Academics » Our Curriculum

Our Curriculum


Grounded in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework(Open external link), Explorations provide instructional opportunities for 3-K for All teaching staff, children, and families to connect, explore materials, and learn together. Explorations invite engagement in comprehensive, in-depth, play-based learning across domains. Topics and activities in Explorations begin with routines and the classroom community then progress to more abstract ideas throughout the year.

Explorations are grounded in research on developmental expectations as described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF), which outlines the skills, behaviors and concepts programs foster as they engage with our youngest learners. By using the three Explorations as written, programs will support all of the preschool goals included in the framework.

The three Explorations are designed to be implemented in 3-K for All classrooms over the course of the ten-month program year.


The Division of Early Childhood Education has developed a series of interdisciplinary Units of Study for Pre-K for All. This research based resource was created in collaboration with researchers and supports student learning in all domains using developmentally appropriate practice.

We are very proud of our approach to English Language Arts.  Our ELA curriculum is a comprehensive approach to how students learn. 
Skilled Reading Language Comprehension Word Recognition
Our ELA curriculum reflects how students learn.  We implement the following tools:

Wilson Language Training's Fundations (Grades K-2)

  • Emphasizes systematic phonics and study of word structure based on the principles of the Wilson Reading System
  • Teaches skills explicitly and systematically in daily 30-minute lessons (print knowledge, alphabetic awareness, phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and spelling)
  • Instruction is cumulative and scaffolds presented skills
  • Includes both decodable reading passages for students to practice with as well as manipulatives
  • Utilizes assessments to monitor students throughout the program and offers direction for staff to meet individual student needs and provide targeted small-group interventions
  • Provides multiple opportunities for skills application through extensive practice
  • Offers a Home Support Packet to encourage parental involvement
Heggerty Phonemic Awareness (Grades K-2)

Developed in 2003 by Dr Michael Heggerty, the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum is a systematic 35 week program of daily lesson plans that provide a high level of explicit modelling and student engagement. Each level of the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum focuses on eight phonemic awareness skills, along with two additional activities to develop letter and sound recognition, and language awareness.

The Heggerty Curriculum includes explicit instruction in the following phonological and phonemic awareness skills:

  • Rhyming
  • Onset Fluency
  • Blending
  • Isolating final and medial phonemes (sounds)
  • Segmenting
  • Adding Phonemes
  • Deleting Phonemes
  • Substituting Phonemes

All lessons are designed for a classroom setting, only take 10-12 minutes, and are very easy to implement.  The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum is also designed to work alongside existing structured synthetic phonics programs and is a great way to build up the phonological skills of our early readers.

Expeditionary Learning:

A Closer Look at Grades K-2

The Grades K-2 curriculum offers two hours per day of content-based literacy (Module Lessons and K-2 Labs) plus one hour of structured phonics (the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block). Together, these three hours of the curriculum are considered comprehensive, meaning that they explicitly teach and assess all strands and standards of the Common Core English language arts (ELA) standards for each grade level.

Key Features of the K-2 Module Lessons and Labs

  • Designed with the Characteristics of Primary Learners in Mind:  Primary students have unique learning and social needs and our K-2 curriculum is designed based on the research of developmental psychologists and educators such as Lev Vygotsky, Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget. 
  • Emphasis on oral language development: Interactive, conversational immersion in oral language in the early years is critically important for children's literacy development. Module Lessons include an explicit focus on the Speaking and Listening standards and the Labs provide opportunities for students to use content and academic vocabulary to apply oral language skills. 
  • Daily work with rich, complex text and volume of reading: The Module Lessons are built around close read-alouds of complex text. In addition, each day in the Labs begins with storytime--a read-aloud chosen for its relationship to the content or character focus of the Labs. This frequent work with rich text builds comprehension skills, broadens content knowledge, and develops academic vocabulary. 
  • Regular engagement with songs and poems: Almost every day, K-2 students share songs and poems. These serve many functions: They give students cues about transitions from activity to activity, help build a positive classroom community, build fluency, give students opportunities to practice specific language standards, and give students a deep schema for rhythm and syntax. And, they are joyful.  
Grades 3-5

Our Grades 3-5 curriculum honors students' growing capacities to read complex text, write at length and with depth, and explore pressing issues in the world around them. The curriculum comprises two hours of rich content-based literacy instruction per day. The ALL (Additional Language and Literacy)  Block is one hour long and is complementary to module lessons. These two hours of content-based literacy instruction work together to accelerate the achievement of all students

