There are four academic departments at City School of the Arts: Humanities, Math, Science, and Special Education.
In 6th and 7th Grade, students have a double-block of Humanities which combines English and History. In 8th Grade, students have separate English and History blocks to prepare them for the demands of high school. Additionally, all students have two to three blocks of Guided Reading a week. Guided Reading is held in small groups of students on the same reading level, determined by a Reading Inventory assessment administered every trimester.
In 6th Grade Humanities, students are introduced to the rise and fall of civilizations, empire development, political systems, and world religions. In 7th Grade Humanities, students engage in Indigenous American and African tribal histories, European exploration and colonization, the American Revolution, and the U.S. Constitution and government. In 8th Grade History, students deepen their understand and analysis of citizenship, nationalism, progress, global responsibility, and the American Dream. In 8th Grade English, students read seven American novels and focus on critical analysis essay writing and creating arts-integrated projects to demonstrate their learning.
In 6th Grade Math, students build off 5th Grade Math standards and begin learning ratios and proportions, arithmetic operations, rational numbers, expressions and equations, area and volume, and basic statistics. In 7th Grade Math, students engage in pre-algebra and learn about proportional relationships, operations with rational numbers, expressions and linear equations, problem-solving with scale drawings, geometric constructions, and two/three-dimensional shapes. In 8th Grade Math, students deepen their understanding of algebra, logical thinking and problem solving skills, and functions and geometric applications. This year, around 50% of 8th Grade students will sit for the Integrated Algebra Regents exam; we anticipate growing that number each year.
In 6th Grade Science, students are introduced to the scientific method, designing controlled experiments, and collecting and analyzing meaningful data. Students are provided an overview of physical and earth sciences including energy, weather patterns, and climate change. In 7th Grade Science, students discover scientific concepts through exploring phenomenon, designing engineered prototypes, and mastering new scientific vocabulary. Students study waves and energy, electricity and electromagnetism, growth and development of life, and earth sciences. In 8th Grade Science, students prepare for the Living Environments Regents exam, for which 100% of 8th Grade students will sit. Students learn about the research and discovery of life functions and how they interact with each other and the environment; specifically, students learn about cells, reproduction, population dynamics, evolution, human anatomy, and human impacts on the environment.
City School of the Arts is dedicated to supporting all types of learners to meet the demands of our academic program. Our primary model is Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT), which places two teachers in one classroom: a general education teacher and a special education teacher. ICT classrooms make it difficult to differentiate who the general education teacher and special education teacher are, because they work together to meet the needs of students in the room. Additionally, City School of the Arts offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETTS) with a variety of specialized support in small settings. With intervention methods grounded in the arts, we leverage student engagement to provide targeted academic supports to students who are struggling, and extensions to those who are ready for more challenging work.