Academic Expectations

Next Generation Learning Standards

The foundation of all of the academic content that is covered in our academic program is our New York State Next Generation Learning Standards. It is imperative that our classroom teachers understand the correlation of the Common Core Standards and the newly adopted Next Generation Learning Standards. The knowledge of these standards should be vertical in nature so that each classroom teacher understands what is expected in their grade level as well as before and after their grade level. The instructional tools that were chosen will provide teachers with an aligned experience of teaching and learning because they are all Next Generation Learning Standards aligned.

Instructional Tools

Our roadmaps to high quality instruction in the content areas of English Language Arts and mathematics stem from our clear vision statements for each content area. We expect you to be able to understand, articulate and communicate this vision to families, external partners and other stakeholders. 

English Language Arts

We believe that strong literacy skills lead to opportunities for creativity. Reading, writing, researching, speaking, and listening are necessary skills to develop engaged, reflective, self-motivated life-long learners. We believe that students must read, view, and listen effectively in order to construct meaning. We believe that when exposed to rich literacy experiences and excellent writing students may examine writing pieces from a critical stance. They will view writing as a craft to express their perspective and imagination. 

Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA)

The Core Knowledge Language Arts reading program is K-8 designed with a blueprint for knowledge-based schooling at its core.

“Both the realities of cognitive science and the ideals of social justice support the need for knowledge-based schooling. Cognitive science confirms these facts: 

  • Children can advance educationally only when they have the expected prior knowledge. 
  • They can become better readers only by building extensive knowledge of the world. 
  • They can become effective members of the wider society only by sharing the knowledge taken for granted by literate writers and speakers in that society. 

Social justice demands that we give all children equal access to important shared knowledge. Only by specifying the knowledge that all children should share can we guarantee equal access to that knowledge.” 

 La Cima advances this notion of social justice by enhancing what we believe the shared knowledge must include. It must include the perspectives of colonized people that has been historically and intentionally omitted and discarded. We supplement the curriculum to include those facts and perspectives. 

 The Listening and Learning Strand helps students build the background knowledge and vocabulary critical to listening and reading comprehension. The decoding skills needed for future independent reading are taught separately in the Core Knowledge Language Arts Skills Strand. The two strands complement each other, building the requisite decoding and comprehension skills that comprise fluent, mature reading.

Mathematics

We believe that mathematics is a tool for social justice and a gateway to opportunity for all children and not a select few. We believe that students learn mathematics best when they become doers of mathematics and not mere answer-getters. We believe that students come to us with mathematical ability and must be supported in using their ideas to make sense of mathematical concepts. We believe that students must engage in productive struggle with cognitively demanding task that allow them to analyze their own and their peers’ thinking. 

We believe the experience in the math classroom must create a sense of belonging for all. This sense of belonging to the math community will empower them to make use of math in their daily lives, in their career options and beyond. 

Math In Focus is a mathematics curricular program that is best aligned with our vision to create problem-solvers who embrace productive struggle. Most importantly, we want young children of color and girls to opt into science and mathematics fields as adults. Children apply the C-P-A approach (concrete-pictorial-abstract) to their daily math lessons. They interact with each other and “talk” math with their peers and teachers. Technology is integrated to achieve learning outcomes.