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Lower School

Your child’s future academic success starts at TJ.

Developing Essential Skills for Success

Thomas Jefferson’s Lower School is a critical part of our liberal arts, college preparatory program. Students develop important knowledge and skills in the core subjects of English, mathematics, science, history/social studies, and world language. They also develop self-confidence, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and work cooperatively.

Through a curriculum focused on Western civilization, children acquire and refine essential academic knowledge and skills; grow as readers, writers, and critical thinkers; and learn to understand Western (and American) heritage as they develop skills to succeed in Middle School. Examples of the essential academic skills students develop in Lower School include applying the scientific method, delivering oral presentations, learning to read and write in cursive, mastering the multiplication tables, understanding civics and citizenship, and the history and geography of the United States, conducting research, and working collaboratively. For a detailed description of all aspects of TJ’s Lower School program, see the Curriculum Guide.

Students also cultivate an appreciation of the arts through art and music classes, learn to effectively use technology, and gain lifelong fitness skills through physical education classes.

Throughout the Lower School journey, children benefit from the individualized attention of 7-8 professional educators at each grade level who are subject-matter experts and are focused on every child’s success. These gifted teachers create an environment where children learn to seek out challenges, welcome criticism, test new capacities, and find joy in learning. Our faculty live TJ’s Honor Code — every day — and, in doing so, help students assume responsibility for their behavior, practice self-discipline, and develop a solid moral compass.

TJ’s Lower School program is the most comprehensive way to prepare children for future academic success — in Middle School and beyond.

TJ Faculty

TJ Faculty

TJ Lower School faculty are caring, committed, and experienced educators who have a passion for teaching children in grades 1 through 5.

Learn more

Accreditation and Membership

Accreditation and Membership

Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and holds membership in the following:

  • National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Duke University's Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP)
  • Educational Records Bureau (ERB); National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
  • Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA—state activities association)
  • National Honor Society, and the Ozark 7 Conference

Curriculum Guide

Download the guide
Curriculum Guide


Professional educators at each grade level focused on your child’s success


Teacher-student ratio in each Lower School grade


Approximate number of TJ faculty who hold advanced degrees


“The way the program is arranged, the parents get to know the teachers well, the teachers get to know us, and we get to know the other parents. It’s an excellent community, and it is a real pleasure to see our children learning here.”

TJ Parent



Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School delivers a rigorous liberal arts college preparatory curriculum in a supportive and nurturing environment.