Our belief in Lucy School comes from many points of Lucy School’s philosophy but the main reasons two of our children attend Lucy School is because of the student-directed, nature-focused, and experiential learning that takes place each day.
When our daughter entered her 2nd grade classroom at Lucy School, she said, “where is my desk?” She had attended public school for kindergarten and 1st grade before returning to Lucy School. This statement tells us, as parents and as public school employees that Lucy School has it right – children learn by experience; there are no assigned desks for children to sit in for hours at a time. Children are asked to be active participants in their learning, which is hard to accomplish at a public school with 25 – 35 students in a class.
The smaller class sizes are ideal for individual attention and personalized instruction. Arts-based programming allows children to engage their imagination; to have opportunities for higher level thinking whereas in public school, most of the learning is wrote memory and facts thrown at the group of children, due to standardized testing and larger class sizes.
When I attended the Parent/Teacher conferences, I was shown their actual work and progress through sketchbooks and activities. I was not shown the results of test scores given every other day to show where my children fell on a scale according to other children in the state or country. I was shown what mattered to me – the actual progress in writing, reading, spelling, math, and social skills. The teachers spoke about my children, not the class as a whole or the data of the school. This was a refreshing enlightening moment for Derek and I.
Each day, our decision to enroll our children in Lucy School is reaffirmed. Every staff member knows our names as parents; every child knows all of the other children. It is certainly a family feel and a comfortable family at that!
Derek and Holly
We are proud to announce the creation of a publishing division of the Lucy School, to be called Lucy School Press. Lucy School's innovative and dynamic environment brings forth many opportunities for high quality books, DVDs, manuals, and other materials to be published and offered to the public. The Press will uphold the mission of Lucy School and work to support those who value arts-based learning. We will also make it our goal to reach those who aren't aware of arts-based learning and introduce them to the importance of Arts Integration. We will publish a diverse set of merchandise such as teaching manuals, academic books, as well as children’s books and educational DVDs.
Lucy School Press is a leader in providing products that teachers, teaching artists, administrators, child-care practitioners, artists, parents, and children alike can employ to discover how the arts broaden and deepen traditional educational experiences.
Now Offering The Dramatic Difference
The Lucy School Press is proud to offer the award-winning book The Dramatic Difference written by Victoria Brown and Sarah Pleydell.
The Dramatic Difference is a comprehensive guide to using drama as a teaching tool---from spontaneous work initiated by a child's curiosity to drama work that is planned and guided by the teacher with specific educational objectives in mind. The authors offer:
strategies for leading curricular-based process drama work
detailed descriptions of age-appropriate drama sessions
a step-by-step guide to facilitating new drama work
suggestions for integrating props and other multisensory experiences
recommendations for adapting dramatic activity to accommodate children with special needs.
Drama offers the perfect medium for young children to solve problems, express emotions, develop critical-thinking skills, engage in socialization, and develop a sense of self. The Dramatic Difference will help preschool and kindergarten teachers, drama specialists, and day care providers create an environment where the potential for learning through drama is as limitless as a child's imagination.
To order copies of The Dramatic Difference please email
Price: $25 **includes shipping**
This page contains useful information for both new and returning families, as well as links to a number of documents and forms that are required by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Lucy School. Please contact us if you have any questions or require assistance in completing these forms; we'll be happy to help you navigate this process! In order to ensure adequate processing time and compliance with MSDE, all forms are due by August 1st. If you have any difficulty meeting this deadline please contact the school as soon as possible. The completed documents should be mailed to:
PO Box 1111
Middletown, MD 21769
If your child is enrolling at Lucy School for the first time please read, sign, and return the following forms to the school:
- Permission to Photograph and Use Images and Artwork (click here to download)
- Permission to Participate (click here to download)
- Emergency Form (list at least one non-parental emergency contact). (click here to download)
- Health Inventory (including immunization record) completed and signed by your physician (click here to download)
If your child is returning to Lucy School, please return the following forms to the school:
- Lucy School must have received a current Emergency Form (click here to download). You may either fill out a new one or initial the previous year's form at the bottom.
- A recent (signed by your physician within the last twelve months) Immunization Record. Your pediatrician should be able to provide an immunization record. If your pediatrician's office does not use their own software to track immunizations they may sign and fill out this Immunization form (click here to download).
