We welcome you to our virtual tour! Here you may explore our engaging classrooms, beloved community gathering spaces, and beautiful 12-acre campus that we share with National Presbyterian Church.
A pinnacle of playful excellence, our spacious Pre-K 3 classrooms enhance students’ ability to learn pre-academic skills through play. Engaging in hands-on projects and guided interaction with their peers, children build skills in executive functioning, self-regulation, motor control and planning, sensory integration, creativity, critical thinking and social emotional connections.
A loft, built especially for little hands and bodies, resides in the classroom and is a favorite educational and playtime tool becoming a bat cave in the fall and a bear cave in the winter.
Typically 2 classrooms of 10-12 children, each with a homeroom teacher and a teaching associate.
Specials include: Music, Library, PE, Drama.
Bright, joyful Pre-K 4 classrooms are designed for learning through indoor and outdoor play with guidance from their teacher. Typical activities include daily morning meetings, math centers, literacy skills practice through songs, games, story dictation and art projects, and deep dives into topics with project-based learning.
Typically 2-3 classrooms of 10-12 students with a homeroom teacher and a rotating teaching associate.
Specials include Music, Library, PE, Drama, Spanish
In Kindergarten, learning remains fun with added demand. Direct reading instruction begins in earnest. Math instruction continues to focus on an intuitive understanding of number sense while adding more advanced skills like addition/ subtraction, 2D/ 3D shapes and data analysis. And with pencil in hand, children learn to print using Handwriting Without Tears. More work begs for frequent breaks including 3 recesses per day on the playground.
Typically 40-43 students in three classrooms with a homeroom teacher and 1-2 rotating teaching associates.
Specials include: Music, Art, Spanish, Library, PE, Drama.
In 2nd Grade, innovative teaching and our efforts to meet each child’s unique needs is easy to see. At an age when children engage in enhanced focus on their peers, it’s important to encourage students to focus on their developing learning style. We give them the opportunity to independently choose from a variety of seating options based on their own thinking about where they learn best, while noticing that their friends might need a different choice. This is just one example of 2nd Graders’ work on identifying their own needs.
4th Graders are now clearly “big kids” with new developmental needs. The grade is divided into two classrooms with more students, because their learning is enhanced by having more perspectives and input from their peers. You might see these students engaged in active discussions about American history or character development in a novel, drafting and editing essays with guidance from their teachers and peers, or working with their peers on a hands on, real world project in math.
On the cusp of full-on adolescence, 6th Graders focus on the importance of perspective-taking in order to understand themselves, others and the world in a more nuanced and empathetic way. You might see students engaged in in-depth discussions in a book group or presenting a world geography research project skillfully using technology and online resources. You could picture them moving on to a new middle school next year, brimming with confidence in themselves and their academic skills.
NPS teaches scientific processes and concepts through hands-on inquiry-based activities. Through their own investigations and analyses, students develop a strong foundation in scientific literacy in life science, earth and space science, and physical science. Grades 3-6 attend science in the Lab, but you will also find students performing experiments and explorations on the sport court, on the field, or around our extended campus. Younger students learn science with their homeroom teachers.
It’s always fun to peer into the Upper Division art room. In this bright, colorful space, students in third grade and older can be creative and express themselves while learning fundamental elements of visual art and art history. Art lessons frequently cross the curriculum with social studies, reading, technology, math, science, and other core subjects to deepen students' understanding.
In the Lower Division art room, students in Pre-K 3 through 2nd Grade get to engage their imagination and creativity while developing their intuition, reasoning, communication, and fine motor skills.
NPS begins formal Spanish instruction in Pre-K 4 to foster appreciation of languages and cultures. Emphasis is placed on building a strong foundation by increasing vocabulary, mastering basic conversational phrases, developing confidence in listening and speaking. As they advance, students acquire reading, writing and grammatical skills while also exploring Spanish-speaking countries.
In our music room, students build on the fundamentals of music explored and learned since Pre-K 3. During music, students create, compose, arrange and explore musical themes. In addition, 5th and 6th Grades may join our handbell choirs, and 4th-6th Graders eagerly sign up for chorus each year.
Originally an exterior courtyard when the building was built in the 1920s, the music room retains the original stucco walls and mosaics, making this space an iconic one for our school.
At NPS, technology is used as a learning tool to enrich the core curriculum in all grades. While we are committed to preparing students for a future in our dynamic, information-based society, NPS carefully considers the implication of technology on the young brain. Students in 2nd through 6th Grade attend classes with the Education Technology Specialist to learn fundamental technology skills, which are in turn integrated into the classroom activities throughout the day.
