Catholic, Independent Elementary Schools Serving Chicago's Children Since 1876


Lower School:  Grades 3-5

Letter from Karen Uselmann, Head of Lower School

Welcome to Sacred Heart’s Lower School community where our students continue to learn about the Sacred Heart Goals and traditions while finding their place in the larger community. During the Lower School years, the students' increasing sense of personal accomplishment and a growing awareness of their own learning styles becomes a focus as they begin to grow in knowledge and compassion, awareness and self-esteem.

As students progress through the Lower School years, they continue to develop a deep love of learning and responsible study habits. Students gain confidence and gradually learn to take greater responsibility for their own learning. Special attention is given to the development of critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate both orally and in writing. Students begin to have a growing awareness of the larger world. 

Lower School educators seek to develop lifelong learners in a nurturing, collaborative and engaging environment. Teachers are well versed in the developmental stages specific to this age group and work to form a strong classroom and division community. During these years, the students proceed through the study of foundational curricula.They explore a variety of topics through reading and writing.  They practice various problem-solving strategies and practice explaining their mathematical thinking. As grade-level scientists, they learn to question, observe, and analyze through experimentation, research and reading. They are also exposed to the vocabulary, phrases and beginning conversational skills of French and Spanish through games, projects, and role-playing. They grow in faith and knowledge of Chritianity and different world traditions. The whole child is further nurtured with classes in physical education and wellness, visual arts and music. 

Every child is unique in personality and learning style so their educational experience needs to be individualized to best support their social emotional and academic development.  The Lower School counselor, special area teachers, enrichment coordinator, and reading and learning specialists are available to support students and homeroom teachers to ensure each child develops to their greatest potential. 

As students leave Lower School, it is our goal that they have new found self awareness and social awareness, as well as enhanced self-management and responsible decision-making skills to strengthen their capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively with daily tasks and challenges.  


Karen Uselmann

Lower School Curriculum


Meg Steele
Head of Schools

Karen Uselmann
Head of Lower School

Marjie Murphy
Director of Curriculum & Instruction