School Life
Student Counseling

Lower School Human Development

The Lower School Human Development program utilizes the “Finding Your Way” curriculum to guide the majority of classroom lessons.
Courtney Costello, the Lower School Counselor, leads monthly classroom guidance lessons that continually teach and explore the School’s Core values of honesty, kindness, respect, and responsibility through The Newman Way. The Human Development curriculum addresses character development as well as fundamental topics like emotions, bullying, friendships, and nutrition. A long-term goal of this program is to establish a foundation for community development wherein students can express themselves openly and learn to negotiate their roles in the classroom, on the playground, and in their social groups.

List of 7 items.

  • Pre-K

    In Pre-K students explore and learn about feelings. They develop a feelings vocabulary and are introduced to The Newman Way. The students establish a familiarity with the counselor and become comfortable talking about their feelings with each other. The majority of guidance activities at this age are experienced through arts and crafts projects and reading books.
  • Kindergarten

    In Kindergarten, the guidance curriculum builds on the lessons from Pre-K and further develops the students’ feelings vocabulary. Kindergarten students continue to learn about and practice The Newman Way, exploring Newman’s Core Values, and what those values look like in daily behavior. Lessons focus on concepts such as empathy, helping others, and the value of an apology.
  • First Grade

    In first grade, students continue to explore the concept of empathy in order to expand their awareness of self and others. Whether through the theme of “we are all alike; we are all different” or by learning the difference between “put-ups” and “put-downs,” first grade students have the opportunity to develop a deeper awareness of themselves as individuals. All lessons are intended to increase the sense of community within the classroom, through heightened awareness of and respect for each individual’s uniqueness and how we live The Newman Way.
  • Second Grade

    Second graders focus on issues of friendship and conflict resolution. The year begins with a whole class activity in which the class creates a Friendship Rules Book. Each student contributes a page, and then the pages are bound and kept in the classroom to be referenced throughout the year. Subsequent lessons focus on strategies to make friends, keep friends, and work through tough times with friends. The concept of apologizing is revisited from first grade, and students are given the opportunity to develop and practice simple conflict resolution skills. Additionally, Newman’s Core Values are further explored this year as students continue to practice The Newman Way.
  • Third Grade

    In third grade guidance lessons focus on tolerance. Students will participate in a variety of hands-on lessons designed to put them in other students’ shoes. Much of the discussion revolves around social roles in the classroom and on the playground, understanding other people’s points of view, and how one’s actions affect others. Many of the lessons in the third grade are experiential and interactive.
  • Fourth Grade

    Fourth grade guidance lessons explore decision-making skills. Through a series of hands-on activities, the students begin to recognize the steps to reach a decision and what factors may influence their choices. Students identify role models as well as influential people and messages in their lives. These lessons, framed within the context of the School’s Core Values, introduce early concepts of peer pressure and how to make healthy independent choices.
  • Fifth Grade

    As fifth grade students reach their final year of Lower School, the guidance curriculum focuses on leadership. As the leaders of the Lower School, fifth graders are offered several leadership opportunities such as Leadership Council and Greenie Greeters. Guidance lessons provide directed discussions about what qualities make a good leader, identifying leadership role models, and exploring situations where leadership is important. Students learn about courage, strength, and strong communication skills.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Courtney Costello

    Courtney Costello 

    Lower School Counselor
1903 Jefferson Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone: 504.899.5641
Fax: 504.896.8597
Open 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
An independent,
non-denominational day
school in New Orleans for
early childhood through 12th grade