Lower School

At FXW, the elementary years are truly wondrous. By helping curious minds learn to solve problems, collaborate and take initiative, we are laying the groundwork for our students to begin to gain more independence and responsibility. FXW’s curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking and creative problem solving skills to broaden students’ knowledge-base and prepare them for future academic endeavors, while instilling a never-ending thirst for knowledge.

The “transitional” years (grades 3- 5) are a vibrant, innovative time in a child’s life and we encourage this developmental period by exploring content by subject. Whether it is exploring the regions of the US in Social Studies in 4th grade or progressing through the design process in our 5th grade “Invention Convention” in science, students can personalize the learning experience We begin to promote an understanding of academic content at high levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into key subjects such as global awareness.

Students shift from learning to read to reading to learn about the world around them. They begin to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. Teachers help students discover their voice through writing and presentation. FXW’s safe, nurturing environment allows students to feel secure, express their thoughts and ideas and to ask questions as they start to think more independently. Students also have opportunities to work on service projects, use the city as a classroom, and have access to unlimited information and opportunities to create and innovate through our one-to-one technology program.

The School believes in experiential learning and utilizes the city as an extension of the classroom in addition to taking many field trips throughout the year, such as:

  • Springfield, Illinois
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
  • The National Museum of Mexican Art
  • The Adler Planetarium
  • Various Chicago Theaters
  • The Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph

Integrated Technology 

We integrate current technology in relevant and meaningful ways to engage and inspire students while preparing them to be independent and critical thinkers. Faculty and students work together to answer big questions, try new ideas, produce original and creative work. In the Lower grades students have access to 1:1 iPads, while fifth graders take on the responsibility of bringing their iPads back and forth to school. 

Curriculum Enrichment at FXW  

In addition to studying language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, and religion, we offer art, music, drama, world languages, physical education, and community service opportunities that are built into the curriculum.  

Communicating Student Progress 

Monitoring and communicating student progress involves multiple perspectives and sources of data: checklists, teacher observations, written and oral assessments, self-assessments, and portfolios. Information is formally communicated through standards based reports in conjunction with parent/teacher conferences. The goal of communicating student progress in a timely and clear manner is to promote a sense of shared responsibility for supporting student growth and development.