Applying to the Lower School

Grades 1-3

Organization, inspiration and kindness are hallmarks of the Lower School program at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s. Students embrace their growing maturity to gradually take more independent roles in the classroom.

Students who have the most success in our program are able to work both independently and in a group setting, can quickly and independently internalize and follow routine and are eager to be their best selves both academically and socially. There are many transitions throughout the day as students travel to classrooms for special subjects such as science, greenhouse, secondary language (French, Spanish, or Mandarin Chinese), technology, library and music. Daily physical education class, outdoor recess and chapel ensure that body, mind and spirit are nurtured and cared for each and every day.

Serving the global and local community continue to be a part of the curriculum as does considering how to be kind and productive members of the classroom. Field trips outside the school are planned to enhance the children's knowledge and curiosity. We believe that New York City and its surrounding communities provide unique resources for our students. We utilize historic, cultural, and environmental sites on a frequent basis.

Uniforms are required in grades 1 through 8 as a way of emphasizing our traditional curriculum and to assist children in developing the organizational skills necessary for successful learning.

Applicants to the Lower School are eligible for openings based on current student attrition. Please contact the Admission Office with questions at 212-932-1980.

More information about all of our programs can be found here.


Grade 1

Instruction combines whole class, small group, and individual learning. Reading, writing, math, science, technology, social studies, second language, and the arts are balanced with daily physical education classes and recess on the playdeck. Students also attend chapel service every day and meet with the school's chaplain to explore spiritual values.

In first grade we stress the acquisition of reading through a traditional phonics-based program that also includes instruction in other strategies for learning how to read.

Appropriate literature is selected for study in each grade. Math texts and specially designed materials are used to introduce early math, problem-solving, and logic skills.

Grade 2

Second graders continue to acquire and apply more advanced phonics skills, and begin to focus on comprehension. In math, students further develop their skills through concrete activities and drills with addition, subtraction, and problem solving. In language arts, all students learn cursive writing and explore the elements of longer writing samples such as paragraphs.

Grade 3

The reading program in third grade focuses on how to understand text from a more complex perspective. Students read works that are longer and more challenging in content. Third graders are taught to master multiplication and division problems and to solve more complex word problems requiring multi-step procedures.

In order to prepare students for the transition to middle school, emphasis is placed on organizational skills, fostering greater independence, and completion of longer projects.

Admission Process for Grades 1-3

Applicants to the Lower School are eligible for openings based on current student attrition. Please contact the Admission Office with questions at 212-932-1980.

The admission process for the Lower School includes:
  • Parent tour
  • Student playdate for grade 1 applicants
  • Student half-day visit for applicants to grades 2 and 3
  • Student transcripts from the previous two years
  • Current year student transcripts (once available)
  •  ISAAGNY Teacher Report Form
  • ERB testing, ECAA for grades 2 and 3 (there is no testing requirement for applicants to grade 1)

Please visit the "How to Apply" page on our website for more information about the admission process, including links to required documents. You may access the page by clicking here

email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite