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As a parent, you want your child to build a strong and diverse academic foundation.

You recognize that a positive learning environment where your child feels safe and nurtured is fundamental for them to grow as learners while still having room to explore as children. Keep reading or schedule a meeting with admissions to learn how everything we do in Elementary School (1-4) at Columbia Academy is designed to support both goals.

At Columbia Academy, we approach education from a whole-child perspective. We challenge students academically by tapping into their innate curiosity and support them by embracing their unique learning style. We develop and strengthen their character through an additional curriculum that builds character and teaches students how to exemplify many virtues in the classroom, at home, and in their daily lives. These virtues are then reinforced in classrooms, outdoor play areas, and social spaces. And, ultimately, we establish a love of learning they will carry with them for a lifetime.

  •  Our elementary program incorporates experiential, hands-on, and project-based learning, ensuring students stay engaged. 
  • Through projects and an open dialogue, students make connections between what they’re learning in the classroom and how it applies to the world around them. 
  • A growth mindset is central to our program, and we provide a safe and supportive environment for students to make mistakes, and to see those mistakes as opportunities for growth.

Is Columbia Academy right for your child?

Download our Parent Information Packet and learn more about how Columbia Academy can meet the needs of your child. Your e-book will also include details on how we equip and prepare our students for what’s next, what we mean by “character education,” and why families choose Columbia Academy.


Our daughters have grown and thrived at Columbia Academy. The combination of a rigorous curriculum, character education, small class sizes and extracurricular opportunities for enrichment create an academic environment that is both intellectually challenging and supportive of every student. Just as important is the fact that the culture of the school is a model of an inclusive family-oriented community.” – Josh K., JD, PhD


A Strong Academic Foundation 

Core subjects are brought to life through active learning. For language arts, students are exposed to culturally relevant, ethnically diverse works. Teachers involve students in age-appropriate critical text analysis and comprehension, transitioning students from passively listening to instructions to actively asking questions and solving meaningful problems. Students learn the why behind the how in math through conceptual understanding as well as procedural practice. Science labs are a combination of virtual and hands-on activities, teaching students to inquire, think, predict, analyze, and apply, which are fundamental skills for inside and outside the classroom. 

At the elementary level, foundational skills are developed in: 

  • Math 
  • Science
  • Social Studies 
  • Language Arts 

Specials include:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education 
  • Spanish
  • Technology

A Curriculum for Contemporary Learners

 As we’re educating tomorrow’s leaders, our core curriculum is complemented by an emphasis on STEAM, technology integration, Spanish language study, and enrichment opportunities. Students use a variety of online programs for teaching proper research skills, keyboarding, coding, and the introduction to platforms such as Google Classroom and Microsoft Office. Each classroom in the school has a Smartboard for interactive learning and two desktop computers for research or small group projects.

Learning through Experience

Experiential learning is at the heart of our learning philosophy. Students are challenged not only through projects, hands-on learning, and tests, but also through experiences gained during their numerous field trips as well as many opportunities to exemplify character building in their academic day. We take a hands-on approach to everything we do at Columbia Academy. Whether it’s a science experiment or trying a new sport, we encourage our students to get involved, stay engaged, and take advantage of the opportunities available to them, including nearly two acres of space for outdoor play, clubs and activities such as soccer shots or SciKids, and field trips to Fort McHenry, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and more!   

Safe Learning Spaces

We understand that each student is unique with their own individual strengths, challenges, and abilities, and that each student learns a bit differently from the next. Our whole-child approach to education celebrates that uniqueness by ensuring that children not only feel safe in their classrooms and school, but also valued and respected for their own unique gifts and abilities.

We know that when students feel safe in their learning environments, that translates to increased self-confidence, stronger academic performances, and comfort in sharing their ideas, values, and feedback without judgement. The classroom environment plays a significant role in a student’s social and emotional development. It is critical that students feel safe asking questions and contributing to discussions.

Building trust between teachers and students is one of the most important ways we keep learning spaces safe. Other methods include maintaining an orderly classroom, encouraging students to openly express their thoughts and feelings, celebrating the successes of our students, modeling kindness, being patient, creating an environment free from judgement, and turning mistakes into learning opportunities.

Living Virtuously  

Character education is a big part of our school culture. Each month, teachers and students focus on a specific virtue — citizenship, gratitude, mindfulness, patience, respect, diligence, kindness and empathy, honesty and fairness. These virtues aren’t just for show. The students practice kindness and respect toward each other, and their behavior is both recognized and rewarded by their teachers. Mentorship among students of all grade levels happens on the playground, in the hallways, and even in the classroom. It is our belief that establishing core character principles in our students leads to strengthened relationships with others, a greater feeling of belonging, and improved leadership skills.

Differentiated Instruction 

We differentiate instruction to meet each student where they are academically, socially, and emotionally. With our average class sizes being 15:1, teachers are able to focus on individual needs whenever necessary, ensuring no one gets lost or overwhelmed. When students move up from one grade to the next, teachers communicate with each other, sharing what works (or what doesn’t work) for a student. 

Partnering with Families  

We ensure each student receives an education focused on the whole child by working in tandem with families. We encourage family participation through volunteer opportunities, such as chaperoning field trips, serving in the classroom, and helping with events. We have an open door policy — parents are welcome here any time. We communicate with our families regularly through newsletters, emails, and parent conferences.


Meet a Teacher

Name: Emily Crosier
Degree: Master’s Degree in Childhood Education
Teaching Experience: 4 years

“Teaching has impacted my life by allowing me to help others. It is the best feeling when students have that ‘aha’ moment and things click for them! Teaching has also given me great coworkers who I can collaborate with to make my teaching the best it can be… I’m able to build strong relationships with both my students, and their families. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher and I’m so glad I was able to start my journey here!.. The Giving Tree [by Shel Silverstein] is my favorite book because it is all about giving. Teaching is a profession where you’re giving a lot. You give your knowledge, time, patience and so many other things. I’ve always been someone who gives, which makes teaching the perfect profession for me!”


See for Yourself

Schedule an in-person tour, a virtual tour, or attend one of our virtual informational sessions and see first-hand why families choose Columbia Academy for their kids. Contact us at admissions@columbiaacademy.com or 410-312-7413.

Let us help you narrow down your list of schools. Is Columbia Academy Right For Your Child? 

Download our Start Smart guide for parents and get tips for how to find the right private school for your family.