This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.

Lower School

The Lower School has developed a comprehensive plan for the 2020–2021 academic year. Whether online or on-campus, we are confident our team will provide an engaging and joyful learning experience for all students. We will remain nimble and prepared to shift accordingly as circumstances change.

Return to Campus Checklist

We have created a checklist to help you prepare for the on-campus learning. Click here to review the checklist.

Daily Schedule

The Lower School plans to conduct a full day of classes for students. See sample schedules below.

To support health checks, sanitizing and traffic patterns LJCDS will have staggered start/end times:


8:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m.
7:45–8:15 a.m.
Pickup  3:15–3:30 p.m.
Eastgate Parking Lot

Grades 1 and 2

8:15 a.m.–3:15 p.m.
7:45–8:15 a.m.
Pickup 3:15–3:30 p.m.
Genesee Parking Lot

Grades 3 and 4

8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  7:30–8 a.m.
Pickup  3–3:15 p.m.
Genesee Parking Lot

Key Dates

  • September 14: First Day of On-Campus Learning – kindergarten and Grade 1 (half-day, 11:30 a.m. dismissal)
  • September 17: First Day of On-Campus Learning – Grade 3
  • September 21: First Day of On-Campus Learning – Grades 2 and 4

Student Cohorts

  • We are designing cohorts, groups of students who will stay together with assigned teachers throughout the school day to minimize group mixing. 

  • Cohorts will consist of 14–16 students in kindergarten–Grade 2 and 16–18 students in Grades 3 and 4

Faculty Cohorts

  • We are designing faculty cohorts for each grade level to reduce the number of cohorts each faculty member interacts with every day. 

  • Each cohort will have approximately 6 faculty members who will interact with them during a three-week interval. The faculty cohorts will include a lead grade-level teacher, grade-level associate teacher, and 4-5 specialty teachers.

  • The total number of different specialty classes offered to students during a three-week interval will be reduced; however, we will increase the frequency of the specialty classes during their assigned interval so that the total number of instructional minutes will remain the same or increase across the school year.

  • First three-week interval: August 19–September 11
    • Kindergarten- Music, Spanish, PE, Library, Design and Innovation
    • Grade 1- Science, Music, Spanish, PE, Library
    • Grade 2- Science, Music, Spanish, PE, Library
    • Grade 3- Design and Innovation, Art, Spanish, PE, Library
    • Grade 4- Design and Innovation, Art, Spanish, PE, Library

Indoor/Outdoor Classrooms

  • Classes will be designed to utilize both indoor and outdoor learning spaces, with no more than 20–30 minutes indoors before students proceed to their outdoor assigned classroom space.

  • Shade coverage using tents will be available as well as tables with benches and large whiteboards for outdoor classes.

  • Rainy Day/Heat: Given our indoor/outdoor learning model, we are prepared to run a rainy day/heat index schedule (similar to a snow day) whereby students and teachers will engage in the day's content from home. We will attempt to closely monitor the weather to provide advanced notice. The heat index of 100 degrees or higher for the coast will be used for closing campus and switching to online learning.

List of 8 items.

  • Essential Questions

    • One of the overarching instructional goals of our plan is to move toward an interdisciplinary model that uses essential questions to connect the learning across all subject areas.

    • An essential question will be designed for every three-week interval and all faculty members will use the essential question to guide the learning in their specific subject area. 

    • An example of an essential question for the first trimester would be: Who am I? Students would explore their identity and their inherent value and worth as individuals during the three-week interval. Who am I as a reader, writer, scientist, artist, mathematician, musician, innovator, researcher, athlete, community member, learner, etc.?
  • E-Learning

    The school year will begin in the e-learning model until at least September 11, 2020. LJCDS has applied for an elementary school waiver with San Diego County to get approval to begin in-person learning. 

    Click here for a sample learning plan. These learning plans will be used for both e-learning and on-campus learning models and will be posted each week on classroom-specific Google Classroom sites (Grades 3-4) and Seesaw journals (kindergarten–Grade 2). The learning plans will outline the content, skills and activities that will be covered in each subject area for that week and will include all links to Zoom sessions and required resources.

    Click here for a sample fourth grade e-learning schedule and sample kindergarten e-learning schedule. These sample e-learning schedules provide a general idea of the format for daily learning activities if we are in a full e-learning model for all students. Each classroom will have a specific schedule that will allow for a combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning that will occur in whole groups, small groups, and one-on-one Zoom sessions.
  • Hybrid Model

    The LJCDS hybrid model combines face-to-face learning and synchronous learning for students. In a few cases, some students will connect synchronously with their teachers and classmates from home. More details to follow as we learn how many students will need to learn from home.
  • Communication/Technology

    • Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 will utilize Seesaw as a learning platform, digital portfolio and communication resource.

    • Grades 3 and 4 will use Google Classroom as a learning platform, digital portfolio and communication resource.

    • Kindergarten through Grade 4 will have Digital Learning Plans that will be posted weekly on Seesaw and Google Classroom.

    • Zoom will be used if needed when students are not on campus or when a teacher needs to stream to another classroom on campus.

    • We will also be piloting the use of Swivl, a robotic mount that tracks and records a moving person in a few Lower School classrooms.
  • Early Care/Extended Day

    We know several of our families rely on our Extended Care options. As our first priority is the health and safety of our community, this service will be modified. Morning drop-off for Extended Care will start at 7:30 a.m. We are still finalizing plans for Extended Day that honor our cohort model. Please fill out this survey to help inform our plans for Extended Day.
  • Learning Resource Center

    LRC support services will continue and Learning Specialists will push into assigned indoor and outdoor spaces to work with students 1:1 or within cohorts.
  • Physical Education

    Lower School students will participate in daily physical education outdoors and in the gym with other members of their cohorts. 
  • Arrival Process

    The arrival process to school will be different this year to ensure the health and safety of our community. Click here to learn more about the arrival process.

Lower School Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Payton Hobbs

    Payton Hobbs 

    Head of Lower School
    (858) 453-3440 x120
  • Photo of Maria Curtis

    Maria Curtis 

    Director of Early Childhood Center and Extended Day Program
    (858) 453-3440 x191
  • Photo of Marsha Poh

    Marsha Poh 

    Lower School Dean of Faculty and Students
    (858) 453-3440 x229
  • Photo of Meiling Hager

    Meiling Hager 

    Lower School Administrative Assistant and Attendance
    (858) 453-3440 x161
We believe the current plan for returning to campus will position us to deliver the educational excellence our families expect from LJCDS...The LJCDS community continues to inspire greatness for a better world during these challenging times, and our Torrey pride is strong.

Payton Hobbs, Head of Lower School

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

© 2020 La Jolla Country Day School