Academics

Lower School

Distinctive Talents, Boundless Possibilities

Celebrated painter. Hockey player. Ivy League scholar. It's hard to tell what a Boys' Latin lower school student will become, but it's clear his future is full of boundless possibilities.

FROM THE HEAD OF THE LOWER SCHOOL

We do so much right as a school at Boys' Latin to ensure our students grow and mature from young children into confident young men. Stellar faculty. Expertise in all-boys education. But what speaks most directly to the "brothers for life" esprit de corps that is so much a part of life at Boys' Latin is our Little Laker Buddies initiative, where each kindergarten and pre-first student is assigned a fifth-grade buddy.
The program itself is simple. Buddies meet every Friday to get to know one another. What takes place as a result is something far more complex and wonderful.

Our fifth-grade boys rise to the occasion of being big brothers and start showing the leadership that's integral to their future BL experiences as middle and upper schoolers. Teachers see their personal transformations as they take seriously their responsibilities as role models to their little brothers. The younger boys, in turn, learn so much through these friendships, which for many is their first with an older peer.

Through exceptional programs like Little Laker Buddies, Boys' Latin builds in each of our students' confidence, leadership, and brotherly kindness.

Greg Schnitzlein, Head of the Lower School

PEDAGOGY AND CURRICULUM

Boys learn best by doing. Because of this, our pedagogy centers on hands-on experiential learning that appeals to different senses, involves action and movement, and produces tangible outcomes. Which is why in our lower school students raise trout to learn about ecosystems or search for acute and obtuse angles to photograph. And our lower school curriculum is equally thoughtful.
We ensure each student's mastery of foundational concepts in reading, language arts and mathematics by having two subject specialists collaborate with each classroom teacher, allowing for even smaller groups and individualized learning. We expect each student to learn how to read and do math at different times. It's all about knowing each student, advancing quickly with those who are ready while providing reinforcement for others.

Last but never least, character education is interwoven throughout all aspects of our curriculum. Each month students focus on a BL value such as honesty, compassion, or self-discipline. In short, as the program is named, we seek to guide our youngest students to "Live Like a Laker."

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

The lower school at Boys' Latin offers a wide range of clubs to all Lower School students to enrich their educational experiences. Many of our clubs center around teaching boys the art and science of building.
Our LEGO club is a natural precursor to the school's well-known robotics club, which is open to students beginning in the fourth grade. In robotics, students work in pairs and with a faculty mentor to learn NXT programming, which is a prerequisite to designing, constructing and operating robots in the middle school.

If you visit our campus on a Friday club day, you might see the lawns campus transformed with tents and mini-forts and paper airplanes flying overhead. Or an epic battle among bionicle heroes, villains and monsters of all shapes and sizes made from discarded books. And watch out for the boys touring and navigating cross campus on their scooters as they learn how to accurately measure speed.

Lower school students start publishing early in their Boys' Latin careers with contributions of their stories, poems and artwork to our Southside Stories literary magazine. Fifth graders are responsible for The Inkspot, the lower school's newspaper publication.

Recognizing that boys love to perform, there are ample opportunities for them to be in front of an audience. While music is taught throughout the lower school curriculum, instrumental lessons are offered to students. Beginning in the the fourth grade, students can participate in the lower school band. Future Academy Award winners can sign up to join the lower school role play club. Students who see life with a more humorous twist can join our stand-up comedy troupe. Through these clubs, our boys start to get a feel for developing their presentation styles, attending to their audience, and learning about dramatic timing - all while having fun.

Because we see leadership opportunities as an integral part of a strong all-boys education, we open student council positions to those in the third grade and up. Just recently, the lower school student council organized and ran a toy drive for the Gilchrist Center - a local hospice facility. The boys raised funds and collected donations to outfit the center's toy room for visiting children who would visit while a loved one is under care.

List of 22 items.

  • Band

  • Bingo

  • Bionicle Building

  • Celtic Coloring

  • Chess

  • Clay

  • Comedy Club

  • Creative Solutions

  • Cup Stacking

  • Drama Club

  • Fort Building

  • Inkspot Student Newspaper

  • Laker Buddies

  • LEGO Club

  • Monster Books

  • Paper Airplanes

  • Robotics

  • Role Play

  • Scooter Club

  • Southside Stories Literary Magazine

  • Stand-Up Comedy Troupe

  • Student Council

Lower School Faculty

List of 27 items.

