Andy photo 2

    photo courtesy of Pio Montariol (student)


    Greetings from The Downtown School! I am the proud principal of this wonderful community that began more than 30 years ago. I joined DTS as a parent in 2003. Both my kids are alums and benefited greatly from the foundation they received here. In 2017 I was fortunate to be named the principal of DTS (my dream job). There is a strong alignment with my philosophy of teaching and learning and what has been the Mission and Vision of DTS from it inception in 1991. When kids have choice and voice and are guided by adults who expertly facilitate student empowerment, the whole child develops. We are here to nurture kids into owning their own learning as they strive to make the world a better place. Thanks for being a partner in our work!   


    Mission and Vision

    The Downtown School's mission is to be a catalyst for students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens through the combined efforts of the school, parents,

    business partners and community. 

    We believe children:

    Are unique.
    Are inquisitive and socially interactive.
    Possess individual timings and patterns of growth.
    Incorporate prior life experiences into new learning.

    Therefore, the School Community will:

    Treat children with respect and dignity.
    Model acceptance of diversity.
    Teach skills, processes and self-evaluation necessary for life-long learning.
    Provide an active learning environment that offers security and understanding.
    Cultivate value for the environment.
    Promote responsibility of self.
    Foster an enthusiasm for learning.

    Our Mission and Vision manifests in the following ways:

    • Schoolwide Enrichment Model (more info): The theme of the SEM is to develop the strengths and talents of all students.
    • Culturally Responsive Classrooms: A successful blend of Responsive Classrooms (more info) and Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning (more info). Our goal is to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms, ensuring this includes learners whose experiences and cultures are traditionally excluded from mainstream settings.

    Never hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or myself to discuss educating your student. We are honored to have you join us in this endeavor.

    Andy Lester-Niles, Principal

Last Modified on July 13, 2023