committed to multi-age learning for our PreK/K program and has one homeroom for these early childhood grades. This research-based model naturally aligns with the CRS approach, and provides children with the education that will best prepare them for the future. Co-teaching is central to our model; two dedicated lead teachers facilitate each classroom community, and enable small group and one-to-one learning.
Classroom-specific themes allow students to make meaningful connections through inquiry and explore areas of particular interest to them. Core subject areas, such as math and language arts, are integrated thoughtfully with thematic study. We continually review alignment between our goals, the curriculum, instruction, and assessment across and within grades.
Our early childhood maker space, the Collaboratory, provides students with an area to create, invent, and learn with a variety of tools and technologies. Our outdoor campus, classroom gardens, covered areas, Wetlands Lab, and the Town of Dover provide us with regular outdoor learning adventures, and opportunities to explore and learn about the environment and our local community.

Academics & Learning Environment

Language Arts instruction in PreK/K is centered on developing and integrating listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a learning environment that is rich in literature and print. Phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and strategies for comprehension are built into daily activities and lessons. As students progress from early childhood to elementary grades, they are introduced to decoding skills, story structure, and daily writing activities. In order to ensure that our students develop reading and writing skills in a logical and developmentally appropriate manner from PreK through second grade, we use Project Read as our foundation for scope and sequence and modify it accordingly to fit into our constructivist curriculum and thematic approach to learning.
Math instruction focuses on teaching children to explore and think deeply about math concepts by manipulating concrete objects and math tools, such as Cuisenaire rods, Unifix cubes, pattern blocks, base 10 blocks, and dice. Our math curriculum follows a scope and sequence designed to support learners developmentally, as they progress from exploring basic concepts of numeracy to practicing multiplication and division.
Charles River School is a PreKindergarten through Grade 8 independent school that honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement. Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.

Charles River School admits students of any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.