Lower K-5

Our Students


In the Lower Grades (Grades K–5), teachers encourage our children’s imagination and love of learning as they become confident students with a strong ability to articulate their ideas and use different strategies of inquiry to explore complex concepts. Our core curriculum includes Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Singapore Math/Eureka Math, and Passport to Social Studies. NEST+m believes in supporting the whole child, and we have daily and weekly social/emotional learning lessons through Sanford Harmony curriculum.

In addition to our classroom curriculum, our Specials offerings include Art, Music, STEMscopes Science and Physical Education. K-2 students learn Chess, Grades 3-5 have dance residencies with Alvin Ailey and Dancing Classrooms. Grade 5 also studies Technology. Grades 1-5 visit our Library weekly for read aloud and selection of high-interest children’s literature.

We believe that New York City is the world’s greatest classroom, and the students embark on numerous field trips throughout the year, both in conjunction with their studies and to take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings. All Lower Grades families will be invited to participate in bi-monthly Family Fridays, a program in which parents/guardians are invited to begin the school day with their child in the classroom.

Our Faculty

Principal Assistant Principal Assistant Principal, K-12 Special Education
Meaghan Lynch, Principal
Barbara Rossi Tessa Derfner

Student Services

Sarah Liogys, Guidance Counselor/Admissions Officer
Gina Hsu, Math Coach/Testing Coordinator
Michelle Roper, Joe Senno: ENL Coordinators

Limor Yerushalmi: Occupational Therapy
Christine Griffin: Physical Therapy
Elena Beale: SETSS K-5 & Special Education Instructional Lead
Julie Castro: School Psychologist

Amy Whitman: School Nurse

Kindergarten First Grade Second Grade
Alicia Ludin
Sara Ackerman
Rachel Maller
Cassi Park

Meera Zucker
Maya Siegel

Kate Remy
Kathy Park

Jennifer Del Pinal
Alysha Walker
Mironda McRae
Maysie Mills
Third Grade Fourth Grade Fifth Grade

Elizabeth Dukaj
Valentina Gjidoda
Margaux Moloughney
Taryn Moskowitz

Kaitlin Borror
Vivian Lee
LeeShawn Nicholson

Jennifer Wilen

Jenna McVicar
Tracy Jacobs
Zoe Russell
Joan Christou
Leslie Koch
Lower School Specialty Faculty
Abena Amoh, Library Media Specialist K-12
Jeffrey Dupont, Music K-5
Samantha Hubball, Art K-5
Theresa Anderson, Physical Education K-2
April Barabash, Physical Education 3-5
Aurora Downer, Science K-2
Amy Gerstein, Science/Technology 3-5


In Grades K-5, our Curriculum is enriched by several Specials classes: Art, Music, Science & Technology and Physical Education.



Grade 1

  • How Are Books in the Library Organized?
  • Recognizing Facts and Forming Opinions
  • Using Facts to Answer Questions
  • Prior Knowledge and New Understandings
  • My Inquiry
  • My Sources

Grade 2

  • Strengths and Goals in the Library 
  • Online Catalog Searching for Library Resources
  • Now I Wonder...
  •  Developing My Own Opinion
  • Comparing Stories from Different Cultures
  • Taking Notes to Answer Questions

Grade 3

  • Dewey Decimal System
  • Facts, Opinions, and Point of View
  • Taking Notes on the Main Idea, Supporting Facts, and Details
  • Drawing Conclusions from Information
  •  Identifying Story Elements and Theme
  •  Evaluating a Media Source for Accuracy 

Grade 4

  • Using Organizational Features of a Book to Locate Information
  • Analyzing and Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources
  • Making Inferences about Explicit Facts
  • Evaluating a Media Source for Accuracy and Purpose
  • Claim, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • Effective Presentations

Grade 5

  • Evaluating Sources
  • Effects of Different Perspectives on Issues/Topics
  • Impact of Author or Narrator Point of View
  • Challenging Assumptions with Multiple Viewpoints
  • Communicating Ideas to an Audience
  • Bibliography

Physical Education



Lessons modified and adapted for each grade 

  • Body and Spatial Awareness
  • Locomotor movements  
  • Cooperative Games - throughout the year
  • Chasing, Fleeing and Dodging 
  • Throwing and Catching
  • Jumping and Landing
  • Cup Stacking
  • Relays
  • Striking with long-handled implements
  • Kicking and ball-handling skills 

Grades 3 - 5

Lessons modified and adapted for each grade


  • Intro to PE 
  • Building a classroom community: Sportsmanship
  • Throwing, Catching, & Hitting the Target
  • Fitness Unit: Fitness, Wellness, & Nutrition 
  • The Fitnessgram Test
  • Jump Rope: Challenges & Tricks
  • Health Unit 
  • Basketball: Skills & games
  • Soccer: Skills & games
  • Design your own game


Dress Code

Afterschool programs