Albany Academy for Girls

Lower School

The Lower School program at Albany Academy for Girls takes place in an engaging single-gender environment that allows girls to develop in their own specific ways.

Additionally, with our unique campus structure that houses students from 3 years old through Grade 12, Lower School students receive many opportunities to learn from and interact with their older counterparts – creating a true sense of family among the members of the Academy community.

Research indicates that girls and boys learn in very different ways...

Our Lower School program takes this into account and recognizes that girls have a much more varied and successful educational experience when they are free to take academic risks in gender-specific classrooms. Dedicated teachers who know their students facilitate a supportive and positive environment where children are challenged as they reach their full potential.
Our Lower School program is focused on reading, writing, listening and speaking, and recognizes that each child has her own unique personality and special talents. Literacy and math students engage in project-based, experiential learning that builds confidence, communication skills and responsibility. They are also introduced to the arts and athletics through a variety of meaningful activities and events. Our commitment to parents is to help students find their unique gifts and build upon them while also providing a well-rounded education with high standards.

Meet the Director

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Suzanne Gardner-Clarkson

    Suzanne Gardner-Clarkson 

    Director of Lower School

Our Curriculum

List of 7 items.

  • Preschool

    The Preschool program at The Albany Academies is a coeducational coordinate program for older three-year-old children and younger four-year-old children, informed by the developmentally appropriate practices established by the National Association of Education of Young Children.

    This approach recognizes that girls and boys learn through active, meaningful interactions with developmentally appropriate materials, peers and adults. The program provides daily opportunities for large group, small group and individual instruction. A balance of indoor and outdoor activities, active and quiet play and child-centered and teacher facilitated interactions complete the day.
    Preschool meets the challenge of providing the experiences and opportunities that help young children learn and grow. Students also work with Specialist Faculty in Physical Education, Music, Art, Library and Creative Movement.

    Preschool at The Albany Academies provides the perfect mix of experiences and opportunities for young children, planting the seeds that will nurture their development and curiosity and grow into a lifelong love of learning.

    Learn more about the Early Childhood Experience at The Albany Academies.
  • Pre-Kindergarten

    The full-day Pre-K program at Albany Academy for Girls serves as a bridge between nursery/preschool and Kindergarten – providing young students with experiences that foster the development of their cognitive, social, emotional and motor skills through a balance of work and play.

    Girls build positive attitudes toward school and learning as they engage in individual, as well as small and large group, activities. In Pre-K, girls are now ready to move out into the larger school environment, instead of being in a self-contained class. The Pre-Kindergarten girls receive positive feedback and attention from our students in the grades above them. Classroom experiences are enhanced by Art, Music and Library courses along with a daily Physical Education class that includes Ice Skating and Swimming.

    Pre-Kindergarten girls even eat lunch in the Dining and Events Center with the other girls in the Lower School. As their horizons broaden, our Pre-K students develop not only self-confidence but also a strong sense of belonging to a larger community.
  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten at Albany Academy for Girls addresses four major areas of a child’s development: cognitive, social, emotional and physical.

    Kindergarten is where children:

    • Gain a greater sense of autonomy and independence
    • Learn to work and play cooperatively with others
    • Develop a positive attitude toward school
    • Are encouraged to see themselves as competent learners
    • Participate in formal instructional activities
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  • First Grade

    A First Grade student at Albany Academy for Girls is a unique combination of curiosity, energy, and enthusiasm. This year is of enormous importance as students begin to solidify their view of themselves as learners. The First Grade year is a formative one, and children blossom into a confident readers, thinkers and mathematicians.
    Of course, each child will progress at an individual rate; therefore success is measured not by where they finish, but by how far they’ve come. First Grade is also a year of transition to the more formal learning environment. Students will still have many opportunities to work and play in hands-on activities, but will be involved in independent tasks as well. Direct instruction and hands-on activities that engage the mind provide stimulation, while supporting each child’s self-confidence in his abilities.
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  • Second Grade

  • Third Grade

    In 3rd Grade, students begin to acquire new emotional and cognitive skills resulting in a year that includes social transition. Students start to have a greater need to be liked by peers with a better capacity to express thoughts and feelings and have a stronger sense of right and wrong. They progress to creating increasingly important interactions between friends in an effort to help strengthen the bond between peers. By integrating the core values of the Academy into our curriculum, we solidify and promote moral development in the following areas: responsibility, ingenuity, integrity, self-discipline, compassion, service, respect, and perseverance.
    Academically, we continue to focus on developing the whole child and accommodate differences in the individual by providing a variety of learning experiences. Instruction is adapted and individualized to meet the needs of each and every student. We promote a positive learning environment that allows the student to gain self-confidence and establish a sense of accomplishment by combining guidance and challenge.
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  • Fourth Grade

    In  fourth grade at Albany Academy for Girls, we:
    • accommodate differences in learner backgrounds by providing various learning experiences
    • adapt instruction to students' unique interests and needs by using individualization
    • promote a sense of accomplishment by combining challenge and success
    • increase achievement and improve relations among students by using cooperative learning
    • increase involvement and interaction with the use of peer tutoring
    • promote moral development by emphasizing personal responsibility
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Lower School Faculty

Upper School Campus

Lower And Middle School Campus

Schellenberger Alumni/ae Center