Students are welcomed to the HDS “Big School” as they enter First Grade. First graders are ready for academic challenges and responsibilities in a warm, happy atmosphere. Building strong reading skills and math knowledge is a core focus of the First Grade curriculum. Students engage in action-oriented projects for authentic, lasting lessons. For example, in the campus forest, students adopt a tree, observe the seasonal changes, and blog about it throughout the year. First Grade friends explore many cultures around the world, and perform a play for the entire school. Field experiences may include Strasburg Railroad, Fort McHenry, Baltimore Science Center, Longwood Gardens, and the Ladew Topiary Gardens.