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Lower School

Grades 1 – 4

The 1st-4th Grade years of a child’s life are a magical time when their sense of awareness of the world - and all the world’s potential - continues to develop. Students move from being concrete thinkers to incorporating more conceptual and abstract thinking strategies. Socially, Lower School students open up to new possibilities through friendships and collaborative partnerships.

Our dedicated and talented teachers provide opportunities for students to explore the world through hands-on activities. They engage in authentic literary, mathematical, scientific, and research experiences within and beyond the walls of the school. Our teachers value building empathy and celebrating diversity in our students and in other communities as they thread issues of difference into classwork.

Our students are given space and time to reflect on their efforts and accomplishments, and to collaborate with their peers. We integrate technology to support student inquiry and collaboration beyond the classroom, encouraging them to become confident, lifelong learners.


Head of Lower School
Max Weinberg

Before joining Catherine Cook, Mr. Weinberg served as Assistant Principal in the Chicago Public Schools and the Winnetka Public Schools. He supported elementary teachers as an Induction Teaching Coach at the University of Chicago’s Urban Teacher Education Program after teaching 3rd Grade at Chicago’s Francis W. Parker School. Prior to returning home to Chicago, Mr. Weinberg began his teaching career in the South Bronx and Harlem, NY. He has served as a university level math education instructor, a literacy consultant, and has worked with community-based organizations on the development of educational programming.

Mr. Weinberg holds a master's degree in elementary education from Bank Street College of Education, NY, and a master's degree in school administration and supervision from Fordham University, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature at Brandeis University, MA.

Mr. Weinberg is passionate about supporting teachers in building robust, meaningful learning experiences for students so they see themselves as capable community members who can contribute to making a better world for others.

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