Our Curriculum

School in the Square Curriculum

S2 offers a Common Core aligned program of study in ELA, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts that encourages critical thinking and effective communication. The goal of our academic program is to foster the intellectual and personal growth of students through rigorous instruction and social-emotional development, promoting college readiness and retention. We address the  expectations of the Common Core  Learning Standards (CCLS) through curriculum alignment and targeted, personalized academic instruction so all students can meet or exceed the standards.  The team at School in the Square is dedicated to creating a positive school culture that encourages student voice, ownership, and independence.


Language Arts - S2 uses a balanced literacy approach to teaching language arts. The New York State Common Core ELA Learning Standards provide a pathway to nurturing students who are college and career ready in ELA and communication skills. Towards this end, students must demonstrate independence; build strong content knowledge; respond to varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline; comprehend as well as critique; value evidence; use technology and digital media strategically and capably; and come to understand other perspectives and cultures. To achieve this result for our students, S2 has adopted components of the Engage NY curriculum and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. During the course of a day, students receive targeted mini-lessons; participate in reading and writing workshops and conferences; practice vocabulary development; and have accountable discussions about a large variety of complex texts across a wide range of genres.  


Independent Reading - Independent reading has consistently been found to connect to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, and general information. Students who read more have greater content knowledge and score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas  than those who do not. We incorporate time for students to choose and read high-interest, on-level texts from a variety of genres, and we ask students to continue their reading practices at home.


Math - Middle grade math is where students come to connect arithmetic and algebra, and gain the universally relevant mathematical understanding necessary for success in college and beyond. It is the math our students need to navigate the world and make sound financial decisions. S2 uses Eureka Math and Connected Math to create a solid foundation for algebra in grades 6 through 8. They focus on basic skills to developing automaticity and strong conceptual understanding at every level through focus on visualization, explanations using precise vocabulary, and manipulative-based representation of math concepts. Throughout the course of the day, students participate in daily “Math Talk”; math workshops that include flexible groupings, rotation stations, and manipulatives; differentiated teacher instruction and modeling; hands-on collaborative problem solving and discussion; and independent practice. Students encounter rigorous open-ended, real-world projects that promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills.


Science - The science curriculum at S2 coordinates content and processes of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)  and components of FOSS science curriculum. Students engage in structured inquiry activities to achieve science literacy and deepen their understanding of science concepts and scientific methods.  Exploration through hands-on laboratory work helps students develop science skills such as analysis, inquiry, and design. Through informational texts, content-rich science videos, and online resources, students build background knowledge and learn to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence.