ACADEMIC POLICY

Curriculum

At YCS, we strive to provide our students with a curriculum that encourages exploration, observation, and questioning.  Our goal is to create a learning environment where children feel safe sharing their ideas while developing a strong sense of who they are. Our curriculum, which is centered around thematic units of is not only engaging, but it is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Our teachers collect reading, writing and math data based on formal and informal assessments designed to track our students’ acquisition and utilization skills and strategies. This data informs us on what our students have learned and need to learn in order to meet the learning benchmarks. 

Our goal is to provide students with multiple opportunities and experiences to deepen their understanding of the information they are presented with. Students are taught using an active curriculum that requires children to “think out of the box”, develop good social skills, and be able to articulate their feelings, observations, questions, and ideas. 

Periodic Assessments

Reading: Reading grades will be determined using a combination of the TCRWP Assessment Program that includes Running Records, foundational assessments, and benchmarks.  In addition, teacher conferences, classroom discussions, work during book clubs and guided reading, read alouds and/or shared reading activities are used to monitor student progress. 

Writing: Writing grades are determined based on student work produced throughout thematic units of study, in multiple genres. Student writing is measured using the Common Core standards as well as standards aligned TCRWP Rubrics.

Math: Students are assessed on their understanding of mathematical concepts and their ability to solve problems in multiple ways as well as explain solutions. Baseline, Midline, Endline assessments, pre/post unit work, journal entries and contributions to class discussions will determine math grades.

Behavior

Students are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior during all classes to facilitate their own learning as well as the learning of classmates. 

Attendance

Attendance lower than 90% is considered poor attendance, (students absent 10% or more of the school year are considered chronically absent.  Being in attendance is a practice that promotes strong work ethics. Missing classroom instruction can seriously impede a student’s success both academically and behaviorally. 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled in November and March. At these individual conferences, parents discuss their child’s academic and social progress with the teacher. Teachers are also available to meet Tuesdays from 8:00-8:40am.  If there are situations that require discussion, please send a note requesting an appointment with your child’s teacher. 

Report Cards

Students will receive progress reports in December, March and June. The information provided in our Report Cards supports our belief that collaboration and dialogue between school and families is critical in supporting the academic, social, emotional and physical development of our students. Final grades are based on June grades, not an average of the trimesters. Our report cards are closely aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards, measuring skills and knowledge needed for college and career readiness.  The Standards based scale is used to support your child’s academic and social growth by providing you with grades that best reflect your child’s ability. Grading is based on formal and informal assessments that are implemented on a daily basis. As you read your child’s report card, please keep in mind that it is meant to be one of many tools used to support and track your child’s development. Our students are graded using an on-track system, students being on-track toward meeting the CCLS and/or relevant content standards by the end of the year.  Each child is evaluated as an individual, not in comparison to another child.

CCSS Grading Scale 

4= Excels in Standards 
For this marking period, child is exceeding grade level expectations in the area of focus. Child responds to instruction, displays evidence of understanding the material covered, and engages in higher level thinking and problem solving. Teacher support is minimal. 

3= Proficient 
For this marking period, child is performing at grade level expectations in the area of focus. Child is responding to instruction and displays evidence of understanding the material covered, even with varied levels of teacher support. Teacher support is moderate. 

2= Below Standards 
For this marking period, child is approaching grade level expectations in the area of focus. Child is beginning to respond to instruction and displays some evidence of understanding the material covered. The focus will be to continue to support child by providing them with strategies and skills to help them meet the grade level expectations. Teacher support is much to moderate. 

1=Well Below Grade Level 
For this marking period, child is performing way below grade level expectations in the area of focus. Child is rarely responding to instruction and displays very little evidence of understanding the material covered. The focus will be to continue to provide extra support to assist child’s development as an independent learner. Teacher support is significant and necessary, for most tasks to be completed. 

Grade Changes

A student’s final grade represents the work a student completed throughout the course and their level of mastery at the end of the course, at that point in time. The teacher of record determines the final grade in alignment with the school’s grading policy. This grade must be entered within 20 days after the end of the term. Schools may only change a student’s final grade in rare circumstances and with supporting evidence.  

Promotion

Promotion to the next grade is based on multiple measures of student progress including report cards, samples of student writing, projects, assessments, assignments, state tests and other student work.  In January and early February we identify students who are not on track to meeting promotion benchmarks at the end of the school year, and families of students whose promotion is in doubt receive written notice in the mail.  If you receive a Promotion in Doubt letter we encourage you to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss how to support your child in making progress.  In May and early June we create promotion portfolios for students who may not be ready for the next grade level.  This is based on student work and assessments from throughout the school year.  The school makes promotion decisions based on the English language arts and math skills shown in the student’s portfolio.  

For more information on promotion please visit the Department of Education website:  

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/policies-for-all/promotion-policy