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Principia School

Cultivating Character

Cultivating Character

Character development is an integral part of the Lower School experience. Teachers' expectations are based on our Christian Science ideals. When we start from an understanding that students express God's unlimited ability, the students rise to that expectation. An abundance of opportunities which foster inclusiveness, integrity, and community, allow students to grow in character and stretch themselves in an environment that supports and nurtures them. 

Learn more about specific ways we foster character development in Lower School students.

Cultivating Character

Spirituality and Inspiration

At the beginning of each week, Lower School students gather for morning chapel for an inspirational message. Lessons come from the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy or other inspirational writings, and the spiritual message is threaded throughout classrooms all week long.

Cultivating Character

Character Themes Practiced Daily 

Each Lower School class is assigned a special character quality to practice throughout the year. Whether it’s perseverance or empathy, kindergartners through fifth graders learn the importance of these positive character traits and put them into practice through activities and specific educational lessons. 

Cultivating Character

Leadership Habits and Opportunities 

The Lower School is a place where leadership permeates the classrooms and hallways. Each class practices leadership habits that guide their classroom activities and relationships. Those habits are articulated as: “Be proactive; Begin with the end in mind; Put first things first; Think win-win; Seek first to understand, then to be understood; Synergize; and Sharpen the saw.” Every month, classes study a different leadership habit and engage those habits through literature, activities, and modeling so students can understand the importance of the habits and practice them regularly. 

Once they reach fourth grade, students are encouraged to apply to serve on the Lower School Leadership Council where they plan school events, facilitate morning chapel, and lead community service initiatives. Additionally, classroom morning meetings, House activities, and global assemblies foster student leadership and collaborative decision-making. 

House and Crew

Establishing a close-knit sense of family is of paramount importance in the Lower School. Our student-centered House and Crew systems are designed to help children know they each have a place and a role, a sense of belonging, and opportunities to lead. Within each house are smaller crews with several K–5 students assigned to a teacher. These mentoring groups provide opportunities through activities, games, and community service for students to develop friendships, practice communication skills, and take on leadership roles.


We feel education carries with it an obligation to better humanity. As such, we look for opportunities around campus and in our local community to serve others. Every year, the entire student body engages in projects that benefit our School. Projects such as weeding, tidying spaces, conducting random acts of kindness for people on campus, and many more offer ways for students to give back to the larger School community. Our Student Leadership Council organizes wider community service projects beyond our campus borders. We maintain yearlong partnerships with local organizations so that students can expand their horizons and perspectives. Students learn about the importance of the organization in the community, they complete a service project for the organization, and we then hold a Lower School Giving Day where students travel to the organization and complete a service project there together.