Communications with the School
Families should expect to receive a weekly email from their child's teacher (usually sent on Sunday evening) detailing plans for the following week. In addition to communications sent directly from your child's teacher, the school office sends out emails both to individual parents (usually from
) and to the entire school (usually sent from
). You can help minimize the possibility that our emails will be directed to your Spam or Junk folder by adding these emails to your address book.
If you are not receiving (or stop receiving) weekly lesson plan emails from your child's teacher and (at a minimum) the monthly school newsletters sent from the office please
so that we can troubleshoot any issues and make sure that you are receiving important information about school news and activities.
It is important that we have current parent contact information. Please make sure that your child's emergency contact form contains home, work, and cell numbers for both parents and at least one individual we can contact in the event we cannot reach a parent in case of illness or emergency. If you change jobs, cell numbers, email address, or move to a new street address please make sure that the office and your child's teacher has this information.
Drop-off and Pick-Up Procedures
Preschool drop-off at the barn is 8:50 to 9:10 am and pick-up is 2:50 to 3:10 pm Monday - Thursday and 1:50 to 2:10 pm on Fridays.
Kindergarten drop-off will be at the farmhouse from 8:40-8:50 am and pick-up is at the Green Building from 3:10-3:20 Monday-Thursday and 1:55-2:10 pm on Fridays.
Drop-off for 1st-5th Graders is at the Primary Building from 8:40 to 8:50 am and pick-up is from 3:10 to 3:20 pm Monday-Thursday and 1:55 to 2:10 pm on Fridays.
Please use the following drop-off/pick-up routine: Drive around the barn and pull up behind the last stopped vehicle in front of your building. We will meet your car and help your child out of (or into) the car. Children must exit (or enter) through the door by the curb – they should not step on the road and walk around the car. Please stay in your car! We will attempt to unload/load multiple cars at a time so, at drop-off, please have your child ready to exit when you pull up. If you are late dropping off your child, and miss meeting the teacher at your car, please walk your child into their building. Once this procedure is completed, follow the car in front of you to the exit. Do not drive around cars in font of you unless you are directed to do so by a member of the school staff.
Pre-K Only: When you reach the building, unlock your child's door and lower the front window and initial the sign-in/out sheet; school staff will help your child out of/into the car. This will expedite the process and increase safety.
To give us sufficient time to prepare your child for pick up, please place your child’s name (boldly written on a sheet of sturdy paper or cardboard) in the left corner of your windshield. If you are in a carpool, the names of all the children you will be picking up that day should be included. Anyone picking up your child must have your written permission. Please keep us updated in writing of all persons permitted to pick-up your child. If on any day there is a pick-up change, send in a signed note with your permission for the new person to pick up your child.
Parents are always welcome to visit the school. However, in order to best facilitate the transition to school, please do not to come into the building during the first two weeks of school. After this transition time, if you are planning to visit, follow the drop-off routine, then park your car and come join us for “singing meeting.” If you want to visit at other times, or are volunteering, just park and enter through the lobby door.
Please note: The first few days of school we have a transitional schedule. Please refer to the School Calendar which notes what times school ends on these days for our different programs.
The first day of school please bring:
Clothing Well Marked! Your child will need an extra set of clothing including underwear and socks (name clearly marked on each item) in a zip lock bag (with your child’s first and last name clearly marked on the front). Please have your child wear sneakers to school. Sneakers are best for jumping, climbing, dancing, running, and hiking. By mid-September please send in a set of rubber boots for your child (K-4th students bring in first day if possible). Children take their shoes off at Lucy School and sometimes socks as well. Please have your child’s name or initials on the backs of each shoe and on the bottom of each sock! This will help us identify them and return them to you.
Preschool and Kindergarten students: No Backpacks, please! Our curriculum is designed to foster self-help skills and a tote bag rather than a zippered backpack enables your child to independently handle their personal and school items. A canvas tote bag, with your child’s name clearly marked, is recommended. We will be using pocket folders to send papers home, so any tote bag that can hold a small lunch container and a 9x12 folder is fine!
Important Dates to Remember!
Back to School Family Potluck Picnic: Friday, August 23rd, 5-6:30 pm (new preschool families meet at 4:30 pm). Come meet your child's teacher and classmates. Bring a favorite dish to share, a blanket or lawn chairs, and your re-usable picnic ware. Tuesday, August 27th: Before and Aftercare Begin
Back to School Night for Parents: Thursday, September 12th, 6:30-8:00 pm. Come see your child's classroom and learn about how to become more involved in the Lucy School community.
