INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM

Unity Charter School sets a new paradigm for public school education and sustainability, far exceeding the New Jersey academic standards. Our emphasis on sustainability is infused into a comprehensive academic and social-emotional curriculum focused on the development of the whole child. Through a combination of academic rigor, project-based and experiential learning, and leadership opportunities, Unity fosters the growth of 21st century leaders and global citizens.

Below, you’ll find an overview of our curriculum by subject category, but we encourage you to come to us directly with more pointed questions regarding any aspect of our curriculum.

Sustainability

As a pillar of our purpose, Education for Sustainability (EfS) is integrated into daily life at Unity Charter and is intrinsically woven throughout our curriculum. Multi-disciplinary units and constructivist experiential learning help provide students with an eco-consciousness that spans well beyond the classroom to develop 21st century leaders and change makers.

To learn more about our Sustainability program, click here.

STEAM

Science:

Our Science program applies the Putnam/Northern Westchester Boces Science curriculum and is supplemented by frequent field trips to county parks, environmental centers and other locations for hands-on, dynamic learning. Our Science program applies the Putnam/Northern Westchester Boces Science curriculum and is supplemented by frequent field trips to county parks, environmental centers and other locations for hands-on, dynamic learning.

Technology:

Our Technology courses teach the basics of computer science. Unity provides Chromebooks to every middle school student for their classes to promote real-life application of skills learned. Our Technology courses teach the basics of computer science. Unity provides Chromebooks to every middle school student for their classes to promote real-life application of skills learned.

Engineering:

In our Engineering studies, we introduce students to the engineering design process and principles as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The course also leverages the Teach Engineering digital library, which provides relevant, standards-based curricula from a range of engineering disciplines to bring engineering into the K-8 classroom.

Arts:

At Unity Charter School, our focus on the arts encourages creativity and innovation—two important 21st century leadership skills. Through immersive hands-on projects, such as student-led environmental art or applied design skills for STEM initiatives, our students develop critical thinking and communications skills through our multi-disciplinary arts programs.

Mathematics:

From K-6, we apply the Math in Focus (Singapore Math) program, which emphasizes concept mastery and benefits from math manipulatives for a more concrete understanding of numbers and numeracy. For upper grades, we utilize the Holt McDougal Passport to Mathematics curriculum, and we offer advanced math including Algebra 1, Geometry and High School Algebra II. Our advanced math students often graduate High School-ready for AP math.

Language Arts

Reading/Writing:

Our Reading courses utilize Treasures, a comprehensive Reading Language Arts curriculum by Macmillan McGraw-Hill, as well as guided reading and the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction, which provides more flexibility than scripted programs. Reading evaluations using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) are conducted three times a year, and small group instruction is provided for students who require additional help to achieve grade level proficiency. For Writing, Unity Charter follows the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop curriculum, where students are encouraged to write creatively, exploring various writing styles with instruction around the writing process. Literature circles are used in all grades levels for cooperative learning.

Spelling and Grammar:

Unity leverages the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt curriculum for lower grades and uses the Wordly Wise program for upper grades.

World Languages & Cultural Studies:

Unity offers Spanish language instruction at various levels to provide a basic understanding and to help students develop fluency, as well as the study of various world cultures.

Social Studies

Our criteria are aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, and include the instruction of various units within History, Geography, Social Relationships, Other Cultures and Government. Students will learn about and develop an appreciation and celebration of our planet’s diversity, from people to places, cultivating a deeper connection to the larger community.

Student-Initiated Electives & Interest Groups

We support the interests and passions of our Unity Charter School students by offering student-initiated electives and interest groups from K-8.

Electives are an enriching contribution to the Unity learning environment, providing structured opportunities for leadership and collaboration among our middle school students. Electives are self-selected by students and are led by teachers, parents or, occasionally, students. Each child is able to select six electives per year, choosing from over 30 exploratory electives that serve as six-week courses. Example electives include: Kayak Building, Criminology, Public Speaking, History of Punk Rock in NYC, Shark Tank and more.

Our lower grades are also given the opportunity to pursue their interests in multi-age interest groups, held once a week during the school day on a cyclical schedule, with each cycle lasting between four and six weeks. Example interest groups include Nature Detectives, All About Animals, Rhythms & Roots, Sign Language and Strategic Board Games.

Our Social-Emotional Curriculum

This solution-focused program engages our entire school commUnity—administrators, teachers, students, and parents—in creating a strong foundation for the social and emotional development of the child. Based on the teachings of Alfred Adler, Positive Discipline develops the important social-emotional and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Our Positive Discipline program provides teachers and parents with the tools and skills necessary to successfully implement Positive Discipline in the classroom and at home.

Unity’s founders believed that strong “social and emotional skills are necessary for students to attain high academic achievement” and therefore included this in the charter.

Learn more at www.positivediscipline.com

Positive Discipline is integrated into daily life at Unity. It is designed to model and teach students how to become responsible, respectful, and resourceful members of their communities. The Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management model focuses on the importance of belonging and significance, respect for all people, encouragement, strategies for behavior, and the development of problem solving and communication skills for students and staff.