Dear Lower School Parents,
Entering today’s classrooms, I am amazed at how much our classrooms have changed over the past year. SMART Boards® and iPads® were integrated as compelling learning tools. Students in different grade levels were working together to promote student-directed learning and community friendships. Assignments were modified to further encourage critical thought and complex analysis.
Our teachers deserve tremendous credit for these and many other accomplishments made through our Instructional Enhancement Program. This program premiered last year with a pilot focusing on kindergarten and first grade instruction. This spring we launched the program throughout the lower school. I am truly awed by our faculty’s commitment to thoroughly examining their curriculum. Our single goal is to continuously improve our active learning and student-centered environment. We believe that challenging and engaging lessons are a necessary component of teaching independence, versatility and leadership.
Yes, the lessons of today and the homework of tomorrow is more demanding and rigorous than when we were in school, however, one thing must remain constant in each classroom: a caring relationship between each teacher and student. Our teachers are dedicated to knowing your children individually and cultivating and celebrating their efforts and accomplishments. We believe in cultivating the joy of learning within a challenging, yet fun, environment.
Along with your student’s teacher, I look forward to taking this learning adventure together with you and your family. Open two-way communication is of critical importance to ensure your child’s success; please know we always welcome your ideas, time and talents. Together, we can ensure our classroom is one filled with innovation, insight and joy!
All the best,
Head of Lower School
|Cleteus Smith was nationally selected for his position as dean of NCS's lower school and served Norfolk Collegiate for four years before his new appointment to head of the lower school. During his 13-year career in education, he has taught third and fourth grades at an independent school in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as taught pre-kindergarten in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mr. Smith has also been an adjunct instructor in education at Old Dominion University and a master teacher of future faculty in ODU's classroom laboratory. Mr. Smith has been an investigator for grant funded curricular enhancements, creating lessons in environmental science and reading comprehension that were made available to schools throughout Va. He holds a master's degree in education from Old Dominion University and a bachelor's degree with a double major in theatre arts and communications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He and his wife, Catherine, are looking forward to their daughter, Emear, becoming an Oak.