Social Justice

One of the most important values we uphold at Lowell is the desire to help build and sustain a more just and equitable society. Throughout our curriculum, we guide students in understanding the fundamentals of human and civil rights, exploring the history of pursuing and protecting those rights, and contributing to the advancement of social justice in today’s world.

A Community of Conscience

Living in the nation’s capital, students are often exposed to local, national, and global issues connected to human rights, equality, and social justice. In order to engage responsibly in these issues as they mature into responsible citizens, we believe that it is vitally important for them to develop respect and empathy for other perspectives and voices, as well as to develop multicultural competency and literacy.

Mutual Respect

Beginning in Pre-Primary School, our teachers explore and teach topics such as friendship, care for others, self-control, and conflict resolution. We honor practices that foster mutual respect not only between students, but also between students and teachers. In addition, we implement anti-bullying and ally education, and work to ensure an environment where students feel safe in expressing themselves and sharing their opinions.

Social Studies Curriculum

Our social studies curriculum was designed to meet the National Council for the Social Studies Standards and the Teaching for Tolerance Social Justice Standards. Social studies inquiry arises from social need, from issues that confront us collectively in daily life. Therefore, the curriculum covers the interplay of civics, economics, geography, history, and also challenges students to take action to promote justice, peace, and prosperity in the world. Get an in-depth look at some key units here.

Field Trips

We also provide a wide range of opportunities beyond the classroom for students to enhance their development as engaged citizens. These include field trips to many historically and culturally significant sites in the DC area, as well as extended trips outside DC to sites that address our nation’s struggle for equality.

Service-Learning, Advocacy, and Activism

Lowell has a robust service-learning program which gives students invaluable ways use their knowledge and skills to improve their communities. Service-learning projects are embedded in the curriculum, and there are also clubs and electives with a service focus. In Middle School, students are required to take two seminar classes on service learning, one in 7th grade and one in 8th grade.

—Natalie Stapert, Humanities Curriculum Coordinator

Lowell has made a commitment to innovative social studies curriculum because we believe that through this work, students will gain the knowledge and skills they need to understand societal forces, grapple with complexity and make a difference in the world.