Neuroscience and education research confirm that the best learning emerges when children feel supported and have the skills to take intellectual risks, to challenge and understand themselves, and to ask questions.  Our Lower School teachers create a nurturing space that allows children to be actively engaged in the learning process and where they are given the time and space to be children and to grow at a developmentally appropriate pace into their unique selves.  Through the culture and community of the school and through direct instruction, teachers nurture the development of character and foster confidence, creativity, flexibility and curiosity in each child. Students in turn encourage each other to learn. Relationships among freedom, responsibility, community and environment are explored through activities that engage students as stewards in service to the school, the region and the world.

Gateway uses a multi-prong approach to social emotional learning that includes:


Practicing awareness of thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment helps children improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, and memory.

Emotional Intelligence

Use of the RULER approach helps our students to master the skills of emotional intelligence and paves the way for greater well-being, better relationships and overall effectiveness.

Character Education

Through VOICES we use children literature to explore social development, social and emotional learning, and character education to promote critical thinking, communication, and writing.

Buddy Program

Cross age relationships are nurtured and the sense of community is expanded through our Buddy Program.  Buddy classes gather monthly to work on projects with one another.


High staff to student ratios on the playground, staff trained in conflict resolution, and rich and varied activity options support children’s social and emotional development on the playground.