Meals and Snacks:
Preschool Parents: Preschool children are provided healthy morning snacks. Please pack a nutritious sandwich or “main course” item for your child each day in a reusable sandwich container (with your child’s name on the bottom and lid). When you are preparing lunch remember that we cannot refrigerate or heat up the food that you send. Fresh vegetables and fruits will be served at the table with milk and water.
Primary Parents: please pack a nutritious lunch for your child including vegetables and/or fruits your child favors. We cannot refrigerate or heat up the food that you send in so please keep this in mind when you are preparing lunch. We will provide milk and water.
Please do not send in sugary foods/desserts with your child’s lunch.
(specifying addresses of interest) in order to receive contact information for families on this map (updated August 16, 2013). The 2013-2014 carpool map will be posted and updated continuously throughout the year!
Supply List by Program/Grade
Click here to see the 2013-2014 supply lists!
All classes, please consider using a tote bag for daily use rather than a backpack. Our storage spaces (cubbies and hooks) are sized to comfortably hold a tote bag because our curriculum is designed to foster self-help skills. Your child to can independently handle their personal and school items stored in canvas tote bag (labeled with your child's name and large enough to hold a 9x12 inch folder) rather than a more complicated zippered backpack.
Lucy School is located on a 17-acre farm in Frederick County near Middletown, MD just 20 minutes from both Downtown Frederick and eastern Hagerstown. The grounds feature a pond, woods, meadows, and wetlands. Lucy School is also home to a "child-friendly" waterfall, nature/learning trail, and an organic garden cared for by the children.
Lucy School buildings include two multi-purpose rooms, about 1,000 sf and 1,600 sf, and several meeting spaces (200-500 sf) that are used for the school-related educational activities. When the school is not in session, these spaces are available to community groups for meetings and other appropriate functions, ranging from evening meetings of Board of Directors of local nonprofit organizations to seminars and weeklong teacher training workshops. Requests to use school facilities may be made at any time at
. Please include information about the organization (purpose, mission and activities), the nature of the event, the date(s) of the event, and space needs.
LUCY SCHOOL RECEIVES PLATINUM LEED CERTIFICATION
The US Green Building Council has certified Lucy School’s primary building as a LEED for Schools Platinum building, the first such designation for a school in the State of Maryland. Platinum is the highest level that can be awarded for leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED), a third-party certification program that is the internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED for Schools takes into account specific attributes of school spaces through a more elaborate and demanding certification process with additional rigorous standards in air quality, day lighting, occupant health, and acoustics. While Platinum certification requires a minimum of 58 awarded points, the Lucy School submission included 69 points of which the USGBC accepted 68, demonstrating the building’s outstanding performance in a broad range of areas.
“The decision to design and construct a green building is consistent with our commitment to give our students the very best, not only in academics and teaching, but in the environment and spaces where they spend their day - an environment that is healthy and safe, that invites exploration and stimulates learning” said Dr. Victoria Brown, School Director. “It was a challenging undertaking that would not have been completed without our school community’s encouragement and support, and the many contributions from our architect, contractors and suppliers.”
In order to achieve the Platinum certification, the school met high performance standards in a broad range of areas: a solar array generates more than 40% of electricity for the building (for lighting, the geothermal heating/cooling system, etc.) with the balance being wind-generated. Captured rainwater is used for dual-flush toilets (urinals are waterless). Temperature and CO2 sensors maintain optimal conditions in classrooms where daylight bathes every corner. About 84% of the wood used in the construction of the building was reused (57%), recycled, or FSC-certified. Rapidly renewable materials, such as cork, bamboo and wheat board, have been used throughout, and recycled material (newspaper, denim and cotton) were used for thermal and acoustical insulation. All concrete (foundation, lower level walls and driveway) contains about 50% recycled waste products. More than 86% of construction waste was diverted from the landfill through recycling and reuse.
For a school, however, the most important performance standards are in health and safety for its occupants. A high standard in air quality was met by eliminating off-gassing sources that are particularly prevalent in new construction. Mineral paints that contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were used, and sealants and adhesives were selected that have very low or no VOC content. Acoustical insulation and other controls eliminate out-of-classroom distractions, while large windows and tube-directed light reach every corner (studying by daylight has been shown to contribute to longer attention and to enhance learning).
