Curriculum

While design of Avenues’ initial curriculum began in 2010, we believe in an iterative process, as described further in the curriculum design philosophy. However, the overviews below provide a high-level introduction to the themes and content in each grade.

To view the curriculum overview for a particular division, please click on the links below. A short introduction to each division’s curriculum is also available below.

EARLY LEARNING CENTER CURRICULUM

The Avenues Early Learning Center goals are based upon the school’s philosophy and an underlying respect for the individual child. Classroom teachers determine how the objectives, which are appropriate for the age group of the children they teach, are implemented. These objectives are developmentally based and are guided by both knowledge of the typical development of children in a chronological span and by awareness of individual differences in patterns of growth, personality, learning style and family background.

The curriculum is designed to provide experiences that will promote competency and the successful mastery of developmental tasks through adjusting expectations, varied activities and materials and through interactions in the learning environment. Learning is presented to children using a variety of sensory experiences to teach concepts. Young children learn by doing, and play is the medium through which children explore the world and learn about themselves and others. Thematic units are developed to expose children to new concepts and expand their knowledge of the world around them.

Most of the goals of the program represent processes rather than isolated skills; therefore, mastery is reflected along a continuum of growth. This allows children the opportunity to experience success and satisfaction with their own developmental ability.

To view the Early Learning Center curriculum, please click here.

LOWER DIVISION CURRICULUM

The Avenues Lower Division provides each child with the social and academic skills needed to interact and explore the world as a confident and effective learner. We have developed a rich, interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on inquiry, discovery, creativity and building community.

We understand that the primary responsibility of elementary education is the acquisition of academic and study skills. However, academic skills learned in isolation do not create enthusiastic students and life-long learners. Through our curriculum we will provide children with real and meaningful opportunities to use their skills both as a member of a community and as independent learners.

While we set clear expectations for learning, we also approach instruction with the understanding that each child’s development is unique and individual. Through the use of differentiated instruction, we help ensure academic success.

To view the Lower Division curriculum, please click here.

UPPER DIVISION: MIDDLE GRADES PROGRAM CURRICULUM

The Upper Division: middle grades program curriculum chart lists the courses and topics that comprised the middle grades program course of study at Avenues in academic year 2014-15. Central topics and themes are listed for courses where appropriate.

This curriculum is traditional in resting upon a foundation of vertical cohesion (skills taught in one grade will be built upon in the following grades) and the mastery of crucial academic skills. It is progressive in its emphasis on depth of learning over breadth of exposure, its project- and problem-based orientation and its interdisciplinary nature.

To view the current middle grades program curriculum, please click here.

UPPER DIVISION: UPPER GRADES PROGRAM CURRICULUM

The Upper Division: upper grades program curriculum offers the culmination of the many unique features of an Avenues education. The World Course, the Avenues Mastery program, service-learning and the utilization of the incredible resources of New York City and our neighborhood come to full fruition. It is in the upper grades program that the ambitious goals defined in our mission statement are most fully realized.

The curriculum in the upper grades program is organized under three major rubrics: humanities, STEM and life skills. Humanities includes English, history, the World Course and the arts (both visual and performing). STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) includes science, math and robotics, as well as continual support with a digital toolbox.

The science program is somewhat unusual, starting with physics in ninth grade, chemistry in 10th grade, biology in 11th grade and a robust series of electives in the senior year and for students in all grades who have a particular interest in science. This is the sequence recommended by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that has yet to be adopted by many high schools. The math program is a carefully calibrated series of problems to be solved by students in problem-based math.

The life skills part of the curriculum includes world languages, the Avenues Mastery program, service-learning, physical education and wellness. In addition, in our advisory program students are mentored in practical life skills like time management, money management, collaborative skills and conflict resolution.

By organizing our program in these three areas, rather than a more traditional departmental approach, these clusters of subjects promote cross-disciplinary work and collaborative, problem-based learning. While we have specialists in each curriculum area, we know this structure will foster a more holistic and differentiated curriculum for all students.

To view the upper grades program curriculum, please click here.

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Recent Articles from OPEN, our news and discussion blog

December 8, 2017

Yayoi Kusama’s Festival of Life

by Robert Davis, Co-head Pre-K Teacher


Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life show was such a special experience for our pre-K students as they wandered through her “infinity rooms.” The first room in the show is an immersive experience for everyone who visits, and our 4 and 5-year-olds really seemed to connect with it.  

December 5, 2017

Maker of Patterns: Part One

by Cem Inaltong, Global Academic Dean, Mathematics


Last week, having almost completed all high school math curriculum, a group of 12th graders set foot to find beauty outside the classroom. This time, they looked for patterns not in a sequence of math problems, but ones hidden in the works of artists. As a prelude to their yearlong math-art project, students visited galleries in Chelsea. One of the stops was home to works by artist Ruth Asawa. 

December 1, 2017

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by Yumi Nakanishi, Middle Grades Technology Integrator


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November 29, 2017

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by Alexandra Gerba, Associate Pre-K Teacher


We asked the kids to share what they know about emotions, and then generated a list of all the feelings we know. One child made a quick connection and said, “Hey! Emojis, emotions. They’re like the same thing!” We used this observation to help us draw facial expressions for our own class emojis and then thought about how and why we feel the ways we do.  

November 28, 2017

Studying City Life in Spanish 8

by Olga Valeria, Middle Grades Spanish Teacher


In Spanish class with Profesora Valeria, 8th-grade students are working on the topic “City Life.” Through language study, they make connections with other content areas; compare the language and culture studied with their own; and participate in home and global communities.  

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