Kindergarten at US

The kindergarten program encourages the development of social and emotional skills through an integrated theme curriculum. Themes grow and evolve into a detailed, multi-dimensional study of a topic and are threaded through every discipline making learning seamless. Kindergarten themes develop the concept that one’s world extends beyond home. 

The theme curriculum in kindergarten is generated by the interests of the students and varies from year to year. Past investigations include Insects, North and South Poles, and the Rainforest. The year ends with the Castle theme. The Castle theme is explored for several weeks in the spring and culminates with a knighting ceremony and medieval feast. The boys have a hands-on, integrated learning experience which builds respect for other cultures and traditions, explores interdependence within a community, and discovers how living things adapt to the world around them.

Core Curriculum

In providing an environment that encourages exploration and risk taking, boys are able to deepen their mathematical understanding. Manipulatives, games, and hands-on exploration are used to deepen mathematical thinking. Kindergarten boys study patterns in nature, language, and numbers. They investigate how math is used in the world around them. The boys are presented with simple problems and learn problem-solving strategies. Building number sense lays the foundation for operational thinking.
Boys begin to develop a formal understanding of written and spoken language. Critical early reading skills of letters, sounds, and phonological awareness are emphasized and give students a strong foundation for beginning reading. The whole language approach is incorporated in literacy acquisition. Boys extend their preschool understanding that print has meaning and words are used to name objects, describe experiences, and convey ideas. They make connections between the spoken word and written language. Daily exposure to reading, writing, listening, and speaking creates a rich learning environment. 
In kindergarten, boys meet with the science specialist once a week for 45 minutes. They learn about various environments and how they are affected by changes in the earth, sky, weather, and temperature. Some typical activities include observing, investigating, and recording data about insects and turtles, weather, seeds and plants, senses, light, woodland ecosystem, simple machines, floating and sinking, absorption, ramps and balls, and outdoor explorations. 

Co-curricular Disciplines

Speaking and reading in Spanish gives boys the opportunity to expand their thinking and comprehension. Kindergarten boys have Spanish two days a week. They study basic vocabulary and learn the alphabet, numbers, basic greetings, colors, shapes, family words, body parts, and animals. We read books in Spanish, have simple question and answer times, and do cultural activities to tie in celebrations in Hispanic countries.
Kindergarten boys learn through play, experiencing musical concepts and gaining skills through their own active involvement. Listening acuity, expressive performance, and considerate participation are stressed in every lesson. Boys engage in creative holistic music making using the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education. Kindergarteners build a repertoire of song material, learn beat, tempo, timbre, volume, and pitch, and they are involved in movement skills such as galloping, skipping, jogging, and direction.
We provide successful physical experiences for all boys through a curriculum designed to foster and develop the knowledge and values, physical skills, and practices necessary for personal physical fitness and lifetime wellness. Boys learn body control, with an emphasis on balance, coordination, and spatial judgments. Skill development includes motor, non-motor, and manipulative. Rhythms, games, tumbling, large apparatus stunts, and swimming are taught. 

The creative force is endless with experimentation in texture, color, and play! The joy of art at this imaginative age is that the boys are free to do what comes naturally. They discover that art is everywhere - it's all in the way one looks at things. The kindergarten program focuses on motor skills and preparing boys for the future years of creation in the Art Lab.

Tour of Kindergarten

Young boys have boundless energy and a natural tendency to explore and discover.


Boys learn to love reading, researching, and expressing themselves through literature-based activities. Kindergarten boys come to the library once a week in small groups. They learn about appropriate library behavior, and how to find and care for books. We help them distinguish between fiction and nonfiction, introduce the library catalog, and increase phonemic awareness with the stories we read. Boys also study specific authors and illustrators and complete projects such as making puppets, collages, and bookmarks.


Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 840 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence.