Program » Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum is based on the following educational philosophy.

We believe:

  • In educating the whole child, attending to not only academics but also character, physical and emotional well-being, and service to the community.
  • Interdisciplinary learning expeditions, developed from state standards, promote learning through authentic experiences that encourage critical thinking and social responsibility.
  • Our community model helps build stronger relationships between students and teachers, and lead towards a safer, more vibrant school environment so critical to the teaching and learning process.
  • High expectations for character and behavior create a school culture exemplified by physical and emotional safety, accountability, compassion, integrity, and respect.
  • Shared school traditions and celebrations support reflection, personal growth, and a sense of belonging within the school community.
  • Multiple means of assessment, including portfolios and student-led conferences, along with academic and character reports, hold students, teachers, and staff accountable for the highest quality of work.
  • Multicultural and social justice studies instill tolerance and broad worldviews while fostering an appreciation for local and global diversity.
  • Physical fitness, outdoor activities, and visual and arts are an integral part of students’ daily lives.


Learning Expeditions are long term, in-depth investigations of a topic the engages students in the world with authentic projects, fieldwork and service. They are the heart of the City View’s methodology. Although some curricular skills are taught separately, for the most part, students acquire knowledge and skills through learning expeditions that cut across and make connections among disciplines. Each expedition has specific and well-defined academic goals developed from state standards. 
Students conduct sustained, in-depth investigations of a topic that leads to authentic projects, fieldwork, and community service. Most expedition topics are strong in environmental science, local resources and social justice. Teachers arrange for expert visits to the classroom  as well as take students out into the community often to conduct research and fieldwork – providing authentic learning experiences both inside and outside of the school. Students produce high-quality products at the end of each expedition.  These final products are created using real-world examples, multiple drafts and critique protocols. Each class’ final product contributes to a better world by filling a need within the community.

Example Expedition Topics by Grade

2020-2021 EL Night Video

Literacy Overview

Literacy, or English and Language Arts is a significant focus at City View.  The EL Education Literacy curriculum follows the Common Core State Standards and is typically integrated into learning expeditions where students gain a deep understanding of the topic they are currently studying. Students are prepared to be skillful, reflective, and expressive readers, writers, speakers, and listeners.
Another foundational component of our literacy program is the structural program Daily Five/CAFE. In this program, students work both independently and with partners to learn various aspects of literacy: vocabulary, spelling, word choices, read alouds, and comprehension. Students also set goals and conference regularly with the teacher on progress.
Students reading levels are monitored using the grade-level standardized IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) Leveling System. Those in need to receive additional instruction from support teachers and reading specialists. 

Kindergarten – Second Grade

Reading and writing are ultimately about understanding. In order to gain and show that understanding independently, students need to be able to interpret written language. Our primary classrooms use the EL Educations K-2 Reading Foundations Skill Block to teach students the skills needed to acquire strong and automatic knowledge of letters and sounds.
In addition to the K-2 Reading Foundations Skill Block, content-based literacy is taught through modules that align with expedition content.  The structure of the module allows students to build fluency, practice language standards, and gain a deep schema for rhythm and syntax. Students read, sing, discuss, dramatize, draw, and write to acquire strong content knowledge as well as literacy skills.

Third - Fifth Grade

Reading is taught through modules that are integrated into the learning expedition. The curriculum engages students through compelling, real-world content. Students learn to navigate complex text through “Close Reading” protocols. These series of lessons invite students to analyze and discuss the text to build understanding. Students read informational texts, learn how to ask and answer questions about the text, and learn to collaborate and converse with one another about the content of the text.
Writing is also a major component of the integrated Additional Language and Literacy Block (ALL Block).  Students are engaged in a variety of types of writing throughout the year. Spelling and grammar skills are taught, often aligning with the Learning Expedition.

Sixth - Eighth Grade

EL Education’s unique approach to literacy curriculum addresses middle school reading and writing through its focus on building knowledge and vocabulary and grappling with complex text. Students are exposed to a wide range of increasingly difficult texts to build background knowledge and interest. Effective literacy instruction is accomplished through the use of compelling topics that engage students while aligning with the rigor of states’ higher academic standards.

Math Overview

Our math program uses two different curriculums: Bridges in Mathematics for grades K-5 and College Preparatory Math (CPM) for grades 6-8. 
K-5 Program:  The Bridges in Mathematics Curriculum is rigorous, coherent, engaging, and accessible to all learners. The curriculum focuses on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts and the ability to solve complex problems. Bridges tap into the intelligence and strengths of all students by presenting material that is as linguistically, visually, and kinesthetically rich to accommodate all learners. 
Middle School:  Middle School students at grade level will continue their math journey College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) curriculum which uses problem-based lessons and collaborative student study teams to deliver engaging mathematical practices. Students who need a more challenging math curriculum will use a combination of CMP and Maneuvering the Middle
All programs are Common Core State Standards-aligned, focus on deep learning of numeracy and concepts, push students to grapple with problems, and then apply learning to find solutions. Students also learn collaboratively and spend time transferring mathematical concepts to other subjects and projects. Similar to literacy, we have found our math programs have developed highly successful mathematics students.