With environmental science as the school’s focus, our curriculum will be organized around scientific themes, and the process of scientific inquiry. Experiential learning plays a central role as students will be directly engaged in experiences that will connect, and build on, classroom instruction. The curriculum will support constant spiraling between experience and learning.
Learning to read and write is the key to success in the academic setting, Our students develop literacy with a 90-minute reading and writing block each day.
The process of becoming literate begins in kindergarten. We use Wilson Fundations, a reading system on focuses on carefully sequenced skills to teach the phonemic awareness, the alphabet, decoding, vocabulary and spelling. For students struggling with reading, our staff uses the Orton-Gillingham method, a multi-sensory approach.
Students learn about the writing process through the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, which enables young people to become avid readers and writers. The project stresses differentiated instruction for students of differing abilities, and encourages students to share stories from their lives. The goal: to have their stories published, and read, at a classroom publishing party.
We use Singapore math, the curriculum embraced by the Asian nation that places its students in the top echelon of international comparative surveys. Singapore math devotes more time to fewer topics, making sure that students attain proficiency through a process that includes visual and hands-on materials, problem-solving exercises and detailed instructions. Math is embedded in our science curriculum as well, with students using math skills in their observation and measurement of objects in the natural world.
Science lies at the heart of LGCS’s program, with the scientific method providing the framework for student inquiry through experiential learning. Students develop the ability to approach an idea by developing a hypothesis, designing an experiment to test it, and then analyzing the results to determine if the hypothesis was correct. This approach allows students to delve deeply into topics.
Our weekly field trips provide hands-on experiences with scientific topics – be it at the Brooklyn Zoo learning about animals and the habitats they live in, or at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, learning about the world of plants and the natural world.
The science curriculum is multi-disciplinary, involving math and English Language Arts, with the school’s reading program stressing nonfiction works, many of them about science and the environment. A bridge to social studies will come through studying the history of technology.
This cross-curricular approach ties into the Common Core Standards, which encourage schools to look at literacy throughout the entire school day.
Our curriculum starts off with kindergarten students understanding their selves and families and broaden out into the wider world as students progress through Grade 5. New York City will also be a laboratory for their social studies experience, as they delve into the immigrant experience that has characterized the city’s history.
Artists-in-residence come to LGCS on 10-week rotations, with one artist assigned to each grade level. The artists works with each class one day a week.
We have a 40-minute period of physical education every day, for all students.
Parent volunteers play an important role at LGCS.
The main vehicle for volunteering is the LGCS Parent Association, which organizes the school's book fair, and events for students. Each classroom has at least one class parent who helps arrange for parents to volunteer in the classroom, reading to students, or assisting teachers and aides. Parents with a particular expertise can talk with students about their specialties. They can also serve as chaperones on the weekly field-study trips to educational sites in Brooklyn.