THE BIG RED BARN
A 19th century barn has been renovated into a “state of the art” facility with early learning spaces influenced by the Milan School of Design/Reggio Emilia (an internationally known visual arts preschool in Italy) for the preschool programs. Through carefully designed use of natural light and warm colors and attention to flexible spaces and cozy corners, children are provided with a living-learning environment that is homey-comfortable and at the same time inspires curiosity and love for play, imagination and learning. We have also consulted with nationally recognized experts in the early childhood field in developing our outdoor play/learning spaces.
LUCY SCHOOL'S NEW GREEN CLASSROOM BUILDING - CONSTRUCTION HISTORY
On March 23, 2009, Lucy School received an occupancy permit for its new state-of-the-art “green” classroom building! Designed to house its primary, art and music programs, the new building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, an independent, third-party verification that it meets the highest green building and performance measures and it is a healthy place to live and work. An environment that is healthy and conducive to learning was a basic requirement in the design and construction of the school’s new classroom building.
The construction of the new building was a unique learning experience for all involved. The building is a wonderful source of learning, hands-on education that the children experience and participate in every day. The project has informed our curriculum, with the children following along from the early excavation (exploring soils and rocks) to the various stages of construction. Flushing a toilet, washing hands or sorting waste in recycling bins are daily experiences that reinforce green principles. Most importantly, this building complements beautifully our environmental and outdoor education curriculum that promotes a love of nature and environmental stewardship.
Reduce, reuse and recycle are the three Rs of green professionals. This attention to green basics is reflected throughout the building: Sensor-controlled sinks, dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals have reduced dramatically water use; rainwater is collected in a cistern and used to flush toilets; LED lights and sensor-controlled fixtures minimize the need for electrical power; sixty solar panels generate sufficient power to reduce the building’s electricity use by 15-20%; a geothermal heating/cooling system drastically reduces the demand for power; gray water from sinks, water fountains and washer is used to water plants; rain and storm water are collected in eight rain gardens and filtered through to the water table.
The most prominent feature of the building is the glass doors and windows that allow daylight to flood each room and corridor. More light is brought into the classrooms and meeting spaces by a series of “solatubes” that collect sunlight and direct it into areas away from windows. Daylight is a wonderful natural stimulant for the brain, helping to keep it alert and focused, thus enhancing learning. At the same time, air monitors activate fans to introduce fresh outside air whenever classroom carbon dioxide levels exceed acceptable levels.
Indeed, the building passed stringent air quality tests and it has systems in place to monitor and control the presence of unhealthy conditions. A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that “one-half of our nation’s 115,000 schools have problems linked to indoor air quality. Students, teachers and staff are at great risk because of the hours spent in school facilities and because children are especially susceptible to pollutants.” Construction material, coverings (from carpet to paint), glues and sealants, insulation, inadequate ventilation and cleaning fluids, all contribute greatly to the degradation of indoor air quality.
To reduce the possibility of off-gassing from construction materials USGBC guidelines were used to select material, including sealants and coverings. Insulation is made from recycled paper and denim. Mineral paints were used, with no volatile compounds present. Even magic markers used in the classrooms are water-based without the toxic chemicals found in traditional writing material. We also use cleaning fluids that are made of natural ingredients; we found that they work quite well without the side-effects of the strong chemicals that are typically present in more common products.
Wood obtained from a warehouse that was demolished provided the timbers, decking and trim for the building. Most of the remaining wood is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Floors are primarily cork and bamboo, both rapidly renewable resources. Cabinets are also made of bamboo and wheat board. All concrete for the project (from the foundation to the pavement) contains about 50% slag or fly ash. More than 80% of construction waste has been diverted from the landfill through reuse and recycling: drywall has been ground up or mixed with manure and spread over a local farm; cement-board siding as been used as fill; wood, wiring and metal cast-offs are being used for art projects; and pipe was used to build musical instruments.
Our intent was to create a nurturing environment for creativity and learning. Lucy School's arts-based curriculum is a fundamental component, but its impact is greatly enhanced in a setting that is healthy and promotes curiosity and confidence. Lucy School students do very well academically, but they are also learning to care for themselves, their neighbors, and the earth.