University School of Jackson

Lower School

At the University School of Jackson, teachers recognize the importance of establishing a strong foundation in the lives of our youngest students. Our program is educationally stimulating and exemplifies practices that are developmentally appropriate and responsive to the individual needs and talents of our students. Our curriculum is sequential as each lesson builds on what the child has already mastered. Our focus is the whole child—as an academic, emotional, social, physical, and civic-minded person. Through team teaching, self-contained classes, and flexible grouping, students are taught in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Students learn in a loving environment that encourages self-discipline, respect, participation, communication, and trial and error. Enrichment programs include art, music, library, technology, world languages, character education, physical education, and a hands-on science lab. Spanish begins with the two-year-old Jr. Cubs program.  French is introduced in second grade and continues through fifth grade when students have one semester of French and one semester of Spanish. Opportunities for age-appropriate participation in after-school sports and fine arts further enhance the program.


A Warm and Great Learning Environment

Your child will flourish at a school in which he feels loved and valued. We provide meaningful and challenging opportunities to learn in a nurturing and safe environment. Our teachers know their students well and know what each child needs to feel good about himself and to succeed.

Your child’s study of language, reading, mathematics, science, and social studies in the Lower School is enriched with art, music, foreign language, library, technology, and physical education. Students are taught about respecting themselves, their classmates, and others. Our guidance counselor stresses character education and offers a flexible program to address the real needs of a particular child or class.

Our Lower School provides the building blocks for your child to be successful in our Middle School, a transition to the college-preparatory curriculum in our Upper School. The following are a few of the many reasons:

  • USJ offers a solid academic program beginning with Jr. Cubs, these two-year-olds are exposed to a broad literacy-based program that builds a foundation for reading, spelling, grammar, and writing skills. A good structured mathematics program also is introduced at this level. These little ones are building skills that will give them a solid foundation for all of the learning that will be introduced at the next levels. The best part is that it is fun and age-appropriate; the children think they are just playing, but playing is part of the learning process.
  • The character education program throughout the Lower School helps students develop skills for everyday living and the character and integrity to be good citizens.
  • Computer classes begin in Kindergarten. Our computer lab is equipped with 25 student computers and a full-time computer teacher.
  • Each child in Jr. Kindergarten to Fifth Grade participates in a musical production every year, and all Lower School students enjoy a well-rounded, basic music education.
  • Physical education classes are offered in each grade, Jr. Cubs-Fifth Grade.
  • Foreign language classes begin with the Jr. Cubs. Spanish is taught in Jr. Cubs through Second Grade, with a semester of French added in Third and Fourth Grades. A semester of Spanish and French are taught in Fifth Grade.
  • The science curriculum is enhanced by a hands-on science lab offered to students in First Grade through Fifth Grade.
  • All Lower School students have art class each week. The school is beautifully decorated with student artwork.
  • The Lower School library is an active and exciting center in our school. Weekly library classes are offered at each grade level. Students also have an opportunity to check out books at “Open Library” each morning and afternoon. The library also is open one day each week in the summer with a story time and an opportunity to check out books.
  • Part-Time Programs are available for Jr. Cubs and Cubs Students. The Part-Time Jr. Cubs program is Tuesday/Thursday, for Cubs, Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

Add to all of the above a strong and highly qualified faculty, and it is clear that USJ's program is unequaled in the Jackson area. The teamwork between home and school provides a strong foundation that can only lead to success for our students.

For More Information

Louise Dunn
Lower School Director

[email protected]

Holly Stroup
Assistant Lower School Director and Early Childhood Coordinator

[email protected]

Lisa Cates
Lower School Secretary

[email protected]

Sylvia Bell
Lower School Receptionist

[email protected]



Don Roe named Associate Head of School, Middle School Director


It is with great pleasure that the University School of Jackson announces the appointment of Mr. Don Roe as our Associate Head of School, Middle School Director. As the Associate Head of School, Don will work closely with our Head of School, Stuart Hirstein, to oversee the wellbeing of USJ...

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Three USJ Students Named “Top 100 Readers”


Sunday, August 12, was a big day for three of our students.  The First Lady of Tennessee Chrissy Haslam as part of her literacy initiative for TN had challenged all TN students to read over the summer for at least 20 minutes a day. Students were then asked to send the...

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New Academic Center to Provide Educational Support for USJ Students


The University School of Jackson officially opened the doors to its new Academic Center with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, August 9, 2018.    Head of School Stuart Hirstein shares his excitement saying, “The USJ Academic Center was the fulfillment of a major goal of our...

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New Infant and Toddler Program Lays Foundation for Learning


The start of the 2017-2018 school year revealed a few more strollers and toys around the Lower School with the creation of USJ’s Infant and Toddler Program. This new option has allowed families to enroll children as young as six weeks old into the Bruin family. The infant...

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