In 5th and 6th Grades, each student is assigned a laptop for their academic use in school. With the technology education they have received since 2nd Grade, they can type and edit their essays, effectively present in PowerPoint, and engage in online research. Through collaborative lessons with the Educational Technology Specialist and our Counselor, students are also prepared to use technology safely and responsibly.
At NPS, every child visits the library weekly with its 13,000 book collection. Here students enjoy read-alouds (Pre-K 3 - 6th Grade), borrow books of their choice, and engage in research projects. You may also see parents in this space helping to shelve books, reading to their child’s class or engaged in a coffee and conversation with NPS teachers or administrators. Our annual Author-in-Residence program brings authors and illustrators to NPS for student and parent workshops or presentations.
All NPS students participate in the Drama program at NPS. In the lower grades, they focus on process-centered activities to enhance a child’s natural sense of dramatic play and imagination. Upper Division students use role play, script analysis and improvisation to develop critical thinking, problem solving, self-expression and aesthetic appreciation.
Throughout the day, you will see students challenging themselves in physical fitness activities during PE class in the gym or on our field. Several times a week, children learn the importance of prioritizing health and wellness while building character, developing athletic skills as well as learning lessons in safety, sportsmanship, and cooperation.
Recognizing that unstructured, outdoor free play is vital to developing social skills and to energizing the body and the mind, students have multiple opportunities throughout the day to go outside for recess. You will see children engaged in games, hanging on the monkey bars and zip lines, giggling on the swings, digging in the sandbox, playing hopscotch or foursquare, or just sitting on a bench to chat with a friend.
In our amphitheatre, you will see children engaged in outdoor learning, building with our Imagination Playground during recess, or eating snack with their class. This space is lined with large planters for science students to plant and observe throughout the school year.
Our turf field is a busy, joyful place throughout the day. Here you will see PE classes engaged in active games and sports skill development, pick-up games during recess, and athletic team practices after school. The field is also home to a sea of inflatables and a karaoke stage at our much-loved Fall Festival on an October Saturday morning.
On the sport court, you will not only see children excitedly engaged in gaga ball, kick ball and basketball games, you will observe our student scientists engaged in large scale science experiments.
Once per month, you will see an all-school assembly in our gymnasium. This is an opportunity for the whole school to enrich community connections, share projects, celebrate achievements, and simply enjoy a shared moment of laughter, student performance or all-school singing. Students attend assemblies with their buddies dressed in their school spirit attire - a sea of the school colors: red and white.
NPS offers a daily hot lunch program option on each full day of school. Provided by Ridgewells Catering, we offer daily a hot entree with a vegetarian option, salad and deli bars, yogurt and fresh fruit. Meals are pre-plated for Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 while older students may make their own choices in the lunch line in the Multipurpose Room. Students eat in their classrooms.
On certain winter afternoons, Jones Hall comes alive with the sounds of students and parents cheering on our Cardinals as they take on teams from other area independent schools at our home basketball games.
Students in 5th and 6th Grades may participate in an organized athletics program, competing in soccer (fall), basketball (winter) and lacrosse (spring) in single-sex teams.
Our two school nurses are stationed in this room to care for the health of students and faculty throughout the school day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this space was expanded to reflect health guidelines and new best practices in maintaining a healthy school population.
In our full service kitchen, classes can do cooking projects during the school day, and cooking classes can be taught as a part of our After School Programs (ASP) enrichment offerings.
All members of the National Presbyterian School community participate in weekly Chapel, a time to nurture the community’s spiritual life through Scripture lessons, sacred music and prayer. Chapels are led by the NPS Chaplain who also teaches our Religious Studies curriculum to Grades 2-6.
Lower Division students (Pre-K 3 through 1st Grade) attend a weekly Chapel service in our gym, led by our Chaplain with the help of First Grade leaders. Children enjoy an opportunity to transition to a thoughtful mode as they reflect in age-appropriate ways on the school’s Core Values, love for God, for others, and respect for all faith traditions.
The beautiful Sanctuary of the National Presbyterian Church (NPC) is an iconic place for members of the NPS community where we enjoy special services at key moments of the year such as Opening Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Graduation.
Opened in 2008, National Presbyterian Child Care Center is a child care center on our campus that serves children of the NPS faculty and staff, National Presbyterian Church employees, and members of the NPS and NPC communities. All NPS students enjoy interacting with NPCCC children throughout the year.
For a view of our school in action, here is last year's first day of school recap video.
For a glimpse of our school in action during a typical year, here is our first day of school recap video from 2019-2020.