ESMS ACADEMIC PROGRAM
During their three years at East Side Middle School, students are immersed in the study of mathematics; earth, life and physical science; and the humanities, including U.S. and world history, social studies, literature, and fiction and non-fiction writing. All students also receive instruction in fine art and physical education. In 7th and 8th grade, Spanish foreign language is added to the curriculum. Our academic program is inspired by STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art and math. The art component in 6th grade focuses on dance, exploring movement in many different styles and forms. Our accelerated math curriculum at ESMS now includes Common Core Algebra I for all 8th graders, culminating with the Regents Exam prior to graduation.
Beyond this solid foundation of primary coursework, each trimester students are asked to select an elective study for one period per week. They may select an activity in which they already excel or one that peaks their interest. Elective courses cover many fields, including computer programming, robotics, the cosmos, classic film and television history, artistic endeavors like knitting or embroidery, and recreational activities from advanced hip hop to zumba to soccer. Here is an example of a recent Electives Catalog.
To support mental and emotional growth during middle school, students meet with faculty members in weekly advisory sessions, with a particular emphasis on building personal resiliency. Advisory courses rotate each semester and include topics such as anti-bullying, digital citizenship, social interactions, sex ed, meditation, and nutrition. In the upper grades, these weekly sessions are called "Intensives" and offer semester-long studies in art history, financial literacy, cursive writing, community service, and other topics chosen by our faculty.