Elementary students typically have a teacher and an aide per classroom who work together to teach a curriculum in a multi-level classroom (e.g. K-2, 3-4 grade, etc.), which have been shown to provide numerous benefits, including helping to develop students’ social, emotional, and verbal skills and self-esteem; enabling students to learn at their own pace; building a caring child-centered and project-based learning environment; and improving student attitudes toward school and school work (which results in increased attendance, etc).(1)
We provide small classroom settings with a healthy teacher-to-student ratio, allowing our teachers to really get to know our students. All students are taught curriculum based on NYS standards by NYS-certified teachers. Students also participate in physical education, art and music classes. They also receive counseling and specialty services such as speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy that they may personally require.
A Typical Day
Our school day runs from 8 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., with bussing (to-and-from) provided by the student’s home district. Students arrive wearing a comfortable school uniform: a navy top, khaki pants (shorts allowed in warm weather) and sneakers/closed-toe shoes. They receive a free breakfast and lunch. Elementary students either eat in their classroom with classmates or in our cafeteria. They’re also given required breaks with assistance from trained staff. Students also participate in field trips, which are scheduled throughout the year.
Importantly, all students participate in Restorative Justice circles and Guided Group Interactions to discuss and take accountability for their actions and behavior — be they positive or negative — as they relate to our Five School Norms: Safety, Respect, Responsibility, Goal-Directed Living, and The Classroom is Sacred.