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Bullis’ Lower School To Launch Combined Class

Combined second and third grade class to start in fall.

Betsy Kelly, principal of Bullis lower School, reads from “Charlotte’s Web.”

Betsy Kelly, principal of Bullis lower School, reads from “Charlotte’s Web.” Photo by Susie Zimmerman

— The Bullis School is announcing a change to their long-standing tradition of teaching children in grades 3 through 12. In the fall of 2013, a combined 2nd grade/3rd grade class will begin with a small group of eager 7-year-olds. This class will be taught by master teachers Carolyn Cohen and Margaret Andreadis who are both 3rd grade teachers at Bullis.

“Bullis continues to expand and innovate in many exciting ways,” Head of School Dr. Gerald Boarman said, “and the success of the highly individualized instruction we provide in the Lower School has enabled us to respond to requests for adding second graders to our program.”

Betsy Kelly, principal of the Lower School said, “We decided to add the 2nd-3rd grade combination class because of the success with our Reading and Math curriculums in the Lower School. This success is due to a combination of best practices. We focus on giving each student individualized reading and math instruction. Each student has a weekly reading advisory group and is encouraged to read books of his or her own choosing. An amazing fact is that the students in the lower school have read over 1500 books since September In Math, we make certain each student understands and develops strong skills by working with each student one-on-one.

“Research shows children who read well in the 2nd and 3rd grades are at an academic advantage,” Kelly said, explaining the emphasis on reading at Bullis. “We have seen tremendous growth in reading levels of all of our Lower School students —and their love of reading is exciting!”

Kelly continued, “Lower school teachers are also examining ways to improve writing instruction because we know that the ability to communicate in writing is the most important skill taught in grades K-12. Our small class sizes, the strong relationships we build with students, and the ways we target instruction to meet each child’s individual needs are the tools we use to nurture the growth of our young writers.” In the fall, Bullis brought in Katherine Bomer, a nationally recognized expert on the teaching of writing, to work with Lower and Middle School teachers. Bomer spent four days with Bullis teachers helping them examine student writing skills and demonstrating new ways to motivate and engage young writers.

The Bullis Lower School also has a strong arts program, an active community service initiative and a character education program that stresses honesty, integrity, leadership and respect.

The admission process is stated on the website www.bullis.org. Families interested in the 2nd grade class should contact the Admissions Office at 301-983-5724 since the deadline has been extended beyond the regular deadline for grades 3-12.