Key Features of the 3-5 Module Lessons and ALL Block

  • Designed with the Developmental Needs of Grades 3-5 Students in Mind: Upper elementary students' growing hunger for independence and mastery as learners make them hungry to put their hard-earned reading and writing skills to work.  The 3-5 curriculum honors students' growing capacity to read complex text, write at length and with depth, and explore pressing issues in the world around them. 
  • Life Science Extensions: There is an optional companion Life Science module that accompanies Module 2 and comprises eight weeks of instruction. 
  • Assessment Opportunities:  In grades 3-5, there are two assessments per unit, which reflects the readiness of students this age to do more independent work and to practice with high-stakes testing formats. 
  • Complementary Instruction: The ALL Block and the Module Lessons are complementary, working together to accelerate the achievement of all students.  During ALL Block, students engage in independent reading, additional practice with complex text, fluency, and GUM (grammar, usage, and mechanics) writing practice and word study/vocabulary.  
enVisions Math:
Our math program  combines problem-based learning and visual learning to deepen students’ conceptual understanding. enVision is used by our Grade K-5 classrooms. Our curriculum includes critical thinking math tasks, project based learning and productive struggle.  Some examples are the 3-Act Math modeling tasks as well as differentiated open tasks.
Our teachers and paraprofessionals are trained on many interventions to support students.  
S.P.I.R.E.: Grades 3-5
S.P.I.R.E. is a comprehensive, multisensory and systematic reading and language arts program designed for struggling readers.  It is the only program of its kind beginning at the pre-K level (Sounds Sensible®) and extending all the way through Grade 8.  Based on Orton-Gillingham methodologies, S.P.I.R.E. incorporates the most recent research regarding best practices in reading and language arts instruction to help struggling readers excel.
Fundations Double Dose: Students Grades K-3
This is an intervention for students who are struggling with phonics and phonemic awareness.  Instruction is done in small groups with an explicit approach to each student.
Acadience: Grades K-2

Acadience Reading helps teachers identify children at risk for reading difficulties and determine the skills to target for instructional support


  • provides universal screening
  • detects when students need extra support
  • is sensitive to effects of intervention
  • supports the RtI/Multi-tiered model

Great Leaps

Great Leaps is a comprehensive intervention program for reading and language that is designed and proven to generate significant and lasting gains.

Great Leaps reading takes less than ten minutes a day at least 3 times per week for substantive improvement. Great Leaps math takes only five minutes a day at least 3 times per week for optimum growth.

We are proud to have a vibrant, project based learning science curriculum.  We also have a STEM lab for all students including makerspace materials, 3D Printers, and robotics.  We are a proud CS4ALL school.  As part of the District 24 STEM Diversity Grant, we have an ICT class on each grade with a STEM focus.  Our trained teachers create a project based culture based on real world problem solving.


Amplify Science:

Amplify Science is a K–8 science curriculum that blends hands-on investigations, literacy-rich activities, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and argue like real scientists and engineers.


STEM is an abbreviation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students can learn about STEM both inside and outside the classroom at all grade levels (PreK-12). STEM can also incorporate the arts—then it becomes STEAM. History and literacy may also be included.

STEM education engages students in asking questions and solve problems related to the world around them. Using the engineering-design process, students identify problems, design possible solutions, and test and evaluate those solutions. This process, combined with the study of math and science, helps students to find connections that make science, math, and technology relevant to their lives.

STEM can include a variety of courses that combine subjects such as: computer science; robotics; sustainability and green construction; environmental studies; marine science; urban transportation; financial literacy; urban gardening and farming; communications; health and wellness; and so much more.



Computer science is the study of the capabilities and limitations of computers. Computational literacy is the ability to understand how CS can be applied in all walks of life. New York City public school students develop computational literacy through creative computing

he NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies program is a comprehensive instructional resource that integrates the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and the New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework to support strong social studies teaching and learning.

An effective social studies program allows students to make sense of the world in which they live, make connections between major ideas and their own lives, and see themselves as active members of a global community. While knowledge of content is very important, it is equally important to engage our students in historical thinking. This program challenges students to think like historians and encourages them to raise questions, think critically, consider many perspectives, and gather evidence in support of their interpretations through the practice of chronological processing, decision-making, and historical research and analysis. These real-world skills will serve students well as participating citizens of a democracy.

Designed to support The New York City K-8 Social Studies Scope & Sequence, each yearly course of study is organized around newly developed units of study, each guided by essential questions. Teachers can use the units of study to plan coherent instruction that considers relevant skills, practices, and knowledge objectives for deep historical understanding.

The units of study were developed with and for classroom teachers by the Social Studies Department as part of the Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Professional Learning. Members of the Social Studies Department and other staff worked with teachers to design the activities and lesson plans provided within each unit guide. The unit guides offer a sequence of instruction that can be adapted and customized to meet individual students’ needs and were structured to support high quality social studies instruction that will engage students in historical thinking and disciplinary literacy. The units of study leverage the rich diversity and resources our city has to offer to enhance robust and rigorous social studies instruction. The development of each unit was informed by and integrated with the following documents and perspectives: New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, the Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Understanding by Design, and Reading Like a Historian (Stanford History Education Group).

NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies include units of study as well as a variety of documents, trade books, and primary sources as part of the classroom package to support rigorous instruction and student inquiry. These “text sets” should be added to and change and grow over time. Just as knowledge and historical scholarship is not static, our resources should not be static either. As new information, discoveries or interpretations are published they can be added to the existing units of study. Lastly, teachers know their students best and should also consider student needs when adding additional print or non-print materials.