  • Joyce S. Barnett

    Lower School Administrative Assistant
    B.A., Converse College
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  • Barbara Anne Bruno

    School Nurse, Family Life Educator
    Emerson College
    Boston University
    BSN Salve Regina University
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  • Marta Cardarelli

    Lower School Art
    B.F.A., The Maryland Institute College of Art
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  • Lauren DeVries

    Lower School Fourth Grade
    B.S., Stevenson University
    M.A.T., Goucher College
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  • Dargan Eley

    Lower School Spanish
    B.S., College of Charleston
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  • Terri F. Floccare

    Lower School Librarian, Special Area Department Chair
    B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College
    M.S., The Johns Hopkins University
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  • Rebecca Giordano

    Lower School Third Grade
    B.A., Notre Dame of Maryland University
    A.C.T., Notre Dame of Maryland University
    M.A., Notre Dame of Maryland University
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  • Alison Hoffberg

    Lower School First Grade
    B.A. Randolph-Macon College
    M. Ed Goucher College 
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  • Ruth Hurley

    Lower School Third Grade
    B.S., Clemson University
    M.A., Towson University
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  • Ann Jung

    Lower School Second Grade, Primary Grades Department Chair
    B.S., University of Delaware
    M.Ed., Goucher College
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  • Deborah B. Krulak

    Lower School Technology
    Masters of Education - Johns Hopkins School of Education
    BA - University of Virginia
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  • Stephanie M. Lange

    Lower School Fifth Grade, Intermediate Grades Department Chair
    B.A., Loyola University Maryland
    M.S., Johns Hopkins University
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  • Kate Lynch

    Lower School Reading Specialist
    B.A., Mount Saint Mary's University
    M.S., Loyola University Maryland

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  • Janet Maisel

    Library Assistant for Lower, Middle and Upper Schools
    B.S., University of Maryland, College Park
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  • Shara Manning

    Lower School First Grade
    B.S., Syracuse University
    M.S., Loyola University Maryland
    Orton-Gillingham trained
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  • Elizabeth McClung

    Lower School Second Grade
    B.A., Marymount University
    M.Ed., University of Virginia
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  • Stephanie T. McKew

    Lower School Learning Specialist, Fifth Grade Reading/Language Arts
    B.A., Loyola University of Maryland
    M.Ed., Loyola University of Maryland
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  • Doug Nicholas

    Lower School Physical Education
    B.A., Gettysburg College
    M.A., University of Delaware
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  • Kimberlee Pierce

    Lower School Reading Specialist
    B.A., Loyola University Maryland
    M.S., McDaniel College
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  • Jess Regester

    Lower School Fourth Grade
    BS, Mount Saint Mary's University
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  • Donald L. Rickels

    Lower School Physical Education
    B.S., West Chester University
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  • Brooke Rubin

    Lower School Reading, Fifth Grade Mathematics & Social Studies
    B.A., Franklin and Marshall College
    M.Ed., Wilmington University
    G.C.P., Johns Hopkins University
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  • Aaron D. Sloboda

    Lower School Science
    B.A., Skidmore College
    M.S., Jones International University
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  • Susan Schindler

    Lower School Kindergarten
    BFA, Syracuse University
    MAT, Goucher College
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  • Greg Schnitzlein

    Head of Lower School
    B.S., Bradley University
    M.Ed., Loyola University Maryland
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  • Barbara H. Starkey

    Lower School Pre-first Grade
    B.S., University of Maryland
    M.Ed., Towson University
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  • Elizabeth A. Wilson

    Lower School Music
    B.M., Western Michigan University
    M.S., Towson University
    Dalcroze, Orff Kodaly Certificate, Towson University
    M.M. Equivalency, Peabody Conservatory
     
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EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES

Students do not learn how to read and write, nor master math concepts, at the same rate and in the same way. To ensure all our students reach their full academic potential, Boys' Latin provides educational support services as needed, including setting up formal education plans.
Our learning specialists - all experts in current pedagogy and boy-learning strategies - work side-by-side with classroom teachers in developing and implementing curriculum and strategies that allow for multiple learning levels and learning styles. They also conduct classroom observations to provide another perspective on students' needs as well as their progress, all focused on teaching to each student's strengths.

For more information, contact Stephanie McKew, the lower school learning specialist: smckew@boyslatinmd.com; 410-377-5192 ext. 1126.
©2017 The Boys' Latin School of Maryland