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Character and Culture

Elementary School

Cushman is truly a special place to be. From the moment your child joins us, he or she accesses nearly a century of traditions that will shape his or her future and pave the way for personal and professional success. 

Every morning, we start the day with our students gathered at the flagpole in the historic courtyard. After saying our Pledge for Success and salute to the flag, school leaders share words of wisdom and encouragement. We often recognize student achievements, acts of kindness and birthdays during this morning ritual.

Our Character First philosophy drives everything we do. The demonstration of patience, kindness and communication is supported by the faculty in their actions and lessons. This is why the culture at Cushman is one of tremendous camaraderie and warmth. Inspiring confidence and individuality in our students is as important as effective teaching by expert educators. We want our students’ minds open to learning and for them to feel free to express themselves creatively throughout their educational journey.

Students are assessed in a variety of ways and receive a report card quarterly, which consists of either qualitative assessments (gr. 1, 2, 3) or percentage-based letter grades (gr. 4 and 5). Students also begin receiving Honor cards in Elementary School that reflect their effort in the areas of industry, courtesy and responsibility. Recognizing that social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth are all equally important in a child’s total development, we celebrate each student’s strengths and challenges as they develop the skills of inquiry and reasoning, problem-solving, and communication that will help them grow into innovators of change.

Cheryl Rogers

Cheryl Rogers


Elementary School Admissions

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Engaging Enrichment

Daily physical education, usually outdoors, allows our students to enjoy movement breaks, fresh air and gain focus once back in the classroom.

In Elementary Physical Education, students participate in various movement activities designed to promote motor and manipulative development, the understanding of a healthy lifestyle, and a positive self-image.

Coaches place emphasis on enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction within movement experiences. We integrate PE classes with classroom units of study, engaging the students and building enthusiasm for athletics and fitness, which will carry them through competitive or recreational sports in Middle and Upper School and throughout their adult lives.

Our unique performing arts and music programming is highlighted by regular assemblies and oratory challenges to ensure students learn poise and confidence for their future endeavors – whether on stage or in the Board room.

A performing arts highlight of the school year is the annual Spring Play that showcases the 5th graders; their class holds the lead roles as a rite of passage prior to matriculating on to Middle School. Aside from the 5th-grade stars, all Elementary School students (1st through 4th grade) are involved in the production as supporting cast members.

The Elementary School Art Room is an ever-changing gallery and studio space that is filled with every tool a child could need to imagine, create and bring their ideas to fruition. The Visual Arts program is a critical component to our curriculum since merging visual creativity with academics enhances children’s ability to conceptualize, problem solve and express themselves.

Students create memorable works of art during these ultra-creative years through their weekly visual arts classes. They love time in the colorful art studio bringing their ideas to fruition. The annual Gallery Walk celebrate their works and Cushman’s focus on the arts being woven into our curriculum.

Our Technology Team infuses all we do with state-of-the-art tools to help advance educational lessons as appropriate. The use of all technology remains aligned with our philosophy and focuses on responsibility and respectful use. All students participate in an online safety session and work with instructors regularly to understand how to be aware and responsible when online.

There are interactive display panels in all classrooms, students work on iPads and Windows-based laptops until they are issued their own device in 5th grade as part of our laptop program. Students also spend time in the Innovation Center as part of our STEAM/STEM initiatives engaging them in engineering projects, architecture, VR and various challenges that involve design-thinking and creative problem solving.

We continue to provide cutting-edge educational programming that is founded in current research and embeds 21st-century skills and Habits of Mind into the curriculum.

Our guidance and virtues programming includes an assortment of life skills and is taught in an ongoing manner by the guidance counselor, who meets with each class weekly. The counselor is always available for students and their families.

In addition, the Counseling Department offers a variety of resources to our school community through direct classroom instruction and individual counseling sessions, as well as hosting many evening informational workshops.

In accordance with the standards set by Dr. Laura Cushman, the social-emotional well-being of all students and ensuring they all feel a sense of belonging are top priorities of the guidance counselors.

“Like its founder, Dr. Laura Cushman, The Cushman School is known for idealism, innovation, and vision.”

– Dr. Paul George, Historian & Miami-Dade College Professor