Nicole Arndt

Head of PK-8

718-599-7300, ext. 6030

Columbia University, MEd
Penn State University, MA
San Francisco State University, BA

Owl Blog

Dear Families,

I believe that at the heart of every great school is a strong relationship between family and school faculty, a trusting partnership that we build through open communication. This partnership creates the foundation for your child that will ultimately support their academic and social growth, their willingness to take risks, and their pursuit of passions and interests in the world. I invite you to engage with me in developing this partnership, to share your hopes and dreams, knowing that I will be an additional support to guide your child’s education over the years.

At Northside, our graduates will be comfortable being uncomfortable, for they’ll recognize that resistance and friction are signals of growth, and they’ll consistently seek out opportunities to expand the definition of who they are. They will be future-ready, able to thrive in challenging situations because they have the confidence and the wherewithal to embrace an ever-accelerating pace of change and adapt accordingly. They will be well on their way to becoming life-long learners that know what happens inside the classroom is a catalyst for the never-ending exploration of what lies beyond the school-house walls. And, most importantly, they’ll be good, decent, and caring human beings that aren’t afraid to show some emotion, that are quick to offer a helping hand, and that recognize that encountering differing opinions and perspectives only makes them stronger.

As a long time school leader and classroom teacher, I bring an understanding for the traditions of schooling, as well as a passion for the possibilities and opportunities that a school can provide for each child. As educators, we are tasked with a great responsibility to prepare our students for an unknown future. What our graduates will need for the world is something we must imagine and prepare for. To do so, we embrace a trust in the best pedagogical practices, a flexible mind – set to new and innovative educational ideas, and a deep inquiry into the unique strengths and needs of each student. It is with this philosophy that I will work with the team to carve out a vision for the future of Northside.

I look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!


Nicole Arndt
Head of PreK-8

The Prekindergarten at Northside welcomes students as they transition into our Lower School program.  In our classes, we balance the emergent-driven pedagogy of our preschool with the intentional integration of academic skills that prepare students for future subject-based learning and interdisciplinary explorations.  The Prekindergarten is a full day program where students experience a true sense of community in their classroom and while they experience special classes in Visual Art, Physical Education, Library, Spanish, and Music.

We create an intentional learning environment that blends the imagination of childhood with academic excellence. It’s a powerful combination that allows for mastery across the disciplines, engaging our students in a collaborative community of learners, while always providing the opportunity for individuality to shine.

Northside’s Lower School is founded on the belief and experience that engaging children’s powerful curiosity and passion for learning is critical to the development of higher order thinking. This includes integrating and applying knowledge from multiple disciplines, as well as the ability to approach complex problems with novel solutions. Northside fosters the development of creativity and flexible thinking, as well as students’ abilities to collaborate and communicate. This is accomplished through project-based explorations.  The core idea that children are strong, capable learners, who are agents in their education, encourages self-confidence, independence and individuality. Balanced with respect for others in the community and for a collaborative work process, these beliefs provide the foundation for an education that is enriched and rigorous. Every day in the Lower School is a full one and includes instruction in reading, writing, word study, and Math. Student schedules are further deepened with specials in Science, Visual Arts, Music, Library, Spanish, and Physical Education. 

Project Work Explained 

The essential questions derived from and posited by our social studies curriculum form the core of our integrated approach to instruction. The questions classrooms pursue are mutually informed by student inquiry and established academic standards from around the  globe. Our projects provide students the opportunity to acquire mastery of academic benchmarks through self-directed learning. Our teachers are expert facilitators in this work, by bringing questions and ideas to life from which our students can research, discuss, debate, interview, investigate, share, listen, and create. The long and short-term projects that emanate from our classrooms provide comprehensive learning and exposure to age-appropriate concepts in history, geography, political science, and economics, inculcating in our students the belief that they can be agents of change in the world.

Lower School Curriculum

lower school curriculum
lower school curriculum

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