In addition to Integrated Studies, CRCS Middle School curriculum features:
English Language Arts
CRCS English Language Arts curriculum draws from the Common Core Literacy Standards in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students build literacy and complex thinking skills through regular independent and collaborative reading and writing projects.
Students develop close reading and academic writing skills to understand diverse perspectives through literature and informational texts, academic research and persuasive writing skills.
CRCS teachers integrate Social Studies content with the ELA curriculum by incorporating Mythology and literature from the Eastern Hemisphere and in 6th grade students; literature and informational texts on slavery in the United States in 7th Grade; and Vietnam and World War II in 8th grade.
CRCS middle school students complete 3 of 4 year long multigraded math courses throughout grades 6 through 8. Students who have met all the standards the previous year and want to move at a faster pace may skip one of the three sequential pre-algebra courses and are provided with additional support after school during their acceleration year. These students are then are able to take Algebra I in 8th grade.
CRCS pre-algebra courses are driven by the Connected Mathematics 3 (CMP3) curriculum and pedagogy. The program emphasizes student-centered and collaborative exploration of real-life math applications to support deep understanding of critical math concepts and skills. Students’ ability to problem-solve, reason and explain mathematical ideas is also integral to CMP3 and foundational to the Common Core Standards. While our curriculum follows CMP3’s units focusing on four strands – Numbers & Operations, Geometry, Data & Probability, and Algebra – it is also supplemented with additional resources.
CRCS Algebra I course is aligned to the Common Core and paced to prepare students for the Algebra I Common Core Regents Exam.
CRCS Middle School uses the Project-Based Inquiry Science (PBIS) program. PBIS is inquiry-based and uses challenging real-world questions to engage students in building scientific knowledge, skills, and understanding.
Our science curriculum spirals the life, physical and earth sciences throughout all three middle school grades according to the PBIS scope and sequence for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. At each grade level, students design and conduct their own experiments and research.
By the end of 8th grade, students gain skills in reading and using traditional science texts, maintaining laboratory notebooks and writing lab reports to prepare them for advanced level high school Science courses.
CRCS middle school social studies curriculum builds on the K-5 Integrated Studies curriculum of expanding communities and developing deep historical thinking skills.
Social Studies is taught through an inquiry-based approach emphasizing deep understanding above broad fact acquisition. 6th grade social studies focuses on Ancient Civilizations, 7th grade on United States history from colonialism through the Civil War, and 8th grade moves from the Industrial Revolution towards present day.
CRCS teachers integrate regular field work, reading and writing into social studies so that students are regularly acting as historians do – researching, analyzing and presenting their historical theories. Our 6th graders study Eastern Hemisphere to develop deep understanding the evolution of societies. In 7th grade, the study shifts back to the Western Hemisphere and to early United States History through the lens of power and government systems. In 8th grade, the curriculum focuses United States with a focus on economics.
CRCS middle school students have Physical Education classes twice weekly. Our curriculum includes a blend of health and fitness, cooperative challenges, and sports activities.
CRCS students take Spanish each year of middle school with a focus on using Spanish to meet survival, social, and academic needs.
Our curriculum emphasizes the National Standards for Foreign Language Education’s 5 C’s: Communication (listening, speaking, reading and writing); Culture (exploring similarities and differences among Spanish-speaking cultures); Connections (to other learning and students’ lives); Comparisons (between languages and cultures); and Communities (exploring and connecting with Spanish-speaking communities).
By the end of 8th grade, successful students are prepared to pass New York City’s Spanish proficiency exam to receive high school credit and placement into an advanced Spanish class.
Visual and Performing Arts
CRCS regards the arts as an enrichment as well as integrates it across the curriculum to enhance learning for all learners.
CRCS Middle School art curriculum is divided into two parts of the year. For half the year, students take visual arts class twice a week, which emphasizes the creation of original two and three-dimensional projects, along with building a conceptual foundation for creating and interpreting art and exposing students to related aspects of art history.
The other half of each year, students take performing arts class twice a week. Through performing arts classes, students learn to use their body, voice and objects to convey artistic message for a live audience.
Homeroom, Academic Advisors and Crew
Homeroom: CRCS Middle School students are members of a homeroom class that stays together for all core courses. Every morning and afternoon, homerooms meet to build community, share announcements, support one another and check-in on the day. Homeroom circles are lead by the Academic Advisors for that Homeroom.
Academic Advisors: Each CRCS student has an Academic Advisors. Their role is to ensure that students have a strong school-based relationship with an adult who knows them well and can support their growth academically, socially, and emotionally.
Academic Advisors are the primary adult responsible for the progress and success of each advisee’s academic and character development and as such manage multiple responsibilities on behalf of each advisee (between 10-14 students). Knowing what is going on in our advisees’ lives, what kind of person they want to be, and supporting and following up with them on their progress and goals is integral to our role. Each student’s Advisor is responsible for providing support and structure for the student throughout the year through individual meetings twice a month.
Advisors also establish and maintain close contact with their students’ families and teachers and communicate with every advisee’s family at least monthly with updates from teachers, advisee meetings, and Jumprope comments.
Crew: Crews provide students with the social, emotional, and academic supports they need in the transitional middle grades.
Crew advisors meet with students at least twice a month to provide individual support. The advisor tracks student needs, communicates with parents, and works with other school professionals to collaboratively develop plans to support students.