Our curriculum

Our academic program focuses on making sure that all of our students are fluent readers and confident writers, that they have solid math skills and that they are well on their way to becoming independent learners and critical thinkers by the time they reach third grade. We do this by combining intensive direct instruction in math and literacy skills with opportunities for independent work, creativity and problem solving. Our students also study science, history and geography using engaging curricula that will build on their natural curiosity, give them a firm foundation in these subjects and reinforce independent learning and critical thinking skills. The arts, physical educational and social and emotional learning are also integral parts of each school day.

Our curriculum is aligned to the Common Core Standards.

Language Arts: NCSH uses a balanced literacy approach to teaching language arts that includes interactive reading of shared texts, guided reading in small groups and independent work. During the course of a day, teachers conduct a reading workshop, writing workshop, and phonics and vocabulary development. Students read a large variety of rich texts, both fiction and non-fiction.

Math & CGI: Our math curriculum provides students with the opportunity to develop a conceptual understanding of mathematics while developing the foundational computing skills that are needed to solve mathematical problems. Students are taught to use a variety of mathematical strategies to solve problems. During math workshop we use games and a variety of mathematical tasks to help students learn to take ownership and responsibility for their mathematical learning. To cultivate problem solving, we use Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), which helps our students develop a deep and thorough conceptual understanding of mathematics by solving everyday problems and then sharing their solutions with one another.

Science: NCSH students have laboratory science every day taught by a dedicated science teacher. Our science program was designed on site, is inquiry-based and teaches students to build on their own natural curiosity. Students participate in over 150 hands-on experiments each year.

Physical Education and Health: NCSH has a certified physical education teacher who provides classes for all students. In addition to physical education, students have recess each day and time built into their schedule for stretching and movement. Our physical education teacher also coaches our third grade soccer team. Healthy meals and snacks are provided by Revolution Foods.

Choice Time: Each school day ends with scholars engaging in cooperative play during a period in the day called Choice Time. Enter any NCSH classroom between 3:25-4:00 p.m. and you will find our scholars playing board games, drawing or creating structures out of clay. 

Blocks: NCSH's Northwest kindergarten campus has a room dedicated exclusively to block play. Our scholars build skyscrapers, trains, or anything that sparks their interest. They have equally as much fun explaining their creations to their classmates. 

Arts: NCSH has a partnership with The Harlem School of the Arts. Visiting teaching artists instruct students in visual arts and dance. In addition, classroom teachers incorporate music and visual arts into classroom lessons.

Social and Emotional Skills: Social and emotional skills are just as important as academic skills for success in school and in life. These skills are explicitly taught, modeled and reinforced throughout the school day beginning with a morning meeting that emphasizes attentive listening, sharing and learning to appreciate the exchange of ideas. A daily choice time period makes use of the arts to teach students to explore, create and work together while increasing their self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, decision making and problem solving.

Technology: Technology is built into every part of our school day. All classrooms, including our Science labs, have Promethean Board technology. Additionally, one mobile iPad and three Chromebook carts are available for classroom use and are used by students to research topics on the internet.