Primary Program


“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

– Fred Rogers

Building on their experiences in the Toddler Program, children in the Primary Program at CCDS continue to discover the world around them. Classroom areas are ever-changing and many times designed with the help of the children themselves. At CCDS, we know that early learners are active learners who delight in discovery and experimentation. Children investigate, manipulate, discuss, predict, record, create and draw based on their observations and experiences. Children are encouraged to ask questions and to seek answers, to collect, count and measure, and then to ask more questions and seek out answers again! Our Primary children are of a magical age where they are growing in their independence and knowledge and everyday there is an opportunity for a new discovery! This is the classroom where children develop their life-long love and joy for learning: indoors and outdoors. 

The Primary Program is designed to develop the social skills and competence needed to succeed in life. Creative play is combined with Montessori-inspired elements and experiences in music, art, literature, language, science, math and dramatic play ensure that each child's imagination, creativity, and confidence will soar.

Multi-Age Groupings

Our Primary classes are composed of students whose ages typically span 3 years (threes, fours, and year-to-grow). Ideally, members stay with the same Primary class for the entire cycle, forging a stable community and meaningful bonds. It is often said that the multi-aged class recreates a family. It is common to see students of different ages working together. Our older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models, often helping their younger classmates. We find that sometimes the best teacher is someone who has recently mastered the task. The younger children feel supported and get a preview of the alluring lessons to come. All of the students gain confidence about their challenges ahead. Our staff models respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peaceful conflict resolution.

What happens in the Primary Program? 

The Primary Montessori-inspired program at CCDS is the perfect blend of play and work! We believe that play is a child's work. Children play to learn, to grow, and to experience the world around them. Classroom areas are ever-changing and designed to meet the developmental needs to the Primary children. Our music and Forest Play programs are added bonuses.  

Everything that we do at CCDS is Montessori-inspired and based on best practices in education and current research. Children need to have hands on learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant to their lives. Children need to MOVE and need to believe in themselves in order to become confident and competent leaders in our world. We provide them the opportunity to explore, imagine, and create. 

The Primary Program is designed to develop the social skills and competence needed to succeed in life. Creative play is combined with Montessori-inspired elements and experiences in music, art, literature, language, science, math, and dramatic play ensure that each child's imagination, creativity, and confidence will soar.

What is the 2020-21 schedule?


Our Primary Program is offered Monday through Thursday  from 9:00 am to 12:30pm.  Our daily routine is as follows:


9:00 am      Arrival, Meet and Greet

9:15 am      Class Gathering
9:30 am      Directed and Self-Directed Learning in

                  Classroom Centers
10:50 am    Snack
11:05 am    Class Gathering
11:35 pm    Outdoor Play

12:00 pm    Lunch 

12:30 pm    Dismissal

What areas of development are fostered in the Primary Program?


Thematic units are designed to promote:

  • Social-emotional growth - The ability to separate from parents, sharing materials and taking turns, ability to express needs and communicate within a group setting, demonstrate care and concern for others and independent problem solving

  • Fine motor development - Focus on small muscle control

  • Gross motor development - Focus on large muscle control

  • Auditory processing skills - Understanding and responding to verbal cues

  • Visual discrimination- Distinguishing between letters, words and numbers

  • Phonemic awareness - The ability to recognize, differentiate and manipulate the individual sound units in spoken words

  • Early mathematical concepts - Number sense, one-to-one correspondence, spatial sense, measurement, patterns, estimation and problem solving

What is the 2020-2021 tuition?


The tuition for our Primary Program for the academic year is $3,600.00

What about the afternoon?


Our afternoon enrichment program is scheduled Monday, Tuesday and/or Wednesday afternoons from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm. This program and subjects of study are an extension of the school day  including Science, Literature, and the Creative Arts. All children enrolled in our Primary Program are invited to stay Monday through Wednesday for one, two, or three afternoons of the family's choosing. (Afternoons are not transferrable and the minimum number of children is also 5. Please see Programs > Afternoon Enrichment for full details.

How do I enroll my child in the Primary Program?

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the CCDS Primary Program, click here for the application. Please contact our Day School Director at 410-822-2677 x316, or email if you have any questions.

Please note that children in the Primary Program must be toilet-trained.

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A student learns about animals through a hands-on approach
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