Lower School

Message from the Head of Lower School

Welcome to Lower School!

In Lower School, we are all about connections – connections with other people, connections with concepts, and connections with subject matter. As a student grows from prekindergarten, she makes connections about who she wants to become and how she learns. The best part about entering Hockaday in Lower School is that each girl develops a support group of friends and teachers that will last her whole life. At Hockaday, students are more willing to try new things and take risks because they know they have supportive teachers and peers around them. Teachers in Lower School care about their students even after they leave their classrooms.

Our cornerstones of courtesy, character, scholarship, and athletics are discussed daily and integrated into all areas of the curriculum. Recognizing that each child is unique with individual needs and interests, the Lower School strives to help each girl develop her potential by providing programs to fit her own style of learning. These needs and interests are met through hands-on experiences in math, science, and engineering, problem solving in cooperative learning activities, and a reading and writing program that combines a literature-based and phonetic approach. From learning the violin, viola, cello, or bass in a 2nd grade music class to building with manipulatives during STEM period, girls have a variety of experiences to figure out what they love best. Our girls learn to ask questions, to make discoveries, to find answers for themselves, and to lead and speak in front of others. In doing so, our students build a strong foundation for developing confidence, resiliency, and positive self-esteem.

Each classroom starts the day with a morning meeting to build community in the classroom, and each day we say our Hock-A-Way Cornerstones Pledge where we are reminded of our core values of respect, friendship, empathy, honesty, responsibility, and perseverance. In addition to our character program, girls at each grade level in Lower School participate in service learning projects that support our school, our Dallas community, and our global community. Each grade level takes field trips to local organizations, speakers come to talk to students, and each grade-level’s service theme is integrated into curricular activities as well. Our Lower School girls also like to play and have lots of fun. Students engage with one another and build physical and social skills during daily physical education classes and through play and movement activities.

After a visit to Hockaday and talking with our students and teachers, I hope you discover that our Lower School is a place where your daughter will be loved and cared for, where she will make lifelong friends, and where she will develop her identity as a learner, a creator, a collaborator, and a leader.


Randal Rhodus

Contact Us

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Randal Rhodus '97

    Randal Rhodus '97 

    Head of Lower School
  • Photo of Wendy Branson

    Wendy Branson 

    Administrative Assistant to Head of Lower School
The Program is age-appropriate with evidence-based mindfulness and SEL training and tools provided to maximize potential, increase performance, and improve emotional wellbeing. 

Benefits for Students:
  • better focus and concentration
  • decreased stress and anxiety
  • increased empathy for others
  • more self-awareness
Benefits for Teachers:
  • more responsive to students' needs
  • decreased stress and anxiety
  • better professional and personal focus
  • improved emotional wellbeing
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