Curriculum Overview

Reading and Writing: We are a Teacher’s College Reading and Writing program (TCRWP) school.  Our teachers follow the units of study and are provided instructional coaches from Teacher’s College (K-8). It is a workshop model with a mini lesson, independent or small group work (during that time teachers are assessing by conferring or teaching in a small group and then a share.

Math: Our math curriculum is Engage New York Math Modules, K-5 Math Solutions,  and CMP3 (6-7), Regents Algebra (8th). Students are encouraged to communicate their mathematical thinking with drawing models, numbers, equations and words.

Social Studies: We follow The NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies program that integrates the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and the New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework to support strong social studies teaching and learning.

It allows students to make sense of the world in which they live, make connections between major ideas and their own lives, and see themselves as active members of a global community. It engages our students in historical thinking and challenges students to think like historians and encourages them to raise questions, think critically, consider many perspectives, and gather evidence in support of their interpretations through the practice of chronological processing, decision-making, and historical research and analysis.

Science: We follow the Greenhouse Project core curriculum (we wrote the curriculum and we are the The Sun Works Center for Environmental Studies–the flagship Greenhouse Project Science Laboratory) introduces students to cutting-edge technology and connects science and the environment through sustainable urban farming asking questions, investigating systems, making predictions and designing solutions. The curriculum emphasizes the child’s perspective in the process of learning and promotes project based, critical thinking, and collaborative work. Students not only learn the general requirements of the mandated New York State Science Standards and the Scope and Sequence Standards, they go beyond by addressing issues of today’s environmental global concern.

In 6th grade, energy, 7th grade, earth science, Regents Living Environment and Challenge Based Modules intensive, short-term interdisciplinary courses developed around real-world challenges. They are designed to enhance students’ understanding of big ideas and broad global concepts, and their development and application of 21st century skills.

Homework Policy

Our homework policy was developed through vertical collaboration from Kindergarten to Eighth grade. It is based on our school philosophies and guiding principals. We believe that children need time to explore, and grow in, areas besides their academic endeavors. As educators, we gave careful thought and deliberation as to what homework will best meet the needs of all our students.

  • There will be no weekly packets or assignments in first through fifth grade.

  • Checklists on progress reports, will not include a homework category.

  • If families feel that they want more homework, they can let their child’s teacher know, and teachers can recommend workbooks, websites, and other resources.

  • If families feel that their child is struggling to meet the homework expectations they may speak with their child’s teacher to find a solution.

  • Kindergarten will have no homework.

  • There will be no assignments given on weekends, holidays, or vacations.

  • 6th, 7th and 8th grade faculty will work to coordinate their homework assignments to ensure that student workloads are manageable.

  • 1st – 8th students may have nightly stamina reading based on grade, and class expectations. Students may also be expected to respond in writing to their reading, also based on grade and class expectations.

  • 1st – 8th will focus on building automaticity and fluency in math. This may include sending home materials such as games, flash cards, quiz prep sheets, unfinished class work, etc.

  • 1st – 8th will focus on building automaticity and fluency in word work. This may include sending home materials such as flash cards, quiz prep sheets, unfinished class work, etc.

  • Unfinished class work may also be sent home for completion, based on individual teacher discretion.

  • Quizzes may be given as a way for teachers, and families, to monitor student progress.

  • In addition to quizzes, progress reports, family conferences, and informal check-ins during drop off and pick up, weekly newsletters are a way for families to monitor student and class curriculum progress.

Celebrations of Learning

Publishing Celebrations and Student Work Showcases in each classroom community are celebrations of learning for children, their teachers and families. Publishing Celebrations, are organized by the teachers after a unit of study.  This is a culmination of all the work the students have learned throughout the course of the unit. Each child should be an active participant in the celebration—planning and organizing, sharing their work, listening and responding to the work of others.  Likewise family members and staff should also be active participants. Teachers will establish a protocol that allows all students who have published to share and that also allows families to understand the importance of listening and responding.

Electives for Grades 5-8

Art, Dance, Cooking, Power Play, Glee, Drama, Instrumental Jazz Ensembles, Percussion. For more information, please visit our website,

Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom is a research and evidence-based approach to education that fosters safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms in schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. Responsive Classroom practices help educators become more effective in three key domains each of which enable and enrich the others.

  • “Engaging Academics Teachers” creates learning tasks that are active interactive, appropriately challenging purposeful, and connected to students’ interests.

  • “Positive Community Teachers” nurtures a sense of belonging, significance, and emotional safety so that students feel comfortable taking risks and working with a variety of peers.

  • “Effective Management Teachers” creates a calm, orderly environment that promotes autonomy and allows students to focus on learning.

K-8 Responsive Classroom structures and practices employed in every classroom.  Morning Meeting is the cornerstone of RC in K-5 classrooms. In 6th, 7th & 8th grade, students participate in Advisory meetings that allow for students to connect to the teacher, our school, and to each other.

Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall Meetings bring the whole school together in the auditorium to celebrate our learning community. Town Hall meetings happen once a month to enhance our culture of learning at MSC. The theme of each month will be around a vocabulary word. The common use and understanding of the "word of the month" will unify the school. The more we all plug into the themes, the more effective Town Hall will be in developing school-wide culture. 

4-8: Each class rotates leading

K-3: Each class rotates leading

School-Wide Rules Congress and Representatives

RULES: Each class creates rules. CLASS REPRESENTATIVES: Each class selects 2 class representatives to present their class’ rules (K/1 teachers will choose, grades 2-8 will elect representatives). Class representatives will come to a rules congress with Claire and Wendy. Two delegates from each grade will be selected from among these representatives for monthly meetings with Claire and Wendy.

First Person Language

MSC families, students and staff should strive to use person-first language when referring to members of our community who have special needs. How do you use person-first language? Simply say the person’s name or use a pronoun (“he” or “she”) rather than using the disability as an adjective to describe the person. For example, no one at MSC should ever refer to a child as a “wheelchair kid.” Instead, say, “Tom uses a wheelchair.” If you don’t know a particular student’s name, say, “He uses a wheelchair.” Why is person-first language important? It places the focus on the person rather than the need, reminding everyone that human beings are defined by who they are and not by their abilities or limitations.


Primarily for reasons relating to curriculum — in order to more closely address the developmental needs of our students — MSC is divided into two houses: Lower House (Kindergarten – Grade 3) and Upper House (Grade 4 – Grade 8).

Lost and Found

MSC is not responsible for personal items. Lost items are placed in the bins in the lobby. Families should check frequently because the bins will be emptied about once a month and items not claimed will be donated to charity.