Kindergarten is a magical year at Carlthorp School as students embrace the transition from preschool to a full-day classroom experience.
With a two week half-day transition period at the beginning of the school year, an Ice Cream Social, a mentor family/friend, and the help of their beloved “6th Grade Buddies,” Carlthorp School’s youngest students feel warmly welcomed into our community.

Kindergarteners are always excited to take home Violet the Octopus or Cuddles the Bear. They are also eager to share “news” at daily morning meetings, which is the beginning of our students’ responsive classroom experience. Responsive classroom is a classroom management program that focuses on positive reinforcement and self-awareness that continues through 6th Grade.

Academic & Social Development

Our happy Kindergarten students enjoy working and playing all year long. From Teddy Bear Day to a visit from Zero the Hero on the 100th Day of School to the Lunar New Year Dragon Dance, our Kindergarteners develop both academically and socially. In addition to the core subjects, students are taught the importance of being respectful, cooperative, creative, and adaptable. Kindergarteners experience time away from their homerooms with music class, Spanish class, science class, art, library, and physical education.

Meet the Team

List of 4 items.

  • Caitlin Dunleavy

    Caitlin graduated from Villanova University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. After teaching 1st Grade in the Philadelphia suburbs, Caitlin relocated to New York City where she continued her education at Fordham University, earning a Master of Arts degree in Education with a focus in Literacy. She quickly found a school in Manhattan to call home for eight years, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, where she enjoyed developing and implementing new curriculum while teaching Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 2nd Grade classes. During her time at SHSH, Caitlin had the opportunity to travel to Chengalpattu, India, to teach English to children in grades K-6. A firm believer in professional development and continuing education, she was also able to organize and facilitate teaching workshops for the school’s faculty. Caitlin is thrilled to be living near her family in sunny Santa Monica without a hint of winters in sight! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, cheering on her Villanova Wildcats and taking her chocolate lab to the beach!
  • Rebecca Lepore

    Rebecca is originally from Simi Valley, California, where she grew up helping in her mom’s 2nd grade classroom. From a young age she has been passionate about education and that passion has never waivered. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Loyola Marymount University after which she went on to teach 3rd grade at Playa Vista Elementary School. Rebecca then moved to Dublin, Ireland, where she worked in the Foster Care Unit at Child Protective Services helping families in need. Specifically, she was the instructor for the children in temporary foster care. Rebecca also served as the academic liaison when the children were relocated to a more permanent home and academic setting. When she moved back to California, Rebecca taught a Kindergarten class at Short Avenue Elementary School. Outside of school Rebecca enjoys crafting, hiking, and stargazing. However, her greatest hobby is traveling. So far she has been to 40 states and 24 countries!
  • Jenny Morgan

    Jenny,a proud Southern California native, was born and raised in Palos Verdes, who graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Television. Shortly thereafter, Jenny felt the call to work with young people, which led her to USC’s Rossier School of Education, where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Education. While completing her M.A., Jenny taught a summer Kindergarten readiness program, and also began teaching a 6th and 7th Grade study skills course at Rolling Hills Country Day School, which she continued to do for three years. Just prior to joining the Carlthorp School team, Jenny taught 11th and 12th Grade English Language Arts at YES Prep East End in Houston, Texas, an urban charter school that serves mostly underprivileged students. In her free time, Jenny enjoys being with family and friends, riding her beach cruiser on the strand and appreciating the California sunshine!
  • Adrienne Rizk

    Born and raised on the Central Coast,Adrienne moved to Los Angeles where she received her degree in English from California State University Los Angeles. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in Literacy and Language Arts as well as her teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University. Before arriving at Carlthorp, Adrienne taught Kindergarten and filled the role of Literacy Lead for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. More locally, she also taught at Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena and at the UCLA Lab School in Westwood. Less locally, she spent time working with students in Ghana, West Africa, where she continues to serve as a board member for a community primary school. Adrienne spends her time outside of school exploring Los Angeles with her husband and two children. At home she indulges in her passion for literature and reading.