The Benefits of Choosing a Pre-K-Grade 8 School
Joanne Costello, Director of Admissions and Community Relations

In their book, Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children, noted authors Michael Thompson and Catherine O’Neill Grace address the benefits of the Kindergarten through Grade 8 educational model.  They state, “It is a step in the right direction that around the country we are emphasizing school models like K-8 schools that keep a family-like environment through middle school…. If I could design psychologically safe schools, every elementary school in the United States would go from kindergarten through grade eight.”

The Mead School is intentionally a Pre-K through Eighth Grade school. We firmly believe in the distinctive advantages our school offers during the critical years of a child’s social / emotional & intellectual development. We provide a supportive environment where our students feel safe taking risks, exploring new activities, and challenging themselves to think out of the box. At Mead, childhood is celebrated.

While visiting The Mead School, you will notice the difference in the confidence and respectfulness of our students toward their teachers, each other and as individuals. We believe the Pre-K-Grade 8 environment plays a vital role in producing these characteristics. Here are a few more reasons to choose our Pre-K-8 Program:

·        Our Pre-K-Grade 8 environment allows our students to stay “younger” a bit longer. They can engage in age-appropriate activities without being exposed to all the pressures of high school students and growing up too fast.

·        The Pre-K-Grade 8 model offers a great balance. It gives our younger students a very nurturing learning environment, and it challenges our Grades 6-8 to develop as leaders and role models. A 2016 study published in The American Educational Research Journal found that 6-8 graders were better off academically, socially, and emotionally in K-8 schools compared to 6-8 or 6-12 schools.

·        Our Faculty bring a student-centered approach to their teaching. Our 6:1 student:teacher ratio makes it easy for the faculty to know each child individually. The students are able to experience the comfort and stability of familiar surroundings and staff for consecutive years, forming a strong bond with their teachers. They appreciate these bonds and they remain an integral part of our community long after graduation.

  • Our Pre-K-Grade 8 setting provides the ideal environment to begin fostering leadership in young adolescents. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders are our seniors. Older students serve in many apprentice and mentor capacities and undertake service projects, while the younger students have someone to look up to and experiences to aspire to.
  • By the eighth grade, the best fit for high school is much easier for our students to determine as they know their strengths and interests and are confident and engaged learners. They are part of the process along with their families in deciding their next step and are committed to their success in high school. We have a strong secondary school placement record and are proud of our alumni.
  • Students experiencing The Mead School throughout the elementary and middle school years have values and friendships that will define them throughout their lives. 

Joanne Costello, Director of Admissions and Community Relations


Joanne Costello has been an integral member of the Mead School community for 16 years.  Currently our Director of Admissions and Community Relations, Joanne also manages the School's Advertising, Marketing and planning of Community events.  Previously, Joanne served as Director of Development for 9 years.  Her most important role of all is parent to two Mead School graduates - Andrew Costello ('08), currently pursuing his law degree at The George Washington University, and William Costello ('13), a current Sophomore at the University of Miami.