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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade
Teaching & Learning

Second Grade

Beauvoir admits children into second grade on a space-available basis. There are four second grade classrooms with approximately 21 students and two teachers in each room.

The Second Grade Program

Second grade is a year of amazing growth in Beauvoir students. Second graders are curious and industrious. They want to figure out how things work, explore concepts of time, space and quantity, create new ways to make things work, and collaborate to see a project through. “Let’s put on a show!” is an example of a phrase overheard in second grade. Rapid growth means that at times, second grade students may work hard and work fast for short spurts, then need time to regroup. Second grade students benefit from the support and guidance of adults in working to achieve their courageous hopes and dreams.
As in first grade, the development of social skills is an integral component of the second grade curriculum. Each day begins with a Morning Meeting, at which teachers and students get to know one another through greetings, sharing and games. During the first six weeks of school, students learn routines and create their hopes and dreams for the year ahead, and from these hopes and dreams, craft a classroom contract outlining how they want their classroom to function in order for all hopes and dreams to be accomplished. Second grade students practice being kind and responsible classmates who work and play cooperatively and resolve social conflicts. Beauvoir teachers provide a multitude of hands-on opportunities for second grade students to learn and grow together.
In second grade, children are eager to learn as many new words as possible and teach them to others, and Beauvoir's Language Arts program builds confidence in students' reading and writing abilities, fosters an appreciation of literature and allows students to take pride in their achievements. Teachers use a guided reading approach that includes exposure to fiction and non-fiction and makes intentional connections to topics explored in social studies. Second graders work on decoding multisyllabic words, understanding character development and more. By reading "just-right" texts, students apply their strategies and gain the confidence in reading that leads to continued success. Writing units taught in second grade include, for example, writing about small moments and expressing one's opinion, with students keeping journals to share ideas, respond to reading, reflect on field trips and describe their experiences. second grade teachers use Fountas and Pinnell’s Guided Reading as a primary strategy to teach reading, alongside Lucy Calkins’ Reading as another key component of the reading curriculum. 
Mathematics in the second grade expands children’s number sense as their understanding of operations, data, geometry and spatial orientation deepens. Students move toward more symbolic representations of mathematics, and they record their observations and computations. Second graders learn from each other and cooperative projects help students appreciate the various strategies that may be used to arrive at a solution.
Through the study of water and rivers, Beauvoir second graders investigate the origins of rivers, the movement and power of water, and the various ways in which people and communities rely on the natural resource. This focus subsequently leads to questions from students that help guide further projects, research, and discussions. Through Beauvoir's school-wide Global Studies program, for instance, second grade students often connect and build upon their knowledge of water by studying a river system in another city or country. Beauvoir's interdisciplinary approach routinely connects math, language arts, social studies, and additional subject matter, and second grade minds are well-suited for making these connections. 
Second grade students also participate in meaningful service to others, including a project connecting with the St. Albans Active Wellness Program for senior citizens on the Cathedral Close. Children also engage in classes including art, sciencelibrary and technology, music, movement and dramasocial studies, Spanish, and physical education, where a traditional highlight of the second grade curriculum remains the annual Second Grade Gym Show.

Our Second Grade Team

List of 10 members.

  • Photo of Ariella Bennett

    Ariella Bennett 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Megan Chounoune

    Megan "Megan" Chounoune 

    Head of Upper Years, Second and Third Grades
  • Photo of Kaneia Crumlin

    Kaneia Crumlin 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Sherilyn Cummings

    Sherilyn Cummings 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Maria Kurt

    Maria Kurt 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Hannah LaBella

    Hannah LaBella 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Melanie Lago

    Melanie Lago 

    2nd Grade Partner Teacher
  • Photo of Meredith McAbee

    Meredith McAbee 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
  • Photo of Courteney  Simchak

    Courteney  Simchak 

    Assistant Head of School for Student and Academic Affairs
  • Photo of Rachel Tanner

    Rachel Tanner 

    Partner Teacher, Second Grade
3500 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: (202) 537-6485
Fax: (202) 537-6512

Our Mission

At Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, we provide an extraordinary early childhood education in a diverse community that values every individual. Beauvoir’s program encourages creative, courageous learners and builds an enduring foundation for a lifelong spirit of inquiry and joy in learning.
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