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Lower School

Building Curiosity and Confidence while Engaging in the Educational Journey

Grades 1-4

Canterbury’s Lower School is a transformative platform that provides children with opportunities to grow academically while building essential skills that promote confidence, collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. 

The Lower School Experience

Canterbury’s early childhood and elementary students are engaged in academic rigor and social-emotional development. The academic curriculum is designed to provide students with a developmentally appropriate foundation while creating academic and social opportunities where students can confidently shine. From public speaking to creating and performing a Spanish play for the Canterbury community, our students develop the confidence to never give up!

A Snapshot of our Curriculum

Our students are just as likely to be engaged in a handwriting or math lesson or on a field trip to a local museum as they are covered in mud working with the marsh grass in the STEAM garden. This multifaceted, inquiry-based curriculum allows students to value the process and develop a lifelong love of learning. 

Lower School faculty create joyful and challenging academic experiences in and outside the classroom, building on students’ natural curiosity and sense of adventure. 


A dedicated team of teachers collaborates to harvest, support, and celebrate the academic journey, focusing on educational and social-emotional growth and development. The Learning Center provides enrichment or accommodations that address learners' diverse needs and developmental levels.

Lower School Faculty

Our faculty embody the Canterbury spirit and mission: their selfless and collaborative efforts towards creating classrooms where students are cared for, educated, nurtured, and inspired make Hough Campus a magical and one-of-a-kind community.

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Natalie Clarke

Titles: Grade 2 Teacher

Krista Gintere Rutkis

Titles: Grade 4 Teacher

Susan Holsonback

Titles: Grade 3 Teacher

Mike McGourin

Titles: Grade 4 Teacher

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Beyond the Classroom

In addition to our academic program, Canterbury encourages students in Lower School to push their boundaries by providing ample opportunities to explore, discover, and grow in our mission to develop the whole child.

Flag Assembly

The Hough community gathers  at Flag Morning Assembly to celebrate accomplishments, build confidence through public speaking and performing, and share lessons that align with our LEADS character development program. Parents, students, teachers and special friends are welcome daily to embrace traditions and special events.

Educational Technology

Educational technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing students' learning experiences. Interactive touch boards, One-to-One iPads, academic subscriptions, and manipulatives spark curiosity and an eagerness to learn. An integrationist collaborates across all disciplines to deliver cross-curricular lessons that ignite learning.

Field Trips

Educational excursions outside of the classroom allow our students to make connections between the curriculum and the real world. These outings include historical sites, promote art appreciation, and culminate critical thinking skills. These trips are essential for nurturing the whole child, both socially and emotionally.

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Enrichment Classes

The opportunities children have for hands-on learning at Canterbury are unmatched in our community. On average, students spend 420 minutes per week in these enrichment courses offered by specialized instructors. Teachers in these areas are highly talented, motivated, and wonderfully adept at teaching multiple grade levels. It should also be noted that, while not an “enrichment class,” ALL our students enjoy recess daily!

Buddy Program

Grade 3 and 4 students develop leadership skills while mentoring our early childhood in areas that range from academics to character development through activities that align with our curriculum and program.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.


Enrichment Faculty

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Christine Fitch

Titles: Lower School Physical Education

Melissa Fitzpatrick

Titles: Director of the Learning Center, Ocupational Therapist

Linda Garrison

Titles: Early Childhood/Lower School Librarian

Hailey Kelley

Titles: Early Childhood/Lower School Music Teacher

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Other Programs that Enhance the Academic Experience

At Canterbury, we prioritize the holistic development of every student. Our educational ethos permeates all aspects of our school programs, instilling values and lessons that enrich the academic journey. We aim to augment the academic experience through programs that seamlessly align with both our mission and our curriculum.

Lower School LEADS

Hough students are engaged in values-based, age-appropriate discussions, caring and compassionate interaction with their community, and service opportunities. Students learn to navigate good decision-making, build positive relationships, and share kindness with others.


After School Opportunities

A variety of after-school enrichment classes are available for all ages. Students can create and innovate with their peers in Coding and Snapology, sharpen their basketball or soccer skills, or master their music and dancing skills in Music and Motion and ballet. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy! An aftercare program is also available.


Our Chapel Program

Lower School students attend a weekly chapel service that includes songs, lessons, and a time to share and celebrate.  Our Chaplain David Gould delivers a developmentally appropriate message that connects with our curriculum, service initiatives, character development and commemorates important events.


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