Here the students start to leave behind some of the dependency they clung to in Kindergarten and are encouraged to take a more active role in deciding what paths they will take. They are given choices and are encouraged to behave in a responsible way toward others and their environment.

Teachers foster an atmosphere of caring, open communication, and trust. Besides educating a child scholastically, teachers focus on a child's spiritual, emotional, ethical, and physical life as well. Units are generally taught with a central theme in mind that is woven throughout the curriculum. Technology is introduced as a tool.

PAES boasts a strong reading program. Children who are struggling can get individualized instruction from the teacher and a reading assistant who works with teachers in lower grades to provide reading help to students who need it.