Home Academics Lower School Kindergarten

Why Kindergarten at Friends Academy?

Kindergarten is a time of massive growth, when children are eager to learn and make connections. Friends Academy creates a positive foundation for the years of schooling that lie ahead, whether students rise up from the Farmhouse or are starting their first year here. By nurturing their natural interests, curiosity, and creativity, children in Kindergarten begin to see themselves as capable learners and build their confidence as members of a community.

Through a hands-on curriculum in literacy and math, students start to string together letters, identify words, and put meaning to numbers. But they don’t simply memorize the information – they take ownership of their learning, demonstrate it to others, and make connections between subjects.

  • kindergarten-weekend-news1
    Slide 1: Writing prompts, such as Weekend News each Monday morning, teach Kindergarten students how to communicate on paper. At the beginning of the year, this often looks mostly like drawings.
  • kindergarten-weekend-news2
    Slide 2: With one-on-one support from their teacher, students’ writing progresses to include phonetically spelled words, sight words, and basic punctuation.

Friends Academy’s Kindergarten also helps young students develop important skills such as empathy, friendship, communication, and conflict resolution. These “people skills” are best learned and strengthened through play, which is why free play is an integral part of the school day.

Building students’ independence is woven into every activity – from putting away their belongings in the morning to selecting activities to complete during Academic Choice in the afternoon. Kindergarten students begin to think, speak, and solve problems for themselves, which is key preparation for first grade and beyond.

“My family loves Friends Academy because of the people — the students, the faculty, and the other families. It’s an amazing, supportive community, and we’re so grateful [our child] is a part of it.”

Parents of a Kindergarten student

Features of the Kindergarten Experience

  • Kindergarten literacy

    Daily Literacy and Math

    The academic curriculum engages Kindergarten students each day in learning about phonics, numbers, and handwriting through hands-on activities and teacher-led lessons.

  • Kindergarten literacy

    Introduction to Traditional Classroom Learning

    For some Kindergarteners, it is their first time in a classroom. Kindergarten at Friends provides a structured schedule while also leaving plenty of space for flexibility and fun.

  • Kindergarten recess

    Learning Through Play

    Children best strengthen their “people skills” (such as empathy, communication, and conflict resolution) through play. That’s why free play and a long outdoor recess are integral parts of every Kindergarten day.

  • Kindergarten Academic Choice

    Academic Choice

    Each afternoon, students work independently on academic activities of their choice to reinforce lessons. At the same time, the teacher works one-on-one with students to review and strengthen skills.

  • A teacher gives a young student a literacy screening using an iPad.

    Early Literacy Screenings

    All Kindergarten and first grade students are screened for early signs of reading difficulties, which gives them a head start with literacy support. Some of these students ultimately transition into the Sally Borden Program.

Meet the Kindergarten Team

The Kindergarten team at Friends Academy includes classroom teachers, specialists, and administrators. They work together to get to know each child personally and create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary education.

  • Chrissy Farias, Kindergarten teacher

    Chrissy Farias

    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Merrie-Beth Cleary

    Merrie-Beth Cleary

    Learning Specialist
  • Susan Cogliano, Lower School Art Teacher

    Susan Cogliano

    Lower School Art Teacher
  • Tanner McMullen, Lower School Music Teacher

    Tanner McMullen

    Lower School Music Teacher
  • Ann Richard

    Ann Richard

    Interim Librarian
  • Grace Rodrigues

    Lower School Physical Education Teacher
  • Rebecca Vasa, Lower School Science Teacher

    Rebecca Vasa

    Lower School Science Teacher
  • Jamie Ross-Cory, Head of Lower School

    Jamie Ross-Cory

    Head of Lower School

Start Your Child’s School Journey in Kindergarten at Friends Academy

Submit an inquiry or begin an application for your child today. Students must be five years old by Sept. 1 to start Kindergarten.

Kindergarten Curriculum

At the end of each week, the Kindergarten teacher sends out a newsletter to families with photos and updates about what students learned that week. (See a sample newsletter.)


Language Arts (Reading and Writing)



  • Study of numbers 0-100; fluency of numbers 0-20
  • Introduction to basic arithmetic (greater than, less than, addition, subtraction)
  • Introduction of the calendar and the concept of time
  • Exploration of measurement
  • Understanding both two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes
  • Math curriculum is supplemented with digital tools such as IXL

Social Studies

  • Develop a foundational understanding of identity
  • Begin to understand the responsibilities of living in community and citizenship
  • Learn to celebrate their peers as individuals and community members


  • Explore different branches of science and how they help us to understand the world around us
  • Investigate the needs of plants and animals, using the Friends Academy campus
  • Raise questions and investigate the differences between states of matter (liquids, solids, and gases)
  • Learn about forces by comparing push and pull and the effect on the motion of an object

Physical Education

  • Promote physical activity and the benefits of healthy living
  • Develop movement skills – including locomotor movements, ball manipulative skills, and dance/gymnastics – and understand when to apply skills in game play
  • Practice life skills such as teamwork, cooperation, respect, taking turns, following directions, and communicating with peers


  • Identify the basic elements of art (such as lines, colors, shapes, and textures) in two- and three-dimensional forms
  • Explore artistic methods and materials (including drawing, painting, clay, textiles, printmaking, and construction) to communicate ideas, express emotions, and make connections to the natural world around them
  • Discuss, plan, and brainstorm ideas; demonstrate effort and progress; and share thoughts and listen respectfully
  • Maintain proper care of tools and materials


  • Develop a foundation in music through singing, listening, chants, movement, and improvisation
  • Learn about musical traditions of the world and the role of music in various holidays and cultures
  • Begin to introduce musical notation through rhythms
  • Identify characteristics of music by ear
  • Develop singing skills such as pitch matching, melody, and round singing


  • Instill basic concepts of being a good library citizen, including appropriate library behavior, sharing materials, and borrowing and returning books
  • Help students get to know themselves as readers by exposing them to many different books and authors
  • Learn what research is and how to use print and electronic resources to do research