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ARS CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
At each grade level the NY State and City Core Curricular standards will be met as a minimum in all subject areas. Over and above the core curriculum at every grade level is the luxury of our small classes and experienced, dedicated teachers each of whom is afforded a great deal of autonomy to develop and implement areas of specific interest to them and their students each year, keeping their curriculum fresh and exciting at all times.
All ARS students receive two periods of Physical Education, French or Spanish, Music and Art weekly. All grades also attend one Library class weekly with the Library open at other times for open use and class research as well. Mandarin, ethics and wellness classes are offered weekly. There are supplemental ‘clubs’ offered on Fridays as are after school instrumental music lessons.
An obvious statement, although one not often reflected upon by anyone other than classroom teachers and admissions directors, is that every class is an ever changing dynamic of personalities and social chemistry. The developmental stages of the individual students and the grade levels as a whole are also ever evolving. The Junior-Kindergarten class has students whose level of functional independence governs what they can and cannot do by and for themselves and at the other end of our spectrum are the fifth grade students who are fully functional academicians on the cusp of adolescence. ARS can and does meet all the psychological, social, educational and developmental needs of our students. The beauty of an exclusively elementary school is the focus on the elementary school-aged child. At the front end we take in our youngest students who are leaving their early childhood & toddler years and entering full childhood and, at the far end, we have those on the precipice of the next major developmental stage of adolescence, during which there is palpable emotional fragility.
Those fifth grade students, so adrift in K-12 schools, are elevated to leadership positions at ARS. They are our kingpins. There is no greater boost than to be the oldest and most admired group in a school setting. As a school, by design and intention, we set our students up for confident success in middle school, when most students feel extremely vulnerable and insecure.