Lower School Dean
Sarah Love has been with JA over 13 years and has served as the Lower School dean (elementary) since 2005. After moving to Jackson from North Mississippi, she served as an administrative assistant and assistant elementary dean before talking the helm as dean. Mrs. Love earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Blue Mountain College and a master’s in education from Delta State University.
Lower School Division
JA’s excellent elementary-aged instruction started more than 50 years ago to teach reading by phonics. Today’s Lower School builds on a strong reading core and immerses your child in exploration with math manipulatives, STEM lab, digital presentations, and field trips.
The Lower School curriculum emphasizes the basics of reading, writing, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science. Art, music, Spanish, and library enrichment classes rotate through once each week. Physical education days vary by grade level.
- Each day begins with an uplifting message from the dean, followed by classroom devotions, prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance.
- An appreciation for language arts and reading is developed through introduction to much-loved books such as Charlotte’s Web and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well as visits from authors.
- Throughout the day, teachers may switch from group instruction to iPad devices that house applications such as Doceri to augment lessons or practice skills. Whenever possible, faculty members integrate multimedia and technology to heighten engagement.
- The Accelerated Reader program, beginning in second grade, allows students to individually select books within their range from a list of choices. After a student finishes a book, the next set of choices offers slightly more challenging books. Classes have a friendly competition about which group earns the most AR points, with the entire Lower School celebrating when the goal is reached.
- Students in first through fourth grades experience science in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) lab designed for their age group. In STEM, students use hands-on, real-world applications that show them how and why things work.
- Lower School teaches Singapore Math to provide a solid foundation in mathematics.
- JA fourth graders focus on Mississippi History as part of social studies, culminating in a Mississippi program.
- Children learn the fundamentals of Spanish conversation, vocabulary, and culture from a native Spanish speaker.
- Chapel is mandatory in the Lower School, and interweaves ethics around a yearly theme — such as Your Family Tree or Friendship — chosen to appeal to younger children’s understanding of spirituality.
- Special events and traditions — including a Thanksgiving Feast, Squanto Day, the annual Easter parade, and Patriotic Day — connect closely to academic lessons.
- A springtime Field Day features interclass competition in games like a three-legged race, tug o’ war, and other relay races.
- The groundbreaking PE4Life physical education program teaches health and wellness approaches far beyond those students learn from more traditional sports-based physical education. Children enjoy the use of technology such as “Brain Bikes” and an interactive dance floor, both of which respond to fitness levels as measured through heart-rate and other biometric inputs.
STEM at JA
Our Lower School students gain the confidence and independence to take on the greater responsibilities of Middle School.
JA Lower School Admission
Schedule your in-person tour of Jackson Academy’s Lower School to learn more about JA and decide if it’s a good fit for your child, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601.364.5761. If you are ready to begin the application process, click here.