ESMS Curriculum for Different Grades

 The ESMS Tiger mascot 



During their three years at East Side Middle School, students engage in an intensive study of mathematics; earth, life and physical science; Spanish; and humanities (including history, social studies, all forms of literature, and both fiction and non-fiction writing). All 8th graders will take Algebra I, with a Regents Exam in June; 8th grade math classes are divided into ½ size. In addition, all students receive instruction in physical education and visual art, plus dance for 6th and 8th graders.

Beyond this solid foundation of primary coursework, students engage with faculty members in weekly advisory sessions, with a particular focus on building resiliency. In addition, every 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 piques their interest.


You can access supply lists for the fall through this Google Folder - Fall 2023 Supplies

The School Day

  • Each grade has five homerooms, a mix of gen ed & ICT classes.
  • All students have eight class periods per day, which are between 40-45 minutes each.
  • Our 92nd St. gate opens at 8:45am, at which time all students can enter and go straight to homeroom.
  • All students must be in their homerooms by 9:00am to be marked present & on time; attendance is taken again after lunch.
  • The 92nd St. gate closes at 9:00am. Late students go through the main entrance on 91st St.
  • School food is always free at ESMS. Breakfast is grab-and-go when students arrive for the day, to be eaten in homeroom. Hot and cold cafeteria lunches are always free and available for all students who stay in & would like it. If you bring your own food to school, please do not bring items containing nuts (note: the cafeteria has a nut free table and the kitchen always uses sun butter on its sandwiches and for dipping.); those who eat in the building have a split period of lunch & recess time in our yard. Students with signed permission on file get Out Lunch passes and may go out for lunch.
  • Extra help is offered by teachers with notice on a rotating basis, with sessions before school or after lunch.
  • Many clubs meet before school or during lunch period, including Student Council, Principal’s Book & Poetry Clubs, Reading Buddies, Tiger Times newspaper, Helping Homeless Women Committee, Big Buddies (mentoring), Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Rocket Club and Red Rose Pen Pals (aka ZOOM Kenya).
  • Dismissal is at 3:20pm. Many students then attend one or both daily sessions of our free afterschool program, run in trimesters by Manhattan Youth.

Advisory & Intensives

Below are historical examples of these weekly offerings at ESMS:

6th Grade Advisory


7th Grade Intensives:


8th Grade Intensives:



Electives traditionally take place during last period on Fridays, and change each trimester. All grades mix together for electives, which are assigned to students from their list of ranked choices. Electives are generally taught by our teachers, but sometimes students propose running an elective in an area of their expertise! A sample of recent teacher-led electives: Coding, Stop Motion Animation, Ukulele, Board Games, Classic TV Comedies, Dance in Film, Dungeons & Dragons, Yoga, Foodies, Knitting, Fashion Design, Running Club, Soccer Club, Study Hall, TV Comedy, Wiffle Ball, Zumba. And some of our recent student-taught electives: sign language, Harry Potter, origami & magic tricks.


Afterschool is FREE for all students and is run entirely by Manhattan Youth. There are two daily sessions Monday-Friday (3:40-4:40pm and 4:45-5:45pm); students may sign to do one or both each day, as many days per week as they would like. Most ESMS students participate in afterschool at some point.

ESMS has a variety of MSAL championship sports teams (JV and V), prize-winning debate & Model UN teams, a full menu of creative & athletic clubs, a school musical, and daily homework help. Enrollment takes place online and updates will be posted under the After School tab.

Fun Facts

  • ESMS was given a Respect for All Award for creating a nurturing environment for all students.
  • We worked with the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard, to build a more caring, inclusive school community where students feel safe, supported, and connected.
  • ESMS has often ranked #1 in NYC for middle school attendance (over 98%).
  • 2023 City MSAL Champions for Boys & Girls Table Tennis and Girls Spring Volleyball
  • Info sessions are held in 7th & 8th grade, to guide families through the HS process.
  • The majority of our graduates go on to attend top tier public and private high schools.
  • We have a sister school in Kibera Kenya, called the Red Rose School. Interested ESMS students come in before school one day/week to Zoom with their Red Rose peers.
  • A recent winner of the Daily News Annual Spelling Bee was an ESMS student
  • Getting here is easy… Subway: Q to 86th / 96th; 4, 5 to 86th; 6 to 96th or Bus: M101, 102, 15 (and 15-SBS), 31, 86, 96