Lower Schoolers on the Move

Shore is undertaking a number of exciting classroom moves in the Lower School in order to best meet the needs of students. The story starts back in 2018, when we began to closely examine the transition between fifth and sixth grades. The expectations of sixth grade felt dazzling for some children and challenging for others. In addition, the Upper School was not providing standardized support for students who were still undergoing an academic adjustment; all that was available was a modest crew of tutors for which families had to pay extra. Our team set out to solve for these challenges.

The first thing Shore did was to hire a full-time Learning Support Specialist for the Upper School and incorporate individual tutorial support into the schedule for any Upper School student who needed it. Next, this specialist would work closely with fifth graders and their teachers during the spring to help them anticipate the move to the Upper School and to further develop some of the organizational and social skills that they would rely on the following year. We also added a more defined orientation for sixth graders at the beginning of the year. All of this was helpful, but, following the example of other schools, we feel there is one more step to take.

Fifth Grade Move
Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, with the full support of the fifth grade team, we will relocate the three fifth grade classrooms to their own section of the Upper School. This is mostly a move of geography—the only change that the students will experience will be location; this will reduce the total number of adjustments for them to make as sixth graders. They will still be taught in self-contained (vs. departmental) classrooms; they will remain a part of the Lower School, attend Lower School morning meetings, have Lower School buddies, and be on the Lower School schedule. Here are some of the reasons we are making this decision:
  • Our team feels that the last opportunity to soften the transition for fifth graders is to have them watching events such as Upper School athletics, using lockers, and meeting with teachers before they have to live it the following year.
  • By locating the fifth graders close to the sixth graders, we can strengthen the relationships between the grades; developmentally, sixth graders have more in common with fifth graders at the beginning of the year than they do the eighth and ninth graders.
  • The move will allow the fifth graders to still feel like the big fish of the Lower School, while the sixth graders can feel like the big fish in their hallway.
  • All of these social shifts will be out of the way, with students entering the sixth grade year feeling geographically comfortable, as they begin to take the necessary step up academically and socially.

Pre-K Opportunity
The Grade 5 move will yield more available learning space in the Lower School building, which has been an increasing need as the Lower School program has grown and developed. This will allow us to move the Pre-K 1 students to the current Pre-K 2 space, and create two new Pre-K 2 classrooms–each with a loft! Believe it or not, this means that Pre-K 2 will come “home” in a sense, as the current fifth grade classrooms used to be their learning space. Putting Pre-K 1 in a larger space and adding a second Pre-K 2 classroom means that we can increase the size of the program (while maintaining our low student-teacher ratios) in order to start much earlier with a larger number of children as they begin their journeys at Shore. The team is excited about this move for the following reasons:
  • This geography is much better for our 3- and 4-year-olds in terms of containing their belongings and transitions within one space. It moves them out of the fourth grade hallway, which is busier than is sometimes comfortable for our littlest learners.
  • More children and teachers for this age group mean that they have an even more robust opportunity to develop self-regulation and social skills.
  • We will be able to offer a “right from the start” approach to more children. We continue to notice that children from other Pre-K programs often do not have the readiness that our own Shore students have.

All classrooms will be equally appointed and staffed, with our current early childhood teaching team serving on our search committee to add a new Pre-K position. All of the designated courtyard spaces will remain dedicated to the children of this age group. In addition, this move will give us new flexible learning spaces that could more easily accommodate some of the lessons currently happening in the Kiva.

Shore is on the move, and we are lucky to partner with our Pre-K and Grade 5 teams to make the decisions that are best for our students.


    • Fifth graders will move to the Upper School building in fall 2022.

Shore Country Day School

545 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 927-1700
Shore Country Day School’s mission is to provide an education that inspires a love of learning and encourages children to embrace academic challenge. We seek to build character, cultivate creativity, and value diversity as we help our children become healthy, compassionate citizens of the world.
The School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law, and extends to them all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its admissions, scholarships, and loans, and its educational, athletic, and other programs.