Ray School Profile

As a nationally recognized school, the Bernice A. Ray School welcomes all elementary-age children in Hanover, and Etna, New Hampshire in Kindergarten through grade 5. Our teachers and staff members are committed to maintaining a safe, healthy, and trusting environment for all children. We offer a balanced and challenging academic program and a supportive atmosphere for children of all abilities and backgrounds.

As a college community, and home to one of New England’s largest major medical centers, our school community represents a diverse and multi-cultural student body not typical of rural New Hampshire.  We embrace and value the diversity of our children: their backgrounds, beliefs, interests and talents. We expect all members of our school community to respect and learn from each other. Holiday activities emphasize a global perspective and reflect the many traditions, cultures, and religions in our society.

At the heart of our school community is our mission and core values – We honor a common vision of equality. We provide a challenging educational program that focuses on the individual child while fostering the motivation to learn and to collaborate.   Our teachers and staff members promote the school’s core values through meaningful instructional experiences that include exemplary integrated and interdisciplinary project-based learning outcomes. 

In addition to the core subject areas of English language arts, math, science, social studies, and the arts, we seek to expand each child’s interests, reasoning, collaboration, and communication skills. Our children learn to take risks in the pursuit of knowledge and to develop their individual talents. All members of the school community follow the precepts of our ''Three Rs'' – Rights, Respect, and Responsibility.

The educational, social, and emotional growth of each child is our prime concern and we actively encourage our students to become responsible and contributing members of the community.

Traditions play an integral part of our students’ experiences at the Ray School and encompass all grade levels and all students. As a school, our commitment to school traditions has the following guiding principles:

  • The child’s point of view is always considered;
  • We honor the values and habits of mind conveyed through the tradition;
  • We consider the expanding ripples of influence and effect of the tradition;
  • We are mindful and respectful of and sensitive to each other’s professional responsibilities.

Ray School traditions, among many, include:

  • Animal inquiry and meadow habitat project in Kindergarten and Grade 1
  • Math play project in Kindergarten and Grade 1
  • Early American life project – Colonial Days – in Grade 2
  • Forest habitat study project in Grade 2
  • Japanese Festival in Grade 3
  • Native American Powwow in Grade 4
  • Greek mythology improvisational play and dramatic performance in Grade 5
Through our integrated and interdisciplinary units of study, along with personalized learning for each student, highly differentiated instruction and assessment, a common language in our affective education principles, and a supportive learning environment for all shareholders, the Ray School is among the very best educational institutions in New Hampshire.