“The art of teaching is the art of teaching to discover.”—Mark Van Doren
Firsthand exploration of phenomena through active investigations is at the heart of our science curriculum. Children are natural scientists and the curriculum must nurture this skill. The best way for students to achieve scientific literacy and appreciation is to actively participate in their own investigations and analyses. Students engage with real-world issues, empowering them to act as scientists and engineers to figure out the world around them. From plants and animals to living systems, the sequence of investigations builds an understanding of key concepts and practices in science and engineering. Starting in 3rd grade, students travel each week to the science lab for a course instructed by the middle school science teacher. Teachers facilitate the use of central texts, media, and other resources through reading, writing, integrated technology, museums, and outdoor exploration to further student understanding.
“Differentiation is simply a teacher attending to the learning needs of a particular student or small groups of students, rather than teaching a class as though all individuals in it were basically alike.”—Carol Ann Tomlinson
With an average class size under 20 students, our faculty grow to understand each student as a unique individual. This understanding is further developed through the use of benchmark assessments given at key points during the year, which paint a detailed portrait of every student’s academic progress. In order to meet the demands of our advanced curriculum and hit rigorous grade level benchmarks, each teacher works within their department and in collaboration with our school counselor, special education coordinator and assistant principal. Over the school year, this team analyzes the results to create individualized support plans for students if they are below grade level or, more commonly, enrichment plans for students above grade level. We also support families with tools that will help students manage their learning independently. In partnership with families, our faculty and staff strive to ensure that each child achieves his/her fullest potential.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” — Aristotle
Relationships are at the core of a successful learning community. A. Fantis students learn to foster warm and caring relationships staff, families and each other. This is possible under the guidance of our school counselor, who coordinates the implementation of our social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. Key components of this program include:
Students develop the skills and dispositions needed to interact positively and constructively with others by building caring relationships, direct instruction of social skills, and establishing a calm and positive learning environment.
“Research in education has shown that we remember field trips long into adulthood. I remember visiting the post office in second grade and looking at the sorting machine. I have vivid memories of that.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson
Classroom NYC is our commitment to ensuring that every student in every grade goes out to explore the world every month. The goal is to make school more meaningful and enriching by having students learn in more authentic environments. New York City offers a wealth of enriching, memorable experiences for students that will enhance their learning—from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to the Metropolitan Museum. Another opportunity is our Cultural Exchange Program, which connects Fantis students with partner schools in Greece. This can include working on collaborative projects or establishing Pen Pals. There is indeed a fascinating world to explore outside these four walls, and it is our commitment to ensure our students take advantage of it.